Pull a 16' Hobie cat with a Honda Fit?

honda
fit

#1

Is it possible to pull a 16’ Hobie cat that weighs about 800 lbs with trailer with our manual transmission 2008 Honda Fit (load max of about 850 lbs, I think)? The distance would be about 1/4 mile from the community dock to the house but would be about 10-15 miles to get it home from the seller. Our other car isn’t an option - 2007 Prius.


#2

How hilly?


#3

Getting to and from the ramp I dont think would be a problem. The problem would pulling the boat out of the water and up the ramp. The front wheel drive cars I have seen at ramps dont do well at this. I have had problems pulling a 16 foot boat out with a 2 wheel full size truck. Sand and water on ramp can be slick.


#4

My feeling is that it won’t be a problem because the weight is really not that much.

A guy I know used to routinely pull a 14’ trailer with a gross trailer weight of a ton or well over; and did it with a motorcycle.


#5

When I sailed a Hobie Catamaran, I usually unhitched the trailer and backed it up to the water’s edge by hand. Usually we picked up the boat and set it on the trailer rather than needlessly put the trailer’s wheel bearings under water. For the short distance you describe, a Honda Fit or even the Prius should be no problem. You probably aren’t going to go any faster than 25-30 mph anyway.
Towing on a highway is another matter, while the boat doesn’t weigh much, that trampoline and the wideness of the boat catches a lot of wind.

Keep your weight well to the rear of the boat when broad reaching in heavy air, these boats love to dig in the leeward bow which results in a pitchpole capsize.


#6

Could you offer to pay the seller a reasonable fee to deliver the boat to you?


#7

Absolutely no problem. Boat and trailer should be well under 500 lbs. You won’t even know it’s there! I would definitely use the fit. I don’t know where the 800 lbs comes from unless you’re using an old non Hobie trailer. If it is one built for the boat, it is much less.


#8

I think a trailer hitch on the front of a FWD car could be helpful for pulling the boat out of the water.


#9

It would be cheaper to rent a tow vehicle than it would be to install a hitch on your Honda Fit.


#10

It really depends on the boat launch. If it is concrete you will be fine, if it is sand or pea gravel you may have trouble. The towing part seems reasonable though you may have to get some specialized parts to have trailer lights. Whitey has a fine suggestion or a case of beer and a bud with vehicle 4wd and towing package would not be a bad option either.


#11

The boat trailer weighs so little, there is little reason not to install a hitch for pulling and bike carrying. Heck, the weight of a couple of bikes could easily be greater then the hitch weight of this boat and dedicated trailer. We towed a larger Dart 18 Cat many miles. The small compact never knew it was there.
It’s like 500 lbs at the most. Other then lights , you need no special equipment, 4wd or anything else. If the car can’t pull this light a boat up a ramp, it couldn’t climb the ramp with a passenger in the rear seat ! Enjoy your boat !


#12

I used to pull a Hobie 14 and trailer all over the country with a Datsun 620 pickup, 2 liter four and five speed.
I did the regattas and sailed in several nationals, winning the Hobie 14 Nationals in 1989 held at Lake Spencer near Oklahoma City. I even met Jeff Alter, son of the inventer of the boat, Hobie Alter Sr. at one of the regattas.


#13

@BLE
Congrats…if a little late. ;=) The Hobie 14 is a great little boat, just impossible to move much with two people and much weight on board. The tramps on these and the 16 are definitely made for those with good backs. I just couldn’t get comfy on them or the 16. Either way, they weigh almost nothing when towing. My short multihull racing career of 5 years, was on a Dart18 which was equally easy to tow by anything. I liked it much better then the H16. But, the H16 is tough as nails and has flourished still because of it. The Dart is much easier to sail faster with better forward displacement making it much less prone to pitch poling. And, with the completely sealed mast, it recovered more easily.


#14

I understand all the issues of trailering with a small car but just back from Germany and it was amazing the small cars that were pulling good sized trailers with not problem at all, starting, stopping, or going. The utility trailers did seem to have dual axles though which may reduce the tongue weight. One small VW was even hitched up to a heavy car hauler. I don’t understand the difference there and in the US the same as I don’t understand how they don’t refrigerate milk.


#15

Big difference: diesels. Lots of the small cars in Europe are diesels, just about none here are.


#16

In Europe, you generally have little choice but to tow with smaller vehicles if you need to at all. Full size pick ups and other " ideal" tow vehicles just can’t get around easily and paying for gas / diesel when not towing for these behemoths makes their ownership prohibitive for most. You do what you have to. Besides, I’m going to guess that the average miles driven in some European countries is substantially less with less opportunity or need or desire to tow. Also, when many Europeans talk about Boating, it’s often in a small sailboat. Americans view boating differently…often with pontoon or party boats and anything that burns gas so all they need to do is turn the key and drink beer.


#17

The boxed shelf-stable milk you don’t need to refrigerate has been heated far more than our pasteurized milk. It tastes different, too, as if it has been cooked (as it has.) Europeans often have limited refrigerator space and milk cartons are bulky.


#18

Thanks. I’ve wondered about that for years and no one really seemed to know. The first time it was just kind of disconcerting to see it sitting out all the time and then put it on your corn flakes.


#19

Once it’s opened that milk should go in the fridge. You can buy it here.