Coming into town to head out on the water? Watch out!

Your goal is to make sure you get to spend your time off doing the things you love. That means spending time on the road, and taking your boat to your local marina and dock in Wilmington. Sometimes, that means heading out of state to new areas to find a launch point.

The trouble with bringing your boat in from out of the area is is that others may not be safe around your vehicle. When you're driving, you'll need more space and more time to stop. Much like a truck, having a trailer makes it more difficult to maneuver your vehicle when it's necessary.

Another issue is that you may not be familiar with the area. That can mean having to back up and turn around with your boat in tow, which can be extremely difficult. It can also mean that you make mistakes that result in a crash.

What can you do to avoid a crash when hauling items?

It's a good idea to try to take a class or course on hauling before you travel with your boat. You want to know how you can back up, safety tips and more about the trailer you intend to haul. Additionally, these classes may give you time to practice backing up, turning and making maneuvers with the boat in tow, so that you can get used to hauling a large item.

Another thing you can do is find out about where you're going ahead of time. Use a GPS or map system to determine where you're going, so that you don't end up on dead-end streets or caught up in a cul-de-sac. You may even want to try a service like Google Earth, where you can get a street view of where you're going and be better prepared once you reach your destination.

No two trailers, hitches or drivers are going to be completely the same, so the best advice is to make sure you're comfortable driving such a large load and have a vehicle with enough power to do so safely. If you're concerned about the distance you have to drive or your ability to get your vessel there safely, consider hiring someone to get your boat to the destination or renting a boat when you arrive.

Some safety precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe. Be cautious any time you travel with a heavy trailer.

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