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Old 19 July 2014, 09:26   #1
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Towing a SIB

Hi there,

I have recently purchased a Quicksilver 380HD with a mariner 25hp engine on the back. I am currently trailering this to my local slipway, Brixham. The slipway is quite steep and my car seems to struggle pulling the boat out of the water.

I have a ford focus 1.6 petrol (2011) I wasn't intending on getting the boat when I purchased the car. I assumed it would be okay as the weight of the trailer and boat is less than 300kg but it still seems to struggle.

My question is... Would changing it to a 2.0L focus make a big difference? I'm guessing I don't need a 4x4 to pull a <4m boat out of the water?

I was also looking at changing to the likes of a passat or maybe something similar would that be okay to tow it up the slip?

What are other people using to launch similar boats?
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Old 19 July 2014, 09:57   #2
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Just use a long rope attached to the trailer so the car is more on the level.
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Old 19 July 2014, 10:23   #3
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Just use a long rope attached to the trailer so the car is more on the level.
I have been doing that but it doesn't seem like an ideal solution in the long term, the slip can be quite busy and I may be limited on space to do that.
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Old 19 July 2014, 10:42   #4
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Whats the problem, lack of grip or lack of power ?
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Old 19 July 2014, 10:47   #5
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Whats the problem, lack of grip or lack of power ?
Feels like a shortage of power to be honest
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Old 19 July 2014, 11:18   #6
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If its a power problem, the only solution is a heavier right foot and probably some burning clutch and rubber. Failing that you could reverse up the slip, pulling the boat up using your front tow eye (reverse is the lowest gear in the box) but its not something I would recommend on a regular basis.

The other solution is to use a less steep slipway, I have used Torquay and that is quite a gentle gradient.
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Old 19 July 2014, 12:20   #7
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What are other people using to launch similar boats?
My boat is larger and heavier with a 40hp engine. I get 45 US mpg (19 km/l) not towing and 32 US mpg (13.6 km/l) towing. Never had a problem at any boat ramp. Although now I never put the trailer in the water, I just use the launch wheels. I suppose at a busy ramp I would use the trailer, or in fresh water.

Prius for the win



If ever in doubt...MORE THROTTLE!
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Old 21 July 2014, 13:45   #8
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What rope do you use to pull it up the slipway?
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Old 21 July 2014, 13:49   #9
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What rope do you use to pull it up the slipway?
If someone was going to do it that way, I would recommend a tow strap. You might need a larger jockey wheel too.
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Old 21 July 2014, 14:15   #10
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I'm surprised you are struggling with power. I've used less capable cars with heavier loads ok. Only time I've struggled has been a grip issue.
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Old 26 July 2014, 23:48   #11
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I have a similar set-up though my car's a Ford with the powerful ztec engine. But I'm not sure your problem could be more financially simple by connecting a winch (electric)to an extended hitch plate. Then with a front trailer wheel you could run the cable from the car-hitch as much as fifty feet to the trailered boat and pull up to the top of the ramp. I tried this idea and it worked great.
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Old 27 July 2014, 02:18   #12
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Have you tried it with the bilge bung out?.
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Old 27 July 2014, 03:46   #13
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Try using a tow bar winch cheap on eBay, for reduced time on the slipway leave your boot open and unwind the cable to the desired length before you back onto the slipway, this will reduce the time on the slipway, make sure the winch hook has a protection clip so it wont undo when the came is slack. Then when the trailer at boat it near the top of the slipway drive off and hitch up correctly once clear. What slipway are you using?
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Old 27 July 2014, 07:24   #14
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That slipway is very steep especially on low tide but very wide. The car should be fine but with the extra weight and the slip gradient you are best to recover by having the car almost parallel to the waters edge with the trailer scewed into the water that way you slalom (zig zag) up the slip and don't end up burning rubber and burning your clutch out. I had to do that with my 2.0l A6 with my RC 585 which ways considerably more than 300kgs!!! Hope that helps.


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Old 31 July 2014, 15:07   #15
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Rusey, have a check of your clutch adjustment, it may not be fully engaging and causing it to slip a little. The 1.6 should be able to pull your lot up the slip no problem
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Old 07 August 2014, 00:35   #16
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Isn't that engine about 100bhp? Should have no problem pulling 300kg up a slip assuming the boat is not full of water too.

I'm pretty sure diesels are better for this, due to having much more torque at lower rpm. A friend of mine used to launch and recover an 8m dive RIB with a Peugeot 306 estate, a whopping 90bhp (albeit turbo diesel), power was never a problem although depending on his choice of slip, traction sometimes was.
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