Trailering oversize in PA (or other states)

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by boatman37, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Looking at buying a bigger boat and know that towing will be a concern. I primarily only tow a couple of times a year in and out but may make the occasional trip to Erie or something with the next boat. My question is about how wide can I go? I know I will need permits for anything I will be buying as the smallest I am looking at is 28' (about 9.5' beam). Is there a difference between towing a 9.5' beam and a 10.5' beam? or even 11'? Right now I'm thinking of staying at 28-29' due to towing restrictions but if there is no difference in the regulations up to 11' then that opens the doors a little wider for me. Again. my towing will be minimal but don't want to get into an 11'er only to find I need a pilot vehicle, etc. If that is the case then I will be sure to stay under that threshold. I also know that my current truck won't tow any of those but that is another discussion. I tried searching but anything I found seemed pretty vague and figured there must be a couple of fellow Pennsylvanians on here that are familiar with it.
  2. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I may be wrong but I believe the max width you can tow without a permit is 102". Above that you need a permit and "Oversize Load" signs and orange flags at the widest parts of the load. Once you're in the "wide load" category the rules are the same until you get REAL wide (over 14').

    There are restrictions on towing on 2-lane highways that require pilot cars, and some restrictions on towing wide loads on holiday weekends and during certain hours (think business rush hour times) on some freeways in some cities.

    We used to tow our 330 Sundancer. It's best to follow the rules, get the permits and signs, etc. We cheated a couple of times by towing on 2-lane roads without the pilot cars and didn't get caught, but it's a chance you take.

    Towing a wider boat is not all that difficult. Take your time, follow the rules and just enjoy yourselves. Towing opens up a lot of new waters to you to enjoy.
  3. kiloil

    kiloil Member

    Sep 15, 2013
    Tallahassee, Florida
    2015 25' SLX 8.2L-SOLD
    Every state will be different. I've researched Florida over and over just to make sure I'm confident in what to do.
  4. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Thanks. Just thinking my next boat will be here for quite awhile and there may be a few times where I want to take it to Erie or some other place. If there is a difference between towing a 9'6" boat as compared to a 10'6" boat then I may take that into consideration.
  5. John Lienhard

    John Lienhard New Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    Sea Ray 330DA
    7.4l MPI stern drives bravo 1
    I trailer my 33 a few times a year. In WA state, you can be up to 12ft wide and 14ft high with without a pilot. My boat is 13.6ft high and usually goes under all bridges. Permits are easy to obtain. I print them online. searay.jpg
  6. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Good to know. Thanks!

    SCORPIO Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    In pa like most states, 102 is max without permit. I have an 11 foot beam and she ties just fine. Anything over 102 but under 12 feet wide requires permits, and signs and flags but no pilot or trailing cars. Another thing to watch I'd your height on trailer. I pull my radar mast to trail so I am below 12'6". You want to be under 13'6" or you are over height, bigger hassle with routes. The permit will restrict you to daylight towing, no holidays and they will likely route you on specific roads. Not a big deal really. Make sure your truck is up to the load you want to pull. I use mercury permit service, they have BoatUS discounts and it's very simple and quick to get the permits.
    I also put a blinking light on my truck though not required.
  8. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Sounds good. Thanks. And I already thought about height but not alot I can do beforehand I guess. Just have to figure it out afterwards.

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