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Old 07 August 2004, 01:26   #1
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Trailers - How much do they weigh?

A bit of a problem here ...

I need to buy a launch vehicle for an 8.5mtr RIB and I want to make sure that tow "all up" weights are OK.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is at the top of my list but I have to wait until next year for the 2005 model, which will have the facilities that I am looking for. My wife, on the other hand was keen on the Jeep but has recently seen the Volvo XC90. I have test driven both cars (2004 Jeep, of course) and they seem fine on normal roads.

My problem is that the XC90 does not have a low ratio gear option so, in spite of developing more torque than a Discovery and a bit less than the Jeep, it can only tow 2.25 kg, whereas the Jeep (and Disco) can tow 3.5kg.
All are auto boxes.

I'm confused!

I estimate that the boat + fuel, gear and a person on board will weigh approx 1.55 Tonnes.

Does anyone know the weight of the trailers themselves?
Is the Volvo likely to be up to the job of launching?

I intend to leave the boat on its trailer in a marina and just use the car for launching, rather than towing.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Chris.
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Old 07 August 2004, 01:56   #2
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Hi Chris.
I know my last twin axle trailer for mt 7.2m Ribeye was approx 500kg.
I think that my current new Rapide twin axle is approx the same.

Most trailers on the ID plate gives you the unladen weight.

I currently use my Disco and yes, low range is the best option to have on a slipway. Even with the torque your clutch will take a bit of a hammering on a steep slipway. I tow the rib about 3 miles once a month for a service and that is all. I am toying with the option of having an old 90LR (3500kg towing cap!) just for that purpose and a small run around, as my wife has a people carrier so we never use the disco as a family car.
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Old 07 August 2004, 01:59   #3
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Towing Weights

Chris,

The law changed a few years ago so that you must be legally able to tow the maximum capacity of the trailer irrespective of its actual weight. So, even if you are towing an empty trailer, if its plated maximum weight is greater then the maximum permissble for the tow vehicle you are technically illegal.

I don't know of anyone who's been prosecuted for this and I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who do it without a problem!

Andy Beach
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Old 07 August 2004, 02:59   #4
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Not man enough for the job...

Chris,

XC90 is a good car but wont be man enough for the job for an 8.5m RIB and trailer. Its a darn big rig and you need as big a vehicle as poss. Go for the Grand Cherokee. A friend uses one to tow his 8.5m Ocean and has in the last year dragged it to Switzerland and Scotland with no bother!

HTH,

Alan
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Old 07 August 2004, 05:04   #5
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Chris, my 2 axle trailer for my 8.5mtr weighs 640kgs.

You will need low ratio if the going gets a bit sticky. A torque converter can only cope with a certain speed difference bewteen its input and output. Under normal circumstances this limit is not reached, but it can be if the vehicle is bogged, eg. it has sunk in sand. Much the same way as a clutch can only take a certain amount.

The in/out speed difference, which causes the converter to stall, is caused by the load on the output being too great. This allows the engine to speed up the input without the output turning. The low ratio will lower the load on the output of the converter and it will prevent the problem.

With a clutch it's the other way. The clutch slows the engine until it stalls. Or the clutch fries .

It is easy to get stuck in soft, dry sand, the slightest wheel spin and you'll go down. Also, the sand will constantly form a wedge in front of the tyre and you have to climb this. Very much like never getting over the hump when your boat is about to plane. It saps a lot of power.

I hope this clarifies things a bit for you.
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Old 07 August 2004, 05:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
I intend to leave the boat on its trailer in a marina and just use the car for launching, rather than towing. Chris.
Hey Chris,

If you really are not going to tow the rib on the road, have you thought about finding a boat yard with a rack? Most will take boats upto 8.5m.

Cheers.
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Old 07 August 2004, 06:20   #7
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Thanks Guys for your replies.

It seems fairly conclusive then that the Volvo is unlikely to be an appropriate choice.

So I shall have to get the Jeep then! That's a bit of luck!

My daughter will be pleased - She thinks that the Jeep is really "cool"

Thanks again for your input.

Regards,

Chris.
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Old 07 August 2004, 08:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
Thanks Guys for your replies.

It seems fairly conclusive then that the Volvo is unlikely to be an appropriate choice.


Regards,

Chris.
Understatement of the year!!! At least the Jeep is a proper offroader - the Volvo is an estate car!!!

Talking of Volvo estate cars I witnessed an amusing recovery incident a while ago - a chap with an old volvo estate was recovering his heavy fishing boat single handed - the tide was right out so he drove off the end of the slip onto the sand until his cars back wheels were almost submerged - pulled his boat onto the trailer and drove off as casual as can be.

Minutes later 2 blokes with a Merc ML 4x4 thing came to launch a smaller speedboat - they performed exactly the same stunt and managed to get their 4x4 stuck in the sand - they thought it would be a good idea to spin the wheels!!! They had to get a tractor to pull them out - damaging their stupid screw in recovery eye in the process!
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Old 08 August 2004, 10:17   #9
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Anyone have a list of typical loaded tow-weights for a 5.85m-6m RIBs? Curious how much lighter a RIB is on the trailer compared to a similar length Boston Whaler or similar hard-sided CC.

I'm surprised the the Jeep is so popular in the UK, I had heard that the Discovery was more affordable than the Grand Cheroke in the UK. Here in the states a Disco is about $10k US more than a Grand.
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Old 08 August 2004, 12:54   #10
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It kinda was like that when jeeps were mostly petrol engined. It changed a bit when the diesel was introduced but these early vehicles used a 5 cyl version of the VM diesel engine and they were not too good, nor was the auto transmission. Since the Mercedes diesel and transmission was introduced, the Jeep is a new animal.
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Old 08 August 2004, 13:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
A bit of a problem here ...


