Sally and Mark might have finished boating, but what better way to travel back than in the lap of luxury
Within minutes of launching the boat at Keyhaven, Mark and I were underway, motoring through the tranquil harbour aboard our Cove Fisher 560 in the direction of Hurst Castle. It was a real treat to get a front-seat view of this 16th century fortress, which was built under Henry VIII’s orders and where Charles I languished before being sent to face trial and execution in London.
Once past the spit on which the castle lies, you’re in the open waters of the Solent with its many cruising options, from the Isle of Wight to the Beaulieu River, or the historical ports of Portsmouth or Southampton.
Not only did we have a great day for cruising, but we also had the promise of lunch at the Keyhaven Yacht Club to return to. So after a short jaunt, we returned with the knowledge that we’d have to go through the rigmarole of getting the boat back on its trailer.
I’m glad to say though, we needn’t have worried, as the Land Rover Discovery 4 made the job seem rather effortless. While Mark dropped me off on the landing stage, I went to bring the Discovery 4 round to the beach, which was fast being swallowed up by the tide. Using the built-in Tow Assist function, I was then to position the trailer in the water with minimal effort. It also made the slightly more tricky task of lining the boat up with the trailer less difficult for Mark who, being an old, ahem I mean youthful pro, did it easily.
Once the Cover Fisher was safely on the rig, it was just a case of switching to the Trailer Stability Assist to secure the tow, before slowly manoeuvring the boat back up the beach and away from the rising tide. Thanks to the Discovery 4’s Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control this, like the rest of our day, was an absolute breeze.
Mark is in the driver’s seat
The Discovery 4 has won just about every towing award going – 20 at the last count – and was voted Car of the Year 2011 by ‘What Car’, and now having experienced it myself I can see why. It is well thought out and built for the job, as well as providing all the luxury and refinement of an executive class vehicle.
The rig in this instance weighed in at roughly 1,500kgs, which is under the Discovery 4’s class-leading capacity of 3,500kgs. Even so, you had to keep glancing in the rear view mirror to check you were really towing, while its self-levelling suspension and Trailer Stability Assist kept the tow sturdy.
I’m not a fan of automatic transmissions for towing, but the Discovery 4’s eight-speed automatic gearbox does a very smooth job and always gauged things accurately whether accelerating or, just as importantly, slowing down.