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Old 06-05-2016, 09:52   #16
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

I remember seeing a video of two guys towing a brand new clinker-built masterpiece behind their yacht in reasonable but choppy weather. It kept riding up and overtaking them. Eventually it smashed to pieces, damaged the transom of the yacht, and they had to cut it loose and watch it sink. $$$$$. Personally I would never tow any thing more than an inflatable.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:58   #17
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

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Originally Posted by davewtsnape View Post
I remember seeing a video of two guys towing a brand new clinker-built masterpiece behind their yacht in reasonable but choppy weather. It kept riding up and overtaking them. Eventually it smashed to pieces, damaged the transom of the yacht, and they had to cut it loose and watch it sink. $$$$$. Personally I would never tow any thing more than an inflatable.
I had this happen to me in the Sea of Cortez. I had a nice little 8 ft Dyer Dhow. The anchorage seemed calm after a night of blowing one morning so we left towing the dink for a 16 mile jaunt. The channel between islands was horrendous.... 16 ft steep breaking waves. towing the dink it would try to pass the mother ship, snub up tight, tip sideways and fill with water. then the mothership would surf down a wave face, snub up the towing line and the dink would pop vertical out of the water throwing the water out of it! Repeated this many times, sometimes with the dink crashing into the windvane on the stern of the mothership. Finally we had to heave to and pull the dink aboard... it was crazy risky doing so. The tied on oars were washed off the mothershipin the process.
We saved the dink but were thinking of just cutting it loose. lesson learned.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:42   #18
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

I don't see a problem in protected waters. If you are going outside leave it home.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:57   #19
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

Absolutely.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:01   #20
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

I agree with Cadence. We normally tow but not off shore. Be sure to remove everything from the dinghy first, including the motor if you have one. I use a bridle & run a second line for safety. Try to figure out a way to get it up on top of the cabin or the foredeck for when you think it might get rough.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:12   #21
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

About a hundred years ago I used to tow a Sport-Yak dinghy behind a 24' sailboat. But I was young and didn't know any better. It was a roto-molded, plastic, double hulled thing, supposedly unsinkable. I dragged it all up and down the east coast, mostly ICW but some outside too. It would have been a lot more dangerous if I knew then what I know now.😉


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Old 06-05-2016, 11:57   #22
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

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Hello,
I am buying an older 26 ft swing keel sailboat, and would like to be able to get to shore after anchoring or mooring somewhere away from my home port, but I don't have an inflatable tender. I was wondering if it is feasible to use a regular fiberglass rowboat as a tow behind tender or if that would be crazy (I already have one).

I was thinking that I could attach some outside flotation (small sponsons) to the boat which would reduce likelihood of tipping, and keep water from splashing in, but it might not be enough to keep the boat afloat if it did capsize (gotta have room for the oars to row!). I was even wondering about putting two rows of sponsons on This is just one possibility

Any one have experience with towing a fiberglass dinghy?
I have never traveled anywhere before such that I needed to bring a tender along.

Thanks
I've done it: In Chop you need to bring the Dinghy right up close to the Transom in fact lifting the bow out of the water and almost on deck. There are Towing Davits you can purchase for this,
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:22   #23
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

Yes. We've used a handy-dandy Walker Bay as a tow-behind.

But, for a 26" sailboat, it will be an interesting drag. Agree with the idea of an inflatable roll-up. A bit more trouble to deploy and/or haul up and stow, but a whole lot more efficient under way
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Old 06-05-2016, 13:05   #24
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
About a hundred years ago I used to tow a Sport-Yak dinghy behind a 24' sailboat. But I was young and didn't know any better. It was a roto-molded, plastic, double hulled thing, supposedly unsinkable. I dragged it all up and down the east coast, mostly ICW but some outside too. It would have been a lot more dangerous if I knew then what I know now.😉


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Old 06-05-2016, 13:59   #25
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

Before there were marinas everywhere small yachts used to pull heavy wooden dinghies around. Its not practical for a 26-footer to cary a solid dinghy on deck. The 1-foot tow-line idea is good for an inflatable, not so good for your dinghy, and even worse if you have a transom-hung rudder. I use a long tow-line (30ft or more) in poor weather. There is less chance of a sudden jerk on the line upsetting the dinghy and the bight of rope in the water will keep it away from your stern. You can also thread an ordinary plastic funnel on the tow-line (point forward) to enhance this effect. Give it a try!
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Old 06-05-2016, 14:10   #26
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

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I miss those sportyaks! and the blissful ignorance of youth when we all did dumb things and had a lot more fun!

Youth is a great excuse for ignorance. I'm afraid I lost my excuses long ago, but retained some of the fun.


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Old 06-05-2016, 14:27   #27
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

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Originally Posted by MartinF View Post
Before there were marinas everywhere small yachts used to pull heavy wooden dinghies around. Its not practical for a 26-footer to cary a solid dinghy on deck. The 1-foot tow-line idea is good for an inflatable, not so good for your dinghy, and even worse if you have a transom-hung rudder. I use a long tow-line (30ft or more) in poor weather. There is less chance of a sudden jerk on the line upsetting the dinghy and the bight of rope in the water will keep it away from your stern. You can also thread an ordinary plastic funnel on the tow-line (point forward) to enhance this effect. Give it a try!
M
The longer the painter the better. I recall 40 ft. when I was a kid, get it out of the stern wave. I also remember a 10 ft. skiff flipping, filling up with water. It flipped back with about 3" in the stern before I could get the knife to cut the line. I guess it is dumb luck some times. It would have been a sea anchor so the old man told me to cut her lose. Towing a dinghy off shore is not a good idea. JMHO
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Old 06-05-2016, 16:25   #28
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

I have a 130lb berniese mountain dog and he luvs riding in our 11ft infatable kyack 600bucks canadian tire.
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Old 06-05-2016, 16:41   #29
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

When to tow a hard dinghy:

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Old 06-05-2016, 17:11   #30
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Re: Can an 8' fiberglass rowboat/dinghy be used as a tow behind Tender?

The one thing that is really great about this forum is one gets a lot of perspectives. It seems pretty clear to me after reading everyone's response that if I want to head out for a week, using my existing dinghy would be risky. The boat I have, I do not believe has any flotation, so it could easily become a sea anchor. I will have to keep an eye out for a used inflatable (cape cod/NH or VT).

Thank you everyone for your input and sharing of experiences.
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