PDA

View Full Version : Grand Prix Towing Capability


PeteS
02-08-2005, 04:51 PM
We've talked about this in another post, but I just wanted to take quick poll to see what everyone thinks.

I have an 04' Grand Prix GT2, it's front wheel drive car with a 200HP, 3.8L V-6 under the hood. I don't know if the block is steel or aluminum, but the curb weight is 3,484 lbs. I can put a Class II hitch on it, and I only have to get my boat from the house to the launch, and in/out of the water.

The launch is concrete with traction groves milled into the surface, and is private to the sub. I'd guess the chances of it being dry vs. wet is about 50/50. It has a "moderate" angle.

My question is, what is everyone's opinions on whether or not my car be able to get the boat and trailer back out of the water? We'll say the launch will be wet, as we have to go with worse case scenario. I don't think it'll be a question of power with 230 lb-ft of torque, rather traction. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Pete

east tx skier
02-08-2005, 04:56 PM
How far from the launch are you. My father in law tried to tow a boat with a Lincoln Town Car with a V8 in it and turned around after a few miles. The suspension was just not built for that application.

Surely, the horsepower/torque numbers suggest that it can be done. But you should consider that your vehicle is very light. What about your gear ratio?

PeteS
02-08-2005, 05:01 PM
Thanks for your reply, Tx. The launch is only about 2 blocks away, through the sub. Don't know the gear ratio off the top of my head, but I was hoping that the amount of time/exposure of stress on the vehicle would be light enough to prevent damage to the car. It wouldn't be used to tow on main roads.

Appearently the dealer said the GP had a 2,000 lb. towing capcity. I believe the boat + trailer weight is approaching 3,000 lbs. Again, I figured the distance would be short enough where as exceeding that number wouldn't be a big issue. Thanks again.

Tom Wortham
02-08-2005, 05:22 PM
I think you are right on with the boat/trailer weight. One test could be taking it half way down the ramp (or a hill near by). (having a buddy with a bigger vehical with a hitch around... and a couple of tire chaulks... back about half way down the ramp.... before the boat goes in the water.... and pull back out. Depending on how easy it pulls... will give you an idea that it can be done. If you put that GT in low (1st gear) and go slow... My vote is YES. Video camera also needs to be near by. Cheers. :friday:

east tx skier
02-08-2005, 05:40 PM
Thanks for your reply, Tx. The launch is only about 2 blocks away, through the sub. Don't know the gear ratio off the top of my head, but I was hoping that the amount of time/exposure of stress on the vehicle would be light enough to prevent damage to the car. It wouldn't be used to tow on main roads.

Appearently the dealer said the GP had a 2,000 lb. towing capcity. I believe the boat + trailer weight is approaching 3,000 lbs. Again, I figured the distance would be short enough where as exceeding that number wouldn't be a big issue. Thanks again.

The boat and trailer weight loaded should surpass the 3,000 lb mark. I can't remember where I heard it, but I remember trailer weight being quoted at around 700 lbs. But if if you happen to lose traction, that boat will pull that car into the water like it was in neutral.

Some wheel chocks are in order if you try it. I second the video camera request.

Good luck.

Tom023
02-08-2005, 06:06 PM
My first boat was a 16 1/2 foot Bayliner bowrider. I towed it with a 1979 Scirocco, which is FWD and had a wopping 97 HP, curb weight barely over 2000#. It was a manual, so it took a bit of clutch slipping to get it up the ramp, but I must have retreived that boat a couple of hundred times without a problem. It may not be the wisest thing, but your car should be able to pull it out without a problem if the ramp is clean.

AirJunky
02-08-2005, 06:36 PM
The curb weight on my '98 Dodge Dakota is only about 3700 lbs so I don't think weight is going to be a problem. The fact that it's front wheel drive & not four wheel is what I think will present itself as a problem at some point. It'll probably work under ideal conditions...... and the one time it doesn't will be the time when we want you to have that camera ready.

T Scott
02-08-2005, 06:49 PM
Disclaimer...This is not a bright idea..... :noface:

I had a 68 Mustang in college with a wimpy in line 6 cylinder engine. The car could pull my 88 Prostar 190 (My boat at the time) around the parking lot and to the gas station with no problem. However, it did not have enough torque to get the boat up the ramp. Realizing that I had much more horsepower in the boat than in the car, I had one of my buddies put the boat in gear and give it pretty heavy throttle while on the trailer. :steering: This was enough thrust to literally push my car up the ramp and that rolling start was all I needed to get the boat out. If you try this, make sure that the person in the boat does not have the boat under power once the prop clears the surface of the water.

Again, this is not a bright idea....but it worked. :)

whitedog
02-08-2005, 07:23 PM
It should be able to be done as long as the ramp is clean. Your biggest problem is weight transfer. With the boat on the trailer the weight is on the back of the car not on driving wheels. Wheel slip will be a problem if the ramp is wet or dirty. Have wheel chocks handy and a video cam around. Hope that the trailer does not drop off the end of the ramp.

pdoppenheim
02-08-2005, 07:25 PM
It's not the vehicle weight, it's the attachment point. Your boat and trailer will run around 3500 lbs. minimum. The problem with a hitch is that certain vehicles have monococque construction. In other words, unibody. No frame.

The problem is that your class II hitch may not be able to attach to anything strong enough to take the weight of your boat. I had a 1997 GP and it did not. I speculate yours is the same.

I once pulled a 3500 lbs (boat and trailer) 23' sailboat through the hills of KY, all of OH and into MI with a 3150 lbs. Corvette. I had a special hitch made that mounted to the frame. The Vette had the power and the brakes, but if the trailer had tried to change ends with the Vette it would have been no contest. The point is that HP and disk brakes can handle anything that the connection to the vehicle can handle. I don't think your GP body can handle the strain. Note to other Vette owners: The hitch was designed by GM/Corvette. You will not find anythig on the market that can do this. Please don't try. You will hurt your car. That's the advantage of growing up in Detroit.

Front wheel drive is definitely not a traction problem. Olds promoted their early FWD Toronado by driving it around the country towing an Airstream trailer with the rear wheels removed from the car. They used an equalizing hitch.

My advice, for the two blocks distance, buy a burger and a beer for somebody with a proper hitch, unless you can find a hitch place that will guarantee to repair you car. Or rent something. It will be cheaper than the body work.

Most of us around here are happy to get together to help launch and retrieve our boats. I'm sure there's a friendly M/Cer where you live.

I refer you to:

http://www.big-boys.com/articles/smalltobig.html

reference the strength of attachment points.

