The best cars to tow a boat – from jet skis to speedboats

Abu Dhabi International Boat Show is here again and if you're looking to invest in a little water-based ride, you'll need suitable transport

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The Abu Dhabi International Boat Show is with us once again and many of you may be enticed into purchasing something of an aquatic nature. If so, you’ll need to get it transported somewhere. What everyday vehicle should you choose for this though?

Obviously, a flat-bed truck would do the job in most cases, but that might be a little over the top for some of your lesser craft. With this in mind, we've chosen a few vehicles that'll do the job nicely for anything on the smaller end of the marine spectrum. Anything bigger, though, and you'll need to call in the professionals, or possibly your local Chinook dealer.

Inflatable canoe

Come on, you don’t need a special vehicle for this, you can get the box home on a bus or in the back of a taxi. You could probably even fit it in a Smart car. Just.

Rigid canoe

Any car with a roofrack will work here, or maybe, this being the UAE, a pick-up truck like the Toyota Hilux. The Japanese workhorse will actually pull 3,500 kilograms, which might be considered overkill for a 30kg canoe. Your new purchase can be safely secured in the back with the aid of some bungees though.

Small sailing boat

These can vary in size, but an Enterprise, a popular two-man sloop-rigged dinghy, comes in at around 100kg. You won't need a beast to pull this, so a Suzuki Celerio, with its ability to pull 400kg, would work. Don't forget to put the sail down before you set off as not doing so won't make you go faster.

ABU DHABI - JULY 3,2010 - Jet ski tour along the Abu Dhabi Islands. ( Paulo Vecina/The National )
You'll be needing a relaxing ride home after all that. Paulo Vecina / The National

Jet ski

Jet skis vary in weight, but, unless it's something customised for a James Bond film, they're not usually more than 400kg. The Honda CR-V's 680kg tugging capabilities should be just what you require in this instance, so hauling something like a 348kg Yamaha VXR should be a breeze.

Powered runabout

You'll be needing something a little beefier here, but for anything weighing up to 1,000kg, a Toyota Rav4 Adventure will suit your purposes. The popular Japanese 4x4 will pull 1,600kg, so you'll still be able to carry a couple of extra cool boxes alongside, say, a 977kg Bayliner 170 Bowrider.

Cabin cruiser

You're getting serious about your boating now. And, to transport something akin to the 1,750kg Axopar 24 to your marina or, indeed, storage facility of choice, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with its 3,500kg dragging limit would be suitable for the purpose.


Like most of the categories here, weights vary considerably, but your Fountain 32 Thunder Cat vessel comes in at 2,450kg, so the 4,200kg pulling capability of the Ford Expedition will be okay. The boat can reach speeds of 130kph though, so if you're not going that far it might be quicker to go by sea.