Lee Huddleston’s Tips on Trailering Safety

With apologies to Lee if I missed something.

  • Check for Wasps when unwrapping the boat
  • Make sure you have 150-200 lbs. of tongue weight
  • Too far back on the trailer causes fishtailing and reduced Traction when towing
  • Use the Jack… Not your Back
  • Be sure the hitch is down over the top of the ball, make sure the lever locks down on the ball. Be sure the hitch and the ball are made for each other – there are 1 7/8′ and 2″ balls, they look pretty similar.
  • Always use Trailer safety chains and make sure they are sized to the boat – Cross them over from side to side and hook them so they can’t bounce loose.
  • Trailer brakes – if you have them make sure they are working, it will help keep the trailer behind the truck when stopping.
  • Make sure shrouds and lines are held off the deck so they won’t chafe the deck- use zipties or wrap in a pillow slip.


When backing to hook up to trailer…

  • Use a Backup Camera – these can be had for as little as $60 at Harbor Freight
  • Use a Magnetic Ball and Stick setup so you can see the lineup easier
  • Steer from the top of the wheel and move it in the direction you want to correct – MAKE SMALL ADJUSTMENTS !
  • Short wheelbase trailers turn faster and you need to make very small adjustments


Launching –

  • On a roller type trailer do not undo the bow or the boat will roll off the trailer.
  • On a bunk type trailer – the bunks can and do rot – the bunks need to bend to cradle the boat – don’t use very heavy timbers it will deform the hull


Miscellaneous words of wisdom ~

  • Trailer Tires can and will dry rot over time – the tread will be fine but the sidewalls will be weakened and fail.
  • Inspect and  clean and regrease wheel bearings at least a couple of times a season and before long trips. Carry spare bearings and a small grease gun.
  • Use bearing buddies to keep the wheels full of grease and water out.
  • Always Torque Wheel nuts as specified.
  • Chock your vehicle wheels when launching in case the brake slips or you lose traction.  Harbor Freight also has these.
  • Turn your wheels to the side before launching so if the truck slips it will move sideways to the ramp. ( A Herb tip )

Thanks Lee for your fine presentation.

Mediterranean Sailing

Bill Davis sent this along

Gary, a pretty serious sailor friend sent this to me.–thought the club
members might be interested. I have heard “the Med” can be hard to
handle because of its shallowness. It makes for hardy Mediterranean
sailors apparently. (I also wondered about the photographer!)

Subject: Med sailing
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:23:50 -0600

For all of you who plan to cruise the Med this fall, here’s a great
picture from a single handed race.

Don Ulsifer

Lets be careful out there .. Sailor’s Superstitions

It is unlucky to start a cruise on Friday.
This is the day Christ was crucified.

Never start a voyage on the first Monday in April.
This is the day that Cain slew Abel.

Don’t start a voyage on the second Monday in August.
This is the day Sodom & Gomorrah was destroyed.

Starting a cruise on Dec. 31 is bad.
This is the day Judas Iscariot hanged himself.

Black traveling bags are bad luck for a seaman.

Avoid people with red hair when going to the ship to begin a journey.
Red heads bring bad luck to a ship, which can be averted if you speak to the red-head before they speak to you.

Avoid Flat-footed people when beginning a trip.
They, like red heads, are bad luck. The danger can be avoided by speaking to them before they speak to you.

A stolen piece of wood mortised into the keel will make a ship sail faster.

A silver coin placed under the masthead ensures a successful voyage.

Disaster will follow if you step onto a boat with your Left Foot first.

Pouring wine on the deck will bring good luck on a long voyage.
A libation to the gods.

Throwing stones into the sea will cause great waves and storms.

A stone thrown over a vessel that is putting out to sea ensures she will never return.

Flowers are unlucky on board a ship.
They could later be used to make a funeral wreath for the dead.

Priests are not lucky to have on a ship.
They dress in black and perform funeral services.

Women on board a ship make the sea angry.

A naked woman on board will calm the sea.
This is the reason for naked figureheads.

Don’t look back once your ship has left port as this can bring bad luck.

A dog seen near fishing tackle is bad luck.

Black cats are considered good luck and will bring a sailor home from the sea.

Swallows seen at sea are a good sign.

Sighting a curlew at sea is considered bad luck.

A cormorant sighted at sea is bad luck.

Dolphin swimming with the ship are a sign of good luck.
Killing one will bring bad luck.

It is unlucky to kill an albatross.

It is unlucky to kill a gull.
They contain the souls of sailors lost at sea.

Handing a flag through the rungs of a ladder is bad luck.

Losing a mop or bucket overboard is a sign of bad luck.

Repairing a flag on the quarterdeck will bring bad luck.

Turning over a hatch will cause the hold to fill with seawater.

Cutting your hair or nails at sea is bad luck.
These were used as offerings to Proserpina, and Neptune will become jealous if these offerings are made while in his kingdom.

Church Bells heard at sea mean someone on the ship will die.

St. Elmo’s Fire around a sailors head means he will die within a day.

When the clothes of a dead sailor are worn by another sailor during the same voyage, misfortune will befall the entire ship.

If the rim of a glass rings stop it quickly  or there will be a shipwreck.

Never say the word Drowned at sea.

The caul of the head of a new-born child is protection against drowning and will bring the owner good luck.

The feather of a wren slain on New Years Day, will protect a sailor from dying by shipwreck.

A ships bell will always ring when it is wrecked.

A shark following the ship is a sign of inevitable death.
Sharks were believed to be able to sense those near death.

A sailor with over 50 years of service was said to go to “Fiddler’s Green” when he died.


Tattooing has been associated with the seafaring life of the navy for centuries. This tradition began in the 1700s when Captain Cook discovered the tattooed natives of the South Pacific. Cook’s sailors were looking for the perfect memento of their journey into foreign lands, and a tattoo was the most exotic souvenir they could bring home.
A Sailor without a tattoo is like a ship without grog: not seaworthy.
The United States Government issued a recruiting circular in 1909, which stated, “Indecent or obscene tattooing is cause for rejection, the applicant should be given an opportunity to alter the design, in which event he may, if otherwise qualified, be accepted.
In the 1940s this obscure ruling caused one of the biggest booms the tattoo trade had known in years. From far and wide, eligible young men were flocking to their favorite
needlers with demands for lingerie, skirts, brassieres, fans, bubbles, flowers, butterflies, almost anything that would cover up a bare spot.
Some meanings of sailor designs;
HOLD on the knuckles of one hand and FAST, on the other. This is said to help the seaman to better hold the riggings.
A PIG, on the top of one foot and a ROOSTER, on the other. This is said to protect the seaman from drowning, because both of these barnyard animals cannot swim so they would get the seaman quickly to shore.

An ANCHOR showed the seaman had sailed the Atlantic Ocean.
A FULL-RIGGED SHIP showed the seaman had sailed around Cape Horn.
A DRAGON showed the seaman had served on a China station.
A SHELLBACK TURTLE denotes a seaman who has crossed the equator.
A GOLDEN DRAGON denotes a seaman who has crossed the International Date Line.
ROPE tattooed around the wrist meant the seaman was a deckhand.
Miss Eleanor Barnes of the Seaman’s Institute once remarked,
“Some people pour out their colorful stories to juries. Others relieve the tension by writing for the confession magazines. The sailor enlists the tattooers needle upon
his own body in dull blues, vivid reds, greens and yellows to record the story of his loves and hates, his triumphs, his religion, and his patriotism.”