Handbook: Trailering

Boat Trailer Towing  ***Draft document***

“Boat trailer towing by its nature is a responsible activity not to be taken lightly or by those unaware of the requirements or risks involved.  Over the past years there have been serious accidents involving boat trailers, some with fatal consequences. It is therefore important that clubs ensure they have procedures in place to make the activity as safe as necessary.”  Stuart Ward, Honorary Water Safety Adviser of the ARA [BR’s previous identity]

Anyone who will be involved in transporting boats should refer to the Towing section of British Rowing’s Further Guidance and to the Transport & Trailers section of RowSafe and relevant documents linked to therein. They are also advised to study any online courses on Trailer Towing in RowHow (a virtual learning environment, accessed via the Online Services menu of the British Rowing website). Anyone with limited experience of towing loaded rowing boat trailers must also obtain practical guidance on all aspects of towing from an experienced club member and the committee needs to be satisfied that they have the skill and experience required to tow a boat trailer safely.

They must ensure their driving licence is valid for the intended towing activity. If they wish to use the club car, for towing or another purpose, they need to have permission and ensure they are covered by the club’s insurance policy: contact the club secretary for details.

Organising Towing to an Off-Cam Event

This following steps describe how to arrange towing to an off-Cam event.  Using this standardised process helps ensure nothing is forgotten and that appropriate communication takes place. By following these steps, organising the towing should be made easy!

  1. Read the event Poster, Competitor Information and any other information provided by the event organisers for all the details you need.
  2. Confirm you have an entry for the event (see the Competing page of this handbook)!
  3. Make sure you are happy to assign yourself the position of trailer organiser for the event (this does not necessarily mean that you will be towing yourself), unless someone else is taking this on. If you are not happy to do this then ask your coach or captain for some help.
  4. Check that the trailer and club car (if needed) are available for the day of the race on the Boat Booker. It is also wise to check the days before and after to avoid clashing with other events. The small trailer is owned by Andy Johnson, so permission to use it must be sought from him; the club pays a small hire charge for each use.
  5. Book the car (if needed), trailer and boats on Boat Booker for your event date and any period when the boats will be derigged. Every effort should be made to minimise this time so that boats are available for other members to use.
  6. Create a thread on the “Announcements” forum page of this web-site to say that you are planning on attending the event, asking for others in the club to either email you or post on that thread, or liaise with other crews via the CrewReps mailing list.
  7. Attach a filled in “Off-Cam Event” spreadsheet to your note.  <We could add an Excel version of the spreadsheet to the media library, or just provide a link to the goolge-doc https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Asisl_0Xl6VEdGdYUktqbTBkTzV3c1RnUnlyYUluUmc#gid=0, but not sure people will find it easy to add to a forum post – it may just be easier to tell people to make a copy and fill it in?>
  8. As more crews express their wish to use the trailer, add them to your spreadsheet, ensuring you do not exceed maximum slots, note that there can only be a maximum of 7 fours on the trailer.
  9. Arrange for somebody with suitable skill and experience to tow each direction, checking that they are happy with the proposed load. If you are using the club car, you need to ensure that the driver is named on the insurance policy – contact the club secretary to check. Send the driver your filled-in “Off-Cam Event” form so that they know what time the first and last races are likely to be. Agree a trailer loading plan with the driver and ensure there will be at least one passenger, and ideally two or three passengers, in the tow-car to assist the driver in negotiating through tight corners (especially getting on and off the estate adjacent to the boathouse, where the utmost care needs to be taken to avoid damage).
  10. If you anticipate having spare spaces on the trailer then you can ask around other clubs to see if there is anyone looking for transport. Please check with a committee member about what charge will be made to them.
  11. Inform rowers about how much they will be asked to contribute to fuel costs. Check with the Club Captain for more information if needed.
  12. Collect money before the event or as a cheque on the day (payable to Cantabrigian Rowing Club) and pay money to the club treasurer.
  13. Arrange when the trailer will be loaded and unloaded, and make sure everyone involved is informed of the timings.
  14. Just before loading the trailer, you need to derig the boat(s) you are taking: remove the riggers, either remove the seats (most boats) or bungee them into position, ensure hatch covers, foot-plates and all other parts are secured so they won’t fall off during transport. If seats are removed, ensure the wheels are protected from dirt, i.e. never place the wheels in contact with the ground or anywhere else dirty. If you stack the seats, do it so the wheels face inwards in the stack.
  15. To load the trailer, push it onto the access track between the car-park and the  public land, load and secure the boats and other equipment and then move the trailer: either to travel immediately, or to leave it on Logan’s Way or other suitable parking space until travelling. When moving through the estate, or other places where there is limited clearance, at least two (and ideally four) pedestrians should walk in front of and behind the vehicles on each side to act as lookouts to ensure there are no collisions.
  16. Loading checklist:
    1. boats
    2. blades
    3. riggers – if the trailer is full, you may need to take these in your car boot
    4. trestles – if the trailer is full, you may need to take these in your car boot
    5. seats (secured/taped in a stack with wheels protected/in a bucket/bag) – it is a good idea to take these in your car boot where they will be less prone to damage if possible
    6. in car: tools (for basic repairs), tape (for securing seats/riggers), bolts (if not secured to boats)
    7. boot bucket(s), especially if boating somewhere that requires wellies
  17. After you return from the event, ensure that the trailer is unloaded as soon as possible.
  18. The club car should be refuelled before it is returned to Lynfield Lane. Email a photo of the receipt to the Treasurer, along with the bank details to which the refund should be paid.