Car Towing capability

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Car Towing capability

Postby hush1 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:10 pm

Just wondering how many HP or what size engine would be needed to comfortably tow an 16ft Orkney accross the country and deal with most slipways?
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Re: Car Towing capability

Postby JimC » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:01 am

You'll find that every vehicle has a rated towing capacity. You'll find that a family car will tow most boats around 16'. Obviously slipways have to be approached with caution. A 4wd vehicle is always better but you will survive without.
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Re: Car Towing capability

Postby ste c » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:20 pm

Iv towed a 16ft seahog with a 1.6 petrol passat it was ok but i know have a warrior 165 that id tow with a 1.9 diesel passat or a van but what car have you in mind to tow with
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Re: Car Towing capability

Postby Barney Mcgrew » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:10 pm

You could say I'm a bit of an Orkney Boat fan, but over the last 20 years or so I’ve owned several. A 13ft Spinner, 16ft Longliners, 16ft 11” Strikeliners and currently a Orkney 520. Except for the little Spinner I have used all of them in both fresh and saltwater.

The 16ft Longliners I have towed in open and cuddy versions with both 2 & 4 stroke engines. The strikeliner I towed was a cuddy version with a 25hp 2 stroke, then eventually a much heavier 4 stroke 25hp. My current Orkney 520 is also a cuddy version with a 30hp 4 stroke. I have never had any problems towing launching or retrieving in nothing more than a normal family car. I even spent years launching and retrieving a strikeliner in a 1.4 Focus no problem whatsoever.

Things to watch out for are ice and weed on the slipways, both these things can cause problems, but to be fair even a 4x4 may well struggle then. I have seen a Mitsubishi Pajero with boat and trailer slide straight down a icy slipway into the Shannon during the winter, thankfully others were around to help.

I did own a 4x4 for a while but could never really justify the cost and I soon got rid of it. They make things easier for sure, but not totally necessary. I currently use a Nissan Qashqui with a very modest 1.5 engine, and this seems to be a nice compromise between car & 4x4 and has given me no problems at any location thus far.

Hope this helps
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Re: Car Towing capability

Postby johnwest » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:15 pm

Some good advice above, my own experience includes towing Seahog +55 hp(2stroke) with a Renault 1400, Raider 18 + 75 4-stroke with a Suzuki Grand Vitara, the crawler box made boat retrieval a doddle, currently a Predator 165 + 60 hp 4-stroke towed by a Hyundai ix 35 4x4. Diesel, 4x4, crawler box(low ratio gear box) would be best but you can get away with less. My problem would have been getting started up the slip where the surface is wet, covered In algae, esp. that green stuff, and the surface is age-polished cobble stones. Most modern cars are front wheel drive which doesn't help when the weight is on the rear. My cure for this was to carry a small container of coarse sand or shellgrit, a handful scattered in front of the driving wheels provided enough grip to get moving. There is a bit of advice about keeping the car engine running while on the slip, in case it won't start again! I was following this once and had floated the boat off, hopped aboard and was moving the boat to the pier to tie up when I noticed my trailer and jeep sliding (wheels locked) backwards into the water. I think the vibration of the running engine caused it to slip on the algae coated surface. Fortunately the jeep bottomed out before going too far into the water though, due to having left the rear passenger door open, I shipped quite a few gallons of water.
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Re: Car Towing capability

Postby Barney Mcgrew » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:26 pm

johnwest wrote:There is a bit of advice about keeping the car engine running while on the slip, in case it won't start again! I was following this once and had floated the boat off, hopped aboard and was moving the boat to the pier to tie up when I noticed my trailer and jeep sliding (wheels locked) backwards into the water. I think the vibration of the running engine caused it to slip on the algae coated surface. Fortunately the jeep bottomed out before going too far into the water though, due to having left the rear passenger door open, I shipped quite a few gallons of water.


That's very similar to the incident I saw on the Shannon many moons ago, the guy had backed his boat down the slipway and stopped before the trailer entered the water. He then left it there (possibly in neutral) and got out to go help his mate load his boat up. Within minutes both his boat and Jeep were in the water! Luckily not to deeply and we easily removed both. Ice was the culprit in this case, but all the same it must come as a shock. Thankfully it has never happened to me, However I am an expert at forgetting to check the drain bung is installed before launching. Twice I have manged that feat over the years. Both times I have felt a right plum :lol: Thankfully both times it was with a small Orkney spinner and in freshwater.
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