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Old 05 September 2013, 15:09   #21
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airbag suspension
Vorsprung durch Technik. Whatever will they think of next :-)
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Old 05 September 2013, 16:45   #22
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Ribcraft 4.8m
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Audi allroad - diesel, automatic, all wheel drive and 2100kg towing capacity
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Old 06 September 2013, 02:58   #23
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: BlueTube
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One thing to watch if you go down the "4x4 car" route - much increased running costs due to the extra weight, the torque converter that will inevitably die, and unless it is fitted with auto freewheeling hubs or similar will chew through tyres a lot quicker than a 2wd.... Not to mention the fuel consumption.

I;ve been hauling a not too dissimilar boat out the water for years using a 2.0l Focus diesel estate (manual gbx). Yes, There are slips that I wouldnlt take it down, but at the same time Ipd be wary of taking any 4WD down them.....

Do you use the same slip(s) all the time? Are they steep & weedy? - Has your Astra ever failed you with the current boat? - The answers to that will give you a good feel for whether you need a "super tractor" or not......

I suspect like a lot of us your tow car also needs to keep you & your family mobile as cheaply & comfortably as possible for the other 98% of the year!
98% of the time I could manage with MX5 (Mrs B is long gone and both the kids are mobile these days )

Primarily I use three slips :-

Weymouth/Portland Sailing acadamy - easy launch recovery on any tide for the Astra sometimes have to rope to get trailer deep enough to launch/recover

Brixham - Steep!! but wide, even if I get car at 45 degrees it can struggle at low tide (wet/weed) with traction and torque

Swanage - Have to rope on anything other than high tides then very steep incline to boat park car has struggled with torque and traction

Spent most of yesterday digesting all the advise and scanning autotrader, at the moment am thinking 2 -2.5L .... Desiel/auto/estate ... Passat/Mondeo/Octovia not what I really want 98% of the time but options appear a bit limited
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Old 06 September 2013, 07:49   #24
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Country: UK - England
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I tow a similar sized / probably a bit heavier boat with a volvo v70 estate 2.4 d5. it does it fine, even on quite steep slips. Good deals on them if you search, and they are very practical. they come in a 4x4 version too (XC70)
I had an XC70 and it was ideal for my 6.5m and also general family duties.

If you don't like the raised suspension Volvo also do a V70 AWD although there aren't many around.
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Old 06 September 2013, 09:32   #25
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Humber Destroyer
Length: 6m +
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Originally Posted by Budgie1 View Post
Spent most of yesterday digesting all the advise and scanning autotrader, at the moment am thinking 2 -2.5L .... Desiel/auto/estate ... Passat/Mondeo/Octovia not what I really want 98% of the time but options appear a bit limited
Don't discount Subarus, great on traction, non turbo versions also have a low ratio gearbox, really useful on steep slipways. Recently bought a 2008 2l imprezza 5 door for 7K and only 32k miles on clock and had a choice of more than one on autotrader. Forresters and legacys are also good and can be picked up at a reasonable price.
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Old 06 September 2013, 09:49   #26
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Country: UK - England
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Originally Posted by Budgie1 View Post
98% of the time I could manage with MX5 (Mrs B is long gone and both the kids are mobile these days )

Primarily I use three slips :-

Weymouth/Portland Sailing acadamy - easy launch recovery on any tide for the Astra sometimes have to rope to get trailer deep enough to launch/recover

Brixham - Steep!! but wide, even if I get car at 45 degrees it can struggle at low tide (wet/weed) with traction and torque

Swanage - Have to rope on anything other than high tides then very steep incline to boat park car has struggled with torque and traction

Spent most of yesterday digesting all the advise and scanning autotrader, at the moment am thinking 2 -2.5L .... Desiel/auto/estate ... Passat/Mondeo/Octovia not what I really want 98% of the time but options appear a bit limited
I was in a similar position to you both with requirements and budget and ended up with the octavia 4x4. Exciting it isn't but I already had a fun car so I know exactly where you are coming from.

I'd be tempted to scratch your MX5 itch and get a tow car too...if its only a boat around 5.5m and reasonably local towing how about an old shape Suzuki GV like this? Tows up to 1.8 tons and the petrol models are pretty bomb proof. Low ratio makes up for lack of diesel torque on the slip.

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.0 5DR FULL SERVICE HISTORY VALUE 4X4 2003

I reckon if you got that for just over 2k then you would get a nice MX5 around the 5k mark.
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Old 06 September 2013, 10:16   #27
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Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
Don't discount Subarus, great on traction, non turbo versions also have a low ratio gearbox, really useful on steep slipways. Recently bought a 2008 2l imprezza 5 door for 7K and only 32k miles on clock and had a choice of more than one on autotrader. Forresters and legacys are also good and can be picked up at a reasonable price.
I always hear excellent reviews on Scoobys and everyone can't be wrong but I tried a 2004 2.0 petrol legacy tourer before getting the skoda and really didn't gel with it. I'm sure the 4x4 system is superior if the going gets tough compared with a Haldex part time system but I found the low ratio to be not that low, performance was v. poor to the point I felt like I thrashed it all the time.

I think the Octavia Diesel 4x4 I ended up with is returning double the MPG the legacy's computer claimed.

I've always wondered if there was something amiss with that car as I really was expecting to buy it until I drove it. I considered the 2.5L after that but bought the skoda before I found one to try.
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