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Thread: Truck/boat ratio

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    Default Truck/boat ratio

    The trailer thread got me thinking about this topic. I have a stock 1/2 ton 2005 Silverado with the 4.8 Liter engine (don't ask me why I bought the small V-8, I ask myself that all the time. But the truck is paid for so that's what I'm stuck with) IYO, how big of a boat would be safe for this truck to haul? I've been looking for the right deal on an 19-23 ft fiberglass boat to take to Seward/Homer etc. Thanks for your input.
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    Default Ask the transmission shops

    I would definitely take the unit to a good transmission shop and have it unit serviced. At that time I would ask them based on the transmission what you could safely haul. I would also ask about a transmission cooler - heat and poor maintenance is the number one destroyer of these units.
    A lot of factors also depends on if it's an auto or manual transmission.
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    You can safely tow a boat up to about 22 feet depending on its weight and your trucks towing capacity. A lot of variables in there to work out.

    If it is an automatic put the extra cooler on it as the hills and long straightaways with a headwind will put a lot of pressure on it and heat it up.

    Make sure your brakes are in tip top shape and the boat trailer has fully functioning brakes as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksbha4 View Post
    The trailer thread got me thinking about this topic. I have a stock 1/2 ton 2005 Silverado with the 4.8 Liter engine (don't ask me why I bought the small V-8, I ask myself that all the time. But the truck is paid for so that's what I'm stuck with) IYO, how big of a boat would be safe for this truck to haul? I've been looking for the right deal on an 19-23 ft fiberglass boat to take to Seward/Homer etc. Thanks for your input.
    Do you have the trailer package w/a tranny cooler, eq hitch & tow button to disable the OD on the gear shift on your Silverado? I have an 04 Silverado with the 5.3L & the trailer pkg that works great with my 22' Hewescraft HT. The only concern I have is when it kicks down going over Turnagain Pass or up a large hill - the engine kicks down & the rpm's shoot from 2000 up to around 4500. Besides the tranny cooler the other necessity is a trailer with dual axles.

    Another option is to store your boat in Seward or Homer.....I've kept my boat in Seward the last two summers & its great (cheap) to only have to tow it from the boat yard to the launch.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have a problem if you take the advice the others have said. Make sure it has a transmission cooler for sure and the brakes are in good shape. The engines on the light side but if you can deal with not having that much power than it should be fine.

    I have a Titan with a 5.6L and it hauls my Hewes Ocean Pro without a problem. Big brakes, transmission cooler, and great power. When I moved up to AK from Nevada I put some airbags on the rear suspension to help level the load. We hauled a pretty heavy trailer up...7K plus pounds. Airbags make alot of difference in how solid the whole package feels. Their pretty cheap too. Just a thought.

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. Good idea on the transmission cooler, I will probably get one installed if I don't have one now-I'll check. My truck does have the tow/haul button and that seems to work pretty well.
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  7. #7

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    If you plan to store it at the docks, let me know and i'll move it for you. That otta help you get something a little nicer.

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    Hey Grayling! Yeah, that sounds good. First I'll have to find a trailer with a lift so it'll reach your receiver hitch!
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  9. #9

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    Didn't think of that! Sounds like there is good advise being given here. If you run into a problem, I should have a suitable drop hitch by spring. I guess im gonna need one.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It's better to have too much truck, i.e. more power, stronger tranny and better brakes, then not enough. Especially when you are going over mountain passes. I could pull my current boat/trailer with a 1/2 ton gasser truck, but elected to get a 3/4 ton diesel. I'm glad I made that decision, especially as it gives me the option to upsize my boat someday

    As far as how much you can safely haul, I'd say find out what your vehicle is rated to pull, then reduce that weight by 20%. That will allow for the added weight you didn't account for, i.e. passengers, ice, fishing gear et al.

    Safety has more to do with how you drive then what you drive. That said, going up hill with an inadequate truck is just a matter of money, i.e. you risk blowing an engine or tranny. Going down hill w/o sufficient braking capacity puts everyone at risk. There is alot of traffic on our roads during the fishing season, and having the power to keep up with traffic, and the breaks to avoid the idiots is highly recomended.

    For pulling a C-dory, your truck will be fine. If you're looking at Sea sport or similar boat, then you'll really need a 3/4 or 1 ton and diesel is really the way to go for pulling a load.

  11. #11

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    I know a person that used a Ranger 4.0L to haul 19' sea sport from wasilla to homer once. Took the boat to kodiak on the ferry. This was a one time trip though and once moved this truck continued to haul this size boat in kodiak. The truck was a manual transmission though so not sure if that makes a difference. I do recall one mod to your truck ksbha4, "dual exhuast" if im not mistaken.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Default

    One thing the last reply got me thinking about. A 19-23ft boat is quite a wide range and boats gain considerable weight between those sizes. I used to haul a 19ft fiberglass open boat with a jeep cherokee and a toyota tacoma. Both did a fine job. The jeep had more low end power but the toyota had more length which made it more stable. Also, the new tacomas have considerably more power and better brakes. I hauled this boat across the rockies from Kansas to Reno with no problems. You can certainly haul a 19ft of the right weight with these types of rigs.


    If you now move up to what I have, a 22ft Hewes Ocean Pro, I wouldn't haul it with anything less than a full size truck. Preferrably one with a transmission cooler, big brakes and maybe a bigger engine than the base engine. I only went up 3 ft but the boat weighs twice as much. Pay close attention to how much the boat you get weighs. There's a big difference in the weight of a 22ft C-dory and a 22ft Osprey or Seasport. Both glass boats.

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    In all likelyhood, I'll be obtaining a 18 or 19 ft Glassply type boat with a non enclosed cabin and an outboard motor. I see boats like that being hauled around juneau all the time by Jeep Cherokees and the like. I don't see that as being too much of a problem for my truck and your replies seem to confirm that. Grayling, you forgot about that fly rod "permanently" installed in the back window! BTW, anyone know of where I could get a good deal on a receiver hitch for an 05 Silverado?
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    Default Towed 25ft boat from lower 48

    Towed Bayliner 2556 on a double-axle trailer (9000+ lbs) from San Diego to Anchorage last May, using Totoya Sequoia 5.7L. Almost 4000 miles and never had an issue, except for a speeding ticket in Oregon. Never felt underpowered over any mountain passes. Somewhere in Canada the break fluid leaked so I was pretty much breaking with the vehicle, but did fine. That SUV is quite amazing - allows me to take 6 persons along on a fishing trip. Last summer made around a dozen runs from Anchorage to Whittier without a problem, but the trailer tires need to be replaced now. I think about storing the boat in Whittier next summer.

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    Member WalknBob's Avatar
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    Default 4.7 l f150

    Quote Originally Posted by ksbha4 View Post
    I have a stock 1/2 ton 2005 Silverado with the 4.8 Liter engine IYO, how big of a boat would be safe for this truck to haul?
    It's not the length so much as the weight.

    We towed our 24' Tolman with a 1998 F150, 4.7 L, auto trans. It did "ok". This a relatively light boat for it's size about 5k lbs (with fuel motor etc) plus the tandem axle King trailer so about 6100 total. On the flats it was not a problem and short hills were not a big deal. As soon as you hit the long grades (like Turnagain Pass) it became apparent it was working hard. The only mod I did was add air bag lifts, heavy duty rear shocks, and got a brake job. After two seasons of towing I figured it was wearing on the old F150 and traded up to a 2009 5.7 L hemi Dodge 3/4 Ton. This model (snow chief) I think is rated for 13k lbs towing. I know you can hardly tell there is a boat back there now.

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