I estimate that the boat + fuel, gear and a person on board will weigh approx 1.55 Tonnes.

Does anyone know the weight of the trailers themselves?
Chris.
Have you tried talking to the trailer manufacturers?
Thr trailer should have a plate giving laden and unladen weights.
My 2 wheeler for a 6.5m is 630kg unladen, 1600kg laden.

If you have not got a plate, try finding a local weigh bridge. There are some public ones around or try a local quarry, where the price of a beer will get you weighed.
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Old 09 August 2004, 01:03   #12
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Not sure if I should mention this but ...

As the car budget kept getting bigger (and the boat budget correspondingly smaller) we thought that it would be a good idea to have a look at the VW Touareg 4x4.

We were blown away!

This is a luxury vehicle in all senses of the word, yet it can tow 3.5 tonnes AND has a low ratio gear facility, along with all of the 4x4 clever bits that are available on the Jeep and other "real" 4x4s.

I don't think that the Jeep salesman is going to be very pleased

I shall test drive it next Saturday and I fully expect to buy (order) it there and then.

There is no comparison (quality-wise) between this and any of the others that I have looked at. IMHO, it is streets ahead of the BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and of course, the (current) Discovery.

Quite a surprise really, as I always thought that VWs were pretty basic and I really only looked at the Touareg so that I could "eliminate" it. How wrong I was!

Thank you for all your help and guidance on this and other threads w.r.t. selecting a launch vehicle for my boat.

Regards,

Chris.
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Old 09 August 2004, 01:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
This is a luxury vehicle in all senses of the word, yet it can tow 3.5 tonnes AND has a low ratio gear facility, along with all of the 4x4 clever bits that are available on the Jeep and other "real" 4x4s.

Quite a surprise really, as I always thought that VWs were pretty basic and I really only looked at the Touareg so that I could "eliminate" it. How wrong I was!
Chris,

It may make you feel even better to know that the Touareg is really a Porsche with a VW badge on it !! Under the skin the Touareg is the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne - it was designed and engineered by Porsche.

Andy Beach
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Old 09 August 2004, 15:33   #14
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Cheers Andy!

They seem to have forgotton to put the Porsche engine in it though!

Still, at least I shall be one step nearer to getting my boat, now that I have (almost) ordered the car that I need to launch it.

Chris.
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Old 16 August 2004, 16:55   #15
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Chris,
I suspect that you may have underestimated the weights just a little. However, Graham is constantly refinind the design and the weight of the lay-up so things can vary! Last I heard, he had become alarmed at the extra weight of new craft and was on a crusade to reduce weight.

Here's the weight data for "Blue Ice" (the trailer is actually too big for us and more suited for an 8.5!)

Weights
Boat: 950 kg
Yamaha: 220
Trailer: 680
Merc 5: 30
Fuel: 275
Baggage: 25
Total: 2180Kg

So scale up the boat weight a bit, and a bit more for your bigger engine (Verado?)

Touareg looks like a good choice... (my old bus can tow as much as the Ovlov XC90!) I'll email you a photo that will make you smile
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Old 17 August 2004, 06:35   #16
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wow, im really surprised at these weights, it appears ive been stupidly under estimating the weights ive been calculating for a 8.1m scorpion. I too am looking for a new tow car but dont want a big slow 4x4 and cant afford a cayenne etc as then i wont be able to buy the boat... richard im not questioning your values but are you sure, i thought scorpions were spose to be light with modern materials etc...? and by comparison my trailer for a 1500kg unladen boat is only 500 and something kgs.. damn looks like the tractor idea is back on the drawing board!
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Old 17 August 2004, 09:43   #17
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It's a while since weighed mine, but I seem to recall the weight being something over 2 tonnes fully fuelled.

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Old 17 August 2004, 12:06   #18
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Chris how the hell can you compare a VW Touraeg to a Discovery or a Jeep - as your budget has shot up why not look at the new Range Rover? Serious offroad ability and serious luxury as well.

I have driven a VW Touareg V10 diesel several times now and yes it is a great car but it is NOT an offroader!

I have quite a few mates with new Range Rovers and they love them - very well put together and comfortable!

The Range Rover is just as much "other league" compared to a Disco as the Touareg but it really does work offroad and is great on it.
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Old 17 August 2004, 14:43   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtflash
wow, im really surprised at these weights, it appears ive been stupidly under estimating the weights ive been calculating for a 8.1m scorpion. I too am looking for a new tow car but dont want a big slow 4x4 and cant afford a cayenne etc as then i wont be able to buy the boat... richard im not questioning your values but are you sure, i thought scorpions were spose to be light with modern materials etc...? and by comparison my trailer for a 1500kg unladen boat is only 500 and something kgs.. damn looks like the tractor idea is back on the drawing board!
Richard's Blue Ice figures I believe are the ones I passed on and were made by the previous owner on a weighbridge (Richard I think the weighbridge ticket is in the file of info somewhere.) The very heavy duty trailer is probably overkill for that size boat but together it was a very stable rig under tow. I used a Trooper LWB TD and it coped admirably. Bear in mind that Blue Ice was 7.5m hull number 7 and layup may have changed since then as Richard says.

Performance and towing ability don't go hand in hand at this level, other than in the shape of a new Rangie if your budget stretches that far. Phil Davies swears by his to cope with his massive 4m Avon

Other alternative is dry berthing and a sportscar !
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Old 17 August 2004, 14:58   #20
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....layup may have changed since then ...
In fact the internal structure has been modified, whilst retaining the same hull shape (the mould from which Blue Ice was made is still in use).
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