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launching with a 2wd?

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  • #16
    Even with 4WD, unless the rear differential is a locker, you still only have two wheel drive. One front wheel and the opposite wheel in the rear will lose traction and you will still be stuck. I've seen it happen lots of times. In fact I once saw a pickup stuck in a perfectly flat parking lot on glare ice. Couldn't move for the reason I just provided.

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    • #17
      I use a crown Victoria to tow and launch my 22' pontoon im estimating the boat and trailer weighs a hair over 3000lbs and i haven't had any problems yet in 5 or so years.

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      • #18
        Something noteworthy maybe, is that your luck may change with different ramp designs and conditions.....

        I'm sure there are a lot of ramps that will and won't work.

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        • #19
          Used a FWD compact SUV to tow a #2500 boat and trailer when wet. You should be fine getting up most ramps with that setup. I have one ramp near me you would have no chance in hell of getting up since most 4x4 trucks have a hard time.
          2018 Glastron GT 185 | Mercury 4.5L 200HP
          1977 Crestliner Crusader 550 | 1977 Mercury 850 [SOLD to my father]
          1962 Scott unknown model | 1977 Mercury 50 HP [SOLD]

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          • #20
            Matt167,if you are looking to launch in Weedsport,you should look into cross lake marina.nice concrete launch,you can get to the Seneca river and the canal within about 15 minutes

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            • #21
              Originally posted by JimS123 View Post
              I have been launching my boats in the Erie Canal for 52 years. 51 of those years was with a 2W RWD "Car", not a truck. Half of those years the car had a 3 spd manual trans. The biggest boat weighed in at about 3000 pounds.

              If you are talking about the Niagara end of the canal (Pendleton to Tonawanda) there are 4 ramps available, and none are steep and all are hard faced. If you want to use the Service Road ramp, just don't back in too far since the end of the ramp past the concrete is totally worn away from people power loading.

              You won't have a problem.
              Jim. My Uncle that still lives in N.T. towed, launched and retrieved his big heavy 18' cedar strip with a huge 80HP Johnson strapped to it on the river and the canal in the 60's with an AMC Rambler, rear wheel drive. I remember those huge bolt on side view mirrors he put on every time he hit the water. That was before it was mandatory in North America to tow anything heavier than a Tinny with a full size 4X4. Have ramps changed that much? I'm seriously asking how they did it then without 1/2 ton 4X4's?

              Back when we had real winters in Ontario and the southern tier we hit the Ski slopes anytime we could. From Georgian Bay in Ontario to the hills in the Southern Tier (Western NY) in out rear wheel drive V8's, my old Ford Econoline van that had zero weight in the back and even Dad's VW Beetle. We got stuck a few times, that what shovels, old pieces of rugs, floor matts and Kitty littler was for. I knew no one that had anything close to a 4X4.
              Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Old Ironmaker View Post

                Jim. My Uncle that still lives in N.T. towed, launched and retrieved his big heavy 18' cedar strip with a huge 80HP Johnson strapped to it on the river and the canal in the 60's with an AMC Rambler, rear wheel drive.

                That was before it was mandatory in North America to tow anything heavier than a Tinny with a full size 4X4. Have ramps changed that much? I'm seriously asking how they did it then without 1/2 ton 4X4's?
                I'm not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me.

                RWD full perimeter frame cars were always suitable for towing.

                The ramps on the Erie Canal were always blacktop or concrete, so there was never a problem, and there has been no change.

                Using a freekin pickumuptruck in North American was not and is not mandatory. The only people that may think that are youngins that don't have a clue.

                Funny story....last year we docked at Gratwick with our heavy I/O bowrider and I walked to my car as a couple of kidlings sat on the park bench. When I opened my trunk lid they walked over and said they wondered who was pulling that big tandem trailer and how could it possibly pull a boat. I backed in, connected the power winch and with no effort at all the boat was out of the water and the car was up in the parking lot. All thee time they stood there with their mouths open.

                Click image for larger version

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                2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JimS123 View Post

                  I'm not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me.

                  RWD full perimeter frame cars were always suitable for towing.

                  The ramps on the Erie Canal were always blacktop or concrete, so there was never a problem, and there has been no change.

                  Using a freekin pickumuptruck in North American was not and is not mandatory. The only people that may think that are youngins that don't have a clue.

