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Old 15 April 2006, 17:04   #1
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Towing a Ribcraft 585

Happy Easter boating one and all........

Could an automatic golf tow a ribcraft 585 for the odd short trip and launch/recovery? Presumably it would be a struggle on all but the friendliest,hardest and shallow shelving slip but assuming optimum conditions would it be possible in principle?
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Old 15 April 2006, 18:05   #2
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What model Golf and what size engine is in it? The 1800 would do it quite well as long as it's within it's weight limits. Wouldn't try it with any smaller than an 1800 though.
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Old 15 April 2006, 19:25   #3
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That should be OK. I think CJL used to tow a 585 with a golf.....

(I moved an Arctic 22 with a Fiat Punto not too long ago so anythings possible )
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Old 16 April 2006, 09:46   #4
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Fiat Punto! Amazing. And I was worried about towing a 4.4 meter Hurricane with a 4.0 V6 Jeep Cherokee. At least thats one good thing about American cars. They come with big engines.
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Old 16 April 2006, 09:57   #5
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YEP!!! Hundreds and hundreds of miles with a manual 1.9 Golf GT TDI

I would even go as far as to say it tows better than a Landie or Jeep once your going.

My Golf had more power than a Landie or Jeep so the only think you get is the extra towing weight capacity and traction on a slipway.

You can purchase a clever bit of kit called "a rope" to put between your car and trailer for slipways so the only advantage of having a 4x4 is better towing capcity (and a higher fuel and tax bill!!!)

So far I've towed a 6.7m Delta (no fuel in it to keep the weight down!), Humber 5.5m, Ribtec with twin 60 4 strokes and my current Ribtec 585 with 135 Opti with a Golf and Audi A3.

Chris
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Old 16 April 2006, 10:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan
Fiat Punto! Amazing. And I was worried about towing a 4.4 meter Hurricane with a 4.0 V6 Jeep Cherokee. At least thats one good thing about American cars. They come with big engines.
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Old 16 April 2006, 16:27   #7
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Quote:
What model Golf and what size engine is in it?
it's a petrol 2 litre-does being automatic make it less good/easy to tow with?
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Old 16 April 2006, 16:58   #8
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Highway

Yeah I bet none of you were doing 85 to 90 MPH towing. All this, "oh, I tow with a 1.8 liter Golf". I am sure it works, but I am sure you also sit in the slow lane puttering along up hill in 3rd gear. I can't imagine trying to merge onto a major motorway. We were driving through the Appalachian Mountains and the extra power was fantastic. Made us feel like we were towing nothing. Where economy is important I can see the sense but here where fuel is so cheap that we did 1342 miles for $200 dollars it really doesn't mean anything. Plus launching in spots where there actually isn't a slip, just grass and mud makes that low gear 4 wheel drive so indispensable. In fact they started charging $30 to launch at our local marina so we just pulled right next to the launch in the mud and muck and launched with no slipway at all. You should have seen how pissed they were.

No offense, but fuel is just so damn cheap here

P.S I am 10 beers deep. Gotta go
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Old 16 April 2006, 17:14   #9
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Rogan,

I'm towing a 6.3m (1400kgs) with a 2 litre petrol and the top end is limited by the trailer way before the car runs out of power!
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Old 16 April 2006, 18:43   #10
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I don't think I will be trading in either of my vehicles for a Golf, next time I am down that way I will take a piccy of where I launch my boat from to show why

As a general observation (not specific to boats) I would be a bit wary of regularly towing near the max capacity of the vehicle. Power is one thing, but if the tail starts wagging the dog or if you have to stop in a real hurry, life can get very interesting very quickly. You can get away with lots of things (I've towed a 4 wheeled trailer weighing about 2 tons with a quad bike for example, not on a public road I hasten to add... and both going up and going down hills was "interesting"...) but lots of spare capacity and a fair bit of weight is good to have when things go pear shaped!

But certainly ok for "the odd short trip" - don't know about yours but according to the book my boat is ~350kg and engine is ~150kg so even with fuel and stuff its only going to be about 600kg, with a normal trailer I guess you'd be looking at a ton or so all up weight for a 5.5-6m RIB?

My trailer probably weighs twice as much as the boat but that's another story
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Old 16 April 2006, 18:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melampus
it's a petrol 2 litre-does being automatic make it less good/easy to tow with?
Auto actually makes it a bit easier-you use the box more when towing with a manual and it'll be a lot smoother ride for the boat. Easier to go slowly up a slipway too-no clutch to burn out.

You'll be fine.
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Old 17 April 2006, 12:01   #12
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How's this? Recently completed a 3550 mile round trip from MA to FL, @ 15.5 mpg with this setup. That's my SR 5.4 with an 800 lb Martin 16 sailboat riding inside. Car was a bit loaded down with tool, spares, baby gear and 12 days clothing, etc. Upgraded the trailer to brakes before the trip. Unfortunately the trailer brakes failed ~200 miles before we arrived home when a brake line fitting hit the trailer frame on a particularly bad road. It was late at night, with little traffic, so we continued and arrived home without incident. I estimated the total tow weight as ~2300 lbs +/-. Highway speed was usually ~70-75 mph, much above that the fuel economy would plummet due to the aerodynamic drag.

