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Old 07 January 2008, 03:58   #1
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Two wheel drive cars on launching slips

I was wondering if anyone out there has any experance in using a back wheel drive automatic car for towing and launching/ reteriving ribs. I would think that a back wheel drive car is better than a front wheel drive. In reality how big/ heavy a rib can I expect to be able to manage with a two wheel drive. The problem is not power but traction. Some of the slips near me are quite steep.

Thanks in advance TSM
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Old 07 January 2008, 04:07   #2
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A willing crew and a long piece of rope keeps the car on the hard stuff. When we towed with a transit van we used to put folk in the back to gain some weight over the rear axle. Don't let them stand on the trailer though, there was a serious accident with a diving club rib when a girl fell off and was run over by the trailer and boat.

5.5m ribs were no problem same with a 6m dory with a water logged hull.

Pete
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Old 07 January 2008, 04:58   #3
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Mick,

I've not launched/ recovered with a rear wheel drive for a while, but I'll seconld Pete's long rope. I guess with front wheel drive you can't get much more weight than your engine over the axle, and your traction will be further away from any potentially slippy stuff......

Assuming you have a reasonably new auto, then I reckon you'll be less likely to spin the wheels, as they are reasonably gentle at applying power, and if you have one with "winter" mode, then use that to reduce the slip as well.

It was a while ago, but we managed to get a 5.4M SR out with a Vauxhaull Carlton 1.8 manual.....
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Old 07 January 2008, 05:17   #4
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In my experience, front wheel drive cars are not anyway near as good as rear. The weight of the boat on the hitch and the angle of the slip etc. all tend to lift the front end of the car.I had a BM' 525 TDI Touring a few years ago and that wasn't bad at all. With a bit of fairly brutal peddle work I could haul a 2.5 tonne sports cuddy out. Most of the spinning, smoke and burning clutches tend to come from those attempting to use front wheel drive cars on slips.
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Old 07 January 2008, 06:48   #5
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Data

I got the opportunity to take the car and the car + boat over a "weigh beam", which essentially gives you the weight on each axle as you drive over it, then it totals it all up to give the the gross.

Car on it's own: Front - 930Kg, Rear, 660Kg
Car with trailer: Front - 900Kg, Rear, 740Kg

So although I was 30Kg Lighter at the front with the trailer on, I still have 160Kg more tractive grip on the front axle than at the rear.

Granted, that's on a flat, level piece of ground, but realisitcally will there be enough weight transferrence to shift >160Kg to the rear? By the same notion of the weight transferrence to the rear due to the hill, the hitch weight will theoretically get lighter, therefore putting a tad more weight on the front car axle...... Also the fuel in the RIB will gravitate to the rear, taking some weight off the hitch as well......

Long & sort of it is that what works wonderfully for one rib on a certain slip may be the next slip / boats worst nightmare......
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Old 07 January 2008, 07:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
I got the opportunity to take the car and the car + boat over a "weigh beam", which essentially gives you the weight on each axle as you drive over it, then it totals it all up to give the the gross.

Car on it's own: Front - 930Kg, Rear, 660Kg
Car with trailer: Front - 900Kg, Rear, 740Kg

So although I was 30Kg Lighter at the front with the trailer on, I still have 160Kg more tractive grip on the front axle than at the rear.

Granted, that's on a flat, level piece of ground, but realisitcally will there be enough weight transferrence to shift >160Kg to the rear? By the same notion of the weight transferrence to the rear due to the hill, the hitch weight will theoretically get lighter, therefore putting a tad more weight on the front car axle...... Also the fuel in the RIB will gravitate to the rear, taking some weight off the hitch as well......

Long & sort of it is that what works wonderfully for one rib on a certain slip may be the next slip / boats worst nightmare......
I worked at a water sports centre with a lot of day sailors, We used to take bets on the front wheel drive cars, not many ever got the boat out of the water and the slip was concrete and not very steep. We normally used to tow the boat out with the centre's land rover or both the car and boat to free the slip up after they had burned the clutch out
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Old 07 January 2008, 07:27   #7
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a mate used to recover his boat with a turboed 205 GTI. He reckoned that a pair of front tyres was much cheaper than a new clutch. He used to rev the bollox out of it then dump the clutch. It was a pretty mad sight as he turned the steering wheel from side to side, smoke billowing from the front wheels as he made his way up the slip.
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Old 07 January 2008, 08:30   #8
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I once watched a bloke with an old Volvo estate recover his 21' fishing boat single handed at low tide - he was off the end of the slip on the sand and he made it look SO easy. Then some idiots arrived in a 4x4(can't remember but foreign) to recover a much smaller speedboat - they made a right balls up of it and got the 4x4 stuck!!!
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Old 07 January 2008, 11:36   #9
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I manage with this little lot OK on the Slip in Salcombe - 400 hp Auto with next to no weight on the back wheels, but the slip is reasonably clean and of average steepness - not sure if that helps or not?

By the way the boat is 950 kg and the all up weight should be around 1300 kg I would imagine?
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Old 07 January 2008, 11:43   #10
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I manage with this little lot OK on the Slip in Salcombe - 400 hp Auto with next to no weight on the back wheels, but the slip is reasonably clean and of average steepness - not sure if that helps or not?

By the way the boat is 950 kg and the all up weight should be around 1300 kg I would imagine?
It must be a struggle though, with only 400hp.
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