MasterMason
02-08-2005, 07:25 PM
Disclaimer...This is not a bright idea..... :noface:

I had a 68 Mustang in college with a wimpy in line 6 cylinder engine. The car could pull my 88 Prostar 190 (My boat at the time) around the parking lot and to the gas station with no problem. However, it did not have enough torque to get the boat up the ramp. Realizing that I had much more horsepower in the boat than in the car, I had one of my buddies put the boat in gear and give it pretty heavy throttle while on the trailer. :steering: This was enough thrust to literally push my car up the ramp and that rolling start was all I needed to get the boat out. If you try this, make sure that the person in the boat does not have the boat under power once the prop clears the surface of the water.

Again, this is not a bright idea....but it worked. :)

When I was a little kid my Dad did this very thing with his old wooden trojan. There were no tie downs on the boat at all, inorder to keep it on the trailer as it came out, he would drive it on and just as the rear of the boat cleared the water he would shut it off. We used to launch it with our old station wagon. Well untill the moter went out in the boat and he took the moter out of my mom's station wagon and put it in the boat......(note: he only had to sleep on the couch one night if I remember right)

H20skeefreek
02-08-2005, 08:28 PM
it'll probably do it, but I wouldn't risk it. unless you want to sink your car. make sure you take off the bow strap from teh boat if you try it, so you don't sink your boat and car. a boat on a trailer probably won't float, especially if it's hooked to a sinking GP.

stevoh20
02-08-2005, 09:35 PM
Have to agree with T. Scott and the boat thrust method. Make sure the boat is secured to the trailer. Have a smart driver in the boat. Do a one, two, three count. On three, the boat driver gives moderate thrust with the prop and cuts power quickly. Driver eases the car forward and once the boat provides momentum, it should go easy.

We use this method at landings with gravel and or wet sand to prevent stones from spinning and hitting the fiberglass of the bow.

Works well for us at all sorts of landings. Also can take pressure off the little lady if she is insecure in the car/truck driver's seat! :uglyhamme

sfitzgerald351
02-08-2005, 10:43 PM
We used to use the boat thrust method to get the boats out of the water in San Diego where I taught since we couldn't get any traction on the seaweedy ramp with the crappy 2wd F150 we used to move the boats around. Worked really well, but be sure to cut the gas the minute you hear the motor start to suck air instead of water into the cooling system or you'll ruin your impeller real quick. So traction shouldn't be an issue. And in backing in you still have 4 brakes, just like any other vehicle.

But I'm concerned about the hitch on the car. Driving the 2 blocks should be fine going slow, but I'm also worried that the load going up/down the ramp might destroy the mounting point.

The best thing would be to by a cheap truck to tow the boat with or find a buddy who can drop. You should be able to find a 1980's 4wd F150 for $1000 that in decent enough shape and still runs well.

6ballsisall
02-08-2005, 10:48 PM
I think you are opening up a can of worms you may not want to be doing. Even though its only a few blocks and you may have enough HP you still don't have the brake capacity. In a neighborhood you have kids running around the streets and other things, it doesn't seem worth it to me to run that risk much less the liability and guilt in your head if something were to happen. I think it was mentioned above but you can easily locate an old beater 4x4 for less than a grand that would easily do the job. I htink that might be a safer outlook for you. Just my 2 cents :twocents:

Ben
02-09-2005, 07:31 AM
My biggest concern would be the previously mentioned hitch & what it connects to. Your motor, tranny, brakes should all be fine going 15 mph for 2 blocks. Take a good look at what is there to mount the hitch to. If that looks like it has a shot, I vote yes. If it looks weak, I vote not to try it.

The option of the $1000 truck may be a good one, if you have somewhere to put it. Probably don't want a rusty truck in the driveway though. How about a $500 small tractor (with a parking brake) that may fit in the garage better?

Nonetheless, when you go for the ramp trial, I'll again volunteer to be the previously mentioned truck & tow strap, with video & beverage in hand.....

86Craft
02-09-2005, 08:47 AM
Take this for what it is worth. :o My uncle installed a hitch on his daughter's 99', V-6 Trans-Am to pull a Ski-Doo Sportster (Twin engine,5 seat Jet boat) to lake. The lake is about 20 miles from her house, and she has never had a problem so far. Not sure of the weight of the boat and trailer. I always get a kick out of peoples faces :purplaugh when she pulls up to the launch, tee-tops out, music loud and boat shining. I'll be sure to get some pics of this set-up this summer. If you have to have someone in the boat to help power you off the ramp, I would try and find something different. The launch is your hang up, the car will get the boat there. Get us a picture of the ramp if it is that close to you. :popcorn:

mgurley
02-09-2005, 08:54 AM
Two blocks, low speed, no problem!

PeteS
02-09-2005, 09:05 AM
There are many, many excellent point in this thread already. Thanks to all for taking the time to give their thoughts and opinions.

I'll do my best to tackle a few points quickly, and I'm sure more will come to me as the day goes on. I've attached a photo of the hitch, and mounting instructions. It appears that it attaches directly to the frame of the vehicle, so I don't think mounting points will be a problem - although pdoppenheim raises some great points.

I'll take some shots of the launch when the snow melts down a bit, and get those up as well.

The idea from sfitzgerald351 of a beater is a good one as well. I could probably fit both the boat and truck in the garage, and save some serious cash if the vehicle ever got drug back into the lake by the boat. Although I'm curious of the chances of that actually happening, having 4-wheel disc brakes and good rubber to concrete contact - although it's not something you would like to take chance on! Thanks again!

Vern Swieringa
02-09-2005, 09:06 AM
My :twocents: It sounds like you have a pretty nice Car. From everything that has been said so far, there definately are risks to your vehicle, which could really effect its resale value. The beater truck or helpful friend with a truck seems to me to be the best way to preserve the value of your GP.

east tx skier
02-09-2005, 10:19 AM
Pete, one last thought. If you try this, make sure you roll the windows down on your car. I don't know what the layout of the ramp is or what sort of drop off there is after the ramp, but in a worse-case scenario, if that boat drags your car in, with the windows down, at least you'll be able to open the car door to get out. I know this has happened to at least one person on this board if memory serves.

PeteS
02-09-2005, 10:31 AM
This thread just took a turn for the worst :eek3:! I've found a few rust-bucket pickup trucks on the internet, that "run great", going for around $1,000. Would I have to insure the vehicle, and if so what type?

