Towing a 320 sundancer

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by Mike sandor, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    35
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    2005 260 Sundancer
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    350 Mercruiserw/Bravo III drives
    been throwing around the idea of buying a 3500 chevy duelley to pull this boat.
    The specs state that in order to pull close to 19000 lbs, you need a fifth wheel hitch and a goosneck trailer. If that is so, then most folks are probably not legal. Hell, when looking for a shipper, when asked what he would use, he said a 3500 duelley. I am thinking the first stop at the weight station and you would be pulled off the road. Am I missing something here?
     
  2. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    431
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2000 Sea Ray 380 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    8.1L Gas Mercruiser V8, V-Drive Inboards
    Hey Mike this will be a tricky one for the forum because laws vary state to state. Both BoatUS and AAA have very good guides as to what is legal in each state. I used a company called "Mercury Permits" out of Tyler TX for my permits. They have been super helpful. We 'downsized' to a 2005 280 SUNDANCER. I had similar questions and got lots of answers. In the end, we had to get an oversize permit because of the width. We are within 6" of MAX hight. We are also surprisingly close to the max length allowed in CA for a combo of truck and trailer. Our tow vehicle is a 2017 4x4 2500 HD Silverado, Extended cab with the 8ft Bed. It is spec'd to tow 14,500 lbs. The boat is on a standard three axle trailer with electric over hydraulic disc brakes, set on Maximum on the in-dash controller. I would not like to tow this set up with anything less than what is described above. In CA even with a Class A license, a standard trailer is only suppose to weigh 10,000lbs and a 5th wheel allows you to go to 15,000lbs. Sea Ray says my boat's dry weight is 8,500lbs, and our trailer is maybe 1500lbs. My best guess is I am pushing into the 11k range fully loaded. I am not required to cross the scales. We have the oversize Permits, so 'da da'. A 320 is a lot of boat. Challenges are going to be braking, and wind, long steep downhill runs, and the countless schmo's who will try to merge between your truck and the boat. Permits are cheap!
     
  3. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    35
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    2005 260 Sundancer
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    350 Mercruiserw/Bravo III drives
    Apreciate your reply. Personally, I am comfortable with the prospect of towing this boat and trailer assuming the equipment is rated and legal. I understand that I will need over width and height permits. My need to tow is limited to the initial relocation of the boat from Missouri to Wisconsin and then the ocasional haul out for maintaince and winter storage. If it was just the relocation, I would choose to higher that out, but that does not address other needs.
     
  4. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    431
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2000 Sea Ray 380 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    8.1L Gas Mercruiser V8, V-Drive Inboards
    Aside from the legality issue, I do not think you would have any trouble with a 3500 Chevy tow vehicle. We were able to get a one time tow permit for our initial tow and then a yearly Permit once we had all the titles in order. Most likely Wisconsin has the same thing and it may be cheaper to just get the Permits for the few times you plan to tow. I am not sure what the spec'd tow weight would be with a 3500 'Duelley'. Looks like they MAX at about 23000. I know I looked at GVR and GVWR (and a bunch of initials) trying to be sure if a nice officer looked inside my door, he would see the numbers he needed to see. I suspect nobody will ever look, and so far no officer has given us a second glance. But I am 58 and own my house. I can not afford to have the insurance company 'side step' me, on some technicality, if (God Forbid) something ever goes wrong. It is not me I am worried about. I towed race cars all over the state. I am a "full-boat" ASE Master Tech with 16-years of driving all sorts of cars, every day, wrenching for a Chevrolet Dealer. I am from Wisconsin originally. My Dad and Uncle made sure I knew how to drive in ice and snow (and back down a ramp at the lake) when I was 17 years old. I am a high performance driving instructor for the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) in CA. I can say, with some authority, there are a whole lot of really bad drivers out there, and we have to share the road with them. CYA. Make your boating days about boating, Sundowners, bringing up fish, and towing happy kids around in tubes.
     