                  Funny story....last year we docked at Gratwick with our heavy I/O bowrider and I walked to my car as a couple of kidlings sat on the park bench. When I opened my trunk lid they walked over and said they wondered who was pulling that big tandem trailer and how could it possibly pull a boat. I backed in, connected the power winch and with no effort at all the boat was out of the water and the car was up in the parking lot. All thee time they stood there with their mouths open.

                  [ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","data-attachmentid":10831632**[/ATTACH]
                  Jim I would never disagree with you even if I was right and you were respectfully mistaken. I agree with you that cars, nice big cars, can tow and launch a boat, even nice big boats. You just proved it. With the right car and a good ramp it can still be done. Heck it was done for years, My question has been answered. I'm coming over for Canal Fest this summer. I hope. I haven't been in many years. I imagine it has grown like everything else canal related. I won't bring the boat, most likely no spot for it anyway. I have not spent a night on it since I took the mooring cover off one morning and found a 5 foot water snake napping in it.
                  Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Old Ironmaker View Post

                    I'm coming over for Canal Fest this summer. I hope. I haven't been in many years. I imagine it has grown like everything else canal related. I won't bring the boat, most likely no spot for it anyway.
                    The footprint of the Festival is exactly the same. However, there are maybe 1 or 2 vendor booths that are not there any more because their spaces were taken up by city facilities that have been built in recent years.

                    These days, parking is a problem. You might have to walk for blocks. Local stores (even Tops supermarket) rope off their lots and charge a parking fee. (I don't mind the walk)

                    The waterfront has undergone a remarkable upgrade. New docks, power / water poles, benches, restrooms, landscaping etc. have made docking a preferred place to be. Of course, during Canal Fest they are docked 3 and 4 boats deep.

                    We vacation the first week, so we hadn't been there in probably 10 years. We went last year. Still looked the same. My wife has a business and she sets up a booth on the last weekend. They close down Webster Street for 2 days for the Craft fair. There will be a sea of white EZUP pop up tents lining the street. The one with the blue top will be her. Say IBoats and you'll get a discount....
                    2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                    2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                    2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                    1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                    1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                    1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                    69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                    -------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

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                    • #25
                      We will keep our eyes open for her spot JimS123 . PM us with some details. I don't know what her business is but I'm sure my Lady will find something we may or may not need.
                      Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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                      • #26
                        I've got a line on an '07 GMC 2500 classic at auction which I'll grab if it goes cheap enough.
                        1961 Custom Craft Sea Ray- 1964 Mercury 650. In family since new.

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                        • #27
                          All depends on the ramp... At my local ramp the only paved surface is the concrete slab angled down at 45 degrees. The rest is all pea gravel. It is amazing that you can actually get used to the boat sliding a vehicle down the ramp, but it happens nearly every time! Usually it is only about a foot or two until you run out of gravel. 2wd's would have a very hard time at this ramp unless it was a very light boat.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by H20Rat View Post
                            All depends on the ramp... At my local ramp the only paved surface is the concrete slab angled down at 45 degrees. The rest is all pea gravel. It is amazing that you can actually get used to the boat sliding a vehicle down the ramp, but it happens nearly every time! Usually it is only about a foot or two until you run out of gravel. 2wd's would have a very hard time at this ramp unless it was a very light boat.
                            Design specifications for a boat launching ramp require an angle of between 12 and 15 degrees. The City Engineer in charge of your ramp should have been fired. With that kind of slope, I could foresee many accidents.

                            My local ramp used to meet all the requirements, but many years of abuse made the facility less than stellar. Finally, the entire ramp was upgraded because a cost analysis showed that the capital improvement was cheaper than the recent lawsuits.

                            (abuse = power loading; 45 degrees = wholly mackerel; mackerel = ****)
                            2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                            2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                            2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                            1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                            1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                            1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                            69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                            -------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

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                            • #29
                              Power loading at the launches I would use are no bueno. They are monitored by park officers and an offense that can get you a ticket.. When tickets and fines pays for the park, you bet they'll write them.
                              1961 Custom Craft Sea Ray- 1964 Mercury 650. In family since new.

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                              • #30
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                                Originally posted by matt167 View Post
                                Power loading at the launches I would use are no bueno. They are monitored by park officers and an offense that can get you a ticket.. When tickets and fines pays for the park, you bet they'll write them.
                                I would happily launch at your facility. In my case, though, there are no "Park Officers". It is monitored solely by the police, who spend little time there, and their only concern is to ticket the trailers that don't have the proper launch permit sticker next to the licence plate.
                                2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                                2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                                2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                                1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                                1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                                1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                                69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                                -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

                                Comment

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