Originally Posted by John Kennett
I think we're getting slightly carried away here. The OP was about dragging a small inflatable up a beach, not debogging a monster truck!
I agree and that is what I did mention in my post above yours, but since asked why not a trailer ball I provided an explanation of the extreme end which is why they say to never use the ball as a tow point.
Originally Posted by Peter_C
A continuous load situation is one thing where it is loaded with 500lbs or so.
There are lots of options to the OP, but most all carry a pretty high cost. Might be cheaper to buy (Invest in) some beer and have a guy...errr drunk sit on shore and wait for your return to help you get the boat back up the beach
A removable plug in receiver hitch winch with a remote control is probably your best bet since it is a short run. The lower the power rating the better since it won't be working hard. Of course if you ever got your truck stuck you might appreciate an 8,000lb winch. I have a winch I paid $39 that I built a receiver hitch mount for. It plugs into my car or my hauling trailer to provide a pull when needed, and has a key fob remote control.
The cheapest option would be to get a set of frontal wheels and just have one person drive the truck forward pulling the boat up the beach while the second person steers it along.
We have one launch site I can use my trailer right up until low tide, then I attach my launch wheels and pull it up the ramp with a 1/2" dock line tied off to something like my trailer or my ball hitch