May not be a bad idea, if we are talking about swimming out of windows as my leased company car sinks :rolleyes: . It's a tough call, but if I do use the GP I sure know I'd be driving VERY slow in the neighboorhood with kids and dogs running around. Thanks again.

ski_king
02-09-2005, 10:35 AM
Pete, Do you have any pictures of the ramp you are going to use?

east tx skier
02-09-2005, 10:41 AM
More than likely, Michigan has a statutory minimum liability insurance requirement. If I were giving you legal advice, which I'm not, and can't, I'd say you'd have to carry insurance, which on an old pickup, won't run you more than $20 extra per month based on my experience insuring a 19 year old Jeep GW. The upkeep of an old truck, if you can't do it yourself, will be considerably more. All that said, if you're not planning to get pulled over, nobody's going to check your insurance. But if you were into serious risk-taking like that, you'd just tow with the Grand Prix, right? :)

PeteS
02-09-2005, 10:56 AM
I'll take some photos of the ramp over the weekend and get them up on the site ASAP.

Should I measure the grade or slope of the ramp? If so, is there a device I can use to do so?

I'm worried about the upkeep of an old pickup like you suggesed, Tex. Fluid leaks in the garage, major items like trannys and engines going. I guess I could always sell it for scrap parts if it ever does become more expensive to care for. The saga continues!

ski_king
02-09-2005, 11:05 AM
Should I measure the grade or slope of the ramp? If so, is there a device I can use to do so?

Borrow car or truck from a Correct Craft or Malibu owner.
Park car at top of ramp
Measure distance to waters edge
Take car out of park
Measure time it takes for the car to hit the water

Just kidding.......

Maybe use a 3 foot level and a yard stick. That should be close enough, pictures do not always give a good idea of the slope.

Mag_Red
02-09-2005, 11:45 AM
I refer you to:

http://www.big-boys.com/articles/smalltobig.html

reference the strength of attachment points.
:purplaugh That's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time!!! :purplaugh

east tx skier
02-09-2005, 12:01 PM
I'll take some photos of the ramp over the weekend and get them up on the site ASAP.

Should I measure the grade or slope of the ramp? If so, is there a device I can use to do so?

I'm worried about the upkeep of an old pickup like you suggesed, Tex. Fluid leaks in the garage, major items like trannys and engines going. I guess I could always sell it for scrap parts if it ever does become more expensive to care for. The saga continues!

The cost of my grand wagoneer was cheaper over the three years I owned it, than leasing a very cheap car. I paid $3500 for it and sold it in for $3,000 by just putting a sign in the window (sold in 20 days to a neighbor). I had it before I had the boat and did much more than the minimum to keep it operating as I loved driving it. It was a very faithful tow vehicle. Ultimately, I decided that it was cheaper to have one car that could tow the boat instead of two cars with only one as a tow vehicle.

86Craft
02-09-2005, 12:30 PM
Measure the ramp? Ya know what, I just notice that your location is Detroit. When I bought my boat, I test drove it on Bellville (?spelling) Lake, just east of Detroit Metro airport. That ramp was two stories tall and straight up! Glad we had my brother's super duty for that one. Not a place for a car. I have a fullsize 86' Ford Bronco 4x4 that I'm going to let go, and I'm about a hour&half away from Detroit. I hung on to it with dreams of re-building it, painting it with a logo call the "Summer of 86" and use it to tow my boat around.

milkmania
02-09-2005, 12:44 PM
May not be a bad idea, if we are talking about swimming out of windows as my leased company car sinks :rolleyes:


oh........company leased car!!!
that changes everything:purplaugh

I'd say just keep the windows down for an emergency exit:woohoo:

and they say fleet vehicles are good used cars......my butt!!!!!

seriously though, since it's a company leased vehicle, is there any way you can talk the company into leasing a small SUV of sorts instead of a Grand Prix?
if it were me, I'd go through the leasing company, get the figures and present them and my case to my superior. cuz, you know he abuses leased vehicles too.....lol

in your business, do you carry much equipment? that could be a point to bring up to superior.


ya think a Dodge Magnum would "git er done"????:steering:

sfitzgerald351
02-09-2005, 12:44 PM
Looking at the hitch diagram I think you'll be fine strength wise. Drawtight wouldn't rate their hitch for 3500 lbs if they didn't think the attachment point could handle it. Though the car is rated for towing 1000 lbs. My understanding (someone confirm or deny) is that the hitch ratings a basically the safe working load of the hitch, ball, etc... so you don't get failure. The vehicle tow rating is based on engine, tranny, weight, brakes, wheelbase, etc... and gives you safe operating range. So, 2 blocks and up the ramp you probably won't work the brakes or engine real hard. The tranny might not like it much going up the ramp, but if this isn't an often occurance you shouldn't get too much wear.

So I believe you can safely use the car, but come on, we're giving you an excuse to go get a beater truck! Trust me they are fun to have and you'll find all sorts of uses for the thing. You could probably also use a old Toyota 4wd. Just use the low range to ease the stress on the engine and transmission. But with a full size you can have the option of driving the boat to the dealer, etc...

PeteS
02-09-2005, 12:56 PM
You guys are cracking me up, and we're all thining alike as well. I've investigated turning my current lease in early with the company's dealer, who I went direct to -- just like you were thinking milkmania. He said the cheapest he could do it for would be with an $4,000 lease turn-in fee. The company would however go for a cheap SUV if I could turn the car in, but I'd have to cover the 4 grand myself.

To sfitzgerald351, thanks for taking the time to go over the documents. I agree. I don't think it'll be an issue of vehicle power, braking, or handling, or as we're going 2 blocks, and the hitch looks secure. I think it all comes down to traction, and the fact that the weight of the trailer is on the back tires, with traction needed up front, that'd be my concern. Although there are people saying traction won't be an issue, so that's hopeful. A beater would be fun though!

Tom023
02-09-2005, 01:06 PM
Pete,

Based on my experience with a FWD vehicle, slightly smaller boat and tow vehicle, you will lose some traction on the front wheels due to the tongue weight of the trailer. Is it enough to prevent you from pulling out? Depends on the ramp steepness and conditions. The ramp I used could be good or bad, depending on the tide, but I always had a broom to sweep away seaweed, and other crud, and it was always wet. I never had a problem, but one thing I learned, was that it was easier to retrieve the boat if I didn't gas it too much and get the tires spinning. Easing it up the ramp slowly was better than brute force.

milkmania
02-09-2005, 01:12 PM
You guys are cracking me up, and we're all thining alike as well. I've investigated turning my current lease in early with the company's dealer, who I went direct to -- just like you were thinking milkmania. He said the cheapest he could do it for would be with an $4,000 lease turn-in fee. The company would however go for a cheap SUV if I could turn the car in, but I'd have to cover the 4 grand myself.



now did he say just how it could be turned back in???

remember........keep the windows down, they may waive the 4 grand???? hehe

PeteS
02-09-2005, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the reply, Tom! You may have said this in an earier thread, but refresh my memory once more on the tow vehicle and boat. Your comparision sounds similar however.

