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This is a crazy idea!

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Can a 1025r with the FEL attached launch a boat?

3269 Views 70 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  Jimbuoy
Hello! Recently purchased a small pontoon boat (1200 pounds) and trailer (500 pounds) and I am considering launching it from my boat ramp using a three point hitch receiver (drawbar). I towed the boat around the yard with the FEL on and didn't have any problems. My concerns are: #1 backing down the compacted gravel ramp without boat/trailer pulling the tractor into the water and #2 the tractor being able to pull the 1700 pounds (and some water weight) out. I would say it's about a 20% incline and the ramp is made out of compacted gravel. Am I nuts to consider this or just being a chicken?
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Boat, trailer, and water will weigh more than your towing machine.
Doesn't sound good to me. Keep it in 4x4 if you try it though.
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it'll launch it once. :)

I would get a drawbar and then, I think you'll be fine. I pull around 20' car hauler ~1200 just fine. I think it'll pull that up out of the water just fine too - I think.
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it'll launch it once. :)

I would get a drawbar and then, I think you'll be fine. I pull around 20' car hauler ~1200 just fine. I think it'll pull that up out of the water just fine too - I think.
Either that or it willaunch the tractor too. If on pavement might be OK, but gravel or ground, might be a little sketchy. If I were you, if you try this, load up the bucket with something heavy. More than enough power just to little traction.

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Use wheel chocks on the tractor tires, don’t rely on the parking brake. Ballast your tractor as heavy as you can. I’m assuming this ramp isn’t real steep or long?
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I have read you dont' really want to use the 3pt for towing any loads that can pivot up - like a boat trailer as there is no down force on the 3pt.
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I’d say no, you’re asking for trouble.

The tractor weighs too little to have sufficient traction pulling up that steep a grade. If I overfill the land plane with driveway gravel on about a 5% grade the tractor struggles with enough traction to keep moving uphill. That’s less weight being pulled than tour boat weighs dry. I recommend using your normal tow vehicle.
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It might work. Boat dealerships use tractors for moving boats in and out of the shop. They do tend to use a little bigger tractor.
I don't like the 3ph tow bars, but a lot of people use them. I don't own one. Wouldn't use one.

I also don't pull trailers which are heavier than the tow vehicle*. It's a fundamental safety issues unless its a purpose built tow vehicle, like a semi tractor.

Add in a 20 degree slope, gravel ramp, new boat and I wouldn't do this........But each owner needs to do what they feel is best for their situation and safety.

*Unless using an engineered weight reduction, load leveling hitch, etc. Such things are not used on tractors pulling pontoon boats........

Personally, I ONLY use a low 2" square hitch tube mounted hitch receiver, mounted below the tractors rear axle, which also requires an extension, to place the ball mount back far enough to allow the tractor to make turns with the hitch in place. A 12" hitch extension on the proper frame mounted hitch works fine for pulling smaller trailers and loads.

I have the ball mount inverted in the receiver to level the towing of the trailer, I would suggest you consider the level trailer as very important as well, especially on a launching slope.



Should the machine owner do this? That's a personal call on risk / reward. I wouldn't do it........
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I think it would work. But I really would need to see the ramp and boat in person.
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If the pontoon is not strapped or tied to the trailer it will launch it, the weight will come off of the trailer once the trailer is in deep enough for the boat to float. The bigger question is if it will pull it back out. If the ramp isn't steep and your tractor is on dry ground it probably will.
I would use a draw bar not the three point that free floats up. I would have some one slide a wheel chock or 6x6 behind the tractor after the trailer wheel is in the water.

edit: definatly a 6x6 so they can stay to the side of the tractor and not behind it.

Also would insurance cover the tractor if it goes in the water while launching a boat?
This is one of those questions where, if it were me, I’d ask myself whether I was 100% confident I could avoid the worst-case outcome. To me, that would mean having my tractor dragged into the water. Since that answer’s a “no” then I personally wouldn’t do it. You may have a different answer to that question.
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Sure it will launch it ... Maybe the tractor too! ;)

How far into the water would the rear tires of the tractor have to go into the water?

If it were me ... I'd get a helper, and hook the helpers vehicle to the front of the tractor, then slowly back down ... If the tractor can't hold it, then the helper will hold you, and you won't give your tractor a bath, and know it can't do it, on the other hand if there is constant slack (6") then you know it will do it!

What do you normally use to launch it?

I like the idea of putting some weight in the bucket ... Any way to also have weight in the back, like a heavy hitch, or a ballast box with a hitch in it?
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Hope you have someone taking video. I suspect it will be fun to watch. If I were you, I would wear swimming trunks.
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I'd have another vehicle with a winch on standby, just in case.
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I was assuming concrete, gravel may change the equation, but I think it'll pull 2k pounds up any normal boat ramp all day long (low gear, 4wd). Put a couple hundred pounds in the bucket and let us know how it goes. (so some suggested, prudent to tie it up to a tow vehicle just to be safe until you prove it out.)
I said yeah on the survey but like someone else above I'd really prefer to see the ramp first. I wouldn't have a problem doing it with my old boat and my 1025R at my local ramp, but everyone's situation is different and as @Toonzy suggested, if possible I would have a vehicle with a 10k+ winch hooked to the front frame of the tractor just in case. Leave the winch in gear and have the driver spool out as you back down. Agree on hand signals for "spool out", "stop" and "spool in" beforehand.

If all goes well the first time or two then I wouldn't worry about having a winch vehicle present anymore.
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Sure it will launch it ... Maybe the tractor too! ;)

How far into the water would the rear tires of the tractor have to go into the water?

If it were me ... I'd get a helper, and hook the helpers vehicle to the front of the tractor, then slowly back down ... If the tractor can't hold it, then the helper will hold you, and you won't give your tractor a bath, and know it can't do it, on the other hand if there is constant slack (6") then you know it will do it!

What do you normally use to launch it?

I like the idea of putting some weight in the bucket ... Any way to also have weight in the back, like a heavy hitch, or a ballast box with a hitch in it?
The tractor tire would not be in the water. I have launched it using a pretty old 2 wheel drive Ram.
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My 2 cents (now worth 0.01 cent due to inflation). IF you put a reciever* on your bucket and use an appropriate hitch with it, you might be able to push the boat and trailer into the water and IF you are able to keep the rear wheels on dry ground and IF you have appropriate rear ballast, you might be able to pull it back out.

*

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