Often we are so familiar with the laws in our own state, that we forget that other states may have different laws regarding what width are allowed. When you are towing a boat through multiple states, it is important to understand compliance on every road you will travel.
Tip: Also, if you relocate to a new state, you may need to purchase a new trailer to meet the requirements of your new home.
When it comes to towing boat width, the great majority of states – 47 to be exact – do not require a wide-load permit as long as your boat and trailer width does not exceed 8 1/2 feet (102 inches). The exceptions to the norm include New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii, which have an 8 foot (96 inches) limit; and North Carolina, which allows a generous 10 foot (120 inches) for boat and trailer.
Tip: Be aware that often the guideposts in the trailer are included in this width.
If your boat has a wider beam than what is permissible and legal in your home state, you’ll need a wide-load permit. You will also need a wide load permit if your boat and trailer exceed that permissible width of any state you are travelling through, even if you will not be stopping.
Tip: If you are visiting or just passing through a state, your trailer configuration does not need to be modified to accommodate local laws.
Before you leave for your adventure, make sure that you understand fully the boat width and other over the road trailering requirements of each state you are travelling through. Be safe, be compliant and have fun!
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