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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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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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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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Old 07 January 2008, 11:48   #11
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I get by Have to be a bit gentle with the loud pedal though as it gets a bit noisy and smokey if you're a bit too enthusiastic!
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 07 January 2008, 11:52   #12
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I get by Have to be a bit gentle with the loud pedal though as it gets a bit noisy and smokey if you're a bit too enthusiastic!
I also had a P100 a few years ago, mine was the wanky diesel turbo, about 85hp. Bloody thing fell to bits with rust. What's your's like?
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Old 07 January 2008, 12:02   #13
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I also had a P100 a few years ago, mine was the wanky diesel turbo, about 85hp. Bloody thing fell to bits with rust. What's your's like?
I try and keep it out of the salty stuff and give it a good wash down - it's been waxoiled and Aussie steel must be good stuff because it's going strong!
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Old 17 January 2008, 08:33   #14
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Pro open 550 witha 115 Opti
Astra diesel - 150 horses

no problems - and Balloch (Loch Lomond) has a fairly steep slip. [this picture at picture at South Queensferry BTW}
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Old 17 January 2008, 15:03   #15
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and Balloch (Loch Lomond) has a fairly steep slip.
Yeah but its a good slip, good surface - no slime or anything.

I only have a little 4m rib with 20HP engine - not really had any significant problems towing it with either a citreon c5 (1.8L) or mazda 323F (1.3L) - except on the slimiest slips - a rope and/or a bucket full of gravel has sorted that problem out.
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Old 17 January 2008, 15:28   #16
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Yeah - much nicer slip than Pot Edgar. Low tide at PE is a real pain, slip runs out into mud, slime on slime on slime. Nice once you're afloat though.

Pretty well any slip is still better than a flat sandy or shingle beach. That's where the fun starts. I can't remember a year when I haven't pulled at least one car out of the sea, and once they're stuck it doesn't seem to make a difference which axle has the pleasure of spinning
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Old 03 February 2008, 19:11   #17
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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.
But on a RWD car, you'll naturally have less weight over the front and more over the rear because of the position of the drivetrain.

Hugh Jardon (who's gone quiet on here of late) has a RWD BMW 7 series Auto, which pulls his 6.5m Vipermax out no problem. The Gross weight of his boat & trailer must be around 1800kg. Hope this helps
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Old 04 February 2008, 08:00   #18
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You will be fine if its rear wheel drive.
We had a 04 A6 2.5 TDI auto which was unfortunatly non-quattro, wasn't brilliant on a steep slip lots of wheel spin, because it wasn't my car i just floored it and it eventually got up there. The main problem was the slipway was concrete and the carpark was gravel, so even using rope you were better off on the concrete.
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Old 04 February 2008, 12:37   #19
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as my next car probably will not longer be a 4x4 (due to BE licence weight issue), I'm thinking of getting a BMW 5 series/Mercedes E or V70 Volvo.

So the BMW/Mercedes will be a better choice? What about the transmission? (Right now I've got a automatic XC90.)

Will manual be better for a 2WD or auto?

PAtrick
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Old 04 February 2008, 12:48   #20
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Yes RWD is much better - not a fan of front wheel drive - especially with powerful engines!!!

An Auto box is much better at this sort of thing - you can feed the power in gradually and avoid wheelspin or wear on the clutch. having said that it seems many modern autos just don't have the oil coolers you need for towing heavy weights so best check with the makers first.
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