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How to safely lift a boat off a trailer in 5 steps

Finding clever ways to lift a boat off a trailer can be daunting and tricky. Also, it can be dangerous to remove the boat from the trailer. However, lifting the boat from the trailer in the garage or anywhere is possible using lifting tools.

You just need to be safe while reading and using the expert advice in this tutorial. Check out the best tips for removing a boat from a trailer and other information, including:

Essentials, preparation and tools to consider, and steps to remove a boat from a trailer with portable jack and lifting brackets

  • Step 1: Stabilize the boat trailer
  • 2nd step: Hoist the boat and trailer
  • Step 3: Installation of boat safety supports
  • Step 4: Separate the boat from the trailer
  • Step 5: Securing the boat lift

Find out how lifting a boat trailer comes in handy and safe for boat owners.

Essential things and tools to consider


1. Preparations and tools before lifting a boat from a trailer

You can safely remove a boat from the trailer in a garage or anywhere that is suitably convenient and maneuverable. Lifting the boat ashore is necessary to maintain or carry out necessary work.

Lifting the boat from a trailer becomes useful but a bit dangerous for you or anyone. Thus, boat stability is essential for maintaining, painting and repairing the bottom of your boat and trailer.

Be sure to consider the following tools when preparing to remove your boat from the trailer.

Here are the minimum tools for efficient, convenient and safe boat lifting from a trailer:

  • Dunnage blocks/tires
  • Trapeze supports
  • Swivel boat stand
  • Support beam/brackets
  • Portable Jack Lifts
  • Hitch/Spring Pins
  • Winch support cable with hooks
  • Safety chains
  • Additional overlapping boards

These tools may already be part of your marine maintenance kit. But you need to understand how to use them to manage the boat lift without professional help.

2. Precautions to take before and when lifting boats from a trailer

Perform periodic checks on your boat and trailer to make lifting or towing the boat more manageable and safer. Only lift your boat from a trailer when you are able to.

Add these precautions to properly lift a boat from your trailer.

  • If you are hesitant to do the lifting process alone, hire a qualified mechanic who has experience.
  • Walk around and visually check your boat for cracks, leaks, and other hair-like damage. It can be aggravated when preparing and carrying out the boat lift
  • Make sure you have the correct location and number of boat stands, jacks and jack stands for the size and weight of the boat
  • Use only the proper quality jack to transport the lift
  • Always refer to your boat’s owner’s manual and manufacturer’s recommendations for other preparations and tools not listed here.

For experienced and seasoned boat owners, this information serves as friendly reminders to guide you through a smooth process.

3. Safety tips

A portable boat lift becomes practical if you note the essentials above and follow the practical steps below. Prioritize safety among the basic factors, physical or mechanical knowledge, tools and precautions for a reliable and secure unloading process.

  • Secure enough space for full access and to maneuver and unload the boat from a trailer
  • Use lifting tools like a portable jack to help hoist your boat off the trailer
  • Be sure to read and understand all written information accompanying the tools before proceeding with the actual lifting task
  • Know the precise tonnage or load capacity required for your boat stands and jacking tools. Consider the total weight of the boat and trailer when choosing boat lifting tools
  • Always connect marine grade safety straps or chains from the trailer post to the bow of the boat. They can work under strong stress and prevent the boat from slipping off the trailer or falling to the ground.
  • Using bolted connections is a good idea so the boat can cope with any strain and allows for easy chain adjustments

Steps to remove a boat from a trailer


Step 1: Stabilize the boat trailer

Ensure proper placement and sufficient space to stabilize your boat and trailer. You can inflate the trailer tires to around 35 psi for a firm hold on the ground.

Use chocks or chocks to keep the trailer wheels on a flat, controlled surface and prevent tilting, swaying, or sudden movements.

Place blocks to chock the front and rear sides of the trailer wheels for stable placement before unloading the boat.

Place overlapping boards between boat hulls and trailer surfaces for easy separation.

2nd step: Hoist the boat and trailer


Lifting your boat correctly determines how easy it is to unload from the trailer and keeps your portable jack performing well. The further down you can pull the boat trailer tongue, the more it can lift the boat transom.

Hoist the boat carefully by placing the supports under the transom and tightening them a little more.

Connect the trapeze of the boat’s bow eye with a pin and secure it with its clip.

Attach the trapeze hole that is slightly higher to the swivel mount. An overhead lifting platform is a good idea.

Step 3: Installation of boat safety supports

Secure the other end of the trapeze eye nut with a hook of the winch bracket cable and tighten it. Check and run the winch cables enough to extend the stand legs out of the center.

Install safety chain or marine grade straps around the base of each bracket to hold them tight with enough slack. Allow enough space on each stand to put on a jack and a support platform for easy adjustments. The use of overlapping boards, pulleys, lifting tools is a great help for a total boat lift.

Step 4: Separate the boat from the trailer

Start separating the boat from the trailer by suspending the bow of the boat with the trapeze bracket. Adjust the trapeze and winch while lowering the tongue of the trailer to reduce contact between the boat and the trailer.

Continue to separate the boat until the bow ends of the boat are no longer in contact with the hull of the trailer. Make sure the boat supports and trapeze supports are in place to catch the boat sections. Put more boat stands or jack stands on the back and front sections of your boat for adjustability and safety.

Step 5: Securing the boat lift

Place a portable jack under the tongue of the trailer to safely lift it out from under the boat. At the same time, make sure that the boat is fully raised on the trapeze support and that the safety supports are in place.

Make the final winch cable crank and check for complete separation of the boat from the trailer. Check the entire boat hull and supports. All lifting brackets must be in place before and after trailer removal.

Finally, leave the portable jack mounted to your boat for easy adjustment of stands and brackets and access to boat hulls.

Watch these YouTube videos from Jamestown TV on how to effectively unload your boat from a trailer.


You no longer have to ask yourself “How to lift a boat from a trailer?” as you have read the expert advice in this tutorial. Keep learning this practical information to unload your boat from a trailer safely and effortlessly.

These simplified, unbiased boat owner recommendations are your helpful guides.

Use them to avoid danger during the boat unloading process. Portable jack and other lifting tools are available in the market today for your use. Get yours and enjoy the separation and maintenance of your boats and trailers before you go on an excursion.

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