VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

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Petesmontauk
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VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Petesmontauk » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:34 pm

I own a 1981 Boston Whaler Montauk with a 1987 Johnson 90-HP on an E-Z-Loader two-wheel trailer. I am moving the boat to South Carolina from Connecticut.

Can a a 2019 VW Jetta that has a hitch rated for 200-lbs tongue weight and 2,000-lbs overall [towing capacity] safely tow [a 1981 MONTAUk 17 with 90-HP engine on single-axle trailer]?

jimh
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Re: Finding Total Towed Weight

Postby jimh » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:52 pm

It is hard to assess your question without knowing the total towed weight.

I recommend you take the boat trailer, with the boat loaded on it, to a certified scale. Weigh the boat, trailer, and all the gear in the boat, to find its true weight. If the total weight is less than 2,000-lbs (the towing capacity of your vehicle), they you should be able to safely tow it. (For a narrative of using a truck scale to find boat weight, see my earlier article on this topic.)

A rough estimate of total towed weight can be made by using the dry hull weight doubled plus the trailer weight. A 1981 MONTAUK would have weighed about 800 to 900-lbs. Doubling that gives us perhaps 1,600 to 1,800-lbs. That does not leave much weight for the trailer. A trailer would be unlikely to be under 200-lbs, and 400-lbs might still be a lightweight trailer if made from steel.

In sedan automobiles, the towing capacity is often very marginal. Towing capacity tends to reflect the combined gross vehicle weight rating (CGVWR), which considers the braking capacity as well as the tire, axle, and suspension capacity of the tow vehicle. It is critical to know that any tow capacity rating is for a vehicle with only one person in the vehicle and no other people or gear in the vehicle. The weight of passengers and gear loaded on the tow vehicle reduces the tow capacity rating on a pound-for-pound basis. In your case, this will be important as your tow load will be very close to the vehicle tow capacity.

Trailer tongue weight is not a problem particularly for boat trailers. The notion that tongue weight MUST be 10-percent of total towed weight is not mandatory for boat trailers. You can very satisfactorily tow a boat trailer with a tongue weight around 6 to 8-percent of total towed weight. This is because the center of gravity of a boat is quite low, and the trailer axle is generally more than half the trailer length away from the tongue; both add to stability in towing.

Speaking generally, a driver can tell in about one minute of driving at highway speed with a tow load if the tow vehicle is being overloaded. If the tail (the boat trailer) is wagging the dog (the tow vehicle) the problem will show up very quickly.

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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby jimh » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:19 pm

In long distance towing, steep grades are a consideration. In towing to South Carolina from Connecticut, I would suggest using a coastal route to avoid having to cross any mountain ranges. In towing, grades cause problems when both ascending and descending. Stay close to the coastline to avoid big grades.

Petesmontauk
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Petesmontauk » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:48 pm

Good info. It will be close. I have to find a scale. Thanks

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Phil T
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Phil T » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:15 pm

Knowing the roads from CT to NC/VA border I would be very careful.

The loaded weight will be ~ 1,500 - 1700 lbs including the trailer. This assumes the boat is empty of gear, drained fuel tanks. Don't load the car with stuff. Test the car's stopping ability before the trip.

You will want to avoid NYC during the heavy rush. I would take the Tappen Zee even if it is out of your way.
Avoid DC totally and take the DELMARVA bridge/tunnel.

Do not exceed 65 and leave alot, I mean ALOT of space, in front of you.
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Petesmontauk
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Petesmontauk » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:17 pm

Agreed and will probably do it over two days on a weekend for less traffic.Have made the trip several times. It is 13-15 hours. I've got some time so it won't happen until the snow season is over and I get the wheel bearings repacked and the new rims and tires on it. Thanks, again.

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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby jimh » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:35 am

PHIL's advice regarding highway speed is cogent. I have towed my 24-foot boat perhaps 75,000 highway miles, and seldom exceed 62-MPH. It is common on a long interstate highway drive that the total number of cars I pass is zero. Slower speed at towing helps keep everything working longer, cooler, and with lower stress, including the driver.

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jimp
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby jimp » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 am

You're right at the published limits of your Jetta.

