lakeHere in Vallejo, where we sit right on the Napa River, summer is the perfect time to haul our boats to the shore and head out for a relaxing day on the water. Hitching your boat safely to your truck isn’t hard, but it’s good to know some tips for towing a boat to keep it safely fastened for the drive.

Number one, make sure the weight in the boat is balanced. You may have to move things around so that the weight in both sides is about the same and the weight in the front and back is about a 60/40 split. You also need to attach—at least to ratchet—straps from the trailer to the bow eye.

When backing out of the driveway, have someone stand behind you to guide you. Steer from the bottom of the wheel, turning the wheel the direction you want the trailer to go.

While driving, give yourself more time to stop than usual, and take wide turns. When going up or down hills, shift down a gear to make braking safer and help you climb it.