“Typical day in Lincolnton.”

Lincolnton resident Joey Puig shared photos he took of his local police pulling over a driver in a late ’90s Chevrolet Cavalier coupe towing an entire 20-22 foot Bayliner boat. If that wasn’t bad enough, the boat was haphazardly secured to what looks like a makeshift trailer made from the bed of a Ford Ranger.

Check out the unique towing setup below.

Details are few and far between from Puig about what happened to the driver and his boat but, based on the photos, we can make some educated assumptions.

While I’m not sure of the legality of towing an entire boat of that size with just a car, I assume it’s within the rights of local police to pull over the Cavalier as, from 20-feet away, anyone can see that that tow setup just doesn’t look right.

For one, all trailers are required to have safety chains capable of holding whatever load you’re carrying in the event of a trailer detachment. This Cavalier seems to not have any.

Also, loads that extend beyond four feet from the rear of the bed or body must be marked with a red or orange flag. I can’t see any such flag and doubt there is one.

And yup, that’s definitely extending more than four feet.

The nearest large body of water is Lake Norman, a whole 47 miles away, so, thankfully police pulled this guy over when they did. Who knows if he’d safely make it the whole way up and back.

As mentioned, he’s driving a Chevrolet Cavalier. A quick scroll through of the owner’s manual reveals that, when equipped with the larger 2.3L Quad 4 engine, Chevrolet gives the Cavalier tow rating up to 1,000 pounds.

So yes, you can tow with a regular Cavalier.

This is by no means a regular load and certainly not 1,000 pounds and under.

First, the trailer is cut from a Ford Ranger so I’ll assume that’s 500 pounds.

20-22 foot Bayliners from the ’80s weigh at least 4,000 pounds.

Add that all up and that poor Cavalier and its 150 HP four cylinder is towing at least 4,500 pounds.

And, as commenters wonder, who knows how the “trailer” is attached to the rear of that Cavalier.

Trailer setups over 4,000 pounds are required (but not often enforced) to go through an annual inspection and, for sure, this tow setup would fail any kind of scrutineering.

The comments on Puig’s post are worth quoting.

“I seen this on 150 and I was trying to explain to my friends but it never sounded as sketchy as it looked in person,” Dylan pop commented.

“This would have been ok in Vietnam. The whole family can even ride in the boat as it being towed,” Tswv Tuam Khaab added.

If you’re on private property or are just moving your boat for something like less than a block, I can see how towing a several thousand pound boat like that Bayliner would be, while sketchy, OK.

But, if you’re taking that tow setup on the open road, be prepared to answer questions from police if and when you get pulled over.

Do you think police were right to pull him over?

Let me know your inevitable .02 in the comments below.


  1. Yep, the police did his/her job by stopping this menace to public safety on the roads. Traffic and the way people drive around lake Norman is bad enough without having this “accident waiting to happen” on the road. A load distraction hitch is required for that much weight unless it is on a trailer designed to carry the load with it distributed equally. I am guessing here, but I am thinking neither applied in this case. Especially the trailer part. Can you imagine the amount of whip that would occur with this trailer if he reached the right speed. When the load you are towing weighs more than what you are towing it with, disaster normally follows.


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