I wonder how the ramp grade and gravity affect the rolling resistance on the trailer. I'm just thinking, you can move a trailer around by hand quite easy on flat ground. If I were to find a hill that is twice as steep as the ramp, and try to climb it when wet with just my car, would that equal the relative amount a force applied by a boat a trailer when being pulled out of the water?

Tom023
02-09-2005, 02:23 PM
Pete,

Finding a hill that steep in Detroit may be even more of a challenge. You could always tow it over the incline at the Ford test track in Dearborn. When you are on that thing, you find yourslef reaching for the grab handles!

Footin
02-09-2005, 02:33 PM
Years ago, I use to tow a 18 foot open bow runabout with a Pontiac 6000 ste. The car had a 2.8 liter V6 and the boat and trailer probably weighed about 3k lbs. The car did not like it, but I would tow 45 miles to a local lake a few times a month. Never had much of a probablem on ramps and the trailer did not have breaks. Looking back I probably would not do this on a regular basis again.

pdoppenheim
02-09-2005, 03:02 PM
Pete,

Hey, I just saw that you're in Detroit after I wrote the long winded post below. I'm going to leave it because it's so good. However, I live in West Bloomfield. We ski on Pine Lake. If you're anywhere close I'll put your boat in for you with my Jeep. Let me know via PM or email at pdoppenheim@comcast.net. Now please read my post anyway because I spent so much time writing it.

I changed my mind. I assumed (yes, I know) that all that was available for your car was a Class I, 1000 pound rating hitch. I looked at the hitch and installation instructions you included in your recent post. Drawtite is a very good company. I seriously doubt that they would sell a 3500 lb. hitch if the vehicle couldn't take it. Keep in mind that your trans and engine cooling may not be up to a trip through the hills, but two blocks should be ok.

Note that the frame rails refered to are actually body parts and not an actual frame, but Drawtite would open themselves to a lot of liability if it ripped out. For the estimated one hour install time I would have it professionally done. It will probably take them less than the full hour. Exhaust bolts rust quickly and can be a pain. Also, a hoist makes the job go a lot more quickly. You will be in some pretty awkward positions trying to drill those holes and getting them to line up. Lastly, and most importantly, with a pro install you have someone to pay for your car repair if they guess wrong. Most shops run around $70.00 per hour and for this job that's cheap.

As far as ramp traction, sight unseen, your FWD will pull the boat up any ramp that approaches normal. Your front wheels will probably be above the slime line on the ramp anyway and your vehicle will not be pulled into the lake by the weight of the boat. It is brakes, not horsepower that keep a car out of the water.

Lastly, keep in mind that your boat weighs about 2500 lbs empty. Add 30 gal. of gas for another 180 lbs, skis, vests, etc and your boat gets closer to 2800 lbs. Most single axle M/C trailers come in around 1000 lbs. I don't know where the 700 lb. figure ina another post came from. Possibly not a M/C trailer or maybe an older one. Anyway, you will be over the 3500 lb. limit but there's a lot of overbuild engineered into a Drawtite, and for two blocks, I'd do it.

The beater truck may sound like fun, and you can get insurnace on it only when you drive it and just have storage insurance on it the rest of the time, but extra vehicles need storage space, oil changes and other maintainence. In the long run, I wouldn't bother. This is far cheaper and more convenient.

As far as resale on the GP, the hitch can be unbolted before you sell the car to restore it to its original condition and thus should not affect resale at all.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide.

east tx skier
02-09-2005, 03:12 PM
Whoops, the 700 lb trailer weight was pulled from my fading memory of a previous post discussing trailer weight. Estimates were 500 to 1,000 lbs for a single axle, and you're right, the low end (500) was for an older trailer (about 6 years older than the one in question here).

Here's the post (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=1364&page=2&pp=10&highlight=trailer+weight) for anyone who's interested.

phecksel
02-10-2005, 12:08 PM
Measure the ramp? Ya know what, I just notice that your location is Detroit. When I bought my boat, I test drove it on Bellville (?spelling) Lake, just east of Detroit Metro airport. That ramp was two stories tall and straight up! Glad we had my brother's super duty for that one. Not a place for a car. I have a fullsize 86' Ford Bronco 4x4 that I'm going to let go, and I'm about a hour&half away from Detroit. I hung on to it with dreams of re-building it, painting it with a logo call the "Summer of 86" and use it to tow my boat around.

Woos :)

That ramp is not straight up, it's on a 45 angle! I know, I used to co-manage that ramp for the neighborhood.

phecksel
02-10-2005, 12:15 PM
Traction will be your biggest problem for short runs to the launch. Just make sure the A/C is turned off. Trailer hitch capacity it set by braking capability with about a 3x safety margin. Towing capacity is set by both brake ability and cooling, with a much lower margin of safety. IMO, you'd be able to tow the boat short distances allowing for LOW speeds in the neighborhood, but getting the boat out of the water will be a challenge, especially once the ramp gets wet. I got in the habit of stopping my trailer just out of the water and letting it drain, so that others would not have that issue. Try it on a wet ramp, and make sure you have a 4x4 nearby, and you have previously evaluated how to attach the tow strap.

86Craft
02-10-2005, 12:27 PM
45 Degrees? Seemed straight up to me :eek: , or should I say more then what I was use too. Also, paying to use a ramp was new to me (from Ohio), although the boat owner at the time paid. Being a ex-manager of this ramp, would you recommend our friend here try and pull his cherry looking Prostar out of water at this location with his GP? :friday:

sfitzgerald351
02-10-2005, 12:45 PM
There is still no way it is 45 degrees... 45% grade maybe (which is ~23 degrees). Most of the steepest ski slopes you ski on barely hit 45 degrees! No way you'd be able to pull and boat up something that steep.

phecksel
02-11-2005, 12:01 PM
There is still no way it is 45 degrees... 45% grade maybe (which is ~23 degrees). Most of the steepest ski slopes you ski on barely hit 45 degrees! No way you'd be able to pull and boat up something that steep.

that was somewhat TIC, :)

Seriously, it's very very steep, narrow, and slick.

