Can Your 2017 Subaru Forester Safely Tow a Boat? Everything You Need to Know

If you’re an owner of a 2017 Subaru Forester and an avid boating enthusiast, then you may be wondering if your vehicle is capable of towing a boat. Towing a boat requires knowledge about the towing capacity of your car, as well as the weight of your boat and trailer. In this article, we will explore whether a 2017 Subaru Forester can safely tow a boat, provide tips for safe towing, and discuss all you need to know about towing a boat with your Forester.

Towing Capacity

The towing capacity of a vehicle refers to the maximum weight that the car can tow safely without causing any damage to the engine, transmission, or other components. According to the official specifications from Subaru, the 2017 Forester has a towing capacity of up to 1,500 pounds. This means that it can tow small to medium-sized boats that fall within this weight limit. However, keep in mind that this may vary depending on the model, engine, and transmission of your Forester. It’s essential to consult your vehicle manual or contact your Subaru dealer to ensure that your car can tow safely.

Equipment and Modifications

When it comes to towing a boat with your Forester, you need to ensure that you have the necessary equipment and modifications to do so safely. First and foremost, you need a trailer hitch that is compatible with your Forester’s make and model. This hitch will enable you to attach the boat trailer to your car securely. Second, you need to ensure that your boat trailer has working brakes and lights to comply with the law and ensure your safety. Lastly, you may need to make some modifications to your boat trailer to ensure that its weight is distributed evenly and supported correctly.

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Safe Towing Tips

Towing a boat can be challenging, especially if you are new to it. Here are some helpful tips to ensure safe towing:

  • Always check your car’s towing capacity and ensure that your boat and trailer fall within the weight limit.
  • Double-check that your trailer hitch is securely fastened and that all safety chains and harnesses are connected correctly.
  • Ensure that your boat trailer has functioning brakes and lights.
  • Practice safe driving habits, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, avoiding sudden lane changes or turns, and reducing your speed when going uphill or downhill.
  • Be aware of the width and height of your boat and trailer and avoid narrow roads or low bridges that may cause obstructions.
  • Check your tire pressure, brakes, and engine fluids before setting off on your journey.

Selecting a Boat Trailer

Selecting the right boat trailer for your Forester requires careful consideration of various factors, such as the weight and size of your boat, the distance you plan to travel, and the terrain you’ll encounter. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a boat trailer:

  • Ensure that the trailer is compatible with your Forester’s make and model.
  • The trailer should have the correct weight capacity for your boat and be evenly distributed to prevent swaying or instability.
  • Make sure the trailer has functioning brakes and lights.
  • Choose a trailer with good suspension to absorb shocks and vibrations on the road.
  • Consider choosing a trailer with an electric winch to make loading and unloading your boat easier.
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Q: Can I tow a larger boat than my Forester’s towing capacity?

A: It’s not recommended to tow a boat that exceeds the towing capacity of your Forester. Doing so can cause damage to your car’s engine, transmission, and other components, and you risk your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Q: Do I need a special license to tow a boat with my Forester?

A: No, you don’t need a special license to tow a boat with your Forester. However, it’s essential to ensure that you have a full valid driving license that permits you to drive with a towing hitch.

Q: Do I need insurance for my boat when towing it with my Forester?

A: Yes, you need boat insurance when towing your boat with your Forester. Towing your boat without insurance is illegal and risky as you will not have any coverage in the event of an accident or damage to your boat.


In conclusion, towing a boat with a 2017 Subaru Forester is possible, but it requires certain precautions to ensure safety. It’s essential to ensure that your Forester’s maximum towing capacity is not exceeded, you have the necessary equipment and modifications, and you follow safe towing tips. By keeping these things in mind, you can enjoy boating with your Forester without worry.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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