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Old 21-10-2011, 13:41   #16
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Re: Towing Dinghy

If you tow a dink, you have a chance to recover yourself if you fall overboard.

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Old 21-10-2011, 13:52   #17
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Re: Towing Dinghy

I used to put the dinghy on the fore deck but after I installed a staysail rig I lost the deck space. I won't have room aft due to the wind vane and frame. I do like the idea of having the chance to grab the dinghy as it comes by if I am in the water. A friend lets out 150' once he is away from congestion, less in traffic, been doing that for years with no problems.
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:02   #18
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Re: Towing Dinghy

The main reasons I don't tow are 1) lost dinghies (known lots of them) and 2) drag, slowing me down and/or consuming more fuel if motoring. Next time you tow (if you must) take a look at the relative size of the waves created by your sailboat and your dinghy. There is a good chance the dinghy is creating greater drag. A really light inflatable tied with the bow up on the transom might be an optimal approach if you must tow (but wouldn't require much effort to bring aboard either).

You might turn the question around: aside from saving a little time and effort, what is the advantage that justifies poor sailing performance and risk of loss? If you want to reduce the time and effort to deflate/inflate a dinghy then get a 12VDC power inflator - it dramatically improves owning inflatable dinghies.
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:07   #19
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Re: Towing Dinghy

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
You might turn the question around: aside from saving a little time and effort, what is the advantage that justifies poor sailing performance and risk of loss?
I often wonder if, which sailing to windward, a dinghy stowed on the foredeck creates more air drag than one being towed in the boat's draft.
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:37   #20
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Re: Towing Dinghy

The dinghy can:
- flip (had that happen),
- get violently pushed into the transom by a wave (had that happen),
- get pushed under the transom in very short waves (had that happen).

- should you have a man-over-board drill, the painter can get entangled in the rudder or the prop, so you should add shortening the painter to your drill

And, of course, the unpleasant jerking of the painter over the waves. We do one of the following things depending on the conditions:

- [waves from the aft] tie two elastic painters to both aft cleats and adjust them so that the jerking is dampened by alternative tensioning of the painters;
- [waves on the bow] two painters and let the dinghy go behind on double painter to dampen the jerking;
- [waves and wind on the beam] two painters with the short one being on the leeward cleat;
- [waves on the bow or stormy and no time to put the dinghy on deck] tie the dinghy with two painters of even length as close to the transom as possible - best with the bow out of water. It lessens the surface area, so less drag, and makes the dinghy rigid in reference to the boat.
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Old 21-10-2011, 15:48   #21
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Re: Towing Dinghy

Re the drag due to towing a dinghy - next time you are doing this go grab the painter and feel the amount of force required to tow it. We have a 11 foot dinghy, empty (no motor mounted) with an aluminum floor so the whole thing weighs about 100 lbs I guess.

I tried measuring the force with a handheld luggage scale, but of course the force varies a lot as the dinghy bounces. Nevertheless, it's in the range of 5 - 15 lbs. The force required to pull it varies with speed, but it's rather small, especially compared with the force required to drive the boat through the water. At the higher speeds, the force of course increases, but so does the force from the sails, in fact probably the effect of the drag is vanishingly small as you go faster (get closer to hull speed).
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:04   #22
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Re: Towing Dinghy

afmstm- Agreed that the force can be quite variable. A light dinghy will plane quickly, and once on a plane will be easy to tow. The longer the dinghy the less the drag before planing, so your 11 foot wins on that score as well.

I have an 8 1/2 foot fiberglass RIB. For my 31' boat in most conditions, the dinghy basically never gets on a plane, but is in that pre-planing maximum drag situation. It is nothing near as low as 15 pounds. I have known folks with a fast 41' boat (flat bottom, fin keel, spade rudder, sail drive) that do pull the same dinghy (on a plane) behind with little fuss. So one size does not fit all.

Drag is yet another reason to prefer longer, lighter dinghies. It may or may not be an issue in each case: YMMV.
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:17   #23
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Re: Towing Dinghy

My dingy weighs 425 pounds no other option but to tow
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:46   #24
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Re: Towing Dinghy

I had this plan, as I only have a little 26 footer, to tie the dink to the stern with just the bow in the water. As in hauling up the dink transom high out of the water. I'm planning on a rigid tender rather than inflatable but with the boat set up as a cutter rig there is no room on the deck for one. I was also planning on making a two part tarp cover for it that joined in the middle with velcro. Bad idea?
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:01   #25
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Re: Towing Dinghy

Why you do not tow a dinghy - two reasons -money and more money.
If you are insured check the addendums at the back of your policy and you will normally find that towing a dinghy negates coverage for the loss or damage to the dinghy.
Second reason as stated by others, you frequently meet cruisers who have lost a dinghy when towing it (me included) and that $4K of dinghy and motor is very expensive to replace.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:05   #26
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Re: Towing Dinghy

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Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
I had this plan, as I only have a little 26 footer, to tie the dink to the stern with just the bow in the water. As in hauling up the dink transom high out of the water. I'm planning on a rigid tender rather than inflatable but with the boat set up as a cutter rig there is no room on the deck for one. I was also planning on making a two part tarp cover for it that joined in the middle with velcro. Bad idea?
A good following sea will fill the dink, and the drain hole is up in the air. Velcro is not strong enough to prevent this. There is a commercial "davit" that does this - "dinghy-tow". Some folks swear by it but I have my doubts.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:22   #27
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Re: Towing Dinghy

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A good following sea will fill the dink, and the drain hole is up in the air. Velcro is not strong enough to prevent this. There is a commercial "davit" that does this - "dinghy-tow". Some folks swear by it but I have my doubts.
Good points thankyou. I shall review my plan.
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Old 21-10-2011, 20:50   #28
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Re: Towing Dinghy

I intend to acquire a hard dinghy. Enough of those "rubber duckies."

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Old 21-10-2011, 21:26   #29
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Went to a presentation on wednesday night , at a local yacht club . The presenter shared how towing his dinghy , sank his 38 foot trawler . Got caught in an unexpected gale , and the force of the 75 mph winds that surprised them was to great to drag the dinghy to the boat . The rowe line ripped the bow clear of the lil whaler dinghy , and when the longer spring forward , out wrapped around the prop shaft and rudder , leaving then with no motor or steerage . Had to be rrescued by a carnival cruise liner . Should have seen the pictures of what that storm did to the inside of that boat .broken bulkheads , water tanks busted loose , battery bank flying around on the engine compartment . Boat was never seen again
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Old 21-10-2011, 22:04   #30
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Not to hi jack the thread but this one gave me a question to ask, im on an Ericson 36' and I have an old fiberglass sailing dink with no mast but my question is if I shouldn't tow it where is the best place to keep her when im under way? Im very new to sailing so be gentle ...lol
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