Bare minimum to tow a drift boat?

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Combat Chuck

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I suddenly have a strange desire to look at small drift boats (12-14'). What do I need to tow one of these? I realize some ramps just arent happening without a 4X4 but can I get out of most ramps with a 4 cyl. 2X4 manual transmission Ford Ranger? A different truck just isn't happening, so dont tell me to go buy a new loaded Tacoma ;)
 
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juggernaut506

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You'll be fine towing and launching with your truck. Just make sure your back tires don't go off the end of the concrete. You may just want some better tires if you want to launch it off of some unimproved boat launches.
 
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Combat Chuck

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Cool, I just talked with a guy that thought I could do it even with a bigger boat. I think I want to stay on the safe side though and stick to small. So, anybody want to trade for a toon :lol:
 
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juggernaut506

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I bet you could get a bigger drift boat and have no problem. I've pulled my 14" boat full of gear up a snow covered boat ramp on the Willamette during duck season with my friends Subaru. It wasn't easy but it did it.
 
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capblack

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what type of driftboat??

what type of driftboat??

what type of driftboat makes a lot of difference. We had a 16 ft aluminum when I was young, and we pulled it with a nissan sentra. But that had front wheel drive, you may want to put some weight in the back of your pickup, just to help. The wood and glass boats are quite a bit heavier. happy fishing, Brian
 
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GraphiteZen

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I would be more than a little cautious... One thing to consider would be the fact that when trying to pull anything up an incline from a stand-still you only get a few chances before you're close to going in the drink. Usually if you can't go up you almost always go backwards a little bit each attempt. If I were you I would mount a winch on your front. Having boated with a buddy that used to pull a 12' fiberglass Clackacraft with a Toyota the same size as mine I know that if you decide to use a ramp you can barely make it up in dry weather and it rains unexpectedly, You. Are. Hosed.

I used to be the guy that got to shove blocks behind his tires if he couldn't make it up and started to slide backwards (once you start a slide with locked tires it's sometimes impossible to stop. Even if you try to spin them forward, you just keep sliding...) I never told him this but I'm pretty confidant that my hands are worth more than his used truck and used boat combined... But I was a good friend regardless.. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

My point: Don't chance it. Get a 4x or get a winch.
 
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fishinmachine

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I had a 1983 Toyota 2wd and I pulled a 17' Koffler wide bottom with no problems. I was able to put in and take out of a lot of places improved or not. that being said, I got very creative with rope and the winch on the trailer. There are obvious places a 2wd pickup just won't cut it, but if you can pull/winch the boat to the spot where the 2wd will be fine, well, rock and roll.
 
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kornphlake

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A lot of people really think 4wd is necessary for average conditions, look at all the AWD Subarus running around! Truth be told common sense and conservative actions will keep you from getting stuck independant of how much traction your vehicle can provide.

A winch is 10x better than 4wd, simply because even with 4wd you can still get stuck, a ramp covered in ice is a good example, if all 4 tires are slipping you'll never make it up the ramp. With a winch you've got to be really stuck to make getting out impossible. Unfortuantely a WARN winch won't mount to the front of your truck, mounting kits are only available for 4x4 models, and only for Rangers as new as 2003. You may be able to find some kind of aftermarket or off brand winch mount for your truck though.

A winch is more of a lifetime investment, you can easily remove a winch from your truck and put it on a new truck in the future. There are Warn winches around that are nearly 30 years old and still being used.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Receiver...

Receiver...

A lot of people really think 4wd is necessary for average conditions, look at all the AWD Subarus running around! Truth be told common sense and conservative actions will keep you from getting stuck independant of how much traction your vehicle can provide.

A winch is 10x better than 4wd, simply because even with 4wd you can still get stuck, a ramp covered in ice is a good example, if all 4 tires are slipping you'll never make it up the ramp. With a winch you've got to be really stuck to make getting out impossible. Unfortuantely a WARN winch won't mount to the front of your truck, mounting kits are only available for 4x4 models, and only for Rangers as new as 2003. You may be able to find some kind of aftermarket or off brand winch mount for your truck though.

A winch is more of a lifetime investment, you can easily remove a winch from your truck and put it on a new truck in the future. There are Warn winches around that are nearly 30 years old and still being used.

They make a receiver, the same style as on the rear of the truck? I have a friend that has one on the front of his truck (2WD) and that's where he mounts his winch, I believe it is a 2 inch receiver.

Chuck
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Drift boats are versitile and light. My Clackacraft 16' is only 350lbs. There are time I can't get to the launch point with my heavey F350 crew cab. We dump the boat and slide and pull it to the river. You are much better off with the lighter truck and should do OK. Just be a little innovative and you can get your drift boat to the water. To get the boat out sometimes I've used the trailer winch tied a rope to the winch strap and hauled away. It can be an adventure and I'm sure you are up to it.;)
 
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kornphlake

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They make a receiver, the same style as on the rear of the truck? I have a friend that has one on the front of his truck (2WD) and that's where he mounts his winch, I believe it is a 2 inch receiver.

Chuck
It's not listed in the application guide, my experiences is that if it isn't in the application guide it isn't worth the hassle of trying to get something else to fit.

I hadn't thought of a Multi-Mount though, I'm sure you could find some kind of front receiver for pulling the truck behind an RV and use that to mount a winch. That let's you winch out from behind too, which is convenient in the most inconvenient times.
 
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gonefirefighting

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you will be fine, I have towed a drift boat with a golf cart before, no prob
 
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A_J-Llama

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winch

winch

get yourself a chainsaw winch, they're portable and can be used on either end:lol: who needs a mounting plate anyways;) ???
 
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frodog

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I used to have the same pickup but red and towed my 17 ft . fiberrglass bayliner behind it and used some very unimproved ramps with it like the one at harriet lake. I just bot some good snow tires and if it started spinning I wolud push the e-brake down a couple clicks to put load on the spinnig tire so it can spin the tire that wasn't. Hope my testimonial helps. Also the bayliner with gear and trailer was 1900lbs. 100lbs. under the suggested max for that pickup.
 
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FishTastic

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just spit balling here, but what about installing an aftermarket air locker to your rear drive diff. you can activate the locking traction only when you need it and disengage when you clear the top of the ramp. I think it is a good peace of mind to have and certainly less expense than a new or used 4x Tacoma. I have a 4x Tacoma and I would not go back to a 2x for anything! That's just me though. I pull a 16' aluminum and I have not had any need to use 4x at a ramp yet. Also consider wider more agressive tires, I like BF Goodrich or Kelly Trax to get great traction on anything Oregon can throw at me.
 
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joesnuffy

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Wider tires are not always better. take it from somebody who spends a lot of time in the snow.
 
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steelhead1

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yo chuck

yo chuck

I know a guy with a wood drift/trailer that needs some tlc, he may give em up for a good price.I dont know much about them and havnt seen them,but I can hook you up if you like (PM)
 
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Combat Chuck

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Actually I finally was able to get a boat. Its a 12' aluminum RB drift boat. Ive been a little distant on the forum lately because Ive been getting everything how I want it and putting some work in on the trailer. I believe I just finished everything tonight and there should be a nice big Santiam weekend report. :cool: I hope to go all out and fish Friday-Sunday if my arms will let me.
 
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