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Old 16 June 2003, 02:59   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Saltash, Cornwall
Make: Rib less:-(
Length: no boat
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 693
Tow Vehicles

As my Freelander is now getting a bit long in the tooth at 106K and as it lacks a low gear box for those slipways Iím looking at replacing it. I got my clutch very warm (interesting aroma!) recovering a 6m on a very steep slip a few months ago and had to change the clutch last month Ė connected? I donít want to test this hypothesis again as its an expensive game.

I was wondering what everyone else was using / recommended for towing a 6-7.5 m boat.


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Old 16 June 2003, 03:41   #2
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,097
Ohh, suspect choice of tow vehicle could almost get as emotive a subject as choice of RIB and engine!

There has been some discussion before when I was in the market for a new vehicle myself........

IMHO there can be a helluva lot of difference between tow vehicles for a 6m and a 7.5m RIB. I used to tow, launch and recover a 6.5m relatively succesfully with a Mondeo. With the 7.5m RIB I have now on a 4 wheel trailer I needed a meaty 4x4 - a Freelander wouldnt be man enough for the job. (IIRC the towing capacity is 2000kg or less?)

In the end I went for an Isuzu Trooper. 3L Diesel, Autobox and 3500kg towing capacity. Tows like a dream, is roomy and comfortable. Downside is that it is bloody expensive on spare parts and has a 6000 mile service interval which gets expensive when you do 20K+ miles p.a.!

My other 10c's from 18mths spent working at Landrover would be to buy something else! Build quality is still a problem at Lode Lane I'm afraid. (all IMHO , alledgedly and with no predjudace!)

If I only needed to tow 1800kg and wanted some performance I'd go for a Subaru Forester turbo (either the old S Turbo model or the new XT). Full time 4x4, Excellent handling, some offroad ability, tows upto 1850kg and does 0-60 in 7.9 seconds!

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Old 16 June 2003, 04:21   #3
Country: UK - England
Town: Shropshire
Boat name: She's Gorn!
Make: No boat
Length: no boat
Engine: Nada
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 84
I'd second that Alan. I've been driving a Disco for the last 18 mos. and done 70,000 miles. It's a great towcar. You don't even notice the boat on the back (except I can't see through the rear view mirror) and as for slipways, it pulled Greyswish out at Mayflower last month no problem............. oh, with Daniel's Peugeot 405 attached, with a siezed handbrake! But, the quality is crap! I've call out the breakdown service four times, had new fuel injectors, radiator, numerous rattles (which I've given up trying to get fixed), electrical faults, not at all what you want from any car, let alone one which costs £35k!

I'm seriously considering the Subaru Forester. As you say, the turbo drives like a performance car, the lower spec. models have a low ratio box (and a towing capacity of 1500kg) and they all have legendary quality, after sales service and reliability (regularly alongside Lexus in the JD Power surveys). Also, the highest spec model is £20k.

As an ex-LR lightweight nutter and three times Disco owner, I'm really sorry to say I've bought my last Land Rover.

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Old 16 June 2003, 04:39   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Oxford
Make: Ribtec, Ballistic, C
Engine: 40hp 4 strokes - twi
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 309
Get a Landy and a car. Old land rover is cheep to insure tax free and will provide a vehicle that you are not bothered if it gets salty or a bit bashed about. You can then have a car not a 4*4 pretending to be a car or a car pretending to be a 4*4. What you need for towing is not always bhp. I learnt to drive in a Lada Cossack (yes laugh away) it only had a 1.6 L engine but it was a fantastic vehicle. In bottom box it would climb anything including steps. and would pull most things including a fallen oak tree. It is one of the few 4*4 that had a centre dif which locked all 4 wheals. Forget slip ways we lunched on shingle sand and mud. Being worth almost nothing we took it of road loads and was not bothered about the paint when in/on bushes and small trees. When you are tiered and it is dark put the car in the sea and unload the boat straight into the door. (Yes I know this is not good for them but when they are worth a few hundred does it matter) If you have not driven them these types of vehicles are not like cars they are noisy slow and steer like barges. But do what they were made for better than any modern car.
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Old 16 June 2003, 07:20   #5
Country: UK
Boat name: Seascaper
Make: Hurricane 640
Length: 6.7
Engine: Volvo Penta AD31DP
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 82
Get yourself a Nissan D22 pick up. Gutsy 2.5 litre turbo diesel 4 x 4. Great value -half the price of a Landrover and much better. Tows up to 2.5 ton.
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Old 16 June 2003, 07:25   #6
Country: UK - England
Town: Portchester, Hants.
Length: no boat
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 584
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What Car?

Hi Guys

Well IMHO it must be a 4X4 with a low ratio gearbox.

Sadley the Freelander dips out on this, other wise an excellent tow car, especially the V6 or TD4 model.

Disco's are even better, if you get a good one! I put 200,000 miles on one with no mechanical breakdown's other than normal wear & tear & servicing.

The Range Rover would be my next choice. Functionality of 4X4 plus Luxury of a prestige motorcar. Turbo Diesel will return 30mpg if you are not too heavy footed.

There are lots of other vehicles on the market but as with my opening statement it must be 4X4 with low ratio for all those slippery slopes, sandy beaches. or sheer grunt for pulling heavy items.

Aging Youth
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Old 16 June 2003, 07:50   #7
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Boat name: WIZARD
Make: REDBAY 7.4
Length: 7m +
Engine: OPTI 225
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 417
Having had several 4X4 jeeps, and I regulary tow a 3.5 tonne digger on 1 ton trailer ( highly ilegal. 4.7 tone all up ), You just cant beat Jap jeeps, for toughness and the abuse that gets thrown at then on building sites.
At the moment I have Mitsubishi L200 with 4 door and pick up at the back, which is covered in. This is my second mitsubishi and I like them. the Isuzu troopers are more solid than the mitsubishi but less powerful. Disco was the worst of the lot, But it would climb trees if you wanted.

I am shying away from jeeps at the moment as I want the comfert of one ,and ease of driving. that subru sounds good.

For towing you need low range box to pull up slipsways and rough ground.
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Old 16 June 2003, 08:03   #8
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,097
Originally posted by TIM
For towing you need low range box to pull up slipsways and rough ground.
Wouldnt neccessarily agree with that - depends on slip, weight of boat, amount of crud on slipway etc etc. I only use low range on one particularly steep slip. In fact I suspect an auto box to get away from the clutch burning smells is more valuable most of the time!
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Old 16 June 2003, 08:09   #9
Country: UK - Isle of Man
Town: Peel
Boat name: Jane L
Make: Scorpion
Length: 8m +
Engine: 315 Yanmar
MMSI: 235077935
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 200
What you need is ............... RIB International.

Endless info about 4x4s there - it is the best vehicle mag on the market by far, spolit only by occasional references to boats


ps mine's a Range Rover
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Old 16 June 2003, 10:26   #10
Country: Greece
Town: Athens
Boat name: Sofia - Konstantina
Make: Wave
Length: 5
Engine: Outboard 2-stroke 115 Mercury
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 82
Hi all,

I opted for a second car for towing my Rib, which weights appox 750 kilos without fuels.

I use a 1.7i Lada Niva. Very cheap to buy (6.200 pounds brand new, with aircondition) and maintain, very tough, permanent 4x4, Low Gear Box, 100% Block Central Diff Lock (available in a separate "stick").

My towing speed is usually 80 - 100 Km and recovering from slipways was never a problem. In a number of occations I recovered the boat directly in sand beaches (no spliway at all).

Build quality is not good but who cares. As an offroad vehicle it will beat quite easily expensive 4x4s.



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