  5. Sundancer

    Sundancer Active Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    Prosser, WA
    28 year old CLASSIC 300 DA!!
    16 cyl, 700 cu. in./Alpha I's
    I tow an 89 300 DA on an UPGRADED bumper hitch behind my 04 Chevy crew cab dually . I did a couple of trips over the scales and the truck with me in it and half a tank was around 7,400 lbs,. Boat and trailer was right out of winter storage so there was no water on board and the fuel tanks were around 1/4 (of 140 gallons total). The boat and trailer weighed 12,800 and there was an additional 1,100 lbs on the hitch for a total of 13,900 lbs. Of course, the Sea Ray weight shows 9,999 lbs empty but who knows how accurate that is. I know newer boats seem to be much heavier. I've been towing this for 10 years now and the only scary time was a quick unexpected turn on slightly wet pavement where I almost jack knifed the truck and trailer. Aside from that, it tows really well. I've towed all over Washington and Idaho. We tow to the San Juan's every summer and spend a lot of time at the lakes in Northern Idaho. The truck is very capable and I have electric trailer brakes. I sling the boat into salt water because the trailer is home made and I don't think it's sufficiently protected or built for salt water use. It's a triple axle trailer and aside from eating the front tires (I seem to sacrifice one a year to the trailer gods no matter how new they are!) it's not been that much different from towing a 240 DA other than the Over Sized load signs we have to put on at the launch before we leave. The flexibility to go anywhere is definitely worth it!
     
  6. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    I don't know what you have but the 8,500# dry weight is for base engine combination.(single 496 w/B3) I've got the twin 5.0 w/B3's on a steel tri-axle and am over 13,000#.
     
  7. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    431
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2000 Sea Ray 380 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    8.1L Gas Mercruiser V8, V-Drive Inboards
    Thanks Woody :0)
    This is much better information. My 11,000lbs weight is just a guess. Also, your numbers and 'Sundancer's' seem to be in agreement. I have the (x2) 5.0L B3 set up in our "new" 2005 280DA as well, so I am probably heavier than I think. Mike was toying with towing a 320DA, which would spec at 14,150lbs with the Standard 2x300-hp 350Mag B3's. Add trailer and equipment, so he is definitely going to want to pay attention to the towing capacity of any truck he looks at as well as be sure on the Wisconsin trailing rules.
     
    Mike sandor likes this.
  8. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    Enjoy that 280DA, it's a great boat. Once Mike gets his boat up near the lake there won't be much attention paid to it when he moves it around. Lots of good size boats on the roads. My 420DA is on 2 lane state HWY 13 a couple times a year.
     
  9. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    35
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    2005 260 Sundancer
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    350 Mercruiserw/Bravo III drives
    So, I pulled the pin on a 2018 3500 dually. The class v hitch is rated for 20000 lbs. trailer and boat will come in under that. With the weight of the truck, curb weight
    at 8070 lbs, I am going to be very close to the 26000 lb max allowed before needing a cdl. Waiting on the overall weight of the trailer before I start studing for the cdl.
     
  10. SCORPIO

    SCORPIO Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    Delaware
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    I tow the same boat as Sundancer an 89 300DA. I tow it with a 2011 Ford F250 CC 4x4 single axle Powerstroke with a Reese Titan receiver hitch on a 2017 Venture triple axle aluminum trailer. I also use Mercury Permits and with my BoatUS discount, its a simple process to get permits. I went across the scales with the truck, all my gear, the boat, trailer, a half load of fuel on boat and truck and no water or sewage and my brother in law in the cab. Total weight was just around 22,000 lbs. My truck is rated for 23,500. I'm towing in relatively flat terrain but had no issues with pulling it or stopping it. I have hydraulic disc brakes on all three axles. Proper tongue weight is essential to a smooth tow. Get a tongue weight scale or one of the new draw bars with a built in scale and you will be able to set up your boat and not be guessing.
     

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