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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone towed a trailered boat yet or plan to in the future? I’ve seen the youtube video of the Crimson red Ascent backing up and pulling a boat out of the water. I know they’re rated to tow 5000lbs max, but I was wondering what the max weight of boat/trailer I should stick to. I’m not looking to go over 5000 lbs, but is 4500 safe? The trailer would also have brakes.
 

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I have towed many boats for many yrs with my Subarus.

So boats are almost always some of the nicest towing trailers items for two reasons. Boat trailers due to how boats carry their weight have the axle set far back on thd trailer. This physically adds stability to the boat trailer.

But it can also pending on the boat result in a very heavy tongue weight also.

Each boat type / model is its own animal regarding weight when Fueled and carrying the needed gear for a trip to the bay or lake etc.

My current boats are sailboats which again are a different animal all together. But at ond time I was a water skiier and doing lots of the power boating stuff. My current interest in power boats are laser cut skiff kits that weigh fractions of what fiberglass production boats weight today. Add big heavy powerful engines and we’re talking even more weight. Add 8lbs a gallon for fuel hungry hulls and its even more weight.....

I have found my Subarus have been excellent pulling boats up slick salt water ramps without so much as a tire slip while big diesel monster trucks have nearly gone swimming with lesser boats in tow.

It all comes back to the boats you think you need vs the weight reality of what your tow car will ideally haul to your destinations of interest. Some of my favorite summer lakes have climbs that match the worst tow climbs used by Ford and GM to test their trucks. Which case I know from experience that half the tow rating is about max for getting to those locations without frying your vehicle.

But many of my favorite places the Subaru can easily haul to loaded full of camping gear and boat with no issues.

So you need to think about all those things combined when choosing your boat. Not just whats the biggest boat under 5000lbs can I get?
 

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I like this boat
16ft it won a performance challienge 20hp 20+mph 63mile range on 5gallons of fuel.
600lbs with trailer weight a conservative 1000lbs. 6 person CG rated
Designer is in Washington State

The designer was on the design and build team for these boats.


This is your typical 16foot production boat
https://bayliner.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Bayliner-MY2018-Spec-Sheets-ElementE16.pdf

2145lbs rough 60hp estimated weight with trailer. All though most of these have 80hp which is nearly another 200lbs in engine weight, keep in mind that is a dry weight no Fuel. Add
8lbs per gallon for fuel.

So you can see how it’s important to really understand the specific boat your eyeing regarding final towing weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is your typical 16foot production boat
https://bayliner.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Bayliner-MY2018-Spec-Sheets-ElementE16.pdf

2145lbs rough 60hp estimated weight with trailer. All though most of these have 80hp which is nearly another 200lbs in engine weight, keep in mind that is a dry weight no Fuel. Add
8lbs per gallon for fuel.

So you can see how it’s important to really understand the specific boat your eyeing regarding final towing weight.
One of the boats that I have considered is actually the Bayliner VR5 bowrider with a 150hp Mercury outboard motor. According to the specs, the VR5 weight with trailer is about 3619 lbs. Add another 264 lbs of fuel from its 33 gallon tank and I’m looking at 3883 lbs.

I hear a lot from people who think we shouldn’t be towing with a CVT and towing 5000 lbs would kill the transmission within 30k. Is that something to worry about?
 

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Not really. I actually have found the cvt is very good towing as it should be. Much wider range of ratios and once it locks up at 10-12 mph it stays locked up.

The negative? I would only do drain fills at the Subaru dealer. Its just too easy to screw up and Subaru will step up and make it right if a dealer screws up.

For many yrs I towed my 21ft 8.5ft wide racing sailboat with my Legacy GT. Towed beautifully all up just me 1700 lbs and it sat low nearly roof line height. I can’t tell you how many truck guys lectured me about it at gas pumps and boat ramps. One of which nearly lost his truck launching a 16ft aluminum dinghy after I pulled my 21ft boat out. LOL

My legacy was sold at 180,000 miles 100% operational. The kid who bought it traded it in with over 300,000 on it for a new one recently.

My 2010 Subaru has over 106,000 on it zero issues.

Do I drag my trailers up long climbs at red line in 100+ degree CA summer temps? No!!

I have a 05 Sequoia its the 4.7L V8 its a nice truck. I’ve hauled 4000lbs with it. Its not great I wouldn’t be hauling 4000lbs up steep hot climbs to the lake with it. 3000-3500lbs yeah it would be ok but working hard. Its rated at 5000lbs by the way.

So would I drag 4000lbs with 5-8 passengers up to the lake with the Ascent? Probably once then encourage a second car and 2-3 passengers in the Ascent.

When we hauled our 18ft ski boat with 351 i/o we took 6-7 people in a E250 conversion van. Its heavy hauling when it comes to that.

I just doubt it’s something you find enjoyable if the road conditions are challenging.
 

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Towed a fully loaded 21' bass boat and it's over 3,000 for sure possibly up to 3,800 and it does it, but not happily. Most concerning are the noises it makes while doing it, i'm sure it's fine but would hate to tow day in and out at anything over maybe 2,000lbs. The steering is also a bit too sensitive for me on the highway.

The Enclave and Acadia I were alot more content when towing and if you plan on towing alot and anything over 2k i would seriously consider a used Enclave or Traverse..the new Acadia is alot smaller now and not in the same category as the Ascent.
The suspension on Traverse and Enclave also seems alot better suited for towing as the Ascent seems to have a softer rear spring.

Possibly the best uni-body tow vehicle is the Durango with it;s optional V8 and 7,500lb rating. But in general not a fan of Dodge products. If i were towing everyday and wanted the convenience of a Uni-Body SUV i might have to get one.
 
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