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  1. #1
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    Question Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Greetings!

    First off, if there ever was a newbie on these forums with no idea about boating, that's ME!


    So, please help me in the lamest terms with the above assumption. Sincerely, thank you.

    Scenario:
    i) I live half a mile from a lake.
    ii) We are planning to buy a used Honda CR-V with a standard 4 cylinder engine (budget constraints apply).
    iii) We would like to buy & then tow a used boat with it, other than a Jon boat.
    Something we can fish off over the weekends. The boat does not have to be fancy at all, however it
    must come with a windshield (Wife likes those boat shapes. Please do not ask why
    ). Just a boat
    that can take us from point A to point B on the lake, 3-4 people at most.

    Below are the details I have been able to research regarding the towing capacity for the yet to be bought
    Honda CR-V.

    Please advise what sort of used boat I should be looking for. And what sort of trailer it should be on.


    Again, Thank you.

    Honda CR-V towing capacity:

    Total weight the car can move up the road is 2200 lb. (plus its own weight of course, which is approx. 3600 lb).

    Total weight the car can carry including driver is 850 lb. (it does not elaborate regarding fuel weight so it can be assumed that you may have a full tank also) Gross weight of car only and its occupants is 4450 lb.

    Total weight the car can tow including weight of trailer itself is 1500 lb.
    Ideal weight distribution of trlr load is to have 10% of it as tongue weight. This would be 150 lb. That 150 lb is deducted from passenger cargo, so that now becomes only 700 lb.

    Elaboration; total passenger and cargo weight limit including the driver and a potential tongue load of a trailer is 850 lb. i.e. Weight limit in or on the car is 850 lb. If you are towing a trailer of maximum weight then the ideal tongue load will be 150 lb. This 150 lb will reduce interior cargo and passenger weight limit to 700 lb.

    It also goes on to say that any trailer gross weight exceeding 1000 lb requires that the trailer has its own brakes. So Honda is suggesting that the max allowable weight the car could be going up the road with and being able to stop safely without extra brakes on a trailer is only 1700 lb. That 1700 lb consists of all passengers, all cargo, all tongue weight, all weight in a trailer and the trailer weight itself.

    Source


  2. #2
    Rear Admiral oldjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Only question - CR-V when you intend to tow something, why? The point in your favor is that you havn't bought it yet. Take a look at Kia Sorrento and other small utility vehicles that have a reasonable towing capacity.
    2012 Malibu VTX w/Diamond Hull, Monsoon 350

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  3. #3
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Well, I consider 1500# a reasonable towing capacity for a compact SUV. Either the CRV or a Forester can do that and both are bulletproof vehicles that won't break the bank at the gas station. The challenge is to find a lightweight, compact boat that would make the Admiral happy.

    I am a fisherman and I would strongly favor a classic Boston Whaler 13' Sport or Super Sport, but they look more like miniature yachts than speedboats. There are other good, safe fishing boats in that size range that aren't green jon boats, though a Jon is a great fishing boat.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Honda does some weird stuff with the AWD that you might find will give you some trouble on the boat launch. I'd just be careful. I feel like there's probably other cars that get the gas mileage (which is why I'm assuming you'd be buying a CRV) for cheaper and could tow better than the CRV.

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral NYBo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Welcome to iboats!

    Your only hope is an aluminum v-hull with a modest outboard, say 50 HP. A fiberglass boat of the same configuration will weigh more. I used to own a fiberglass bass boat that was within your weight restriction, but at 14', there was no way to accommodate more than 2 people comfortably. And it had no windshield.
    Bob
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    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Quote Originally Posted by MCNPathfinder View Post
    Honda does some weird stuff with the AWD that you might find will give you some trouble on the boat launch. I'd just be careful. I feel like there's probably other cars that get the gas mileage (which is why I'm assuming you'd be buying a CRV) for cheaper and could tow better than the CRV.
    Beat me to it... The crv's in particular have lots of complaints on their AWD. (at least prior to 2012) They are primarily FWD, and the rear tires only kick on after you are in trouble and stuck (front tires have to spin a couple revolutions for the rear to notice anything is happening). Not sure how it will handle a ramp situation, but I'm guessing for the rated tow load, it will be fine.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    If you are at max towing weight and have exceeded the GCVW, (which is easily done with a marginal tow rig like a CRV) you can start ditching passengers and gear to keep the load you want to tow.
    Or, buy something with more towing capacity. Learn the GCVW of the CRV.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Thank you for the info. And here I had incorrectly assumed that Fiber glass boats would have been lighter. Back to the "V-Hull" shape, are there any particular boats types/name brands that you could recommend? My hope is to know what I am searching for when I am looking at used boat ads. on Craigslist, for example. Thank you, again.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYBo View Post
    Welcome to iboats!

