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This is partially my fault but I was told by the dealership when I purchased my 2013 outback that it can tow a fishing boat with ease.. I know it's a 4cyl engine and the towing capacity is 2700lbs (i think).. so my question is has anyone used the 2013 to tow a boat 17'+ ?? Do you see any issues towing a boat without brakes on the trailer? I think I am limited to boats 15-16' but most boats that I am looking at aren't that size.

Any help is appreciated.. thanks!
 

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Your car should easily be able to tow a 17' boat depending on the weight. I have pulled many boats and when in the 22'-28' range they can easily exceed 3,000 lbs. If the boat is in the 1,200 to 2,000 lb. range they are not a problem. I just towed my 1,400 lb. pop trailer 1300 miles over the Sierras in Northern California and averaged 24mph with my 2013 CVT Ouback 2.5i. It had no problem at all.
 

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Blankasf4 -- I tow boats have towed several with both my subarus for nearly 11yrs of towing.

The key thing is weight and windage. I have hauled a 21ft 8.5ft wide 1700lb including trailer racing sailboat for many years. The limit is not power with either the 2.5 or the 3.6 it is cooling capacity in hot summer temps and the length of your climb.

My 2.5 CVT tows the 1700lb boat beautifully but I avoid 90+ degree heat trips where I have decent climbs. Power is fine cooling ability is your limit.

Owners manual states
104+ degree outside temps and 5+ mile climbs
CVT is limited to a max weight of 1350lbs
5spd AT is 1500lbs
and the Manual Transmission is rated at 2700LBs (CAution you that I know for a fact that the manual will have cooling issues with 2700lbs in 104+ temps and any climb!) I spent 11yrs towing with the 2.5 5spd MT yes cooling is your limiting factor.

Having said all of that fishing boats are not created equal!
The cheaply designed and built boats are very heavy.
The super cool well designed boats are exceptionally light!
This is my top favorite 18ft long 600lbs 6passenger CG rating sealed floatation tanks including a water ballast system and the most efficient hull you will find meaning 20hp will push it to 23Knots or so and give you 65mile range on 5 gallons of fuel.
Absolute thing of beauty and highly respected designer and boat builder.
PT Skiff
Rough numbers suggests about $8000 to build a very, very nice boat.
 

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Just remember to figure the all up weight of the rig , not just the weight of the boat . Boat+motor+gas+battery+trolling motor+trolling motor battery+all other gear in the boat +trailer etc. can add up a lot faster than you expect :( In my case , what I thought was a conservative 1500 lb rig , turned out to be just short of 2000 when I got a chance to put it on a scale !
 

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Just remember to figure the all up weight of the rig , not just the weight of the boat . Boat+motor+gas+battery+trolling motor+trolling motor battery+all other gear in the boat +trailer etc. can add up a lot faster than you expect :( In my case , what I thought was a conservative 1500 lb rig , turned out to be just short of 2000 when I got a chance to put it on a scale !
LOL
Yep we have what us Sailboat racers call weight creep. We all generally end up literally removing EVERY item off the boat a couple times a year and then basically repack the boat with the bare essentials - required gear etc and even on a 1300lb three man sailboat its not uncommon to shed 100lbs of crap that some how found its way on the boat over time. Yes in the sailboat racing game we even pack the refreshments light three crew three beers :)

For the power boat you really shoot for less than half your total towing capacity or your personal towing weight target for the bare hull and your trailer weight. Then you have plenty of capacity for your water toys and gear you might want on the boat.

For example for my power boating interests and some of the fantastic Sierra Lakes I really like my basic hull and trailer weight for my interest would be some place around 1300lbs or less ideally. Then that leaves plenty of capacity for camping gear and such for the climb to the lake.

Another reason I really REALLY like that PT Skiff given the hull with OB is 600lbs. Makes hauling it nearly a zero impact on the Outback under any road condition. Not to mention its just an awesome highly capable boat.
 

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Just an additional thought . do not trust the weights listed on brochures or given to you by salesmen ! Weigh the rig on a certified scale yourself ! Just a few things that happened to me : The weight listed for the trailer turned out to be for the " base " trailer , mine as built and with a few options was over a 100lbs heavier . Same thing for the hull weight , turns out when they said bare hull weight that was exactly what they meant ! Needless to say , the weight as delivered was a bit more .:( Combine that with a few things that could have gone in the car, and there goes the leeway I thought I had .
 

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Just an additional thought . do not trust the weights listed on brochures or given to you by salesmen ! Weigh the rig on a certified scale yourself ! Just a few things that happened to me : The weight listed for the trailer turned out to be for the " base " trailer , mine as built and with a few options was over a 100lbs heavier . Same thing for the hull weight , turns out when they said bare hull weight that was exactly what they meant ! Needless to say , the weight as delivered was a bit more .:( Combine that with a few things that could have gone in the car, and there goes the leeway I thought I had .
RV business does the same thing with their published weights. What he ^ said. Get real numbers for the boat your interested in. Not just the empty hull lacking the parts they bolt to it before it rolls out to the sales lot.
 

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well the boat I am interested in is a 95' nitro 180fs which is an 18' boat that NADA lists as 1305lbs.. now I think that is w/out the motor and the trailer. (1995 Tracker Marine NITRO Series 180FS(**) Standard Equipment, Boat Value, Boat Price & Craft Specs | NADAguides)

Should I even attempt to purchase this boat or will the outback not be able to tow this?
Well the honda 115hp outboard is basically just shy of 500lbs yes I think your right to assume the empty hull is 1305 ish. Try checking a few fishing forums see if you can find an owners forum for that boat I bet you can get more specific weight details and engine stuff from them.

But just rough guess empty hull no OB weight 1305 + 500lbs engine with oil. Not counting fuel- not counting trailer weight which safe bet is 500lbs or more for the trailer pending how heavily built the trailer is. Your clearly bouncing off the 2700lb max limit pretty easily.

Our 18ft 1972 with 5L v8 IO was nearly 4000lbs with trailer we used a F250 to tow it.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5 speed, 2005 F250 6.0 Powerstroke, 2000 F150 5.4 triton
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well the boat I am interested in is a 95' nitro 180fs which is an 18' boat that NADA lists as 1305lbs.. now I think that is w/out the motor and the trailer. (1995 Tracker Marine NITRO Series 180FS(**) Standard Equipment, Boat Value, Boat Price & Craft Specs | NADAguides)

Should I even attempt to purchase this boat or will the outback not be able to tow this?
Must my 2 cents but I have a 09 5 speed and I've used it to tow my lawn mower and trailer a few times when my truck was down. total weight probably 2300-2500 lbs. The max tow is 2700 so I'm getting close. When I tow it I take it easy and don't accelerate hard and I've had very few problems. Now their was a customers driveway that had a moderate incline. My car could not pull the trailer up the hill. It would just slip the clutch, 189k on that clutch so take that with a grain of salt. I know their are mountain passes with grades similar to his driveway. What I would consider is belt sip for your CVT. You probably won't notice it as drastically as I will notice my clutch slip so you could be wearing the belt at a faster rate. My point it realize the belt in your CVT is a wear component and factor that in. On a side note. I tow on a daily basis at work and while I wouldn't hesitate to to pull a small trailer across country with my Subaru I do know I would need to change my driving style in that car substantially if I am pushing max capacity. Cross winds, breaking, and aggressive maneuvers will all be different when towing so just be prepared to take it easy
 
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