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Old 22-11-2010, 00:22   #1
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Can I Tow a Dinghy this Way ?

I have an old 8' dinghy and a 27' boat. Not much room on the deck to put the dinghy and I am wondering if, apart from towing it, I could hitch it up a bit on the stern. I think the benefit would be it would be more sturdy and would not bang into the back of the boat like it can do when towed.

Pic of dinghy being road tested or whatever it is called when done on water. Notice something odd in the picture? Yes, you are right, the previous owner left, not one, but two rusty padlocks on the tow hook on the dinghy.





Stern of the boat I want to hitch it on.


Kinda what I mean. Lift the stern of the dinghy up a bit, tie both sides. I would use wide a wide fender (probably one of those foam sheets used as flooring with camping showers, a pack of 3 is less than $20). I would have to get the idiot out of the dinghy first though.

Or maybe leave him there and use him when I need to reverse the boat.

So, do other folk do this or is it crazy?
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Old 22-11-2010, 00:35   #2
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Seems weird to me. I tow mine at least a dozen feet behind. I find it tracks better.
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Old 22-11-2010, 00:59   #3
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I seem to remember an ad for the hardware for such a tow configuration. I would imagine there are times and situations where it would work, and times/situations where you would loose the dink and do some damage in the process. So it depends on where and when you're towing it. The longer the passage, the less attractive it would be to me.
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Old 22-11-2010, 01:45   #4
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I think it's crazy. What happens when you heel? Won't the dink ship water? And what about a wake made by your beloved motor boater neighbour?
I think the only sensible thing to do would be to tow the old way on a long line. Or if you plan longer passages and some choppy seas and rain, you have to switch to folding (or inflatable).
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Old 22-11-2010, 02:14   #5
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Looks like an accident in the making.marc
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Old 22-11-2010, 02:20   #6
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When the boat heels, when you're backing,.... lots of room to get in trouble with it.
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Old 22-11-2010, 02:51   #7
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The oddest thing I noticed in the top photo is the shark in the lower left corner coming to eat you.
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Old 22-11-2010, 03:25   #8
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You can "trim" you dinghy tow for the conditions you are in. The best is to have it ride the front of a wave so it is not experiencing too much drag. Get some long painters and make a bridal and adjust the line length so that they have the least tension in them and of course when backing or heeled.

Reducing the wetted surface of the tow and it's underwater profile could help with boat speed.
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Old 22-11-2010, 03:56   #9
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Towing the dinghy would be fine by any of the methods but only in very calm conditions in protected waters.

Towing even in relatively mild sailing conditions you risk losing the dink and with your glass dink you could damage your boat.
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Old 22-11-2010, 04:16   #10
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I assume you've seen this: Dinghy Tow

I've never used one, myself, and I'm not sure about doing it with a hard dink....
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Old 22-11-2010, 04:37   #11
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And what about if/when you have to reverse? Again it'll ship water. If you've already got a large foam pad that you were going to tie the dink against then having the dink on a longish painter works for most people, the pad will protect the stern if they come together.
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Old 22-11-2010, 04:38   #12
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Looks like a good idea at first. But I reckon rimfire will get a few chips in the gelcoat as a result. I would stick to towing a couple of waves aft.
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Old 22-11-2010, 05:42   #13
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Don't, just don't.

OK, give it a go at say less than 10 kts into the wind, then try downwind (less than 10 kts).

Then try say 25 kts downwind and go back to "just don't". Almost anything is better than towing a dink once the wind is over 15 kts. (IMHO).
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Old 22-11-2010, 05:51   #14
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I have not tried it but.........

My Porta Bote tows terribly. I have almost lost it twice in relatively moderate conditions. Porta Bote recommends towing on a very short line as the bow wants to submarine and any water runs to the bow......making it want to really submarine.

So I find the best way to tow it is to have the bow under some vertical tension.

Now, there is this fellow from Nova Scoita, a writer and sailor, (Silver Don Camaron - to distnguish himself from the other Don Camaron's in the vicinity - really) who once wrote an article about towing as you suggest, and highly in favor of it and had several photos of people doing it. In fact I think he recommended pulling the dinghy even higher.

IIRC
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Old 22-11-2010, 06:31   #15
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I would not do it myself. I don't like towing my dingy except for very short runs anyway, but I've seen this done many times in the calmer waters of the ICW. Usually the dingys are inflatables which makes more sense.
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