Drift Boat Weight/Vehicle Considerations

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by HauntedByWaters, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,986
    Likes Received:
    318
    Location:
    Bellingham
    My fishing buddy and I are about to buy an aluminum drift boat of 15’ or 16’. He has a diesel truck that can no doubt trailer this thing. However, at some point I want my own rig to trailer it especially since my car seems to be on its last legs. My question is: for the North sound rivers, and considering how much a trailer and drift boat of this size will weigh, what towing capacity do I need? Do I really need a huge truck? I would prefer not, I like cars such as Subaru wagons and Volvo wagons and those are what I am looking into, but I think it smarter to get a vehicle that will do what I need. I want something that gets better mileage than a huge truck that is for sure, at least when I am not towing the boat. Anyway, what would those of you with local boating experience recommend as the minimum to pull a drift boat out of the rivers around here? I know all launches aren’t created equal. I hope this isn’t too complicated! Thanks! :thumb:
     
  2. shawn k

    shawn k Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    buckets worldwide
    drift boats are very light. you could to it with the vehicles in question. The problem you would run into is ground clearance. A lot of ramps you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
     
  3. PT

    PT Physhicist

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,182
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    A Subaru Outback is more than enough vehicle to pull a DB.
     
  4. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    Or any full size car or light truck for that matter. Its just a bit easier to pull a trailer with a big rig. Heck, we used to tow my 17' sailboat (probably heavier than a drift boat) around with my buddy's honda prelude.
     
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,986
    Likes Received:
    318
    Location:
    Bellingham
    Thanks everybody: so my next consideration is clearance. Are the Subaru Outback or Forester the only car-like cars with lots of clearance? Any other brands to look into with lots of clearance?
     
  6. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,850
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Location:
    Quesnel, BC
    With the short wheel base of the Outback/Allroad/Cross Country they really get around good.
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    10,025
    Likes Received:
    5,685
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    I tow my boat (16' Lund with jet) with my Outback just fine, but a driftboat bow sticks up higher than the Outback's roofline. You get some drag and side to side wind buffeting as a result. A small pickup with a canopy would tow the boat and keep the driftboat bow in its "wind shadow."
     
  8. Zane Wyll

    Zane Wyll Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    anacortes, WA.
    Home Page:
    Ford Escape gets great mileage and has good ground clearence or you said you like Volvo. Fords Freestyle Awd Crossover wagon
    is on a volvo platform for about half the money.
     
  9. XstreamAngler

    XstreamAngler ...has several mistresses.

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Seattle, wa, King.
    Home Page:
    Towed a alum from Sun Valley ID to Salt Lake in a 1987 Camaro IROC with T-Tops, it was dope.

    SAK
    Hyde Pro Staff
    HydeOutdoors.Com
    XstreamAnglers.Com
     
  10. springer125

    springer125 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    I use my dodge dakota v-6 4 wheel. It works fine but it doesn't get over hills like the pass very quick.
     
  11. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    duvall, wa
    I have towed my 16' lavro with a chevy diesel p/up, a small s10 chevy p/up, my '02 1/2 ton silverado and my '03 6 cyl grand cherokee. all were more than enough vehicle. i have driven a 4 cylinder outback and don't think i'd want to tow my d-boat with it, but i suppose you could. that thing wouldn't get out of it's own way. the grand cherokee and the s10 definitely had side wind issues, and the disel truck i would forget it was even there. if you only plan to stay local with it the wind wouldn't be a huge worry to me. i'm a big fan of overkill and i would lean more towards a small s.u.v. at least and away from a car, at least not a 4 cylinder car.
     
  12. gt

    gt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    sequim, WA
    if the vehicle of choice has a towing hitch, there will be some specification regarding GVWR. figure the boat 'dry' is 300#, depending on what the trailer is fabricated from, guess 500-700#. now chuck in whatever you are taking along, including another dude, and you should have a pretty good estimate of the overall weight involved. if that fits within your vehicles specifications, you are good to go.

    however, keep in mind that a small 4 or 6 cyl engine, pulling, is going to be working pretty hard, read that you ain't goin' anywhere at speed. your fuel consumption will also skyrocket when you tow even with a small economy vehicle. i would be considering just how much towing you are going to be doin vs driving around without the boat and trailer.
     
  13. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    I pulled my 16' alumaweld with a Peugeot 504 4 cyl. With a couple hundred feet of line, you can either lower it down a cliff, or pull it up a bank/slope with the car. Been there done that.

    As I said before, get the boat, use the hell out of it, don't look back. It will work out and all be good.

    PS You can buy a lot of gas for the price of a bigger rig. I pulled mine all over 3 states with the Peugeot. Optimum?...not. Did it work? ... you bet your a$$.
     
    bigdood likes this.
  14. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    366
    Location:
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    One of the problems with a db is being able to see over it when backing down a ramp. Another problem is pulling a boat full of water up a slippery ramp.

    Street type cars do not do these things well. For years I drove road rockets. (I wanted a VW Passat wagon V6 5 speed manual for a tow car) They look cool, get better gas milage than a truck/suv, and handle a whole lot better. But sticky performance tires are not going to cut it on a boat ramp. Neither will front wheel (only) drive.

    Since you will need to replace your current worn out car eventually, a small suv would be a better alternative. Jeep Liberty, or similar, comes to mind. A Forester or an Outback may also work. Look at it this way. Rather than trying to make a good gas milage car do the job, ask yourself how many miles you going to drive not towing, and how much extra will that cost you with a small suv that will get the job done?

    Also, if you're like me, you'll find places to fish even without the boat, that you wouldn't dream of taking a road rocket. Tearing out the under carriage, getting stuck, things like that. So 4 wheel drive becomes more than just a yahoo look at me badge on the side of your vehicle. Ditto full size spare tire. A do-nut spare don't get it. And if your reg tire is some odd ball size???? you could be stuck in po-dunk for days waitiing on a replacement tire to be shipped in from L.A.

    Sit down and think about what features are important to you. Make a list. Do the research on the web. You can dig around and find out what is what. You already have some good ideas/suggestions. Go for it.
     
  15. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    366
    Location:
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Another scenario, happened last weekend. I'm backing the boat down the ramp. "The boat" is a 15' glass over wood. Not a real heavy rig. "The ramp" is a grooved concrete job loaded with wet leaves. Jeep Grand Cherokee with automatic 4 wheel drive iand ABS is locking the front wheels and I'm sliding down the ramp wondering if I can stop before everything ends up in the river.
    Maybe I need new tires. More grip. Maybe next time I'll put it in drive and feather the gas as I come down the ramp. I can see it all now. Smokin' tires, out of control. slippin' sideways down into the cold black abiss. I have never been a follower of the "have enough truck" phylosophy. But I'm beginning to change my mind.