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Old 15 September 2003, 11:32   #1
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2WDs and slipways

Does anyone have any tips on how to get the most out of a 2WD (front-wheel drive) when pulling a RIB out of the water on the slipway.

My combined RIB+trailer+engine+accessories package will probably be within about 200KG of my cars kerb weight (Volvo estate).

I am wondering if anyone has any practical tips other than loading the family onto the bonnet or thumbing down the nearest tractor / 4WD.

Does traction control make much difference? How about load distribution in the car / RIB? Pulling with a rope from the flat!?
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Old 15 September 2003, 11:44   #2
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I had the same problem, although my RIB is not as big as yours. I have a Rover 418 Turbo Diesel. A lot of the slipways that I use are quite steep and many have sand at the bottom so it was very difficult for me to get anywhere near the water. It was fine launching but recovering I used to have tyres screeching and the clutch burning as I attempted to pull the trailer out of the sand and then up the slipway.

I now have no problems at all even with a small car. My solution, was to buy an electric winch. I bought a 4500lb electric winch from www.trailerpartswarehouse.co.uk and an adapter that attaches to the tow bar. All I do now is put the hand brake on, chock the back wheels and attach the winch. Then I just sit back and push the button and it effortleslly pulls it all out without me lifting a finger. It cost me about £300 for the complete setup but I reckon I have save dthat already on tyres and clutches.

My friend has a 6m RIB and when his 4 x 4 wouldn't start I managed to pull his RIB out the water with the winch with no problems at all.
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Old 15 September 2003, 13:25   #3
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put a tow ball on the front, makes it easier to move the trailer around in tight spots too.
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Old 15 September 2003, 16:03   #4
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if it`s legal

before putting a tow ball in the front check if it`s legal.
In Sweden it`s not, just because of the reason that in a car accident you will cause a lot of damages on the other car and there is a bigger risk that people getting hurt.
Same thing if you have the tow ball in the back, ther is a bigger risk of getting wiplash if someone hits you from behind.

Regards
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Old 16 September 2003, 04:47   #5
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the slip i use is very steep and has a step at the bottom with plenty of green stuff on it. my rig weighs about 1700kg and my only option is a decent sized 4x4. We have rescued several people including smallish ribs with biggish fwd cars (saab 9000t) when theyre on the slippy stuff or fallen off the step. The only people who do manage it use ropes or even better slangleys winch. But then there is another problem with that too i saw one rib owner in tears when his rib on a rope flipped up and ruined his prop and gearcase of his new honda 4stroke.
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Old 16 September 2003, 07:04   #6
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2 WD

I use a rope and am very careful. No problems so far but my set up only weighs about 400 Kg.

I have 4WD but am loathed to stick it in the water so thats why I use the rope.

Most people just drive there cars in the water and don't care about it.

If you are worried about getting stuck on a steep slipway find another one that isn't so steep.

I use a couple of chocks whilst I am launching and retrieving my boat and as long as I don't rush it or be rushed its no great problem.

I've never had to use 4 WD yet.

Nick
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Old 16 September 2003, 11:26   #7
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Front wheel drive cars don't work on slipways. Full Stop!!

You need rear wheel drive, or 4wd to be effective on anything other than a dry, gently slipway.

Can never see why anyone put their car in the water though, absolutely unnecessary if your ri is set up well and correctly balanced on its trailer.
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Old 16 September 2003, 12:17   #8
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I disagree with the first line there, Windchill

I've only got stuck on the bottom of a slip once so far, and that was due to it being heavily weeded, so even a four wheel drive would have had issues!! - pretty sharp inclination slip that our loadall at work will happily slide on too

When launching, the boat is very keen to leave the trailer even on a shallow slip. I normally back the van down the slip till the back tyres are just out of the water - I then tip toe around the back of the van without getting wet, and climb over the bow onto the boat. Drop engine onto shallow mode, and bung into idle ahead - reach over the bow and unhook. Drop engine into neutral, and the rib slides nicely into the water every time.
Once on Neyland slip, I undid everything, went into neutral and the boat didn't move, so I thought I'd get off and have a look - just as I jumped off, the boat launched..... it was a very quick jump back on board!!

