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Old 17-04-2015, 07:51   #1
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Towing a RIB

Sorry, I know there are a plethora of towing threads, but the ones I've found don't really differentiate between RIBs and the soft bottom inflatables.

We just moved up from an inflatable floor to a 10'3" deep V Hypalon RIB with 15 hp Yamaha electric start( yes, I'm spoiled rotten!) :-)
Was wondering about towing. I did not think I needed to use the d rings on the inflatable part since the dinghy has a nice sturdy pad eye but WM instruction manual implies to use the D rings.

We will only tow in calm protected waters.

Here is a pic, I'm in the process of uglyfying the dinghy and motor to hopefully prevent theft.

Thanks
Erika
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Old 17-04-2015, 08:18   #2
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Re: Towing a RIB

Without seeing it, it's hard to know how "sturdy" the bow eye really is, I've seen RIBs develop stress cracks in their vicinity, so... here's 2 things I'd consider, given the size and weight of yours...

Fix your towing line or bridle to strong points on the transom, instead... Pass them under the bottom, and through the bow eye, using it simply as a fairlead, instead...

I'd strongly suggest the use of a snubber to minimize and shock loading, as well... In addition, rig a 'looser' secondary/backup bridle, that can be fixed to the D-rings on the tubes, the length adjusted so it will not see any real loads, but will help keep the boat in line, should she begin to surf or wander from side to side...

Good luck, and never forget that getting into the habit of towing a boat and motor of that size, no matter what the circumstance, can often be asking for trouble...

:-)
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Old 17-04-2015, 08:24   #3
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Re: Towing a RIB

I would say that is some exceptional advise right there!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Without seeing it, it's hard to know how "sturdy" the bow eye really is, I've seen RIBs develop stress cracks in their vicinity, so... here's 2 things I'd consider, given the size and weight of yours...

Fix your towing line or bridle to strong points on the transom, instead... Pass them under the bottom, and through the bow eye, using it simply as a fairlead, instead...

I'd strongly suggest the use of a snubber to minimize and shock loading, as well... In addition, rig a 'looser' secondary/backup bridle, that can be fixed to the D-rings on the tubes, the length adjusted so it will not see any real loads, but will help keep the boat in line, should she begin to surf or wander from side to side...

Good luck, and never forget that getting into the habit of towing a boat and motor of that size, no matter what the circumstance, can often be asking for trouble...

:-)
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Old 17-04-2015, 09:24   #4
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Re: Towing a RIB

Thanks Jon, that is what was thinking, just never rigger it that way before, nor have I seen it done.
I've been playing with making my own bungee snubber for the dingy painter as I can make them smaller and more cushy. Thought to put two short bungee snubbers at the base of the painter so it would be out of the way during everyday use.

Thanks for the advice, this RIB is a much bigger beast then what we expected for a 10'3", but I needed electric start motor and thus the domino effect :-).
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Old 17-04-2015, 09:26   #5
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Re: Towing a RIB

I had the same motor with electric start and the same size dingy.

When towing, remember to raise the engine, as with it down not only does it add considerable drag, but it makes the dingy surf back and forth.

This is a lot of weight and while a convenience, only bad things can happen while towing, therefore i would only do it for short distance or time.
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Old 17-04-2015, 09:27   #6
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Re: Towing a RIB

I have towed my WM 11.5' Rib from the bow eye (single line) for about 800 miles with no cracking that is apparent at this point. Most of this was in pretty calm conditions although I did venture out one night around last New Years in some reasonably nasty conditions.

I learned a lot from that little misadventure and after watching the dinghy get pounded side to side, I was completely prepared to lose it. Some type of bridle may have helped keep it straight but the rise and fall of the waves just jerked the heck out of the thing (still no cracking though).

I will keep towing it for the time being until I can re-design and make new davits that will carry the weight of this dinghy, but as Jon Eisberg said, I am still asking for trouble.
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Old 17-04-2015, 09:41   #7
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Re: Towing a RIB

We tow our 9'6" heavy-as-rocks caribe dinghy (which we do love). We have towed it through some snotty stuff in the straight of Georgia. No stress cracks, and rides like a dream... So long as the motor is off. Even in nasty breaking waves, she rides along happily (do not recommend this option, to be safe, but has never been an issue for us) if the outboard (big 15 HP 2-stroke Yamaha) is on, she plows and tugs at the line and won't skip along happily behind us. We're not fancy either with one of those nifty lifting cranes. We have a second attachment point on the boom by the main sheets and lift it that way. Reliable, and no chance of little weak me dropping that thing overboard. Highly recommend removal of outboard for towing.

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Old 17-04-2015, 09:45   #8
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Re: Towing a RIB

Your bow eye is likely fine. It's surprising how much one can take. (don't ask how I know!)

If nothing else you should remove the motor each time. You shouldn't carry that motor on the dink even when you get your davits so maybe work on the motor crane first....
With just the RIB back there there's not a lot that can go terribly wrong... even if the RIB is upside down! But it can be problems. With a hard dingy it can be big problems.
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Old 17-04-2015, 09:47   #9
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Re: Towing a RIB

Forgot to add I was thinking of using amsteel from transome to the pad eye area before transitioning over to a stretchy nylon as primary tow line. I have floats that I place to keep the line from sinking to prop depth.

