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-   -   towing with a car (http://www.rib.net/forum/f8/towing-with-a-car-16512.html)

nik 13 October 2006 14:05

towing with a car
I would like to hear from anyone who has towed a 6m+ boat with a passat sized car.

Combined trailer and boat weight 1500 Kg and maximum towing weight of car 1600 Kg.

I am trying to work out if this is reasonable, or if it could be a bit of a handful.

I also have my doubts about traction on a slipway or a hard, but I think this could be overcome by using an electric winch.

Thanks, Nick.

Derrick 13 October 2006 16:50

towing with a car
I tried this once with a Seat Alhambre 1.9 Tdi. All ok on the flat and on motorway but had big problems re-starting on hills eg at road junctions or at roundabouts. Had to slip the clutch excessively due to turbo not providing boost at low revs. May be ok with a petrol but still uncertain especially on launching ramps. Just my experience! My LR Deafener 300 Tdi has it's limitations but my confidence in it doing just what I expect of it is complete.

RichardP 13 October 2006 22:37

re. towing
Hello Nik,
what kind of passat are you talking about? I researched this topic to death when I was getting my 5m and found recommended towing capacity of 1600lbs and 2000 with surge brakes (yes... that is lbs not kgs). VW book was useless as for my year model (2001) it says data not available at time of printing (something about litigation threat in the US).
I figure my package with trailer weighs at about 1600 to 1800lbs and so far so good; where I live we have lots of hills so coming up is a bit slow. My car is 1.8T with tiptronic auto - I was told I may have to replace torque converter at some point... will see. Happy towing

Paul 14 October 2006 03:17

I tow a 7 metre weighing 1800kg all in with a vauxhall vectra 3.2 petrol manual. The towing limit is 1800kg! No problems but always launch on good slipways. No need to slip clutch excessively. I think you will need a reasonable sized engine.

nik 14 October 2006 04:47

Thanks for the replies,
I have a v6 tdi 150bhp, so I dont think power is a problem, also first gear seems quitwe low.
I think the main problem will be transferring the power to the ground.

PS: Paul, are you able to tell me the weight of your boat?

Paul 14 October 2006 11:40

I am only guessing but a 6.3 ocean pro diesel inboard is 1400Kg fully fuelled and ours is a 7 metre. I tend to tow with the tank empty so I am guessing the boat will weigh around 1400kg with more or less empty tanks. The trailer weighs 400kg. On good concretre slipways with no slime we have had no difficulty getting traction and my car is front wheel drive which is theoretically worse. On the motorway it tows like a dream and that is despite my car having soggy suspension (Have now towed it twice to the West Coast of Scotland and back= 270 miles each journey). I had considered buying an old range rover but have come to the conclusion that I do not need one. However, I am sure the least bit of slime might make things a lot more difficult but if you are using good (concrete) slipways I reckon you will be alright.

Limey Linda 14 October 2006 12:10

I agree that engine size is not the major issue,( unless you drive up a lot of steep hills) traction is. A " always works tip" If the ramp is bad then let the tyre pressure down on the driving axle to 10 psi. this will increase your contact area by about a factor of 4. Recover boat and drive at 25mph to nearest garage and pump back up. A little inconvenient but a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated tow vehicle. I used to tow a very heavy 16 ft. speedboat behind an 850 Mini and never had a problem but occasionally had to use this method, particularly at low springs.

codprawn 14 October 2006 12:28

If traction is bad with a front wheel drive car just alter the way the boat is sitting on the trailer - it lifts the back of the car up and pushes down on the front wheels - just remember to get it right for towing on the road afterwards!!!

ADS 14 October 2006 12:33

I think the key is finding a decent slip way. We have the VW group 2.5TDI in an Audi A6 (Auto) and it spins the front wheels quite easily on the slip way, this was towing a 16ft speedboat/ Valiant V520. The slip way in question does have a loose surface towards the bottom.

Limey Linda 14 October 2006 12:54


Originally Posted by codprawn (Post 169728)
If traction is bad with a front wheel drive car just alter the way the boat is sitting on the trailer - it lifts the back of the car up and pushes down on the front wheels - just remember to get it right for towing on the road afterwards!!!

I think if you do as suggested above all you are doing is transfering some of the weight of the car to the trailer wheels. Another codders brain crash I think. :] :] If you get a pencil and paper and draw a simple force vector diagram you will see what I mean.

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