As for picking it back up again, I do the same thing mostly in reverse..... on the slipways at Milford and Neyland, they're concrete, with very little/no stones, so I am happy to use a bit of power and drive the boat onto the trailer. If there is weed/debris visible, I normally jump into drysuit, overboard, and winch the boat onto the trailer as opposed to driving it on - I like the ali prop with its black paint on it

When going up the slip, I generally take bite with the clutch, and let it slowly pull up not riding the clutch too much, and then engage clutch fully as soon as there is enough power in the engine to pull it up straight. Sometimes there is a bit of loss in traction, but careful control beats that mostly, and it pulls the boat up everytime. I'd guess the setup is around 900kg all in - my previous van didn't weigh too much more than that I don't think, but the manual reckoned it was good for a ton in pulling

Although I'd love a 4wd for weedy slips, we just don't have many like that around here, so 2wd is just fine

-Alex
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Old 17 September 2003, 18:17   #9
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Thats the way to do it! (sorry about the legs)
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Old 17 September 2003, 18:32   #10
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Old 17 September 2003, 18:33   #11
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Loch Ness
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Old 18 September 2003, 07:38   #12
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i also disagree windchill. Ive got a non rib sportsboat fully laiden @ about 1700-2000kg with trailer. i do need to get my car wet, not that i enjoy it but even though its a rollercoaster trailer my stepped hull gets stuck on the rollers at certain tides, i also always launch with someone in the rangerover now as once i was so determined to get unstuck from the step i dragged the whole rig 3ft into the water. Simple answer is go deeper then she floats. Unfortunately not everyones boat and trailer combination is perfect on every slip on every tide all the time.
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Old 18 September 2003, 15:25   #13
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Thats the way to do it! (sorry about the legs)
Lovely pictures....... Cute legs too
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Old 19 September 2003, 10:15   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback. I must say the portable winch idea sounds interesting. Given that I'll be sticking with my 2WD for a few more years (new RIB has blown my budget!) a winch seems a sensible backup for those nasty slipways.

Anyone else had experience of these winches? Slotting it onto the towbar is great, can it connect up to the trailer electric point on the car? Seems a logical thing to connect a 12v winch to an existing socket sitting right by the towbar with 12v on its pins.
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Old 19 September 2003, 10:43   #15
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The one I have seen had long-ish cables to connect directly to battery. Suspect you will blow fuses of fry wiring if you connect it to the trailer lighting socket. The current demands are probably dissimilar!
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Old 19 September 2003, 12:23   #16
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You need to buy a special harness which is about £30. This runs from your battery on the car and has a quick connect plug that ends in the boot. You simply hang the winch on the towbar, open the boot and connect the cables.

You then take it out of gear and pull the steel cable of the winch and connect it to your trailer. There is a remote control that has about 3m of cable. You simply put it in gear ( the winch that is ), select forward or reverse and push the button.

It is effortless. I have pulled my trailer/boat out of sand where I cannot even see the wheels, up steep slipways and out of mud. The winch I have is capable of pulling nearly 4 times the combines weight of the boat, trailer and engine.

I always chock the back wheels of the car and put the handbrake on.

Have a look on www.trailerpartswarehouse.co.uk , they have a variety of winches for all sorts of needs and at varying prices. You can also buy the towbar adapter and additional wiring harness from there. Mine was just over £300 with everything but it has been well worth it.
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Old 20 September 2003, 13:02   #17
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Can never see why anyone put their car in the water though, absolutely unnecessary if your ri is set up well and correctly balanced on its trailer

Is it possible to re-set a rib on its trailer and how? The reason I ask is mine has never just rolled off , I've always had to either float off or power off ( brand new road roller trailer & rib). When I queried this with the supplier I was informed this was the case with some rib set ups. I was under the impression that the idea of a roller trailer was to do just that - roll off !
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Old 20 September 2003, 15:03   #18
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Could have something to do with the number of rollers on your trailer.

Fewer rollers = harder to roll.

Lots of rollers = very easy to roll.

When the boat is on the trailer are all the roller sets at right angles to the keel? If not then they could be binding on the hull.
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Old 24 September 2003, 07:34   #19
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Launching ya boat

I`ve got a 130hp diesel VW golf (front wheel drive) and struggle launching on most slipways with 1200kg on the back. It not lack of power its lack of grip that catches me out.

Remeber as with most things 'keep it simple stupid'! (K.I.S.S.)

The flawless system for me appears to be a length of rope with the car on the flat and a pull.

Normally there are no problems. Its a good idea to have line of sight, windows down and no loud stereo. Failing that get a person to relay any instructions between the driver and the guide.

You need someone to guide the boat with the jocky wheel and if the balance is not right they can jump on the drawbar to stop damage to the engine. If your trailer is not set up properly then you might have this proplem.

I`d tried all sort of heath robinson jobs and expensive whinches but none worked. (I could not find the battery under the bonnet - its a sea of black plastic)

Hope this helps

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Old 24 September 2003, 16:04   #20
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Make sure the rope is up to this if you have anyone near the boat. I saw one snap and the recoil was savage, anyone in the way would have had it! I dont understand why the boat/trailer should rear up and therefore need someone to jump on to keep it down. I rope mine off a sandy beach even though I have a Discovery as the whole lot can bog down in the dry sand. I always keep folk well back from the rope but do use a guide to keep an eye on what is going on and who can tell (shout) me to stop if things look dodgy. For goodness sake...mind that rope...
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