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Author Topic:   Towing a Whaler with a car?
The_Ox posted 05-01-2001 08:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for The_Ox   Send Email to The_Ox  
I am looking for a boat to do some fishing in, salt water bay areas. I want to keep the boat in my yard. I only have to go about 3 miles to a nice boat ramp near my house. How big a boat can I pull with my V6-Tauras? I was thing maybe a 15', I don't want to overload my car and another tow veichle is out of the question. Does anyone here use a car to tow the Whaler?
Tsuriki BW posted 05-01-2001 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Ox,,I pull my Dauntless 14 (1000lb hull, 75hp Merc) with a 190 Benz, 4cyl. Have traveled over and hour to the ramp. Mostly flat but some hills. Your V6 Tauras should have no problem at all with a 15 or 17 Montauk.

Tsuriki

willyjoe1 posted 05-01-2001 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for willyjoe1  Send Email to willyjoe1     
i used v6 chevy van to towed my montauk 2 way 150 miles all the time no problem, your should be fine,
lhg posted 05-01-2001 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have towed my 25 Outrage about 80,000 miles with a car over 11 years. I hope Makoman isn't reading this!
alvispollard posted 05-01-2001 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
Ox,
I have a montauk (900#) with mariner 100 (360#), yamaha T8 kicker (83#), 2 batteries (50#), and 200# miscellaneous (1600# total). I pull it with basically your car, '95 mercury sable V6. I pull it 500 miles from Ohio to NC coast twice a year and 200 miles to Lake Erie many times a year. The car has 143K and is stock. Routine maintenance so far. Good luck. The car is rated for 2000# (towing). Would not exceed it. Montauk is the largest BW under that with gear. Good luck and tight lines.
jimh posted 05-01-2001 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think a Taurus with V-6 engine is probably rated at 1,500 lbs towing, which should be fine for a Whaler 15-foot hull.

Since you are only towing three miles, you probably won't have a problem, even if the Taurus turns out to be rated only 1,000 pounds towing.

The all-up weight of a Whaler 15 with engine, battery, fuel, trailer, anchor, etc., will probably be around 1200-1400 pounds.

I would consider having the transmission fluid serviced (assuming you have automatic transmission). You can get it flushed and refilled at a Valvoline Oil Change place for about $75. Then you'll have nice fresh fluid, and your car will probably run better.

I would tow in 3rd Gear, not Overdrive.

Get a nice Class-1 receiver type hitch; you will probably need a 3-4 inch lift drawbar.
An 1 -7/8 inch ball will be fine. The hitch, etc., will run about $225 installed, less if you mail order and try to bolt it on yourself.

--jimh

johnk posted 05-01-2001 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnk  Send Email to johnk     
I have a Montauk and trailered it without any problems with my 1999 Taurus, and my 2000 Taurus. Probably pulled it to the ramp about 10 miles away 3 times a week, from April through December for a couple of year. When I got ride of the '99, just unbolted the hitch, and put it on the 2000.

good luck

John

The Whaler Guy posted 05-01-2001 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Whaler Guy    
I tow all of my boats with a Seville STS
No Problems Yet (LOL)
Anchor7 posted 05-02-2001 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Anchor7  Send Email to Anchor7     
If you are talking about a '96 or later Taurus, the tow ratings are lower, approx. 1,250 lb. for the standard V6 and 1,750 lb. for the 24 valve V6. Check your manual. Also, note that these ratings are valid with virtually nothing in the car, just the driver. I would not recommend towing more than this, especially if the car is under warranty. Also, if you are overloaded and get into an accident, you could be held liable. This probably limits you to a 13' or 15' classic model, not a 17' Montauk.
Tom W Clark posted 05-02-2001 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
alvispollard,

I think you forgot the weight of your trailer (c.500#) and fuel (c.150#)

At any rate, if the Taurus in question is rated to tow a 2000# gross trailer weight, then any Whaler up to a 17' Newport (the heaviest of the 16' 7" models) would be fine. I towed my Montauk with an '83 Toyota mini-P/U with a 100hp 4 cylinder engine (22R) and 5 speed manual for years with no ill effect.

The thing to do is just look in the Taurus' owners manual and see what it says.

Eric posted 05-02-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
It's true that the Taurus should easily tow a smaller whaler, especially a 13 or 15, but remember, this is a front wheel drive car. Many of the vehicles listed in the above posts are rear wheel drive, while the Cadillac has a traction control system and a heavy V8 over the drive wheels.
Think about the physics in action here: when on a launch ramp, the weight shifts to the rear wheels from the drive wheels.
In addition, the Taurus doesn't have any traction control or limited slip. This means that the engine's power is directed to the wheel with the LEAST traction. In other words, if you lose traction on the ramp, the wheel that's already spinning will be the one that gets the power, while none goes to the side that still has traction. You can end up with a situation where your car slips into the water while you're trying to drive forward!
The lesson in this is to consider ramp conditions very carefully. A steep or slippery ramp could be more than the car could negotiate. It is possible to add a limited slip differential to a Taurus transaxle, but the cost would be high, probably about $2000 with labor (a special support frame is needed to pull a Taurus transaxle).
Finally, don't consider towing without adding an aftermarket transmission cooler. The biggest problem for the towing vehicle is heat buildup in automatic transmissions. The fluid is normally cooled by passing through the lower part of the radiator. An auxilary cooler will keep the transmission temps lower. This also helps keep the engine temp lower, as excess heat from the transmission will raise the coolant temp in the radiator.
whaleryo posted 05-02-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
I'm towing a 15' Sport with a Saturn. I also only have about a 3 mile ride to the ramp. The front wheel drive and traction control are great when pulling the boat out of the water.
jimh posted 05-02-2001 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The auxillary transmission fluid cooler is a good idea. One mechanic told me that if they were included in all cars there would hardly be a reason to have transmission shops!