If I had to guess, it's maybe 25'+ drop, and the lot depths are about 125'

phecksel
02-11-2005, 12:03 PM
45 Degrees? Seemed straight up to me :eek: , or should I say more then what I was use too. Also, paying to use a ramp was new to me (from Ohio), although the boat owner at the time paid. Being a ex-manager of this ramp, would you recommend our friend here try and pull his cherry looking Prostar out of water at this location with his GP? :friday:

Did he use the private neighborhood launch or the public launch? The public launch is a piece of cake. Do I know the owner of the cherry looking prostar? Is he a member of the ski club?

www.bellevillelakewaterski.com

Have him send a note to subscribeATbelleville.... I'm the club webmaster.

captkidd
02-14-2005, 04:39 PM
I'd hate to be the only one on the whole forum not to post his opinion. I would go with the beater truck. It's going to be useful for more than just towing the boat, but if that's all you use it for then it can't require much maintenance as you won't be putting a lot of miles on it.

I've backed (slowly) down some ramps and then tried to stop and had the weight of the boat/trailer drag the entire vehicle down the ramp, all four tires sliding. This happened on both my full-size Ford Bronco and my 3/4 ton Dodge pickup (with the Cummins diesel which is extremely heavy). It never dragged either one very far, but it was usually enough to get a pretty good pucker going. The rear suspension of the Grand Prix is going to be a lot softer than any truck, so a lot of weight will be transferred off the front tires, which will make it more likely to slide. A friend of mine also had his boat/trailer pull his Jeep Cherokee partially into the lake because his emergency brake wasn't strong enough to hold it. You also can't assume that the ramp will always be dry; ever been caught on the lake when it rains?

IMHO there are just too many risks that could be overcome by spending a grand on a truck of some sort. It could turn out to be pretty cheap in the long run.

mika
03-01-2005, 01:07 PM
Petes I sent you PM. I live in Lake Orion MI and if you need a tow to the lake let me know. I have a 2500HD with a diesel, 3500lbs is not a problem. Dont even notice my 190 back there.

Bobby
03-17-2005, 12:04 AM
I am quite familiar with a 2000 Grand Prix GT, and I know that the suspension for the '04 is not too much different. I personally would not want to tow anything with that. I'd save up about 2-3k and get an 80's K5 Blazer/Jimmy. That's what I have and it pulls with no problems whatsoever. You might as well do that since you'd be spending near the same to replace a worn out GP suspension in a few months

PeteS
03-17-2005, 09:31 AM
Thanks to all who offered advice, thoughts and opinions. I finished installing the Class II hitch on my Grand Prix last weekend, and will be making an attempt at some dry runs today or tommorrow.

As discussed ealier on, I'll be sure to keep the video camera handy and tow strap/truck on hand for the first 3 attemps. Because I'll only be going 2 blocks, the suspension wear shouldn't be a concern, along with the transmission abuse. At 210 ft.-lbs. torque, power shouldn't be an issue either. It's the traction and weight distrobution that is my main concern.

I've spoke with a few different people in the neighboorhood who stated that they've used FWD vehicle on the ramp to launch their ski boats, with no problems in the past -- cars and mini vans. Keep your fingers crossed!

jimmer2880
03-17-2005, 12:24 PM
Thanks to all who offered advice, thoughts and opinions. I finished installing the Class II hitch on my Grand Prix last weekend, and will be making an attempt at some dry runs today or tommorrow.

As discussed ealier on, I'll be sure to keep the video camera handy and tow strap/truck on hand for the first 3 attemps. Because I'll only be going 2 blocks, the suspension wear shouldn't be a concern, along with the transmission abuse. At 210 ft.-lbs. torque, power shouldn't be an issue either. It's the traction and weight distrobution that is my main concern.

I've spoke with a few different people in the neighboorhood who stated that they've used FWD vehicle on the ramp to launch their ski boats, with no problems in the past -- cars and mini vans. Keep your fingers crossed!

One quick tip - as you're backing down the ramp, apply your emergency brake slightly. Since most vehicles have much more braking power on the fronts, they tend to lock up quickly.

I've never slid anything down a ramp with anti-lock brakes though, so it may not be an issue for you.

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 12:37 PM
I'll say it again. Keep those windows rolled down. Worst case scenario, you'll be able to open the door. Good luck!

PeteS
03-17-2005, 12:46 PM
One quick tip - as you're backing down the ramp, apply your emergency brake slightly. Since most vehicles have much more braking power on the fronts, they tend to lock up quickly.

I've never slid anything down a ramp with anti-lock brakes though, so it may not be an issue for you.
Thanks for the advice, Jimmer & Doug. I think your right on braking, as I've heard the ratio is around 60/40. Although I'm not sure if the anti-lock electronics would engage in reverse, at the rate of speed used in launching a boat -- I'm not sure if I want to find out either!

OhioProstar
03-17-2005, 01:03 PM
Here is a CJ7 that should fit your bill:

http://www.autoextra.com/vehicledetail/adid-9120568/1979/jeep/cj7/detroit/mi/do-basic

Storm861triple
03-17-2005, 05:44 PM
Disclaimer...This is not a bright idea..... :noface:

I had one of my buddies put the boat in gear and give it pretty heavy throttle while on the trailer. :steering: This was enough thrust to literally push my car up the ramp and that rolling start was all I needed to get the boat out. If you try this, make sure that the person in the boat does not have the boat under power once the prop clears the surface of the water.

Again, this is not a bright idea....but it worked. :)

This IS a bright idea. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using that technique, prudently applied.

Also, ABS works in reverse to the poster above who wondered about that, and

Unit body in and of itself does NOT prohibit towing. I towed for years with an '83 Trans Am, (Unit Body), an '83 Golf GTI (unit body), and a Jeep Cherokee (unit Body). All bu the Jeep required the "throttle the boat" technique to get the boat out of the water.

My vote; your car will do just fine for what your considering.

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 06:02 PM
... unless your ramp prohibits power loading. :)

I had a friend who used to tow his family's I/O with a heavily modified 92 Mustang 5.0 LX running about 420 hp.

Storm861triple
03-17-2005, 08:10 PM
... unless your ramp prohibits power loading. :)

I had a friend who used to tow his family's I/O with a heavily modified 92 Mustang 5.0 LX running about 420 hp.

I might just be a bit of a red neck, but I think that's pretty damn cool.

-Tom

Storm861triple
03-17-2005, 08:12 PM
... unless your ramp prohibits power loading. :)

You mean there are ramps that have rules against this? Or the physical aspect of the ramp?

-Tom

6ballsisall
03-17-2005, 08:14 PM
You mean there are ramps that have rules against this? Or the physical aspect of the ramp?

-Tom


Its prohibited on our lake. We have been to Laurel Lake in KY and I know it prohibited there too. I guess it can wash out the lake floor pretty bad over time is what I have been told.