    Your only hope is an aluminum v-hull with a modest outboard, say 50 HP. A fiberglass boat of the same configuration will weigh more. I used to own a fiberglass bass boat that was within your weight restriction, but at 14', there was no way to accommodate more than 2 people comfortably. And it had no windshield.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    A new vehicle and a boat and budget constraints don't make a good mix. A CRV with a 4 cylinder engine will never tow anything significant. The most cash efficient way to boat is to have a friend with a boat. When choosing a vehicle it helps to think about how you are really going to use it. If towing is important then pick something else.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Sweeeeet....... something like this or this ? Would it be safe to assume that generally speaking 13' boats would
    meet the tow criteria for the CRV? How about the Trailer? Do I need independent brakes on it? As you can see I have been trying to educate myself a little on towing boats.


    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Well, I consider 1500# a reasonable towing capacity for a compact SUV. Either the CRV or a Forester can do that and both are bulletproof vehicles that won't break the bank at the gas station. The challenge is to find a lightweight, compact boat that would make the Admiral happy.

    I am a fisherman and I would strongly favor a classic Boston Whaler 13' Sport or Super Sport, but they look more like miniature yachts than speedboats. There are other good, safe fishing boats in that size range that aren't green jon boats, though a Jon is a great fishing boat.

  11. #11
    Petty Officer 1st Class erie_guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    I would look for something like this one. It is aluminum and v-hull with windshield and canvas (bimini top) Mirrocraft is a good boat. Weight should not be a problem as this boat is probably less than 1000#. Check weight of boats on internet sites such as KBB, NAA blue book, or Bucs list.

    Only problem is that this one is in Ohio and a long drive for you.


    http://toledo.craigslist.org/boa/3039039594.html

    Have fun
    Erie_guy
    Port Clinton, OH

  12. #12
    Commander sutor623's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Hey bud. I am a CR-V owner, and trust me it was not fun being in this same dilemma. The V tows, handles, and stops my load perfectly. I havent ever even kicked into AWD at the boat ramp. It also gets between 18-20MPG pulling 1500lbs.

    Here is my rig. I just changed trailers over. Load rite makes a trailer that weights 290lbs. and can hold 1790lbs. Gross weight. It took me a lot to get here, but here I am. 1986 Starcraft (610lbs. factory) 1967 Merc 65hp (240lbs.) and 2012 Load Rite trailer(290lbs.) I know that weighs 1140lbs. but my actual dry weight comes in at 1210lbs. I usually have 2 marine batteries, gas kicker, 15 gallons of gas, coolers and all that jazz. Scaled in just under 1500lbs. Trust me, it will take some time, but now that I am here it is totally worth it. P.S. ANY Cr-v BEFORE 2008 had to have trailer brakes on 1000lbs. or more. In 2008 the manual lifted the requirement for trailer brakes.



  13. #13
    Commander sutor623's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Oh and one other thing. I have pulled a fiberglass boat that was foam soaked, with three other people in the car. Boat and trailer scaled 1740. lbs, and cargo in the car was totally maxed out. Stupid, but V did fine. Weak link seemed to be the suspension on big humps/bumps. Pulled it fine, and stopped it fine. Again, I am NOT encouraging this, just giving you my past experiences as I was in the same BOAT as you at one point. Spend a little time searching CL, and you will find the proper rig. It took me over a year to get what I have and get it where its at. I have Under $2000 and LOTS of time in my rig, but it is nice to know that if something happens, I will be within my towing specs. P.M. me if you want to BS about it.

    Oh, and one more thing. Load Rite trailer manual said if towing less than 2000lbs. to try and keep the tongue load at 5% total weight, and 7% for loads greater than 2000lbs. That puts even less strain on the Cr-V rear suspension, and shaves off a bit of axle weight on back of the V.

  14. #14
    Rear Admiral lncoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Gam, things like topography, climate and the waters you plan to frequent figure heavily into the equation. Where are you?
    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
    21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    I use my 04 Trailblazer to pull my 16' and it works great.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Snaaaaaaaaappppppp!!!!!! You guys are awesome with information. Thank you for that extremely detailed, w/pictures I might add, post sir. This whole CRV + boat thing now seems like an extremely possible reality from a figment of my imagination.

