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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently purchased a 19' Bayliner "cuddy cabin" boat if you haven't seen it on the non-car discussion...It's about the biggest boat you would want to have on a single axle trailer and weighs a little over 2k lbs.

My Forester is rated for 2400 lbs...the entire rig is more than likely over that. While my bumper to bumper warranty is now expired due to mileage it's A LOT for a vehicle based on a small car platform :(. It's very stable and braking is great (trailer does not have brakes) but I've burned my clutch too many times maneuvering and pulling the boat out of the water. Forester has enough power to tow it with its 4.11 diffs but nevertheless being maxed out its a lot of strain on everything else, clutch included.

I've been thinking of getting a cheap vehicle to tow it. Fuel economy is not really an issue because I usually keep the boat at our cottage in northern MI and don't have to tow it far to the lakes I like going to. I will be able to store this vehicle inside, so I won't feel bad if it's semi-collectible. It should have a fairly torquey motor along with a good trans, axles, brakes, etc. Oh, and when it's done I don't want more than $1500 invested. I prefer manuals but I'll take an auto. AWD/4WD is not required but wouldn't be bad to have since most the boat ramps I go to are paved and wouldn't require a low-range.

Any issues with these vehicles? I think they all should be able to get the job done:

-Ford Explorer/Ranger, F150, F250 if I can find one cheap enough (Ex/Ranger would be a good choice to me since I'm still pretty familiar with them and the 4.0L)

-Jeep Cherokee (4 door), Grand Wagoneer

-B body (Roadmaster, Fleetwood, Caprice, Custom Cruiser)

-GM 1/2-3/4 ton pickup

-Ram or Dakota

-AMC Eagle! (for some reason this is my favorite choice so far)

-some bare chassis vehicle...I had the idea of getting one and building rails on it to carry the Jet Skis and tow the boat at the same time
 

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Get an late 80's/early 90's Astro/Safari. They're cheap, reliable, and go forever. My 92 has over 500k on the original engine and trans, and still runs just fine and starts every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a good thought
 

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Stick with a Safari/Astro made before 1996, those are the best. The newer ones seem to fall apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would think the 4.3L would be able to move the boat just fine and I could potentially put Jet Ski rails inside
 

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I have the same boat. Bayliner only makes one cuddy model in 19 feet. Mine has the 3.0L Mercruiser I/O. It weighs a little more than what you are saying. I think the "dry weight" is 2,300 -2,400. Then you put gas in it (24 gal tank) and throw in an anchor and chain and gear and add in the trailer weight and also consider what is in your vehicle (all of it counts as gross wt) and you can ballpark your weight. Short of that, you would have to put it on a truck scale like they have at the landfills to get an exact weight.

As for towing it, any vehicle (properly equipped - tow package or equivilant) factory rated at 5,000lbs should be ok. I'll bet your total weight will be closer to 4,000 lbs all together. Personally, I tow with a Jeep Liberty with the factory tow package and it has 4 wheel disk brakes (my trailer also has brakes) - it makes a big difference. It tows it like it isn't there. And the jeep with it's big disk brakes along with the trailer brakes stops it just fine.

As to launching and retreving, I always use 4hi but used 4lo once on an especially knarly boat ramp and never a problem. Even a paved boat ramp can be slimy especially when your back tires are in the water so that is why even using 4hi will put traction to the ground on the front where you will have a better grip to pull you up the slippery slope so to speak..

In the $1,500 range you should look for an old p/u since it will have a full frame (the best for towing and load distribution) and make sure it is 4wd. A little overkill maby, but best suited for towing in your price range and maybe it will be usefull for other chores for you. A full size p/u will also have bigger brakes and since your trailer does not have any, so this is very important in my opinion anyway.

Sorry for the long post.

Just my opinion.
 

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I would think the 4.3L would be able to move the boat just fine and I could potentially put Jet Ski rails inside
The Safari/Astro is rated to tow ~6,000 pounds. You may want to find (shouldn't be hard, the only ones you can find up here are) an AWD model for those slippery boat ramps. Those are rated a little less though.

If you look at any of the vans, check around the rocker panels and around the windshield for rust. If it's one of the newer vans with the plastic cladding around the bottom, I wouldn't even bother. Those rust out even quicker.

If you wanna save a bit of gas you could find a Crown Victoria instead. Those are cheap and bulletproof.
 

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The Astro/Safari is good choice, preferably the standard length model.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee with the I6 would also be good as well.
Both vehicles have dependable engines, but I would say the Jeep would be easier to work on. Having to remove the Dog House on the astro isn't too bad, but the Jeep would be easier to work on if necessary.
 

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Cant go wrong with a ranger, they tow good, small wheelbase makes em sway a bit but nothing you cant handle.
 

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Our Grand Cherokee has been really reliable and it's super easy to work on. We have a friend who tows his small boat to the Everglades every weekend with his V8 model and occasionally his 1940-something Jeep dunebuggy. GC Gets my vote!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As much as I'd like to own another vehicle my mom is deciding to reinstate our '05 Hemi Durango which has been stored since like November...I tossed the idea by her of keeping it at the cottage to tow the boat around and she sounded pretty positive, so all I'd have to do is pay for the gas :D
 

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So I recently purchased a 19' Bayliner "cuddy cabin" boat if you haven't seen it on the non-car discussion...It's about the biggest boat you would want to have on a single axle trailer and weighs a little over 2k lbs.

My Forester is rated for 2400 lbs...the entire rig is more than likely over that. While my bumper to bumper warranty is now expired due to mileage it's A LOT for a vehicle based on a small car platform :(. It's very stable and braking is great (trailer does not have brakes) but I've burned my clutch too many times maneuvering and pulling the boat out of the water. Forester has enough power to tow it with its 4.11 diffs but nevertheless being maxed out its a lot of strain on everything else, clutch included.

I've been thinking of getting a cheap vehicle to tow it. Fuel economy is not really an issue because I usually keep the boat at our cottage in northern MI and don't have to tow it far to the lakes I like going to. I will be able to store this vehicle inside, so I won't feel bad if it's semi-collectible. It should have a fairly torquey motor along with a good trans, axles, brakes, etc. Oh, and when it's done I don't want more than $1500 invested. I prefer manuals but I'll take an auto. AWD/4WD is not required but wouldn't be bad to have since most the boat ramps I go to are paved and wouldn't require a low-range.

Any issues with these vehicles? I think they all should be able to get the job done:

-Ford Explorer/Ranger, F150, F250 if I can find one cheap enough (Ex/Ranger would be a good choice to me since I'm still pretty familiar with them and the 4.0L)

-Jeep Cherokee (4 door), Grand Wagoneer

-B body (Roadmaster, Fleetwood, Caprice, Custom Cruiser)

-GM 1/2-3/4 ton pickup

-Ram or Dakota

-AMC Eagle! (for some reason this is my favorite choice so far)

-some bare chassis vehicle...I had the idea of getting one and building rails on it to carry the Jet Skis and tow the boat at the same time
Your post is almost a year ago and I want to ask if your boat is still functioning well? Is it nice riding on it.?
 
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