Our friend here in the mooring field just lost his dinghy at anchor during a blow(38knot gust max) his pad eye blew out and his secondary D rings broke. I didn't see his set up but he is a good sailor so I don't think it was gross negligence. He did not have any lines coming from the transome.
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:14   #10
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Re: Towing a RIB

+1 on always removing the motor. We have a motor crane with a block an tackle and harness for the motor. Same engine as yours and my wife can easily install/remove it on her own in less than 3min. If we are only going a short distance we leave the motor on, otherwise it always comes off. We tow with the eyebolt only and keep the line pretty short. We have heard of eye bolts breaking so we have an additional cable that we also use to lock the dingy up that connects the bow pad eye to the stern pad eye.

Cheerio
Will
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Old 17-04-2015, 15:10   #11
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Re: Towing a RIB

Ocean Girl,

Use a bridle, cleat off port and stbd on the stern.

Also, make up a short series drogue*, that you deploy aft off the dinghy transom. (We installed a couple of cleats for the purpose.) Using the drogue keeps the dinghy from surfing down a wave or a wake and assaulting the big boat's stern.

* the drogue.....We used old dock line for the stern bridle, secured the cones through it, and made 3 cones out of "herculite", a pvc cloth with a polyester scrim. [The first one we made, had nylon cones, and they quickly frayed.] We used an old small piece of chain for the weight.

If you have to tow the dinghy a lot, all that will help. It will slow you down, but the little drogue is only worth a knot in boat speed. The weight of the motor also slows you, and you may want to figure out somewhere to mount the motor on the big boat.

If you have to anchor in a big blow, we --with our wide sugar scoop stern-- tie the dinghy athwartships, to keep it right side up and in the lee of the big boat. I don't know how that would work with the shape of stern your Crealock has, obviously not well if you've a windvane mounted. If you have to side tie it, secure it both bow and stern, so it can't invert.

Cheers,

Ann
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Old 17-04-2015, 15:18   #12
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Re: Towing a RIB

We tow our dinghy quite far behind, (~50'?) Which prevents issues such as the dinghy skidding into the big boat. When I was a kid, we were out in really rough choppy stuff (fraser river north arm mouth, with a big ebb, and 30 kts. From nw winds, and an big outflow from howe sound) and our big rib slid down about a 6' wave UNDER the big boat's (42') transom. We had a swim ladder there which punctured the front tube. Dad hopped in the dinghy and brought it back into sheltered waters, leaving my terrified mum and two little girls to bring the big boat back around and to meet him at the sheltered space. Stuff of nightmares there, and lesson learnt: long tow lines, and a dinghy that can be put on deck if need be.
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Old 17-04-2015, 16:13   #13
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Re: Towing a RIB

If the dingy is well made the primary eye is meant for towing. Use that as the main attachment point, and from the painter a meter or so out from the bow, a bridle to the two D's on the tubes - so you have 3 attachment points. When the bridle is properly tensioned, it will ensure the dingy tows straight.

Make the painter long - 10m or more. To shorten it, tie it in a senit. This allows it to be used short, and unraveled quickly and easily if you need a longer painter. Use a decent peice of braided, cored sailing line for the painter. Pull out say 2m of core at the free end, remove the core, and sew in some heavy bungy - about 1M, then use the removed core for the final 1M again. Splice on a safety harness double action clip to the end - it allows you to clip on to anything, a round turn and back to itself on a heavy bollard etc. NEVER comes off, no matter who ties up the dingy!

We have towed our 3m RIB, with the 15HP on it, at over 20 knots (Behind a launch), and in some pretty rough seas behind the yacht. It tows really well set up like this, even moderately rough conditions. Leave the bung out so it can drain, and have it, as mentioned above, quite a long way behind - certainly in your wake behind the rooster tail!! We do lift it all aboard for Ocean passages, or in any conditions that might have breaking seas....
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Old 18-04-2015, 11:59   #14
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Re: Towing a RIB

Thanks for the great advice. We are installing the Gauhauer motor lift today( at mooring- fun!). But we have a great tackle I use to climb the mast, a 5:1 ratio, that we can use also. The motor will definitely come off every time and boat cleaned out.
Thanks again
Erika
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Old 18-04-2015, 12:28   #15
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Re: Towing a RIB

THRe's alway one, myturn this time!

I would fit davits and lift the dinghy. We have a West RIB 310 hypalon with a 9,9hp 4 stroke Mercury. We too have a lift crane on the aft deck to lift the motor off and onto a pushpit rail bracket, but wealso leave the motor in place on the RIB sometimes and it's fuel tank inside for local and calm water trip use. Our davits are rated for up to 600lbs and have 6:1 rope tackles, plus the tackle lines conveniently run fair to our ( centre) cockpit sheet winches, easy peasy, wind it easy. I only use the winch on the engine side, as the bow end lifts easily just by hand, through the davit mounted cam cleats.

I stopped towing dinghies years ago, too much drag affecting boatspeed, especially in light winds and under engine the drag pushes fuel consumption skywards as well. Plus you are forever looking behind to see if it is still there, still right way up and not about to rush up and fly on board to join you.
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