Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28 February 2013, 10:27   #1
Country: UK - England
Length: 4m +
Engine: etec 40
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Advice on potential hatch back tow vehicles

Hi all,

I am looking at replacing the current under-powered hatch back this year to as it struggled last year on the steep slip we regulary use.

I currently tow a Zodiac pro 7 (4.2m) which is relitively light, but would like the car to be able to tow, launch and recover a 5.4 SR (future boat maybe).

I have been looking at VW Golfs with the 1.6, 1.9 and 2.0 Tdi engines, has anyone got any experience with either? I will be looking at older models due to price.

Could you give me any and all advice on vehicle options and whether 4WD will be requirement with a 5.4SR?


martin p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 February 2013, 10:56   #2
RIBnet supporter
Erin's Avatar
Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: A large rock
Boat name: La Frette
Make: Osprey Vipermax
Length: 6m +
Engine: 200 Suzzy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,796
I used to launch my 5.8m rib with a front wheel drive Audi A3 which had the 1.9Tdi 100Bhp engine. No problems at all. Towing capacity was somehting like 1.5t.
Erin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 February 2013, 11:41   #3
RIBnet admin team
Nos4r2's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: The wilds of Wiltshire
Boat name: WhiteNoise/Dominator
Make: Ballistic 7.8/SR5.4
Length: 7m +
Engine: Opti 225/Yam 85
MMSI: 235090687/235055163
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,552
I once pulled my Searider with a Rover 418 SLD, and it coped pretty well. It used a lot less fuel than the Isuzu 4x4 I had at the time too.

I don't think you've got a lot to worry about as long as

1) You buy diesel.
2)you're not pulling/recovering something right on the limits
3)you're sensible about using a rope on a really steep slipway..
Need spares,consoles,consumables,hire,training or even a new boat?

Please click HERE and HERE and support our Trade Members.

Join up as a Trade member or Supporter HERE
Nos4r2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 February 2013, 15:24   #4
Trailer Guy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Hampshire
Boat name: Altea 2
Make: Narwhal
Length: 5m +
Engine: 90 Mariner
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 843
Agree with the above.

1.9 & 2.0 diesels are the way to go in my opinion. I've had lots of them - the same engine in lots of different vehicles (Golf, three Passats and a Seat Toledo).

Really great; lots of grunt, economical and easy (ergo cheaper) servicing.

If I was buying a hatchback, on a fairly modest budget, it'd be a 1.9tdi or 2.0tdi Golf.
Trailer Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01 March 2013, 02:07   #5
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Argyll
Boat name: Helena
Make: Birchwood
Length: 5m +
Engine: Inboard Diesel 250hp
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 116
We use a vauxhall astra estate with the 1.9 cdti 150hp diesel and have been regularly astonished at what it can pull up a slipway. We have pulled a 6.5m Humber up a steep slip with no problems at all. The modern diesels are definitely the way to go.
peterwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01 March 2013, 05:29   #6
Country: Ireland
Town: Castlebar
Boat name: Clewless
Make: Valiant DR 490
Length: 4m +
Engine: 60 hp ETEC
MMSI: Awaitng one
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,118
The torque converter on an automatic gearbox also help a lot when towing as it allows the engine to hit the optimum rev range for torque with out the assoicated spinning of the wheels you get with a manual box

two stroke mick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01 March 2013, 09:18   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Plymouth
Length: 10m +
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 356
Agreed a 2.0l disel either automatic or manual with a low first gear would be fine. Going back a few years, I had a Peugeot 406 diesel which pulled the 5.8m Tornado I had at the time very nicely. The Mondeo diesel I replaced it with really struggled on a slipway due to 1st gear being to high.
South West Boat Transport
Any boat upto 50ft across the UK, Europe & Scandivavia
SW Boat Transport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2013, 02:50   #8
Country: UK - England
Town: Norfolk
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Inboard
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,139
Golf will be fine. I'd get a diesel auto. CJL on here used to launch and recover a Ribtec 585 with one with no problems.
Tim M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2013, 03:55   #9
Country: UK - England
Length: 4m +
Engine: etec 40
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Many thanks for all the advice. seems all i need to do now is find one at the right price and miles.
martin p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04 March 2013, 07:31   #10
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,538
a bit late i nthe thread, but +1 for the 2-ish L diesel.

I have same in a 2WD Focus, never failed me yet.

9D280 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 15:14.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.