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Old 16-09-2011, 22:28   #31
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Re: Gone Dinghy

Ive made that crossing about a hundred times and can tell you that you can leave with a flat calm and get there in 10 foot seas,and the weather report says its 3 foot seas- so be careful, it needs to be back 150 feet or more riding on the back of your wake
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Old 16-09-2011, 22:30   #32
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Re: Gone Dinghy

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Originally Posted by captainKJ View Post
as i came up to the sailboat i realized that we were both bobbing so bad there was no way i could get back aboard..

My wife had to run the sailboat about 10 miles in the 8 foot seas as i motored beside her... she was NOT happy..


At least you had some piece and quiet before the storm. Bet you heard about that one for hours after you got to port
I bet hes still hearing about that!
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Old 17-09-2011, 02:46   #33
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Re: Gone Dinghy

I just have experience with towing behind a sailboat. We were following the advice someone gave us about 1 wavelength back and it was going fine. Admittedly, we were going from Portland ME to Woods Hole on the outside, so really should've collapsed the dinghy (high-pressure floor Zodiac)... But the weather was supposed to be good and we had ridden similar winds in the past with the dinghy no problem. Yes, it slows you down, but we didn't want to worry about blowing it back up only a day or two later.

Before we got to Cape Cod, of course in the middle of the night, the weather turned and we ended up in some confused waves. The dinghy was bridled to the aft cleats on two attachment points. It flipped and started diving with every wave. With my other half now on deck we managed to pull it to the transom using winches and a spare line to lessen the load, he flipped it the right side up, and, after arguing who should do it, I jumped in the dinghy and retrieved the gas tank that had been tied to the dignhy and was now being trawled behind. After I got back on board we pulled the dinghy as close in as possible with its nose sitting on our transom. It worked well for the rest of the passage.

My other half still says that if we had the engine on it, it might not have flipped as it would have been heavier and more stable. I disagree.

It was our laziness and faith in weather forecast that allowed us to make this mistake. Though now it's a lesson well learned: never-ever tow the dinghy unless it's in settled weather over short distances.

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Old 17-09-2011, 10:36   #34
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Re: Gone Dinghy

I did earlier recommend the one wave length for the distance to tow a dinghy, but this was only for the best thought I had for towing. I must say I never tow a dinghy offshore anymore. Back in the seventies I looked aft in a blow and saw my inflatable spinning in the air like a tailess kite! I keep my light weight dinghy empty and tightly fastened at my davits with the outboard and tanks on board. I even do this in sounds like the Pamlico and the Albemarle or in the Chesapeake Bay except for a short well-forecast day.
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Old 17-09-2011, 13:39   #35
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Re: Gone Dinghy

If you tow inflatable with motor removed try tying water gugs or fuel gugs at the stern end, helps to keep the nose up for towing.
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Old 17-09-2011, 13:59   #36
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Re: Gone dingy

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Just behind the second hump in your wake... I've towed a 13 Whaler THOUSANDS of miles behind a 28 Bertram and a comm'l tug. I found it able to take anything either of the big boats could. Pull the plug and go for it!
Here's a yacht entering the Juan De Fuca Strait (on a calm day) towing good-sized RIB. Since there are a lot of protected waters in the PNW, wonder if the yacht master is making a dash across open waters during a favorable weather window. I don't see a crane to lift the RIB aboard.

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