WARNING: Improper weight distribution within the boat can cause instability and loss of control while towing, which may result in death, serious injury or property damage.
Improper weight distribution can cause a boat trailer to fishtail (sway from side to side) as it moves down the highway, putting excessive strains on both the trailer and the tow vehicle, which increases gas consumption and may cause an accident. The most effective way to guard against fishtailing is to make sure the weight load on the trailer is properly distributed.
It is extremely important that a minimum of five percent (5%) and a maximum of ten percent (10%) of the total weight on the trailer is on the trailer coupling ball when the tongue is parallel to the ground. A bathroom scale can be used for this determination. For example, if the gross weight of the trailer, boat and gear is 3,000 pounds, the weight on the tongue should not be more than 300 pounds, but not less than 150.
Check the tow vehicle owner’s manual prior to first time use.
The importance of sufficient weight load on the trailer tongue (creating downward force on the hitch ball) cannot be over-stated.