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Trailering lesson: coming unhitched

Consider it a lesson in trailering — as well as a lesson in humility.

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Newport, Calif., police officers were dispatched to a car accident earlier this year that was reported to be blocking the entrance to the Agate Beach Best Western Motel on Highway 101.

When the police arrived, they found the southbound lanes and the motel entrance blocked by a 26-foot 1977 Fiberform sportfishing boat that had fallen off its trailer and was resting on its side after skidding nearly 40 feet on the asphalt.

“Let’s just say it was a vintage-era trailer that was severely overloaded,” Sgt. Tom Simpson told Soundings.

The trailer — rated for 7,500 pounds — was holding a 10,000-pound twin-inboard boat being towed by a half-ton Ford SUV.

“The trailer tongue disintegrated after whipping back and forth at about 45 mph,” Simpson said. “He only got about three miles down the road from the South Beach Marina.”

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According to the accident report, Casey Broyles was northbound on Highway 101 when the trailer began to separate and started swaying violently from side to side. Before Broyles was able to stop, the trailer broke apart and flipped. The boat slid across the southbound lanes, and the tow vehicle spun around in a circle before coming to rest. Neither Broyles nor his passenger were injured.

Highway 101 was partially blocked for more than two hours while a local towing company cleared the road.

Trailers should be suitable for their intended use and should be checked for roadworthiness before heading off to the launch ramp.

Click here for a Soundings story on what to consider when inspecting a trailer.