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 11:05 PM
I was referring to rules against it as opposed to it being against the laws of physics. I'd never heard of such rules until last years, but apparently, it's common in some states, the rationale being that it disturbs the lake bottom at the end of the ramp too much.

Jim
03-18-2005, 12:17 AM
We've talked about this in another post, but I just wanted to take quick poll to see what everyone thinks.

I have an 04' Grand Prix GT2, it's front wheel drive car with a 200HP, 3.8L V-6 under the hood. I don't know if the block is steel or aluminum, but the curb weight is 3,484 lbs. I can put a Class II hitch on it, and I only have to get my boat from the house to the launch, and in/out of the water.

The launch is concrete with traction groves milled into the surface, and is private to the sub. I'd guess the chances of it being dry vs. wet is about 50/50. It has a "moderate" angle.

My question is, what is everyone's opinions on whether or not my car be able to get the boat and trailer back out of the water? We'll say the launch will be wet, as we have to go with worse case scenario. I don't think it'll be a question of power with 230 lb-ft of torque, rather traction. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Pete


I would expect to here an attempt of this sort from someone who might own a Moomba not a Mastercraft. Go figure????

Storm861triple
03-18-2005, 10:24 AM
East tx, That is interesting. I never knew about rules like that before now either. It makes sense, the I don't know how detrimental that would be the a lake over all. I wonder if it's legal here?

I would expect to here an attempt of this sort from someone who might own a Moomba not a Mastercraft. Go figure????

That was an aggravating-to-read sentence. Not every Mastercraft owner has, can afford, or really even NEEDS a suburban/3500/F-350 etc. to pull their boat two miles in and out of the water, pard.

I can tell you straight up, that if I still lived in New England (i.e. didn't have to tow 700 miles for a weekend at Lake Powell), I'd have a car for my Daily Driver, not the truck I have now. And you can bet your a$$ that car would do boat towing duty to the ramp and back. Oh wait, when I lived in Mass., I DID tow w/a car for years. Not only did it do a fine job, but it got significantly better gas milage than a truck ever could, towing or not.

Nothing wrong w/using the Grand Prix at all.

6ballsisall
03-18-2005, 10:32 AM
I would expect to here an attempt of this sort from someone who might own a Moomba not a Mastercraft. Go figure????


C'mon now, let's not turn out to be CC owners!! :D

If you tow with the GP please put a big light on top and call me if your going to be near my neighborhood so I can run away!! Again, I say if you are going to tow just down the block then go for it. Power is not the issue, it's all about stopping!!

phecksel
03-18-2005, 11:29 AM
Thanks to all who offered advice, thoughts and opinions. I finished installing the Class II hitch on my Grand Prix last weekend, and will be making an attempt at some dry runs today or tommorrow.

As discussed ealier on, I'll be sure to keep the video camera handy and tow strap/truck on hand for the first 3 attemps. Because I'll only be going 2 blocks, the suspension wear shouldn't be a concern, along with the transmission abuse. At 210 ft.-lbs. torque, power shouldn't be an issue either. It's the traction and weight distrobution that is my main concern.

I've spoke with a few different people in the neighboorhood who stated that they've used FWD vehicle on the ramp to launch their ski boats, with no problems in the past -- cars and mini vans. Keep your fingers crossed!

PeteS,

What lake are you skiing on?

Phil

Storm861triple
03-18-2005, 11:47 AM
Power is not the issue, it's all about stopping!!

I agree, and to that end, the brakes on the GP are much better than the ones on a Chevy 1500 (which is what I tow with). I'd rather be in and emergency stopping situation w/a GP than with my truck, any day of the week.

Plus, the trailer DOES have it's own brakes.

Ric
03-18-2005, 12:38 PM
GO FOR IT!
It's definitely winter time when one of the busiest threads on the new post page is about towing a high end ski boat with a company leased Grand Prix!

jimmer2880
03-18-2005, 01:51 PM
I agree, and to that end, the brakes on the GP are much better than the ones on a Chevy 1500 (which is what I tow with). I'd rather be in and emergency stopping situation w/a GP than with my truck, any day of the week.

Plus, the trailer DOES have it's own brakes.

Since i'ts only 2 miles, I have to say that I'd try it.

It's not the stopping power when empty, rather when loaded. When towing, the lighter the towing vehicle (the Grand Prix in this case), the less stopping power it will have, as the actual stopping power is a function of both the brakes AND the amount of traction. Weight = traction.

The argument that our boats have brakes isn't necessarily a great one, since they all have surge brakes. Surge brakes need the piston inside the tongue to be pushed back towards the trailer. If the towing vehicle doesn't have enough stopping power to create that force, the trailer brakes won't do much good. Personally, if I could get away with electric brakes on my boat trailer, I would. I've never really been a fan of surge brakes.

But - like I said, if it's a flat 2 miles - I'd try it! Although, That would probably be enough of an excuse for me to go buy a Jeep! However, speaking from experience, towing a PS with a Wrangler can be very interesting also. The towing capacity of a wrangler is only 2,000#. A PS190 with a trailer is about 50% OVER that capacity. It's due to the Wrangler's light weight & very short wheelbase. The smaller Cheroke's are rated I believe for 5,000#.:twocents:

:popcorn: :popcorn:

east tx skier
03-18-2005, 01:59 PM
I might just be a bit of a red neck, but I think that's pretty damn cool.

-Tom

The guy was pretty annoying overall, but for the part of me that likes the rumble of an engine, there's something to be said for a car that can squeel tires through 4th gear. That thing sounded like a fishing boat.

And I've said it before, so I'll say it again, if I could've towed with that 96 Honda Accord I tearfully gave up for my 01 Expedition, I would have. I didn't buy my boat as a status symbol. I bought it for a ski boat. I'd rather be getting 13 more mpg out of my daily driver. Nobody ever got rich by giving his money away unnecessarily.

Ric
03-18-2005, 02:31 PM
go for it because it just might work.
Doug don't mistake my high end ski boat comment. I can understand the desire to get out and ski. It doesn't matter if it's a 30 yr old prostar or the biggest new X-bling, I personally wouldn't jeapardize the boat or crew with a questionable tow vehicle even for 2 miles, for obvious reasons.

PeteS
03-18-2005, 02:37 PM
East tx, That is interesting. I never knew about rules like that before now either. It makes sense, the I don't know how detrimental that would be the a lake over all. I wonder if it's legal here?



That was an aggravating-to-read sentence. Not every Mastercraft owner has, can afford, or really even NEEDS a suburban/3500/F-350 etc. to pull their boat two miles in and out of the water, pard.