    I understand your advise with the attached caution. However, please note as I said earlier, I live just half a mile from the lake. So towing that short distance is not going to be an issue. That said, the initial trip from the CL seller's to my place is going to be.

    Please do clarify the following...the Starcraft that I searched online comes with a Windshield. Like this one. Did you remove yours? And is your boat also 16'?

    JB above has recommended a Boston Whaler 13'. Which I presume is lighter.

    Lastly, it looks like you did a lot of math/research to get your weight distribution correct. Since each boat on CL
    is somewhat custom, how will I go about determining its weight or asking the seller for it prior to its purchase?

    Thank you again, sir.

    iBoat forums rock!


    Quote Originally Posted by sutor623 View Post
    Oh and one other thing. I have pulled a fiberglass boat that was foam soaked, with three other people in the car. Boat and trailer scaled 1740. lbs, and cargo in the car was totally maxed out. Stupid, but V did fine. Weak link seemed to be the suspension on big humps/bumps. Pulled it fine, and stopped it fine. Again, I am NOT encouraging this, just giving you my past experiences as I was in the same BOAT as you at one point. Spend a little time searching CL, and you will find the proper rig. It took me over a year to get what I have and get it where its at. I have Under $2000 and LOTS of time in my rig, but it is nice to know that if something happens, I will be within my towing specs. P.M. me if you want to BS about it.

    Oh, and one more thing. Load Rite trailer manual said if towing less than 2000lbs. to try and keep the tongue load at 5% total weight, and 7% for loads greater than 2000lbs. That puts even less strain on the Cr-V rear suspension, and shaves off a bit of axle weight on back of the V.

  17. #17
    Commander sutor623's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Yeah man, no problem bro. Glad I could help. I did do a lot of math and research. If you look on nadaguides.com, it will tell you the dry weight of each boat. Just dont rely solely on this number though, because water soaked floatation foam and all that jazz can really change the weight of the boat. Only sure way to test it is to take it to the local scale. If the owner doesnt want to ride up there with you to weigh it then he doesnt want to sell the boat. Dont trust the ol "strap her on and see how she pulls her" bit because thats how I got screwed into the water logged piece of crap that weighed 1740lbs. WITHOUT a motor on it. Trust me it is hard to tell the weight of a rig just by pulling it.

    To clarify, yes this boat is 16'. It is the fishmaster (FM160) so it did not come with the full windshield, like the 16' supersport or SS version did. The SS weighs more, but not too much more. Trailer weight is much harder to find. If the tag is worn off or it doesnt say on the title you may be guessing. As far as ride quality, it is aluminum, so it can be a little rough in light chop. But that is all part of the equation. Sacrifice a BIG tow vehicle and a BIG fiberglass boat with a BIG hp motor, and you also sacrifice some of your ride quality. BUT, I can plane out my boat at 1/2 throttle or less, and burn 2-3 gallons per hour cruising with the wife and dog.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Here are a few ideas...
    1. As far as getting it home from the CL seller, as a buddy to help you pull it home. BTW, for my first boat, a friend pulled it home behind a new generation VW bug. I did not have a trailer hitch yet (or rent a tow vehicle.)

    2. The windshield will really increase the drag at speed, making it harder to pull.

    3. Consider getting a transmission cooler.

    TerryMSU

  19. #19
    Commander sutor623's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMSU View Post

    3. Consider getting a transmission cooler.
    There has been a lot of discussion on this matter. Honda does not offer one from the factory because they simply say that you do not need a cooler if you tow 1500lbs. or less. All of the newer Cr-v's come with an automatic tranny from the factory, which already has a tranny cooler in it. All that is recommended in this case is to change the ATF at 30,000miles rather than 60,000miles. I do not believe it will be necessary to pull the boat home with a different vehicle if he stays at or under 1500lbs. As someone that regularly uses this vehicle on 30min. to 2 hour trips, and have made a few 5+ hour trips with it, the O.P. will be just fine towing it home with the V.

    And to you gam, the pre 2007 model cr-vs are less robust. If you are planning on pulling with the V Id at least recommend getting an '07 or newer. In 2011 the V bumped up from 166hp to 184hp. And in 2008, in the factory manual the need for trailer brakes above 1000lb. loads is removed. All in all, 2008 or newer would be your best bet. And don't even try it with the 2001 and earlier. I think they have a 1000lb. tow rating, and I wouldnt even like towing that with it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Quote Originally Posted by Jryals View Post
    I use my 04 Trailblazer to pull my 16' and it works great.
    An 04 trailblazer is a body-on-frame suv with a robust 6 cylinder. The CRV isn't in the same class so there is no sense in comparing. The Trailblazer could tow the CRV, plus the boat plus a couple of jet skis and far beyond that if you wanted to.

