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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Launching a Boat with 2wd

Anyone have experience with that in here? I live in Florida, and I am about to buy a boat. (18' Center Console Bay Boat 115hp 4-stroke. Roughly 3k pounds fully loaded and fueled) But my truck is 2wd. And I am wondering of I will have issues launching and retrieving my boat.

Im a Florida native, have launched numerous boats... but its always been in a 4wd truck. I just put it in 4 low and launch and retrieve just to be on the safe side.

(Dont want to end up on YouTube)

I have a 2011 Crew Cab SV 2wd with 90k miles. Paid for obviously. So I am wondering should I look at a new truck as well as a boat or do you think I will be fine in 2wd?

2011 Crew Cab SV
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

Depends on the ramp incline, quality (type of cement), cleanliness (algae), etc. I typically launched my dad's bass boat in 2WD and only used 4 Hi if I had to. This was in the TN river with plenty of algae stuck to the ramps.

I personally wouldn't push my luck too far, but again personally I would never get a 2WD truck. I spent weeks on the fence of even buying a 2WD SUV for my wife.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:46 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

I used to have a 24ft Center Condole, I used to use a 2wD Tahoe to transport it around. Never had a problem.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:46 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

SUV is going to act completely different than a truck with just rear wheel drive. You've got several hundred pounds over the rear axle with an SUV.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:34 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

sounds like a bad idea. depending on the ramp conditions I still think 4wd would be a safer choice.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:58 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

A half ton 2WD truck is going to have zero problems pulling an 18 foot boat . I live in FL and boats my whole life. If youíre looking for an excuse to get a new truck then by all means get a new truck. And if I had the choice to get a 2wd or four-wheel-drive and had the extra money yes I would get a 4wd.
I had my pro 4X for three years and pulled a 26 foot camper with zero problems. Now Iím pulling it with my new 2wD Titan . I used my 4wd probably 2 times the whole time I had it. And that was to pull someone out of a ditch. But I also told the wife that if we upgrade to a larger camper like she wants, then Iím going to have to upgrade to theTitan diesel. LOL


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:10 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

Towing it is not the issue. Are you backing the camper into the water then pulling it out? Trying to get 3k pounds out of the water on an algae-covered ramp that you have to get halfway into the water for without 4WD is just asking to end up with your truck trying to become a submarine. That's why I said it was really dependent on ramp conditions. If you've got a nice, clean ramp that you barely have to get the truck into the water for you should be good.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:21 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

I think LaX has it right. It's going to depend on your approach and the distance from the trailer tongue to getting the boat waterborne. If you have a very long tongued trailer, on a low approach you might be fine. I wouldn't want to be too close otherwise. Here in the mountains I have seen guys with 2WD trucks put chains on before backing into the drink. Another option might be a front-mounted winch or even just another vehicle handy with tow chains/tow strap.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 12:58 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

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Originally Posted by LaxDfns15 View Post
Towing it is not the issue. Are you backing the camper into the water then pulling it out? Trying to get 3k pounds out of the water on an algae-covered ramp that you have to get halfway into the water for without 4WD is just asking to end up with your truck trying to become a submarine. That's why I said it was really dependent on ramp conditions. If you've got a nice, clean ramp that you barely have to get the truck into the water for you should be good.


2WD equals truck in water


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:03 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

fwd to 2.00 minutes




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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:29 AM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

I never had a fwd truck in my life and had big boats dropping off at ramp and pulling them up at ramp! Secret is to apply your emergency brakes so you don't spin tires on ramp, just enough to stop tires from spinning on ramp! I schooled plenty of people at ramp on this. That is people with all brands of trucks.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 07:41 PM
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Geez, guys. After reading all these posts, I have to wonder how many folks have ever actually towed/launched a boat with a pickup.

I've owned/towed boats ranging from 12' Jons on single axle, 12" tired trailers, on up to my current boat, a 22.5' wakeboat on a tandem axle trailer. My current rig weighs roughly 4900lbs dry, which puts it around 5200 with a full tank of fuel. I've backed it off into the Tennessee River and other recreational bodies of water all over northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. I've use all sorts of ramps. And never have I once had to use 4wd or the e-brake (which is a terrible idea on these Titans just due to delamination grenading) to get that big wakeboat out of the water. At a couple of the low slope ramps I've used, I was sitting with my feet wet at the driver's door, so even wet tires arent sufficient need for 4wd. Just keep your left foot on the brake pedal and use your right foot to modulate the throttle, to keep from rolling back into the drink. These trucks have plenty of power to pull a boat up a ramp, steep or shallow.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:45 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

The bottom line is to use common sense. Back up the boat close to the water, get out of the truck and inspect the ramp, assess the ramp angle and slippery spots (algae) and launch the boat keeping the rear tires on dry pavement. The people that get into trouble are those whose rear wheels get into the slippery stuff and may run into issues getting back out. If you can be diligent and keep safety in mind, you should be just fine. However, 4wd drive offers some additional help if you should get into trouble. We are human and prone to make judgement errors.



With over 20 years of boat ownership, I can think of a handful of instances where 4wd was helpful on improved ramps, mainly when I had to back the truck further back to get the boat off the trailer due to the shallow ramp angle and miscalculated getting the tires on the algae. For unimproved ramps, 4wd is strongly recommended. In northern Wisconsin, we find a variety of make shift ramps; simple dirt roads that slope into the lake. Even with improved ramps and a concrete pad into the lake, more often that not the ramp angle is less than optimal meaning getting the rear tires into the water, or going to a different ramp or lake.



Again, 4wd is not a must have but nice to have. You will have to weigh the cost/benefit should you decide to get a different truck.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 12:18 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

Also, if someone doesn't mind getting their feet wet, even on shallow angles, unless you've got something major that needs a lot of draft room you can usually get the back end wet and get someone on the sides and walk it back into the drink because there's very little displacement without anyone in the boat; but then you have the issue of getting it back out. As long as you have enough winch you can do the above in reverse.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 12:24 PM
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Re: Launching a Boat with 2wd

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubyam View Post
Geez, guys. After reading all these posts, I have to wonder how many folks have ever actually towed/launched a boat with a pickup.

I've owned/towed boats ranging from 12' Jons on single axle, 12" tired trailers, on up to my current boat, a 22.5' wakeboat on a tandem axle trailer. My current rig weighs roughly 4900lbs dry, which puts it around 5200 with a full tank of fuel. I've backed it off into the Tennessee River and other recreational bodies of water all over northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. I've use all sorts of ramps. And never have I once had to use 4wd or the e-brake (which is a terrible idea on these Titans just due to delamination grenading) to get that big wakeboat out of the water. At a couple of the low slope ramps I've used, I was sitting with my feet wet at the driver's door, so even wet tires arent sufficient need for 4wd. Just keep your left foot on the brake pedal and use your right foot to modulate the throttle, to keep from rolling back into the drink. These trucks have plenty of power to pull a boat up a ramp, steep or shallow.


Exactly!


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