I can tell you straight up, that if I still lived in New England (i.e. didn't have to tow 700 miles for a weekend at Lake Powell), I'd have a car for my Daily Driver, not the truck I have now. And you can bet your a$$ that car would do boat towing duty to the ramp and back. Oh wait, when I lived in Mass., I DID tow w/a car for years. Not only did it do a fine job, but it got significantly better gas milage than a truck ever could, towing or not.

Nothing wrong w/using the Grand Prix at all.
I appreciate that, Tom. Thanks for the defense.

I think my biggest problem is priorities. Most people would have thought about the tow vehicle PRIOR to buying a 2500 lb. ski boat, but I failed to. The lease on my company vehicle started 8 months prior to the boat purchase, and is a three year program. But when I set eyes on a mint '88, with 280 hours I moved on it - it was the boat of my dreams.

I sniffed around the company for someone who may be interested in trading their truck for my GP for the summer, but that failed as well. I'm 8 months away from a wedding, so cash is short, not to mention the fiancee problably wouldn't support the purchase of a new-beater in the driveway. The launch is 0.5 miles each way (measured last night), through my subdivision, and I can promise my speeds won't exceed 15 MPH. Thanks again for everyone's thoughts.

east tx skier
03-18-2005, 02:46 PM
Tom, in reply to the thing about the "no power loading" rules, it was discussed a bit on the old board. Somebody put a picture of what the problems associated with it is. I don't think it's so much of a state regulation issue as it is a rule from one ramp to another. I've not seen a sign for it at any lake I've gone in Texas.

lakes Rick
03-18-2005, 06:28 PM
When I purchased my 90 tristar, I had been towing with the wifes ( EX) toronado.. Towed the Glastron Carlson, couple of 4 wheelers, and the smaller uhaul just fine.. The Tristar was a different baby...

I can tell you this, there is nothing like having a TOW vehicle when you start to get above 2000#.... Brakes are a much bigger concern than power.. I have seen boats being towed by the WRONG vehicle, get pushed right through stop lights... BAd BAd deal.. And if you caused a death by towing over the recommended limit of a tow vehicle, I am sure you could be liable for manslaughter in todays Legal climate...

Footin
03-18-2005, 06:44 PM
I saw a Nautique beening pulled by a Dodge Aries K car once, now that was scary.

Bongo
03-18-2005, 07:06 PM
Well Pete, you've kept us in suspense. Did / does launching, or more importantly taking the boat out of the water, work with the GP?

Given the short distance and your proposed speed (15 mph), I doubt it will be hard enough on your car to worry about (for that short distance / use) nor really a safety issue (as long as you go slow). Getting too much momentum when backing it into the water and traction on the way out, especially weight transfer to the rear wheels and whether you can get enough weight on the front, are the issues. I fully expect it'll work fine - as long as you take your sweet ol' time.

Now, if you were going to go any distance at speed in traffic, I'd be concerned as you have little safety margin. The GP isn't heavy enough to stop shortly when needed. Probably never an issue - but if it is an issue, it'll be a big problem.

Pete - let us know the results.

Bongo

Storm861triple
03-18-2005, 08:34 PM
Since you many of you guys keep bringing up weight of the vehicle, I just did a quick serach and found this out.

The GP weighs about 200 lbs LESS than a Toyota Tacoma V-6 x-cab, 4x4, 5 speed.

Would the "Tac" be a decent towing vehicle? It sure would. Maybe a little down on power, but it would be safe enough.

The GP has better weight distribution that the "Tac", adn put a passenger in the GP and there's your weight.

The Trans Am I used to tow with weighted 3150 w/o a driver, on a drag strip scale. I can tell you from personal experience, that that car would out-stop my current truck while towing. My truck weighs about 4500 lbs. Point being that a 3150 lb car could out stop it. The GP about 3500. The Tacoma, is right around 3700.

Bongo
03-19-2005, 11:39 AM
While not an expert, from personal experience I believe these four factors are the most important in a good tow vehicle:
- Wheelbase
- Weight
- Power
- Drive Wheels (FWD, RWD, 4WD)

Even if one (or more) of these are deficient, you can probably overcome it with proper planning and patience. :steering:

I've had full size pick-ups ('81 Chevy 4X4, '89 GMC 4X4, '04 Ford 4X4) and full size sedans ('77 Chevy Caprice, '85 Olds Cutlas) that were good tow vehicles. Long wheelbase, heavy vehicle, decent power and rear or four wheel drive.

My roommate had a Buick (Century?) and it was a miserable tow vehicle. It had about the same wheelbase, weight and power as my Olds Cutlas (my vehicle at that time), but was front wheel drive. Lots of wheel spin at the boat ramp and a longer stopping distance (lack of weight transfer, as you'd get with RWD). And this was pulling my '77 Glastron CVX-16, which is a lot lighter than my MasterCraft.

I've used my wife's '96 Jeep Cherokee as a tow vehicle, and it was less than ideal. Decent weight, good power (4.0L) and RWD/4X4, but a short wheelbase and narrow stance. One had to be really careful at highway speeds, otherwise you might get the trailer whipping around. This was worse when pulling my four place snowmobile trailer - which loaded was slightly heavier than my MasterCraft and had a longer distance from the hitch to the trailer wheels. Of course, this could be overcome by slowing down and/or occasional use of the electric trailer brakes. One benefit is that the Jeep had a tighter turning radius, so getting trailers into tight spots was easier.

I expect one could make a Suzuki Samurai work under many conditions (unless the ramp is just too steep), but that doesn't mean I'd want to do it. And if Pete's GP can get down the ramp without threat of drowning and pull the boat up the ramp, I think that's all the vehicle he needs for his application.

----

Hey, what happened to rock, chalk, Jayhawk? The Syracuse Orangemen? Man, my NCAA bracket is toast.

Bongo

jimmer2880
03-21-2005, 05:45 AM
....The GP weighs about 200 lbs LESS than a Toyota Tacoma V-6 x-cab, 4x4, 5 speed.
.....

Wow! I never would have thought the GP would be anywhere near the Tacoma in weight. I stand corrected, you probably do stop better than the Tacoma then.

Tell us - how did it go?:popcorn:

PeteS
03-21-2005, 08:36 AM
I know I stated that I'd be testing it this weekend and end the suspense we are all in (although confident of success, myself included), but the 14 inches of ice on the lake won't allow it. I was thinking about taking the boat down, pushing it off the trailer onto the ice, so when it melts, we'll be ready!

