We have just bought a Parker 235 complete with trailer. Does anyone have any recomendations to tips for preparing the boat and trailer for towing, beyond what is in the manual?

Many thanks,


Hello Sam,

Perhaps not much beyond what's in the manual but I can't remember what's in it. You want to aim for trailer stability as getting into a snaking oscillation is a bit too exciting. Trailer tyre pressures should be high - probably at the maximum printed on the tyres. Have plenty of trailer nose weight, depending on rating of your car and towbar. Get weight out of the stern and either stow below near the keel or in the car. I do the latter to minimise the trailer weight and carry the weight in the car instead - engine, fuel tank, battery, anchors, tender, etc - but it's more work! If you've a heavy car it'll be less significant but I'd still suggest shifting things to over the axle to minimise mass in the stern, should it start 'wagging'.

Ensure the mast is well lashed down to the pulpit and padded to protect the mast track from bouncing on the much harder stainless steel tubing.

Remove the keeper from the mast gate and stow it safely or it might work loose, drop out on the road and you won't discover that until you come to bend on your mainsail to go sailing...

Stop after a couple of miles on each journey, and before getting on the motorway, and check the wheel bearings or brakes aren't getting hot. Have the spanner to hand for the brake adjusters, as it's easy to think they're set up correctly when the trailer is static only to find that they're binding and heating up the wheel and tyre, which a tweak with the spanner will fix. Check the load straps and lashings at that point too in case anything has shifted and loosened.

Compared with a caravan, the boat has a low centre of mass and a better aerodynamic shape and it tows very nicely if you attend to the basics. Have lots of fun!

Anthony Russell

235/02 Sea Wyche

Hello Anthony,

Thank you for the comments. We manged to drag the boat upto to Lancashire a couple ago without incident. We did however spend a long time preparing the boat.

We didn't move the weight around too much, but we had a heavy towing vehicle and think it is a very good suggestion and we made sure that is wasn't light at the towbar. There was no hint of snaking on the journey.

Most of the time was spent figuring out the best way to secure everything - the shrouds were a bit awkard as they don't bend so nicely, We removed the rudder assembly, but left the engine in the well. The dockyard didn't trust us to lower the mast so we had the assistace of an experienced rigger and a tele-handler. I am not totally about managing it myself so will review the forum posts on the subject.

Hopefully it will be a bit quicker next time. Here are a few points that I think are worth noting. Anthony has already cited the most important ones.

- Delay the journey if required to avoid travelling at night.

- Most wing mirror extensions don't seem to be that great. We bought two sets, but only the set with a decent extension was useful. I think the problem is mainly with the lack of a decent shape to attach to on the mirror. I think this problem is getting worse on newer vehicles.

- A few bungee balls would be really useful for quickly securing lines to the mast.

- I had been pre-warned about the high tyre pressures on the trailer, and this is an important point.

- Towbar weight is another important consideration.

- Release the trailer brake before setting off. 😐

Here we are just outside the boatyard.



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