Tender/dingy towing might be as contentious as the anchor/anchoring threads, but here goes:
Sure seems to be a lot of unwarranted paranoia about towing a decent sized fiberglass tender
(but I can understand if towing the typical flimsy-boat). Never towed from a sailboat, so I can't speak to that, but towing from your trawler
should be a non-issue.
Tow it correctly and you will have no problem. I tow my 17' Whaler behind my 42' lobster boat every time I go to the Bahamas
, and it has NEVER been a problem, even when the weather
went slightly downhill. Just plan your weather
Dingy/tender cut-offs and losses while towing usually occur due to towline or hardware
failure, exacerbated by failing to maintain a good watch.
Here is a tow rig suggestion based on what has worked for me:
Check the towing eye, and add a second one if needed. Attach a 15' towing pendant with eyes on each end (prob 5/8 twisted nylon) using a quality shackle. You can add a short safety
line to the pendant from the second towing eye (or other attachment point) as a back-up in case of hardware
failure, but I rely on a single
point hookup on solid hardware.
The towline should be made of 100 to 200 feet a high quality floating line like 3/4" Samson
Ultra Blue and is attached to the pendant with a quality shackle, and to a bridle
on your boat in a similar manner. The bridle
(made of same Samson
Ultra Blue) is attached to the two stern cleats
or other well mounted hardware and consists of two legs somewhere around 12' to 18'. Make sure the shackles are safety
You can tow the tender
up short using the pendant when in close quarters, and extend anywhere from 100' to 200' when in open waters. You will need to experiment
with the distance towed astern in order to find the sweet spot in your wake in which the tender will ride smoothly.
Use chafing gear
where needed and keep an eye on the lines. I tow with the engine
up all the way, you may need to see if this works for you, but there is no reason it shouldn't.
Go here to see how some rigs are made and sold for bigger tenders (no affiliation): Towingeyes
That 14' McKee Craft will make your trip really enjoyable, and you will wonder why more don't do the same. Its not rocket science and its not dangerous when done correctly, contrary to many opinions.