The trailer did however sit well on the hitch, and created less compression of the suspension system than I had imagined -- the zinc draw bar provided has a 5" rise, 3500 lb. GTW, and a 300 lb. tongue weight capacity, and sets up well for my trailer.

Bongo, Rick, Jimmer and Tom, thanks for your continued thought on this. Once again, the GP with trailer and boat will never see main roads, or speeds about 15 MPH, as I want to reassure everyone of my safety concerns as well. Putting others and myself at risk far outweigh trailering my boat around town with a FWD, sports-sedan. Someone please send some warm weather up here to Michigan! Thanks again.

phecksel
03-21-2005, 12:16 PM
Someone please send some warm weather up here to Michigan! Thanks again.

IT'S COMING!!!! Half the lake is unfrozen. I want on the water so bad, may be prepared to rewinterize, just to hit the water. My little cove is the last thing to thaw!

What lake are you by?

Phil

86Craft
03-21-2005, 12:53 PM
I was the one who was ticketed :rant: for power loading in the state of Michigan @ Devils Lake. There is a law through out the state. Except if you a DNR guy with twin 150's, the law does not apply to them as they power load at every shift change.

PeteS
04-08-2005, 01:34 PM
Success! After a long-awaited thaw, the lake was finally ready for use last weekend.

I hooked up the trailer to my Grand Prix, and carefully inched the boat out of the garage, montering everything in the vehicle. The trailer sat well on the draw-bar, which has a 5" rise, and didn't compress the suspension too much.

A friend followed with his truck for emergency support, and slowly and carefully I towed the boat down to the lake, approxmately 1/2 a mile. Once we reached the launch, I unlucked it and with close supervision from the truck, slowly backed the boat and car down the launch. The brakes held fine, and there was no traction loss from the tires. Once in launching position, I stopped, and applied the parking brake. The front tries were still approximately 8' away from the water line. At that point, I put the car in low gear and slowly pulled the trailer back out of the water as somewhat of a test run. No problems.

Thanks again to everyone who voiced their input on this subject matter. In conclusion, the GP will work for launching my boat, although I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone who has to tow long distances.

erkoehler
04-08-2005, 01:46 PM
Excellent!!! I honestly didn't think it would work out in your favor, but you should have a great summer!!!

sfitzgerald351
04-08-2005, 02:40 PM
Told you it would work! (Though I still think you missed a great opportunity to get a beater truck --> "Honey, I HAVE to get a truck so I can put the boat in the water, you'll just have to not buy so many handbags this year")

jimmer2880
04-08-2005, 03:27 PM
Great - glad to hear it worked for you.

Storm861triple
04-08-2005, 07:15 PM
Gald it worked out fine and,

I knew it would! :)

Bongo
04-08-2005, 09:45 PM
Success!

Excellent. A few $$$ saved. :)

Bongo

NeilM
04-08-2005, 11:16 PM
I may as well throw in my two cents.


If the ramp isn't too steep or slippery, you should be fine. As many others have said, have a back up plan (friend with a truck and a tow rope) on your first try.

Storm861triple
04-10-2005, 01:12 PM
I may as well throw in my two cents.


If the ramp isn't too steep or slippery, you should be fine. As many others have said, have a back up plan (friend with a truck and a tow rope) on your first try.
Pst, pst...nudge, nudge... :wisper/: He's already done it, and it did work,...And he did have a back up. ;)

erkoehler
04-11-2005, 12:28 AM
Should probably take away the opportunity to vote on the poll since we know it works!

PeteS
04-11-2005, 08:47 AM
Thanks guys! The key is a slight "brake torque" as I initiate the pull out, as the boat and trailer would drag the vehicle back into the water if not careful.

The idle torque/HP in my GP isn't high enough to keep everything static when throttle isn't applied. But it works, no problems! Thanks again.

mbeach
05-18-2005, 11:21 PM
My question is, what is everyone's opinions on whether or not my car be able to get the boat and trailer back out of the water? We'll say the launch will be wet, as we have to go with worse case scenario. I don't think it'll be a question of power with 230 lb-ft of torque, rather traction. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Pete
my experience is not necessarily the power but the traction. i have a fwd van that struggles on a wet ramp. have to get wife to sit on fender for traction. good tires with lots of tread are a must. just be careful launching by yourself or you may be there a while. needless to say, pulling boat out is the problem.

jimmer2880
05-19-2005, 06:35 AM
my experience is not necessarily the power but the traction. i have a fwd van that struggles on a wet ramp. have to get wife to sit on fender for traction. good tires with lots of tread are a must. just be careful launching by yourself or you may be there a while. needless to say, pulling boat out is the problem.

Did you really just say that you use your wife as dead weight? :purplaugh

Not that I'VE EVER done such a thing myself :rolleyes:

Tom Wortham
05-25-2005, 06:11 PM
Success! After a long-awaited thaw, the lake was finally ready for use last weekend.

I hooked up the trailer to my Grand Prix, and carefully inched the boat out of the garage, montering everything in the vehicle. The trailer sat well on the draw-bar, which has a 5" rise, and didn't compress the suspension too much.

A friend followed with his truck for emergency support, and slowly and carefully I towed the boat down to the lake, approxmately 1/2 a mile. Once we reached the launch, I unlucked it and with close supervision from the truck, slowly backed the boat and car down the launch. The brakes held fine, and there was no traction loss from the tires. Once in launching position, I stopped, and applied the parking brake. The front tries were still approximately 8' away from the water line. At that point, I put the car in low gear and slowly pulled the trailer back out of the water as somewhat of a test run. No problems.

Thanks again to everyone who voiced their input on this subject matter. In conclusion, the GP will work for launching my boat, although I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone who has to tow long distances.

Pete, I know you talked about the "launch"... Nice Work. Curious to know if you tried pulling your boat back out of the water with it. :eek3: Sorry if I missed that in the 10+ pages of this thread. :uglyhamme

PeteS
05-26-2005, 08:48 AM
Pete, I know you talked about the "launch"... Nice Work. Curious to know if you tried pulling your boat back out of the water with it. :eek3: Sorry if I missed that in the 10+ pages of this thread. :uglyhamme
No problem, Tom! I've been utilizing the Grand Prix for towing and launching for about a month now, with no problems dropping or pulling the boat out.

Last weekend I was caught in a rain storm, and was concerened that with the wet ramp, traction may be an issue. I'm happy to report that there was no tire slippage what so ever, and the boat was pulled out with no issues.

It's simply a matter of a light "brake torque" (to prevent rolling back down the ramp), follow by a slow pullout. Thanks for your interest, and again for all's help along the way.