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Author Topic:   SeaRay Trailer-Boat
big boat posted 01-17-2004 07:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for big boat   Send Email to big boat  
greyg8r posted 01-17-2004 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    

In addition to my 1974 Katama, I will soon take possession of a big boat, a 25 foot Grady White.

I, too, have looked into what is required to tow my big boat. The total weight of the Grady with fuel is approximately 8000 lbs. My Grady has 2 200 hp Yamaha outboards. A triple or big double axle trailer weighs another 1500 lbs. Total weight to be towed; a hair less than 10,000 pounds.

I do not what the towing capacity of your truck is, but I have looked into Ford trucks and a few F250 trucks can tow that and most F350s (but not all), depending on the gearing. Interestingly, 4x4 actually LOWERS the towing capacity.

Find out what the boat weight and trailer weight are. Don't forget to add the weight of the engines. Most boat weights do not include the weight of the outboard engine(s). (I do not know if they include the weight of inboard engines.) Then, see what the towing capacity is of your F150. I think you will find that your F150 is WAY underrated for that boat. Do NOT exceed the towing capacity or you will be very sorry.

Hope this helps,


HAPPYJIM posted 01-17-2004 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Find out what the boat with gear aboard and the trailer weighs then check towing capacity of the truck.

You can take the rig to a weigh scales and have it weighed if you don't have the original boat paperwork.

This site is all about Boston Whalers and you may find more info on other boating sites.

SpeedBump posted 01-17-2004 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
BB- Your '73 searay must have a lot of fiberglass in it and be very heavy. I too have an F-150, '97 w/the 4.2 6 cyl, 2wd. I also have the tow package which makes a big difference. I have hauled very heavy loads with this. the 2WD 6 has more towing capacity than the 4wd and the smaller 4.6 V8.

Find a weigh station and get the trailer and boat weighed with full tanks/gear. Check the Ford manual, it gives very clear information on towing capacity and it varies greatly based on trans type, engine size, rear, frame size, etc. Given what my '97 has hauled you should not have problems if you are not hot rodding the thing around.I would be more concerned with stopping ability than pulling power. Do you have brakes on the trailer?

ryanwhaler posted 01-17-2004 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     
Ahoy,big boat.

This site is about Boston Whalers, you might catch alittle gruff about posting this question here, but not from me. ;-)

Before you worry about if your truck will pull your boat you have to find out how heavy the whole load is. I've got a feeling that you may want a bigger truck but you should be more research.

If you have any questions about your Sea Ray I suggest you post them over on

Good luck!

Typeing in all caps means your yelling, please don't yell.

AZdave posted 01-18-2004 01:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for AZdave  Send Email to AZdave     
I agree with the preceeding, that you need to look at the specs. I would say that my old F-150 was the best tow vehicle I've owned. The six is all about torque rather than horsepower. That's what you want for towing. There was a period in the mid '80's when Ford tried to weenie through the emission rules with esoteric carbs. If your truck has EFI you have a good one. It should pull like crazy, and get decent mileage. You may have to shift down to stay in the best RPM for torque. But you will not have a real power problem. Dave
jimh posted 01-20-2004 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you have a 24-foot SeaRay, I know one problem you've got...

Your boat is too big for a half-ton truck. It very likely exceeds the rated capacity of your vehicle. Those old SeaRay boats were probably built quite sturdily, but they stretch the definition of "trailer-boat."

[Changed TOPIC; was "trailer help'.]

