Author Topic: What do you use to tow your boats?  (Read 1278 times)

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Offline BattleRifleG3

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« on: October 04, 2004, 08:16:14 AM »
I keep thinking about getting a boat some day, and then realize that I'd need a vehicle strong enough to tow it.  Of course not all boats are alike, but I'm wondering what you guys use for yours.

On one trip through rural Virginia, I saw everyone hauling everything with a Bronco II, which is what I have.  My father was considering buying an old epoxy Starcraft outboard motor boat from his folks and I was wondering if it's sane or not to consider towing it with my BII?

Also, anyone ever carry a jet ski in a minivan or SUV?  Wondering if I absolutely needed a trailer or a pickup or if there was a way to store one completely internally (with seats folded down of course).  I first thought a Chevy Trailblazer or Tahoe would fit one, but thus far only the Suburban looks big enough.  And has anyone ever designed a crane, ramp, or something like that to launch a jet ski from a vehicle without the need for a trailer?  I was thinking of designing such a thing myself but haven't seen one yet.
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Offline Gus M.

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2004, 05:56:35 AM »
I use a Ford F-350 4WD Dually with a V-10 course my boat is a 28 foot Bayliner   Gus

Offline Graybeard

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2004, 10:02:14 AM »
I now have a 2005 Toyota Tundra with V8. Plenty of power for most anything I'll likely haul. About the worst mis match I ever tried was a big heavy as lead fiberglass runabout I had a lot of years ago. Tried towing it with a Pinto. WOW! Was that a bad idea. That boat got to shaking and swaying for some reason and almost took the little Pinto off the road before I could get slowed down and back under control. Never tried that again.  :eek:


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Offline Star1pup

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2004, 01:28:27 PM »
I have towed a 20' sailboat with an F-150.  The same truck easily towed my 16' SmokerCraft.  I now have an F-250 diesel which is overkill.  I bought it before we sold the camper and bought a cottage.

The only trouble I ever had was a  V-6 Aerostar mini-van that always made me wonder if I was going to get my 12' boat back up the ramp.

The F-250 diesel might be overkill, but I get 16-17mpg and there is no difference when I tow something.

Offline ed1921

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2004, 06:13:10 PM »
I don't think you would ever get a jet ski in a bronco & probaly not a minivan. It would be easy enough to check the dimensions. Anyway how would you get it in there? They are kind of heavy & wet. Small trailers for a jetski aren't hard to pull. I bet even a pinto could manage that.
Find out your towing capacity for your bronco. A weight distributing hitch will help. I would guess at least 3500 lbs. The other towing package goodies like trans cooler & upgraded suspension will help.
Depending on the ramps you use 4 wheel drive is nice, but not always required.
I have an explorer w/ a 4 liter sohc that pulls a 16' alum boat w/ no trouble. It's mostly about the capacity of vehicle, the weight towed & the setup.

Offline tomaldridge

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Tow vehicles
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2004, 09:14:32 AM »
I used to carry a 12 ft Jonboat on a Pinto SW.  I was young, strong, and almost took out the back window a couple of times.  If you're serious about putting a watercraft in a minivan, try to get a riding lawn mower in the same vehicle.  Don't forget about the angle you'll have coming out of the water, and don't forget to do it when you're tired, like you've been fishing all day.  Then, I used a 2WD Ranger to tow my 12FT SemiVee for about 20 years.  Twice, I got stuck on the ramp, and had a hell of a time getting out.  Now I use a 1996 F250 4WD.  My first choice would be a Ranger sized 4WD, like your Bronco, with a trailer.  I prefer the Pickp because I can see the trailer better.

Offline BattleRifleG3

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2004, 09:54:10 AM »
I guess I should have specified that I wouldn't be hauling a jet ski up into a minivan by hand.  I'd have an astroturf skid ramp with a crank and pulley system.

On another note, my father has the prospect of bringing home a Starcraft fiberglass boat from the 50s, a family treasure.  I'm not sure the exact specs, but it's probably 18ft or so, and has a 90hp Evinrude on the back.  Not sure of its exact weight, but I would appreciate help identifying it in order to get all necessary specs.  The bow has a rough surface for a person to walk on, and the top of the bow is round.

Here's the thing:  He thinks he can tow that thing with his 1995 Ford Escort station wagon.  I realize I'm no expert, but I tend to think trying to tow that boat with a 1.9l I4 engine is folly... especially back from the Adirondancks of NY to Pgh PA.  I've been trying to convince him that using my Bronco II is really the only option, as I consider it a minimum for this use (course I don't have the boat weight or the towing specs of my vehicle, but I can probably estimate the latter based on modern vehicles and throwing in a margin for error.)

So what do you gusy think?  How underpowered would that Escort be, and how competent would my BII be for towing that boat?
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Offline ed1921

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2004, 10:14:18 AM »
I can guarentee the escort is way underpowered & probably dangerous.
Hopefully the state police will stop him before he gets far.
BII is probably OK. Try to find out rating for your engine & year.
Try here http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/index.php
Other trailer & towing sites around too.
I'm guessing boat, motor & trailer at 2000 lbs. Maybe more.

Offline darrell8937

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2005, 01:54:46 PM »
Don't tow with a Caravan/Voyager.. Used to work in a transmission shop.. Caravans?voyagers gave us lots of Busniess.. Weak Trannys.. Every time I see one with a hitch I chuckle..

Offline John

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What do you use to tow your boats?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2005, 03:30:50 PM »
I have an 02 short wide V-6 F-150 4x4. I tow my 18 ft. stratos with a 150 hanging off the back with it, and never have a problem. I think that a bigger boat might be a problem though, and a V-8 might be needed.

I was behind somebody just this past week that had a jetski on some kind of a rack mounted on the back of an SUV.
Hey, hold my beer and watch this.