Best 4WD for towing a boat on sand???

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 17:48
ThreadID: 20248 Views:10721 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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Hi all...

My friend (no it is DEFINITELY NOT FOR ME!!!) wants to get a 4WD to tow a largish boat on sand so he can launch it from the beach.

My wife and I were suggesting patrol/landcruiser but they want something smaller. My friend seems to have his heart set on a Hyundai Terracan that he has seen. (I think he's a bit nuts)

What would be the best vehicle for this activity???
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 17:56

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 17:56
Depending entirley on the size of the boat, the new Turbo Diesel Terrican might actually be one of the better options. Obviously a Landcruiser or Patrol would easily do the job but $$$$ And try parking one of those buggers at the bank at 4pm!

AnswerID: 97275

Reply By: Pluto - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 18:35

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 18:35
Another option might be a Prado. Not that I have driven one but I am aware that recent models have excellent towing capacity.
AnswerID: 97285

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:30

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:30
The 4 litre petrol Prado would be perfect. With 179KW of power it does well on sand. 2.5 tonne towing capacity with a 250 KG ball weight should cover all boats suitable for a beach launch. Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 355927

Reply By: Goona - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 18:56

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 18:56
It all boils down to the size of the boat. If it is a 12ft tinnie then no worrries a terracan will do the job. If it is a 6 meter boat then a Patrol or Cruiser is the smallest I would even contemplate and then I would want another 4WD for back up. I have towed a 6m plate boat behind a diesel landcruiser ute with no troubles until the entrances then the fun starts. Behind the patrol turbo wagon it is not as good as the old ute was but still does the job. All to do with gearing.

AnswerID: 97289

Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 20:24

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 20:24
I would say it depends on his tyres as much as anything. As I recall Terracans have crappy car tyres standard. He will need good high profile tyres he can let the air right out of and get maximum flotation in soft sand
AnswerID: 97318

Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:03

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:03

As a Terracan owner I can tell you they love the sand. Plenty of power (petrol) to handle sand (need to keep the revs up, but not ringing the arse out of it).

Standard tyres are very ordinary on dirt/mud but would probably be OK in the sand, however I would recommend flinging the standard tyres before delivery and get A/T's fitted.

An idea of how they perform in the sand is this: we (three cars) tackled a big dune at Robe, SA. A GQ diesel got half way up and stopped, A 100 series Landcruiser T/D got 3/4 up and was buggered. Then I had a go in the Jerry Can (and had no idea what I was doing), kept the power up to it and it flew up the dune. Andrew then had another go in the 100 series with some more effort and got up.

In my opinion, on sand, it is a simple matter of power to weight ratio, and in this situation the Jerry Can is a great vehicle. Different matter on hard bush trails.

Towing a boat on sand would be a matter of keeping the engine on the boil (around 4000 rpm) and let the power do the work. However not with a BIG boat. If I wanted to tow a BIG boat on sand I would go for a 4.8 petrol Patrol or a V8 Cruiser. Still don't think they would put the Jerry Can to shame (after all they are carrying a lot of extra weight in themselves to start with).

Hope this helps,


AnswerID: 97325

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:17

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 21:17
Doesn't matter what ............... as long as it's auto with a ton of grunt ..... or maybe an old 6x6 GM or Blitz.... then they could pop the Terry on top.
AnswerID: 97327

Reply By: Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 22:16

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 22:16
I saw the add on TV for a Ford Territory. It was towing a boat up a sand dune. Must of been at least a 16 foot fibreglass!! Might have to trade the patrol in......

AnswerID: 97343

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 00:47

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 00:47
Yeah, I saw an add on tv showing one of those new holden V8 ute's towing a boat up a beach.. BLAH. They are supposed to be "all wheel drive" but when 4WD Monthly got hold of one, it couldn't even get up a slightly bumpy track on the way to the beach !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the case of your friend, I think he should tow his boat, on just a normal road with a terracan, and see how it goes. Should get some idea of the towing power it does, or does not have. Tell the salesman this is part of his test drive.

If it doesn't have grunt to spare, then forget it.
AnswerID: 97374

Follow Up By: Utemad - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 13:41

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 13:41
Didn't the Commodore ute AWD tow a speed boat on Mars?

Bet a Cruiser couldn't do it.
FollowupID: 356043

Reply By: V8troopie - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 02:21

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 02:21
Towing a largeish boat on beach sand? Well, it depends on the sand composition. If its firm sand then a 4WD suitable for the load to be towed should do the trick.

But, if its loose, soft, sand then nothing beats a tractor - seriously -. You'll likely burn out your 4WD clutch while trying to move a big boat trailer on soft beach sand but an old fergie tractor will move it in second gear. :-0
AnswerID: 97383

Reply By: flappa - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 09:07

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 09:07
So many "ifs" .

Boat size , sand condition , etc.

A new Turbo Diesel Auto Terracan would probably be as good as anything for this.
AnswerID: 97399

Reply By: MrBitchi - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 09:19

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 09:19
Commercial fishermen up on Fraser use a mixture of Toyota utes or F250's, all with BIG tyres of course. Then they use old tractors to launch and retrieve.
BTW, has your mate ever launched from the beach? Bit of a black art, very easy to get bogged......
AnswerID: 97401

Reply By: D-Jack - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:10

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:10
Saw a show on Chanel 31 Adelaide (community TV) on Sat. called Caravanning with Thommo. He towed an extra wide (8 foot) off road caravan all over Fraser Island with a TD Terracan. Let the tyres down and worked a treat. Caravan would have weighed at least 1.5T. The TD Terracan looking good for my next purchase, with a bit of a lift of course!
AnswerID: 97566

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