Can you Legally Tow a Dive Club Boat?

If you are interested in Towing the club boats using your vehicle there is a few important – legal – requirements that your vehicle must meet. The below information was provided by Nick Nutt, a member and regular launch and recover for our Club Ribs and is meant to act as a guide to members. Thank you Nick.

  • Tornado (full of fuel but no dive kit) has been weighed on an official weigh bridge and weighs 1,320 kg
  • Ribcraft is 1,920kg

    Step 1:

    You need to consult your V5C registration certificate (used to be called the logbook) where there is a section “O” entitled Technical permissible maximum towing mass of trailer. 

    Reference the boats weights

    • The Tornado (full of fuel but no dive kit) has been weighed on an official weigh bridge and weighs 1,320 kg
    • The Ribcraft is 1,920kg in the same trim).

    Step 2:

    Your vehicle needs to have a Technical permissible maximum towing mass of trailer greater than Tornado (1320kg).

    If it does;

    You can legally tow the Tornado on the highway (subject to insurance permission)

    Step 3:

    There is one more calculation you need to check do. Which is referenced from the website here.

    Most cars have a maximum weight they can tow. It’s usually listed in the handbook or specification sheet.

    Alternatively, the vehicle’s ‘gross train weight’ may be listed on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate on the car. This is normally under the bonnet or inside the driver’s door.

    The gross train weight is the weight of the fully loaded car plus fully-loaded trailer and must not be exceeded.

    If your VIN plate does not list a train weight, you should not use your vehicle for towing”.

    Step 4:

    Look at your “logbook or V5C Document” section “G” will show Mass in service of (Example 1505 kg). (This must be gather than Tornado) and referring to the vehicle VIN plate the maximum ‘gross train weight’ is (Example 3,620kg) .

    So, the maths begins!

    With the boat & trailer at 1,320kg plus the vehicle at 1,505kg = 2,825kg taking that away from 3,620kg leaves 795kg (for people & kit in the car. 

    In other words, although the car can tow a certain amount the overall weight of trailer, car, passengers & kit it must not be exceeded.

    The only caveat to this is might be launching & recovering the boat from a private slip way which may be deemed “off highway” by your insurance company so its not covered anyway! The Mount Batten Slip Way is a Public Slipway therefore all rules of the road apply.

    The more people who can tow, launch and recover the more diving the Club can do.