Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

A conversation among Whalers
Rogo
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Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby Rogo » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:34 pm

I have a new 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, and I am contemplating acquiring an older 13-foot or 15-foot Boson Whaler boat. Towing limits for the Crosstrek are 1,500-lbs total and 200-lbs maximum tongue weight. This is a manual transmission, 6-speed. I would be towing less than 200-miles at a time, mostly flat land, modest hills, no mountains or long hills.

[Give me an estimated] towing weights for the 13-footer or 15-footer.

I would prefer the 15-footer, but don't want to push the towing limits. A 25 to 35 HP engine would be okay with me and a 5-gallon fuel tank--no other heavy gear.

Thanks for your help--R

jimh
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:50 pm

Last time I looked at a SUBARU vehicle the drive train was using a constant-velocity transmission that had rubber belts. While I think the car is a nice design, the rubber belts in the transmission were enough for me to drop it from consideration to purchase. For that reason, I would be very cautious using a SUBARU with a constant-velocity transmission as a towing vehicle.

The total towing weight limit of 1,500-lbs and a tongue weight limit of 200-lbs are in harmony. As a general rule the tongue weight should be about 10-percent of the total trailer weight.

The hull weights for the 13-foot and 15-foot hulls are listed in their REFERENCE section pages. See

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/13/

and

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/15/

for information about the bare hull weights.

The weight of modern outboard engines is available from their manufacturers. The weight of older outboard engines is available in a comprehensive archive thread at

WEIGHT OF OLDER OUTBOARD ENGINES
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/011042.html

The weight of a trailer will vary with its construction. To save trailer weight look for an aluminum trailer. Trailer weights are usually listed on the trailer itself on its capacity plate.

When buying older Boston Whaler boats there is always a concern about the hull having gained weight due to retained water entrapped in the double-bottom sealed hull construction. For that reason, you should figure that the published original hull weights are going to be lighter than any actual hull you might own.

Vehicle towing weight specifications are generally given for the optimum vehicle configuration, usually allowing for only the driver to be in the vehicle and for the driver to weigh about 175-lbs. The weight of anything else in the vehicle, including any other passengers in the vehicle, will need to subtracted from the specified maximum rated towing weight .

Towing at the maximum rated towing weight is never the best option. Acceleration, handling, and most important braking will all be more difficult. That said, I am sure it will be possible to get under the 1,500-lbs with careful selection of boat, engine, and trailer.

By the way, I towed a 15-footer around the Great Lakes for several years. I used a Ford V8 sedan with a 5,000-lbs tow rating. I added an auxiliary transmission cooler to the engine before I used it for towing.

Rogo
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby Rogo » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:01 pm

Thank you JimH.

The Crosstrek is a manual transmission, not CVT (automatic), so I assume I'm ok there.

I will look up weights from the sites you specified and calculate some estimates. Meanwhile, I'd appreciate any experiences folks have with towing with the Crosstrek (Whaler or otherwise).

- R

jimh
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:03 pm

Okay on the six-speed manual transmission--I missed that in your initial post. I have never towed with a manual transmission, but I am sure it can be done. Backing down on a ramp is usually a matter of gravity more than reverse. Hauling out of a ramp uphill may need a bit of feathering the clutch to ease the boat trailer forward and out of the water.

biggiefl
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby biggiefl » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:40 am

A light towing capacity is usually due to drivetrain or wheelbase. My Jeep Wrangler is rated 3,500-lbs in the 4dr version, the 2dr is only 2,000-lbs.

Manual transmissions are usually rated lower as the manufacturer knows you will smoke the clutch if towing something heavier without a low first gear. Either a 13 or 15 boat will be way under the [1,500-lbs] limit--enjoy.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

jimh
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:10 am

NICK--do you really mean two-door and four-door? Or two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive?

Usually in trucks the two-wheel drive is rated for more towing capacity because the added weight of the four-wheel-drive, about 400-lbs, is saved. That makes the two-wheel drive have a higher tow rating.

biggiefl
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby biggiefl » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:42 am

[I meant] two-door and four-door. The shorter wheelbase [of the two-door model] cuts down the towing capacity by 43%. Except for a couple of years, all Jeep Wranglers are 4WD.

In addition to lighter weight, 2WD trucks also have a higher towing capacity due to eliminating the transfer case. The more moving parts between the engine and the tires, the less towing capacity.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

jimh
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby jimh » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:53 am

NICK--I agree that longer wheelbase in the truck or towing vehicle improves the towing.

skistler
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Re: Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

Postby skistler » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:23 pm

I've been towing boats (and various and sundry other stuff) with Subaru’s for years. We are on our fourth Legacy Wagon or Outback, which we currently use to pull a Montauk 17 with an old Evinrude 90-HP V4 (soon to be replaced by a Suzuki DF90A). The Outback is a 2014 3.6R (250 HP flat-six), and it has a "real" automatic transmission. Model year 2014 was the last year before Subaru went 100% CVT—one reason that I bought it.

I pulled our previous Dauntless 15 with a Yamaha 70-HP two-stroe-power-cycle with our 2001 Outback and 2005 Outback, both of which had 2.5-liter flat-four engines and manual transmissions—much like the Crosstrek.

I also pulled our sailing club's Super Sport 15 with those cars as well as with my 1998 Legacy GT wagon (also with the 2.5-liter and a 5-speed).

You will be fine pulling a 15-foot classic Whaler with the appropriate power with your Crosstrek. And you would hardly even feel a 13-footer back there. Anything bigger (e.g., a 17-foot hull) from the Whaler line would be pushing it. I say find yourself a nice 15-footer and join the family!