    Just tossing this out there boat wise, but a 1980's Bayliner with an 85hp outboard weighs 1090lbs with the engine plus a pretty light trailer. So light you can pick up the back of the trailer to move it. They will also go low 40's so are quick and capable. The are low to the water for fishing, have the windshield, and are cheap but you'd have to find a decent one. I mention that if you aren't enthused to have an aluminum fishing boat.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V


    Ahh.....the trailer info. puzzle too has been resolved!!!

    And yes, I will certainly look into installing a transmission cooler.

    Thank you Mr.TerryMSU!

    In fact, thank you ALL contributors!



    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMSU View Post
    Here are a few ideas...
    1. As far as getting it home from the CL seller, as a buddy to help you pull it home. BTW, for my first boat, a friend pulled it home behind a new generation VW bug. I did not have a trailer hitch yet (or rent a tow vehicle.)

    2. The windshield will really increase the drag at speed, making it harder to pull.

    3. Consider getting a transmission cooler.

    TerryMSU

  22. #22
    Cadet pesky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    I just towed my 18 ft Starcraft Offshore I/O with my 2005 CRV and was pleasantly surprised how much power she had. The boat/motor is 1600llbs not including trailer and she pulled it fine and in and out of the launch was easy, no hesitation or slippage. No loss of speed or power going up some big hills and over bridges either. Just be prepared to fill up more frequently, she really sucks gas with the boat behind her. I would usually get 400-425km on a tank of gas, with the boat that dropped to 300km.

    I also owned the previous generation CRV and agree they were pretty gutless and I wouldn't recommend them for towing a boat really.

  23. #23
    Commander sutor623's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Quote Originally Posted by pesky View Post
    I just towed my 18 ft Starcraft Offshore I/O with my 2005 CRV and was pleasantly surprised how much power she had. The boat/motor is 1600llbs not including trailer and she pulled it fine and in and out of the launch was easy, no hesitation or slippage. No loss of speed or power going up some big hills and over bridges either. Just be prepared to fill up more frequently, she really sucks gas with the boat behind her. I would usually get 400-425km on a tank of gas, with the boat that dropped to 300km.

    I also owned the previous generation CRV and agree they were pretty gutless and I wouldn't recommend them for towing a boat really.
    Man you are one ballsy guy.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    I think your options would expand expentionally if you dropped the windsheild. the carolina skiff's (or somehing like it) like the j14, are fairly inexpensive and great to either cruise or fish out of. I don't think your CR-V would have any problems pulling the J-14 with the center console and a 30-40hp on it.

    I love my little skiff. I have 4 people out on it run around the lake all day on 6 gallons of gas and great to fish out of.
    just my .02 cents. If you could somehow convince the admiral that a windshield is not that important (i know probably out of the questions) In my experience, windshields on boats are kinda useless unless out on the bay with some chop and wind to keep the spray outta your face. It'll still be windy either way.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Please help : what boat can I tow with my Honda CR-V

    Ah, the iboats overthink. Seems like everyone has overlooked the most important fact--it's a half-mile tow.

    Forget the windshield drag.*

    Forget the transmission cooler

    Forget the brakes (save weight and $$). Small boats don't need them.

    If the weight in the car is an issue, make two trips. Same with gear in the boat.

    Lighten the tongue weight some.

    Drive carefully.

    In a clear area by yourself, test the braking limitations so you know how to space yourself.

    Unless the ramp is unusually steep it shouldn't be a factor.

    If no windshield is a deal breaker, get a 14' tinny with a windshield. But let your wife know that she has severely compromised usable space in a boat that small. Or just take the girlfriend instead.

    Remember what those numbers in the owner's manual are for. First, they are set below tested standards b/c they know people will go over. (Does anyone weigh their gear, and especially passengers? Try asking the wife and daughters to register at the scales before entering the vehicle. Right.) Second they are for highway worst case conditions. Third they are for unskilled drivers. Use that margin to your advantage.

    it's not rocket surgery. Put away the coefficient charts, slide rule and pocket protector and go boating!



    *If I were ever going to use a "smiley" it would be the face-smack one here. Seriously.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

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