In 1992 I was towing my 1982 Montauk with 90-hp Evinrude about 1,200 miles for a Coast Guard transfer (Kodiak, Alaska to Juneau, Alaska). Since the boat was considered part of the "household goods shipment" I had to get her weighed. And the truck scale just happened to be .5 miles away. I can't remember the tongue weight, but that can be adjusted. The total weight of the boat and trailer, lightly loaded was 2,016 pounds. I was towing with a 1987 Chevy Suburban with 6.2 diesel so towing through the mountains was no problem.

In 1989 while towing the boat from Long Island, NY to Kodiak I made a wrong turn in Chicago and ended up towing past Soldier Field during morning rush hour. As others have mentioned, avoid towing through cities, and avoid mountains.

As I've also mentioned in this forum, when turning off into a McDonald's for lunch, make sure there is a clear path OUT of the parking lot. As I towed through Canada I stopped for lunch at McDonald's, pulled in, and there was only one way out... the way I had come in. Backing and filling a rig that is 42-feet long in a small parking lot is not fun.

Towing takes forethought.

JimP
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Ridge Runner
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Ridge Runner » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:54 pm

I would say that your going to be really pushing the limit of the car for a trip of this length. I have towed my boats from NJ to FL many times and I would be concerned with the 1.4L Turbo engine being in boost often and the ability to stop in an emergency situation with the Jetta's smaller brakes.

Major concerns along the trip as Phil mentioned NYC, the grade going over the Delaware Memorial Bridge - this is a steep incline, the hilly grades and keeping up with traffic in Maryland, going through Baltimore, Washington DC and Richmond (take the I-295 loop around Richmond, going through Richmond on I-95 is white knuckle driving). After Richmond it's pretty flat and driving will be much easier.

Be very careful as single and dual Semi's pass you creating the Bernoulli effect as the air pressure is reduced, the airflow increases sucking your car and trailer towards the truck. I would look to draft behind a slower moving Semi. Also, I would be concerned if you have a flat - the 2019 VW Jetta comes with a mobility service set instead of a spare tire i.e.,a can of tire sealer and an air compressor. You can buy a Jetta spare tire kit for about $320 - VW Part Number: NPN01200. https://parts.vw.com/p/Volkswagen_2019_ ... 12001.html
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby jimh » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:47 am

Ridge Runner wrote:I would look to draft behind a slower moving Semi.

When towing my boat on the interstate highway, I often fall in behind a large truck that is maintaining about 60-MPH. I figure the truck has a professional driver who knows what he's doing. I don't try to get so close as to draft, but I try to keep the gap small enough so that there is not a continual procession of cars passing me and pulling in behind the truck. If the truck is a long-hauler, you can drive hundred of miles like this with a very nice pace car setting the speed and without being bothered by cars passing you and cutting back into your lane about five feet ahead of your bumper.

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Dutchman
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Dutchman » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:14 am

Is the [2019 VW Jetta engine] a TDI or just a gasoline engine[?]

[Is the transmission an] automatic or manual shift[?]

[The answers to those two questions] will make a difference, [because the towing capacity compared to towed weight is] marginal.

If [the VW Jetta]is a TDI [with] manual [transmission], I don't see a problem [to tow the MONTAUK 17 on a long highway trip] while being cautious as recommended above, but if [the VW Jetta] is gasoline [engine with an] automatic [transmission then] I wouldn't [tow the MONTAUK 17 on a long highway trip].
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Ridge Runner
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Ridge Runner » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:35 am

The only engine available in a 2019 VW Jetta is the VW gasoline 1.4L TSI a 16-valve, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged, direct injection engine with 147 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque. Ever since the diesel scandal in 2015, VW stopped offering TDI versions of the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Passat and Touareg models in the U.S.
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Dutchman
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Re: VW Jetta For Towing MONTAUK

Postby Dutchman » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:30 am

Ridge Runner wrote:The only engine available in a 2019 VW Jetta is the VW gasoline 1.4L TSI a 16-valve, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged, direct injection engine with 147 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque. Ever since the diesel scandal in 2015, VW stopped offering TDI versions of the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Passat and Touareg models in the U.S.


OK I didn't check VW offerings but I then would be very careful towing at maximum weight which is most likely with this set-up.
EJO
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50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot