WINDERMERE, ON: Nissan Canada has announced it has entered into a six-year partnership with BOATsmart! to jointly promote the outdoor lifestyle and the “average truck owner at play”.
BOATsmart! is accredited by Transport Canada to educate and certify boaters for their Pleasure Craft Operator Card and is approved in the United States by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). The BOATsmart! Boater Education Card and Pleasure Craft Operator Card are both valid across Canada and the United States.
Snowmobile and ATV licensing is also overseen by BOATsmart!
Nissan Canada will be supplying two branded and one none-branded Titan XD pickup trucks that will be seen at more than 100 events held by BOATsmart! over the life of the partnership.
To celebrate the kickoff, Nissan and BOATsmart! staged a boating and towing event for a group of Canadian autowriters in the Muskoka area of Ontario.
BOATsmart! lined up a selection of water equipment ranging from personal watercraft to mid-size boats with outboard motors and big pontoon boats.
For its part, Nissan brought Pathfinders, diesel and gasoline Titan pickups and an Armada SUV each designed to tow an appropriate boat and trailer.
The mid-size Pathfinder, for instance with its 284 hp and 259 lb/ft of torque 3.5-litre, came with all-mode AWD i-drive with 2WD/Auto/4WD/lock functions and a tow rating of
2,722 kg (6,000 lb). Fuel rating is 12.4/9.2L/100 km city/highway.
The big Armada full-size, three-row SUV relies on its 5.6-litre direct injection V8 with 390 hp and 394 lb/ft of torque with seven-speed automatic transmission and four-mode all-wheel-drive.
It is rated for towing up to 3,856 kg (8,500 lb) with a payload of 718 kg (1,583 lb) using 17.5/12.9L/100 km of regular fuel city/highway.
The gasoline-powered Titan PRO-4X uses the same V8 and seven-speed automatic as the Armada with 390 hp, but 394 lb/ft of torque with rear-drive and part-time four-wheel-drive.
It has a maximum tow rating of 9,080 lb and a payload of 1,480 lb and a fuel rating of 16.0/12.0L/100 km city/highway.
Then, of course, the big towing gun was the 5.0-litre Cummins diesel-powered Titan XD with 310 hp and a stump-pulling 555 lb/ft of torque.
With a tow rating of 9,030 lb and a payload of 1,370 lb, fuel rating is 15.2/11.1L/100 km city/highway.
The object of the event was to use the three Nissan truck models to tow and launch watercraft.
Part of it involved journalists taking the three-hour BOATsmart! test in advance if they wanted to drive the boats once launched.
Readers can go to the BOATsmart! website and see how good their knowledge is for free. And for $49, it’s not a bad idea to take the full test, because you never know if you’ll need it.
One doesn’t just back up to the boat trailer and hook up. It’s a lot more demanding, as readers might imagine, but the BOATsmart! representatives were on hand to explain each step, such as crossing the chains with hooks under the hitch to ensure they stay intact if there is a truck/trailer separation.
Thanks to the driver/towing aids Nissan fits to its truck whether optional or standard, the old days of needing a second person as a spotter are gone.
For instance, Nissan‘s Around View Monitor uses four cameras for a 360-degree view when backing up or even when going forward at slow speeds.
Because the cameras are mounted in the outside mirror housing, the image is not “bent” and this is aided by front and rear sonar and there is Blind Spot Warning to detect objects at the side.
On Titan, the Integrated Trailer Brake Control is teamed with Hill Descent Control to hold truck and trailer at a controlled speed. The system also features Trailer Sway Control to get things in line on bad roads or in windy conditions.
All in all, it was a very interesting and informative day that made it an enlightening experience for those there and a better understanding of what it takes to tow safely.
Click for more information on BOATsmart! and/or to try the free quiz.