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I have a 2000 VW New Bee, 5 speed standard. Can this car tow - short distances - a boat & trailer including up and down the ramp? About 2300 lbs. Thanks.


First off, there’s nothing of any substance to hook it to. The frame on that car is not stout enough to support a hitch capable of handling a 2300 lb boat.

Secondly, A VW isn’t designed to handle the weight. It’s too short and the boat trailer will nearly pick the front end off the ground making steering dangerous at best. The brakes on a beetle are tiny and have not the capacity to handle a boat.

Consider a half ton truck for a boat of that weight.


At 2300lbs, you’d be hard pressed to find any car that is rated for that weight, save for perhaps the Ford Crown Victoria. You’d need, at minimum, a small pickup, like a Ford Ranger, or Toyota Tacoma.

Most of the ramps I have seen I would not try this. You have to check out your ramp and make a judgment call. If the ramp is somewhat steep or if the lake has a regularly fluctuating height and there is algae on the ramp you will have problems. You also have to think about how many people are using the ramp. I have seen fights break out at overcrowded ramps when people did not launch/pull there boats fast enough.

You also have to look at the end of the ramp and see if there is a sudden drop off, because even if you can launch/pull your boat, the Beetle will not be able to do it if a trailer wheel has gone off the edge of the ramp. If that happens you are going to be up the proverbial creek.

Can it do it? Probably if it is done right. Should you do it? Probably not. Now that being said I regularly launch a 16ft aluminum fishing boat with a 2wd 250cc ATV, but where I launch it there are maybe 5 people who use the ramp a year, and the ramp is very shallow angled and very well maintained by the 5 people who use it.

There are not many small cars that can tow this weight. The only one I know of is the Subaru Impreza(2700 lbs towing capacity) which some friends bought for this purpose to trailer their smaller sail boat. I would feel confident with a Subaru as it has AWD to overcome the ramp and apply traction. Any FWD small car I would be quite leary on a boat ramp.

I’ve launched an aluminum boat with a lawnmower in a pond. They don’t weigh 2300 lbs. My aluminum boat weighs about 1000 lbs max. We’re talking about hauling it on the highway not going across the farm to the pond.

The 4 wheeler also probably has a stouter hitch on it than a volkswagon, I know my lawn tractor did.


I know. I was stating that to show that the ability to pull the boat at highway speeds has little to do with the ability to launch/pull a boat, or brake, or handle for that matter.

The boat itself may way little, but when you add a 15hp gas engine, gas, tackle, oars, et cetera, it can easily push the weight way up there.

That weight was total. I believe the hull is about 300 lbs, engine about 300, batteries, gas. Livewell empty of course it’ll be heavier on the way out :slight_smile: