A few years ago, I racked up about 3,000 miles hauling a rig around North America for Boating. The first day found me on a shimmering two-way, two-lane blacktop pass high in the Colorado Rockies. I'm behind the wheel of a shiny SUV pulling a brand-new 26' sportboat while a steady stream of Peterbilts blasts down the oncoming lane, the slipstream wake rocking my rig. Every time I glance at the sideview mirror, I see my trailer's starboard wheels inch closer and closer to the No Return side of the solid white line. I'm dangerously nervous, to put it mildly.
So I tell myself it's time for an experiment: Don't worry about the $50,000 boat careening over the side of the 11,000' mountain with the 18-wheelers blowing your doors off -- just drive at a safe speed, in the middle of your lane. The fact that I'm writing this and not mountain flower fertilizer is proof that hooking a boat onto an automobile can elicit some odd behavior. It was my constant glancing in the sideview mirror, light braking, and creeping toward the right that was nudging me toward disaster. As you move down the road, you should check your mirrors for anything amiss -- a blowout, a shift of the boat -- but keep your main focus in front of your vehicle, not behind it, whether or not you're trailering a boat. I picked up a few more tips along the way, particularly at the launch ramp.