lhg posted 01-20-2004 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Maybe some of our other members here, towing around 26 Baylilners, Regulators, Contenders and Pursuits, could help out on this one.
Florida15 posted 01-21-2004 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
I had a 1984 Ford 4x4 with a straight 6 and it was the worst tow vehicle I ever owned. It felt like I was towing a building behind me when towing a 16' ski boat. Looking back, I think during that period Ford was putting high ratio rear-ends in their trucks to try to make up for poor gas mileage. I think the standard ratio was a 2.92 in a Ford and a 3.08 in a Chevy. My last two Chevy trucks have had 3.42 rear ends and I have never had a problem. You might want to check and see what ratio you have in your truck. It will make a difference.
Moe posted 01-21-2004 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Towing capacity is a marketing thing. It's obtained by subtracting the weight of a stripped, no-option model of a particular truck, with no fuel, no passengers and cargo, and depending on manufacturer, sometimes not even a driver, from the Gross Combined Vehicle Rating (GCWR), the most the tow vehicle and trailer can weigh combined. Obviously, the heavier the truck model (i.e. larger cab, 4WD, dual rear wheels), the lower the "towing capacity." The diesel option adds a lot of weight to the truck, but offsets it with a much higher GCWR.

The GCWR is based primarily on the engine size/power and axle ratio. The larger the engine and the lower (higher numerically) the axle ratio, the greater the GCWR, to a point. GCWR tells you how much the tow vehicle can PULL.

"Towing capacity" totally ignores the vehicle's ability to handle tongue weight, which is a serious problem with fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches, which can put over 20% of the trailer weight on the truck, but can also be a problem with the 10% tongue weight of a trailer, if the load in the tow vehicle is high, not only from passengers and cargo, but from the weight of a larger cab, 4WD and diesel engine. Dual rear wheels add maybe 300 lbs to the truck weight, but increase its payload many times that.

The rating of concern here is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), the maximum the truck can weigh with fuel, passengers and cargo, and tongue/pin weight. It is primarily based on frame, suspension, axle, brake, and tire strength.

We tow a 9800 lb 34' triple-axle Airstream with an '02 Ford F250 diesel with automatic and 3.73:1 gearing. The GCWR is 20,000 lbs and the hitch is rated at 12,500 lbs. Our combined weight is under 18,000 pounds.

As long as you get the LT265 tires and camper package, the F250 is part for part identical to the single-rear wheel F350, except the latter uses taller blocks between the axle and springs to appear less loaded down. Seriously. The F250 is rated at 8800 lbs GVWR and the SRW F350 at 9900 lbs. Both use the same frames, front axles, and brakes as the 11,500 lb GVWR dual-rear wheel F350, so those aren't even close to being an issue.

These trucks are heavy. With only a SuperCab, but with 4WD and diesel, we barely squeeze under the 8800 lb GVWR when towing with 1,000 lbs of tongue weight. Add the 800 lb Harley in the bed we're over the 8800 but still under 9900 lbs. I've hauled 10 square of roofing at 230 lbs/square with the truck just over 10,000 lbs. It sat level and the auxiliary springs (factory overloads) weren't even engaged. But if you care about the GVWR rating, skip the F250 and get the F350.

Either get the gas-guzzling V-10 or the diesel. They have the same GCWR and can pull the same load up a hill. The latter is an expensive option at MSRP, but much less at dealer invoice. You get most of that back at trade-in, and make up for the rest in fuel savings. The much better mileage gives you a longer range. The difference going up the hill is that the diesel is chugging along at 1600-2000 rpm in Drive with the torque converter locked, while the V-10 is screaming along one gear lower, with the torque converter slipping and generating heat.

4WD is worth the expense and weight. The Airstream tires can sink about 1/2" into soft soil in a day or two, and trying to pull it out on dew-laden grass just results in spinning rear tires. The first time you're on a ramp at low tide with the rear tires on slick algae, you'll bless the day you opted for 4WD.

Ignore "towing capacity" and look at GCWR, GVWR, and the actual truck weight with all the options, people, and cargo you expect to be in your truck when towing.

Hope this helps,

Tom2697 posted 01-21-2004 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
You finally did it! You explained, in detail, what the big deal is about towing! I think jimh should add your response to the reference section of this website for all those who are interested in towing a 27' Outrage with a Subaru...
Well done!
Moe posted 01-21-2004 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Thanks, Tom. I wouldn't mind having that in the Reference section, but I'd like to clean it up grammatically a bit first, and bring in GAWR also, even though they usually aren't a problem.


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