Does Anyone Launch Drift Boat with 2wd

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
Here's a little story about launching with 4wd.
As one of our members said before, lock up before you get stuck.
This was at a lake with a very good ramp, later in summer.
The water level had gone down 6 or 8 ft. and the ramp is covered with green slime.
The guy backs his boat in all OK, with two wheel drive, but at take out he spins out trying to pull the boat out. No problem
Put the boat back in the water and get the lodge owners 4x4.
Lodge owner is a smart guy. He backs the boat owners trailer down the ramp, gets the boat on the trailer and goes to pull out, only to spin out because he didn't lock up the front, now he can't get the transfer case to lock in.
Being the smart guy that he is he revs up that big V8 puts the wood to it and spins, smokes the tires and the weight of the boat pulls the big 4x4 down into the lake off the ramp and drowns the truck with just the tip of the hood and cab above water.
I'm glad I had my son with me so I could drive my 4x4 truck around to the other side of the lake to the other ramp and my son drove the boat over.
The tow truck had still not arrived when we drove by to see how things had worked out.


I have had my DB since mid 90's and always had access to 4wd or AWD vehicles

That changed a year ago when my son got his license and is full time driving the extra car. My wife's Tahoe is no longer available for my camping and fishing adventures as she cannot drive my plumbing van.

I have no problem putting in Lakes, but anticipate problems on rivers and streams as I estimate 25 to 50 percent of ramps require the traction if having power to all 4 tires.

Does anyone else launch a drift boat with 2 wheel drive? If so, please tell me about it.[/
Brian, you wanna tell him? Or I can...
1. You have to send it...
2. You have to send it!
3. You have to send it !!!!
4. Let r rip!!! I did!!! It was great, sparks and all! Just back up to the ramp lip and do the above 1-3, make sure the ramp bottom is clear and don’t forget to unhook your strap or it’s not going very far :)
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: TDB

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Really depends where you launch. Over half the places I launch at, I need 4x4 to get back up. There's plenty of times I try to do it in 2wd, but ultimately end up switching to 4.

Cougar Zeke

Active Member
I launch with two wheel drive (2006 Sienna) all over Montana in the summer time. The only time I ever felt like I wasn't going to get it out was on the launch at the Highway 89 bridge on the Yellowstone in Livingston. My son and I got there way late- I looked at the takeout and was like, uh oh, we might be spending the night. We got it out, but it took some shimmying to pull it off.


Active Member
If all I had access to was a 2WD, I might consider putting a hitch on the nose to keep the driven wheels away from the water. Don't think it would be a big deal for something as light as a drift boat. Just a thought.


What about fwd? I’ve only launched and retrieved boats with awd/4wd vehicles but I’m curious how people do with the drive wheels in the front.

Gary swenson

Active Member
Depends on the rig for me. I would WAY rather have a front wheel drive car launching a drift boat than a 2wd pickup at a launch.


Active Member
I don't have a drift boat,but I've seen enough people stuck on improved puget sound boat ramps that I wouldn't consider it.
I'm also the guy that has chains for all four tires and a shovel, tow strap. I don't like getting stuck if I can prevent it.


Active Member
When you drive a 2 wheel drive pickup you should know your limitations. I have had my 2 wheel drive pickup for almost 10 years. Got stuck twice in that time frame. I know where it will go and where it won't go. I don't drive in snow when it is snowing on a hill I tend to stay out of fresh sand and gravel.
But how many times have you launched a boat in the last 10 years?

Old Man

A very Old Man
But how many times have you launched a boat in the last 10 years?
I don't fish lakes or water that is over my calfs. I haven't had a boat in over 30 years. I did have a 12' Zodiac That I moved around on a trailer. I fished a few lakes with it and I pulled it around with my Luv two wheeled drive pick up. I really suck at backing it up but I got it done and launched and picked up when I was done.


I’ve had a Subaru Outback pull my full size 2wd out before on a steep muddy launch. I just always make sure I have rope, a lot of it..
My last 4x4 had 4 on the fly, the light came on but I never trusted it, 4x failed a coupe times in critical spots, almost rolled it coming outta of a steep grade on the upper klick from the meat hole.

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts