Does Anyone Launch Drift Boat with 2wd

Jamie Dow

Active Member
Some private boat launches actually prohibit 2 WD as all the tire spinning causes ruts. Even with 4 WD I always use 4 L. Agree with racermo, nothing like the smell of burned clutch all the way home to cement memories of the fish.
 

wollybugger

deny self.
I do it all the time, I have a vintage camper van with RWD and the most basic tires you could buy. I have a raft now... but I used to own a drift boat for a while and I never had any problems with it. Then again I wasn’t going to the craziest launches or areas. Just get a set of MaxTrax(won’t leave home without them). I always have a bag of recovery gear in my rig. You never know when you’ll need it or more importantly when you could be of service to someone else that’s stuck.
 

Shad

Active Member
AWD or 4WD should be the rule, but if all you have is 2WD, front is much better. I've pulled a super light (maybe about 700lb.) Livingston, including the trailer, up a lot of ramps with my 2WD Tacoma, but on the steep ones, it's always been a clutch-burning, butt-clinching prayer session. I've pretty much decided she ain't a tow rig at this point....
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
I no longer have it, but this puppy had belt driven 4 wheel drive. I used it a number of times to launch or take my boat out of a short, steep sandy spot on the Yellowstone that had very narrow access between several cottonwood trees.

It was easier to back my trailer down in that spot using the Polaris rather than with my 4x4 truck. It worked quite well until one night when I got my boat loaded on the trailer but the Polaris wouldn’t pull it up that sandy hill. The belt was slipping and smoking, and needed to be replaced.

No problem. The Polaris had a Warn winch. I just unhitched the trailer, drove the Polaris to the top of the hill and winched the trailer out.
Most of the places I‘ve lunched over the years required 4 wheel drive, but that’s the only time I needed a winch.

37CD5965-2211-4DF2-AAF1-869B567AD8A5.jpeg
 

gt

Active Member
i have had ONE 2 wheel drive pickup. i got stuck on an icy ramp with studs and chains. took quite an effort to get my boat out of the water and up to the top. no more 2 wheel drive PUs for me!!!!
 

dfg

Active Member
I launch my Streamtech raft from a trailer towed behind my Ford Escape. It has a whopping 1600 CC engine and 2 WD. No difficulties in typical take-out spots, but I am leery of some so-called ramps.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Old saying, "2wd in, 4wd out".
Do as you see fit. I prefer to rely on my years of experience negotiating rough country, not on "Old sayings." In heavy snow, I also chained-up BEFORE I needed chains, preferring instead to pick a desirable spot to do so as opposed to in deep snow on a hillside for example . . .
 

JesseC

Active Member
Is it a posi rear end? You really need to know.

A surprising number of 2wd trucks, even modern full size models, will only supply power to ONE real wheel. That is a damned recipe for man tears in anything but a wal-mart parking lot.
 

JesseC

Active Member
Also with 2wd - if it’s a rear wheel drive, just make sure NOT to back it in too far. Use those muscles and the bow strap. Most people run into issues when they submerge the rear tires in the water. Guess what, those air filled tires want to float. Once they do, goodbye traction - and the weight of the engine in the front, and the boat pulling in the back........ wooooooooooo boy. Cue the Violins.
 

Riogrande King

WFF Supporter
Don't have any additional traction advice to add. My old Chevy Citation worked fine but much prefer the comfort of 4x4.

On the subject of boat trailer launching. One old timer launching trick that I haven't seen used in several years is to put an additional hitch on the front bumper. Haven't personally done this but I bet it really aids in snaking a trailer down particularly curvey "stealth" launch sites.

That Polaris with a winch would be pretty comforting, too ;)
 

steelydan

Newb seeking wisdom
AWD or 4WD should be the rule, but if all you have is 2WD, front is much better. I've pulled a super light (maybe about 700lb.) Livingston, including the trailer, up a lot of ramps with my 2WD Tacoma, but on the steep ones, it's always been a clutch-burning, butt-clinching prayer session. I've pretty much decided she ain't a tow rig at this point....
Front wheel drive is pretty much the wrong configuration for towing, especially on a hill.
When you apply power, weight shifts on to the rear tires.
On a front-driver, you are losing traction, on a rear driver, you gain the effect of weight transfer onto the drive wheels.
Toyotas are very limited in capability, anyway.
 

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