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#1 Posted : 23 January 2019 13:23:14(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 9

Hi, forgive me if this is a topic that is well rehearsed but since this will be my first season sailing Aries (21/71) I am trying to learn as much as I can before my first launch.

I managed to tow Aries safely,, on what looks to be an original trailer, to her new home in Shropshire, with my current car a 2 wheel drive, 1.5 diesel Qashqai. However I intend to tour and launch ( not exactly close to the sea in Shropshire) and I know the Qashqai won't cut it. So which car to buy? Especially now all diesels are considered the devils spawn.

Am I right in thinking any 4x4 with towing capacity of 1500kg or higher will be enough? I appreciate bigger is better.

A Kia Sportage or, if I can hide the bill from my wife, a Volvo XC40 are in the frame at the moment.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

P.S. If anyone has experience of touring to Scotland or Ireland with their 21 I'd love to hear from you.

Fair winds


Alan Needham  
#2 Posted : 24 April 2019 20:09:11(UTC)
Rank: Member

Posts: 16
Location: TRING, Herts

Hi Steve

I weighed my P21 on its trailer and the total was 1550 Kg. I had a Mondeo initially but this struggled so I went for a Nissan XTrial T30, it's a bit long in the tooth now but pulls the boat and trailer really well. Unfortunately for us tuggers newer cars are getting lighter so I have been looking at the Nissan XTrail T31 you can get these up to 2014 ish. Also Land Rover Freelander2 would be a contender. With the 80% weight recommendation for towing I would not go much below 2000Kg for a vehicle weight.

Hope this helps


David Smith  
#3 Posted : 27 April 2019 20:44:10(UTC)
Rank: Member

Posts: 16

Hi Steve,

Years ago we owned a Parker 21 Cloud 9 which we trail sailed behind an old Mitsubishi Shogun.

Great car, very reliable, loads of grunt but not the most economical.

We did not do annual high milages!

Was fantastic on gradients and slippery slipways.

We often helped recover other peoples boats from slipways as their cars were running into difficulties.

Low ratio gearbox, diff locks etc. make for an easy life!

I would also highly recommend fitting a front mounted tow bar as it makes manoeuvring in tight spaces and launching and recovery on slip ways a doddle.

Have a look at this link https://www.watling-towb...co.uk/front_towbars.html the video says it all. Other companies do copies of this. Our local tow bar centre did a custom system for me.

We have friends with big ribs and sports boat who use the front tow bar for launch, recovery. It makes water sports so much easier and quicker!

We greatly enjoyed Cloud 9 trail sailing.

Enjoy your 21, have fun, the Parker 21 is a great boat!!


Blythe Spirit 285 HS

#4 Posted : 01 May 2019 22:40:00(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 9

Thanks for the replies. Some really useful information. Launched and recovered on Sunday at Pwllheli with the Qashqai. All went well but definitely need more grunt to make it a more ‘comfortable’ experience.

Really like the idea of a front towbar. Didn’t like dipping rear electrics in water on shallow slip.

Dave Jeeves  
#5 Posted : 10 June 2019 20:44:14(UTC)
Rank: Member

Posts: 10
Location: Cheltenham

Hi Steve

I tow and launch my 21 with a volvo AWD XC70 that weighs just over 1700 kg and it copes well enough on road and slip.

#6 Posted : 11 June 2019 13:38:43(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Posts: 106
Location: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Some comments based on varied personal and observed experiences over the years include:

Before you commit to changing your vehicle, take your complete outfit, together with all the equipment that you hope to put in the boat when you are towing it, and find out what the whole lot really weighs! Make allowances for anything not aboard that you expect or hope to to add and leave aboard - especially heavy items like trailer spare wheel?, outboard engine? full tank of outboard fuel? 12v battery? coolbox? toolbox? etc, etc.

Try to keep the total towed weight below 85% of your vehicle's rated towing capacity, and certainly don't exceed it!

When comparing vehicles, try using the PBO [Practical Boat Owner] Towing Index results - PBO came up with this years ago. Its formula was EC(MT/KW] where EC = Engine capacity in CC, MT = Maximum torque, KW = Kerbside weight in Kg. If the result is below 150, forget it!, 150-250 = average, 250-350 = Good, 350-450= Very Good. So torque is the major factor, but these days that can as well be turbo petrol torque as diesel torque.

A front towing ball would be ideal on any vehicle, but especially on a front wheel drive 2x4, since it will keep the weight on the driven wheels when launching/recovering. A cheaper alternative on a 4x4 - less convenient but just as effective in keeping everything clear of salt water - is to have an extension bar, which can be as simple as a scaffolding pole with a hitch on one end and a tow ball on the other, carried on the trailer.

BTW, when you're weighed it, check the rated capacity of your trailer's tyres! It's all too common for trailer manufacturer's/economising owners to fit/replace tyres with less load bearing capacity than the rated capacity of the trailer. I can tell you that it was not funny to be overtaken my own trailer wheel on the motorway... On subsequent used trailer boat purchases, I have often had to immediately replace the tyres either because of under capacity or age hardening cracks in side walls [it's worth learning how to read the date codes on very tyre wall - I treat 10 years as the maximum safe age ...

And a final tip -for safe and snake minimising towing, make sure that you adjust your trailer axle so that you have the maximum nose weight on the towing hitch allowed by the vehicle manufacturer.

Geoff Sheddick

Parker 27/146 "Stroller'

#7 Posted : 15 July 2019 16:17:44(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 9

Once again thanks. Some great advice. Much appreciated.

Steve 21(71)

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