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Old 20-03-2016, 16:02   #1
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Dingy?

I'm looking for opinion's on the pro's and con's of towing a hard dingy. I've towed inflatables, but never hard. I need a new dingy and was looking to the inflatables pricing when a friend offered a older aluminum 12' Valco, nice and wide in beam, for free, my kind of price! I would only tow it with maybe a crab pot or two lashed in. What issues can I look to when towing such a boat? a little coastal sailing and P.N.W., I'm not a blue water guy and neither is my old sailboat. Thank you for any experience shared.
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Old 20-03-2016, 16:51   #2
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Re: Dingy?

Uncle bob,
I used to tow my canvas over wood 8' dinghy up and down Long Island sound, would loose as much as a 1/2 knot towing. Made a difference on a overnight or several day cruise
out east. was also unsettling to see dinghy with 50-60 ft. tow line surfing past the transom
on a brisk day. (have heard of others going airborne in inlets)
As you know not much room on a Lancer 30 but I now carry my light weight 9 1/2Ft. air floor inflatable on board for long distances then inflate and tow for short/local
distances.
Maybe towing hard dinghy for short, local, in protected waters ok otherwise to much
adventure.
12 ft. seems a little on large size for a 30 fter to tow.
What year is your lancer? ... looks a lot like my 1985 mk V
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:05   #3
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Re: Dingy?

Hi Hugo. Full Circle is a 1980, very good shape and yes room on board is tight but ok for me. 1/2 a knot is considerable on a 6.5 knot boat, that's important to me. Surfing past? holy crap! It's is rather large at 12', it's not going on the deck that's for sure, that's an important consideration. I had decided on a 9.5 inflatable air floor myself, a little bigger than my last. but still able to roll up and tuck in quarter birth. Thank you for the insight.
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:16   #4
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Re: Dingy?

My dingy decision was mandated by my cruising itinerary.

I was going to sail around the world, and I had to be able to roll up my dingy to store it in the cockpit when sailing offshore. That dictated and inflatable floor.

A tinny would not have worked for me, but I have seen lots of them down under.

A large tiny could be really nice if you are going short distances only.
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:18   #5
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Re: Dingy?

You'll lose a half a knot easy. I couldn't figure that out when it happened to me, in my case 25,000 lb boat pulling a little 10' inflatable, then I realized I was pulling it well beyond its hull speed, but below planing speed, so drag was just stupid high.

Came to realize too, don't tow anything you will mind losing, but a free boat and a couple of crab traps might fit that bill.
Just don't tow with motor on, or boat will end up upside down with motor underwater or worse motor will work loose and fall off.
I tried towing close to minimize drag and make it safer, but surprised how loud the thing was with the water hitting it. Some say watch the waves behind your boat and adjust line so the towed boat is sort of surfing to reduce drag.


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Old 20-03-2016, 17:37   #6
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Re: Dingy?

A 12 foot aluminum boat? I'd pass, even for free. It's going to be that little metal boat's mission in life to make contact with your boat and leave marks.

I used to use one to get to my boat when I was on a mooring. I doctored up the gunnels of the 12 footer with a bunch of foam, pool noodles. They tended to not stay on, and any tiny bit of the metal boat that was un-protected managed to uncannily find it's way to my topsides gelcoat. Nooooo thank you.

Also, I don't want to tow anything that I can't bring on deck when the going gets rough.
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:40   #7
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Re: Dingy?

I tow a 10' aluminium dinghy all the time when cruising local waters. Nothing to it. To stop it surfing, I use the outboard in a slight raised position so the drag helps stabilise it. In rough seas, I take the outboard off and it does like to dance, but I live with it. I guess a small drogue could be used to stabilise it instead. As for loss of speed, you loose some, but the idea is to have the dinghy at the point where it surfs your second wake wave to keep resistance to a minimum.

Never worried about it being swamped whilst towing, but sure need to worry about torrential overnight rain filling it. A couple of times mine's been nearly filled to the gunnels.