Interestingly enough, that 2.3l LPT Saab 9-5 (170 hp, plenty of torque) is rated 2000 lbs for a braked trailer in the US, 1800 kg (3960 lb) in Europe. US lawyers, no doubt! Having seen what Euopeans tow with a few years ago, US drivers are a bunch of sissies, wanting stupidly oversized vehicles for simple tows.
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Old 17 April 2006, 18:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan
Yeah I bet none of you were doing 85 to 90 MPH towing. All this, "oh, I tow with a 1.8 liter Golf". I am sure it works, but I am sure you also sit in the slow lane puttering along up hill in 3rd gear. I can't imagine trying to merge onto a major motorway. We were driving through the Appalachian Mountains and the extra power was fantastic. Made us feel like we were towing nothing. Where economy is important I can see the sense but here where fuel is so cheap that we did 1342 miles for $200 dollars it really doesn't mean anything. Plus launching in spots where there actually isn't a slip, just grass and mud makes that low gear 4 wheel drive so indispensable. In fact they started charging $30 to launch at our local marina so we just pulled right next to the launch in the mud and muck and launched with no slipway at all. You should have seen how pissed they were.

No offense, but fuel is just so damn cheap here

P.S I am 10 beers deep. Gotta go
Er no!

My Golf and Audi A3 can happily tow at 80mph if I want and return 20 - 25 mpg in 6th gear! Plus it will happily leave most other towing vehicles at the lights!

The cost of the fuel isn't the issue, more just a simple case of why burn so much more than you need to??


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Old 18 April 2006, 07:55   #14
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Dctucker,
Thatís an impressive set up. I don't think I've ever seen a sailboat in a RIB on a trailer. How did you launch the thing?

Hey Chris,

Being sober and all now, I do agree we did burn amazing amounts of fuel whenever we went over 75MPH. But cruising we were in 16 to 19 MPG range not horrendous for the States. But as for leaving people at the lights I am not so sure about that. A 4.0l V6 would absolutely leave you at the lights if both cars were towing equivalent weights. I used to tow with a 91' Toyota Celica and it had more than enough power, but when the launch was slippery or very steep it would slide all over getting the boat out. You know the feeling on a slippery launch when the front wheels start spinning and the car starts slowly sliding backwards. I guess the perfect vehicle would be something smaller and economical but also 4-wheel drive.

P.S. What really gets me here is the people that drive Ford Expeditions(5689 lb vehicle with a tow rating of 8900 lb!!) and never tow a damn thing. Ever

Rogan
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Old 18 April 2006, 09:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan
Dctucker,
Thatís an impressive set up. I don't think I've ever seen a sailboat in a RIB on a trailer. How did you launch the thing?

Hey Chris,

Being sober and all now, I do agree we did burn amazing amounts of fuel whenever we went over 75MPH. But cruising we were in 16 to 19 MPG range not horrendous for the States. But as for leaving people at the lights I am not so sure about that. A 4.0l V6 would absolutely leave you at the lights if both cars were towing equivalent weights.

P.S. What really gets me here is the people that drive Ford Expeditions(5689 lb vehicle with a tow rating of 8900 lb!!) and never tow a damn thing. Ever

Rogan
Easy. Both boats were hoist launched. Only problem I had with retreiving the sailboat was that I had taken the keel lift system out to save drag while racing, and the first hoist I tried wasn't tall enough for the keel bulb to clear the rib! Had to go to the big 3 ton hoist.

I have absolutely NO interest in stoplight drag races while towing ANYTHING. Easy on the acceleration, steering and brakes, look around and try to anticipate everything is my motto. We never had any problems with on-ramp merges, even without hammering on the car. I towed that same rig with my 2.0L ~220 hp Saab convertible for about 30 miles. That car has been pretty seriously performance "enhanced" and I used to do stupid racey stuff with it, teasing Porsche drivers and such Now I have 2 kids and drive pretty sedately!

I live in a big sailing town, and there are loads of soccer moms driving Expeditions, Excursions, Suburans and such. IMHO, SUV=Stupid Useless Vehicle unless you need to tow 3500+ lbs, which I've done plenty of, with smaller SUVs like Xterras and Four Runners. The difference in attitudes towards tow vehicles in the US vs. Europe really is startling. I was in Holland for an Olympic Classes regatta a few years ago and was amazed by what Europeans would tow big (3000 lb) sailboats with. It really opened my eyes to what an adequate tow vehicle was. On a sailing BB I'm on there was a recent discussion on towing an 1800 lb sailboat (>3000 lb tow) short distances and wether a Honday Odyssey rated at 3500 lb was adequate... Most US recommendations were for a big SUV
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Old 19 April 2006, 07:03   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJL
Er no!

My Golf and Audi A3 can happily tow at 80mph if I want and return 20 - 25 mpg in 6th gear! Plus it will happily leave most other towing vehicles at the lights!

Chris
Is that safe? I never go over 55 when I am towing by boat. I thought there was law setting a speed limit for trailers / caravans.

Even if there isn't, I don't think the wheels on trailer are fit for high speeds are they?

Also

I saw a link on here to a video of a car pulling a caravan up a hill and then careering back down again. So funny. Anyone remember the link?
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Old 19 April 2006, 08:02   #17
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Everyone should know this! 60mph on dual carriageway or motorway (inside two lanes only) or 50mph on a single carriageway.
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Old 19 April 2006, 08:18   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Everyone should know this! 60mph on dual carriageway or motorway (inside two lanes only) or 50mph on a single carriageway.
I certainly know it!!

Chrs
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Old 19 April 2006, 09:14   #19
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Old 19 April 2006, 09:54   #20
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Quote:
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Even if there isn't, I don't think the wheels on trailer are fit for high speeds are they?

Most trailers have van tyres fitted to them. I have previously had the wheels ballanced on my trailers to give a smoother ride as well. It makes a big difference when towing something light such as a laser dinghy.

Chris
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