But if you tow only three miles I think you might be OK without it.

On the other hand, they only cost about $50 to install yourself, and often you can purchase the OEM parts from your dealer and install the factory style cooler (if one is avalable for a Taurus--maybe not). If you don't feel like messing under the hood, you can get one installed for ~$125.

When I got my Crown Vic I had the transmission flushed and refilled. This made a huge difference in the shifting of the transmission (the Ford 4AOE transmission is rather famous for needing the fluid changed regularly).

Then I added an auxillary cooler using some aftermarket parts. Later I found I could have bought the FORD OEM cooler from their "Performance/Racing" parts division for about the same price as the cheapy I got from an autoparts retailer (like AutoZone or PepBoys).

While I don't normally make a practice of doing much work under the hood, I thought it was wise to become familiar with the transmission cooling, etc., since this is a notorious problem in towing in hot weather.

I engineered my own mounting of the cooler, putting it right in the direct air blast just behind the grill, so I am sure that it adds significant cooling capability to the transmission fluid.

When you are towing your engine will be under much more strain than normal, so everything needs to be in good shape.

I thought the 'Vic was running fine when I bought it, but I discovered it was actually only running on 7 cylinders. One plug wire was badly seated and the plug had obviously not been firing. I found that when I changed the plugs and wires.

Then I noticed that trailering would cause pinging, especially when hot or going up hills, and the ENGINE light would come on.
I didn't have too much diagnoising the problem, although I did get a little gizmo to read the engine codes from a connection in the wiring harness. It was complaining about OUT OF RANGE on some parameter.

I eventually changed the engine EEC-V control module ( very expensive) and the Mass Air Flow Sensor ($150). This really improved the performance. The car had more power, ran cooler, and gas mileage improved.

Again, without towing I had no idea there was anything amiss. I mean a 4.6L V-8 has plenty of power to haul me around the highway. But even with just a 1,300 trailer on the hitch, I could notice some problems creeping in.

Now I think the car is in fine shape and we tow at highway speeds with the A/C running and the engine temperature runs about the same as it does in mid-winter! I am sure the transmission is cooler, too.

whalernut posted 05-02-2001 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I would think the Taurus with a V6 engine should be rated at 2000 lbs. My wifes 2000 Chevy Prism(Carolla) with a 4 cylinder engine is rated at 1500lbs. towing capacity! I am going to get a really good class 1 hitch for her car to tow my `16 Currituck about 3 miles to the ramp when my Dakota with a V8 isn`t available. Anyone want to venture the weight of a Currituck with an 85 h.p. Johnson on it, trailer, 12 gal. of fuel? Regards-Jack Graner.
The_Ox posted 05-02-2001 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for The_Ox  Send Email to The_Ox     
After some more research my Tauras is rated for 1250lbs. This would limit me to a 13' or a 15'Whaler. I would like to get a 15', but if a nice 13' comes along I might grap it. I have been watching the local markets (southern New England) to get an idea of what the boats are selling for in my area. It might take me a while to find what I want but I don't want to settle for a second rate boat. Thanks to all for the good information reguarding the towing issue.
Hank posted 05-03-2001 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
I tow my Montauk and 90HP Evinrude engine on a trailer which weighs 330 lbs. I use a 1991 4 cylinder (114 max HP) Volvo station wagon. The vehicle is rated to tow 3300 lbs with optional transmission oil cooler. Without the cooler , 2000 Lbs is the max trailer weight. Max tongue weight is 200 Lbs. This seems like a heavy load for such a light car, but it is a rear wheel drive car. I guess that makes the difference.
triblet posted 05-04-2001 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I'll bet your Currituck weighs more than
1500 pounds with a full tank.. I figure my
Montauk rig weighs a bit over 2000 with a
full tank, battery, anchor & rode, oil tank,
etc. I think the early hulls were a bit
lighter, but not 500 pounds.

Take it down to the local truck scale.
And let us know.

Chuck.

whalernut posted 05-04-2001 05:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Great idea Chuck, there is a scrap metal place where my boat is, so I will weigh boat and trailer and stuff and then the trailer separately! Regards-Jack Graner.
skookum point posted 05-06-2001 01:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
Unfortunately, the Taurus with 3.8 V6 is famous for transmissions that self destruct. This car would otherwise be capable of comfortably towing a 13 or 15 Whaler were it not for the design flaw in the transmission. Do a web search on "Taurus Transmission" and you'll see what I mean. The newer models are somewhat better, but from my own sad experience, it is best not to tow anything with a Taurus/Sable/Winstar.
John

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