Here's my video of my surfing dinghy...
https://youtu.be/hTyYRZeZuuc

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Old 20-03-2016, 17:56   #8
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Re: Dingy?

It's free, right? a64 is right, but unless it's far away from you, why not simply ask your friend to let you try it before you commit.

There's a H in dingHy. Ain't the spell check excuse either.

Good luck.
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:57   #9
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Re: Dingy?

Same here, have to store on empty berth unless rare occasion of full house then goes
on cabin top. (yes, can't do that with hard dinghy) Air floor inflatable weighs in at around 50 lbs. which is important for me also. (Zodiac was around 1000. 2 years ago from Defender, was still made in France at the time for what its worth.
Condition is everything on boat. Have cruised northeast coast with mine since new 30 years ago, and she is still going strong.
point of information...i have made several lockers out of dead space around boat if of interest. (my '85 layout may be different from yours as has head midships port and
full bunk under ladder port to sb. with open settee and no v berth up forward.)
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Old 20-03-2016, 21:00   #10
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Re: Dingy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugosalt View Post
Same here, have to store on empty berth unless rare occasion of full house then goes
on cabin top. (yes, can't do that with hard dinghy) Air floor inflatable weighs in at around 50 lbs. which is important for me also. (Zodiac was around 1000. 2 years ago from Defender, was still made in France at the time for what its worth.
Condition is everything on boat. Have cruised northeast coast with mine since new 30 years ago, and she is still going strong.
point of information...i have made several lockers out of dead space around boat if of interest. (my '85 layout may be different from yours as has head midships port and
full bunk under ladder port to sb. with open settee and no v berth up forward.)
Yes, Ive seen that floor plan, much improved from mine. mine's, starboard head then galley, / Port, quarter berth, chart table, counter with top load refer then V berth. I really like your layout, much better use of space. The French made Zodiac was a much better boat from what Ive heard. I'm not a fan of the Vberth and may at some point do a remodel to something like your's. Thanks!
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Old 20-03-2016, 21:17   #11
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Re: Dingy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
It's free, right? a64 is right, but unless it's far away from you, why not simply ask your friend to let you try it before you commit.

There's a H in dingHy. Ain't the spell check excuse either.

Good luck.
HA HA, right you are! dingHy!!!
The Valco is nearly 400 mile's away,but he will deliver while coming up for a visit and a few days cruising Puget Sound with me, so that would give opportunity to try it out. When I read that, I kind of had a Duuu moment. LOL Thanks Stu!
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Old 20-03-2016, 21:23   #12
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Re: Dingy?

Uncle Bob,

It will only be a matter of time before you get 'caught' in an afternoon near gale in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Your lancer will be fine but a towed hard dinghy will likely flood/overturn and be unrecoverable.

Steve
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Old 20-03-2016, 21:34   #13
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Re: Dingy?

Would think a hard dinghy would have less resistance than the same size balloon dinghy.

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Old 21-03-2016, 09:00   #14
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Re: Dingy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by siamese View Post
A 12 foot aluminum boat? I'd pass, even for free. It's going to be that little metal boat's mission in life to make contact with your boat and leave marks.

I used to use one to get to my boat when I was on a mooring. I doctored up the gunnels of the 12 footer with a bunch of foam, pool noodles. They tended to not stay on, and any tiny bit of the metal boat that was un-protected managed to uncannily find it's way to my topsides gelcoat. Nooooo thank you.

Also, I don't want to tow anything that I can't bring on deck when the going gets rough.
Yes, not being able to put on deck in the rough I think is really a deal breaker and a 12' is not going to fit on my 30'. thanks for your input.
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:06   #15
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Re: Dingy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Uncle Bob,

It will only be a matter of time before you get 'caught' in an afternoon near gale in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Your lancer will be fine but a towed hard dinghy will likely flood/overturn and be unrecoverable.

Steve
Your right, of course and I think thats the important issue. It would be great to have that 12' for runs to shore, grocery getter, running off to fish but not at the cost of safety. Even at 12' once adrift it could be a problem for someone else. thats not acceptable to me. Thank you for sharing the wisdom!
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