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Towing a boat with 4 cylinder?

6/13/20 @ 7:32 PM
USER SINCE 1/30/18

Hey guys, I own a 2017 Honda CRV, and the towing capacity is only 1500 pounds.  I really want to buy a fishing boat, but i'm concerned the CRV isn't strong enough.  I would only be looking at 14-16 foot aluminum boats (like a Smokercraft) with maybe 40-50hp motor.  

Have you ever towed a boat with a 4 cylinder?  Any issues with this?  My main concerns would be very slow accelerating (especially on the highway), too much stress on the engine and body of the CRV, or having to pull the boat/trailer out of a lumpy/crappy landing which would add to the force on the trailer hitch.  


7/28/21 @ 9:41 AM
USER SINCE 6/14/05

tough call HG39 but at least your conscience is clear. It did sound like a recipe for disaster..

actually I felt the father should have backed out after he found out it was an 18 and not a 14 footer. I just have a 17.5 mod V with 50 HP and wouldn't pull it with my wife's 4 cyl. Jeep let alone if the weather turned bad (rain, etc.)...

7/28/21 @ 9:15 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Hoping I did the right thing last night. But if I wind up as a-hole in their eyes, sorry. So I'm selling my 18' starcraft w/ 85hp outboard with 18 gallon gas tank and heavy duty trailer, so it's a hefty haul. Guy contacted me as his 16 year old son is looking for a boat, and in the text conversation he mentioned it still being small enough to pull with his son's vehicle. I jokingly said I'd never thought of 18' being small, but it's a personal opinion. He replied that he thought it was a 14'. I mentioned needing a strong 6 to pull it, and he told me what his son drives (one of those 4 cylinder "SUVs". I agreed to show it, but that just kept gnawing at me. In the end I texted him back and explained that I couldn't in good conscience sell it to his son knowing that's what he'd be towing it with, ESPECIALLY considering he's essentially a new driver, or at least hasn't had a license that long. I'd just feel terrible if something happened on the road. I know it's not really my concern, and if it was just some random adult who wanted to tow with it, so be it. But as a father, I'd prefer someone have my kid's best interests in mind, even if it means NOT selling it to them. 

So, right move or am I an a-hole?

5/29/21 @ 2:53 PM
USER SINCE 5/29/21

I general ship my boat using Citizenshipper boat moving service because When calculating your GCWR, all the weighing will be done with the trailer attached at the very least. That helps you a little, but far from enough. If the hitch for your car is classified as a Class II, then your vehicle will be rated for an addition 350 pounds of tongue weigh. 

An old rule is to be safe is to not exceed 75% of the towing capacity of the vehicle.

8/1/20 @ 6:32 AM
USER SINCE 12/21/01

If a CRV was my tow vehicle, I would be looking at bench seat boats with small (10-20hp) motors.

Its not a question of what it "can" pull, it's a question of what won't wear the engine and transmission out much faster.

(And what you can pull up a steep, slick ramp)

You just need to be on the water to catch fish. I spend a lot more time in my 2.5hp Jon boat at cabin, or in my canoe, than I do in my 150hp fishing boat.

7/28/20 @ 6:04 PM
Brent Hess

Launching a small boat with a golf cart is easy - down hill with gravity on your side. 

Loading the same boat with a golf cart and gravity working against you doesn’t work so well! 

We routinely launch our small fishing boat (14 foot with a 15 hp) at our cabin with a golf cart, but there is no way on earth your loading it back up with a golf cart...

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
7/28/20 @ 5:01 PM
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
BâssÂddîçt ©¸

Read chumley original post

Vehicle  towing capability of 1500 pounds

His concern was on acceleration on a highway the ability to pull it out of a crappy boat launch 

The boat the motor in the trailer that we could determine he was going to get was pushing close to 2,000 pounds

He definitely would had difficulties accelerating on a highway he also have difficulties of braking safely 

I have seen many vehicles attempt to pull boats out of steep ramps and have issues

A 16-foot smoker Craft angular series boat with a 50 horse 4-stroke

It's a lot different than a 14 foot with a 15 horse 2 stroke

7/28/20 @ 8:06 AM
Major Mark
Major Mark
USER SINCE 5/20/05

launching with a Harley golfcart!  He had a bobcat standing by if it went badly... LOL

7/27/20 @ 8:50 PM
Qual Fisher
USER SINCE 4/28/19

Yes, a small aluminum boat can be towed by almost any vehicle.  Believe it or not, when  I was a kid in Black River Falls, I saw a small boat being towed by a Harley Electraglide.   I would have loved to see the guy launch and retrieve that boat.  (Frankly, I think the guy must have been crazy.)

7/27/20 @ 11:40 AM
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
BâssÂddîçt ©¸

So Chumley20

now you got your tow vehicle all worked out make sure you come back and post what kind of Boat and motor you actually bought

7/26/20 @ 9:28 PM
USER SINCE 1/30/18

Master Piker, thank you for your feedback!  Before I got the Pilot i looked at the manual and learned about the ATF coolers you speak of, and youre correct in that the tow capacity goes up from 3,000 ish to 5,000 ish when a cooler is installed.  Here’s the thing, the Pilot has AWD so if the ramp is steep and slippery, I would hope the rear tires kick in to get me out of the ramp.  Also, im not looking to buy a big heavy fiberglass boat, more so like a 16’ aluminum tops.  It seems like i will be well under 3,000 pounds, but i can always get the ATF cooler installed for peace of mind and/or if my future boat ends up being heavier than i imagined.  Is there anything else I should be aware of besides the ATF cooler if I go with UHAUL hitch?  Another thing I should note is I don’t plan to tow the boat every weekend or anything like that.  My dad towed his 16’ sylvan with 50hp Johnson with his Pontiac minivan For years and we never Got stuck on a ramp.  And his van didnt have AWD.

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