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Old 10-06-2015, 09:38   #1
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Stow or tow hard dinghy

I have a Cal 29 and a water tender 9.4 as my dinghy. Anyone with a similiar sized boat and a hard dinghy care to share whether they stow it on deck or tow it behind? My boat appears too small for davits on the back, as the dinghy is longer then the back of my boat is wide. I am considering towing it, as most of my trips over the next year or so will be in the intracoastal, and close to shore, from lake worth to the keys and west coast of Florida. If you store it on deck, what is the best way to lift it onto the deck? I have read about using a halyard, and it appears the previous owner has a line installed for this purpose, as it comes from the top of the mast and clips on the edge of the deck on the port side. Also read about using the boom. Being so new to all this, I have alot to learn, so hope you guys don't mind all my questions. Hoepfully one day I'll knowledge to share
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:30   #2
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

We have the same dinghy. Our boat isn't a similar size to yours (we have a Bristol 24) so stowing it isn't really an option. We've towed it for two seasons now without any problems. We have a bridle system for towing which helps it to track straight.

Generally we try to stay out of "frisky" weather conditions, but we found ourselves towing it last fall from Block Island to Dutch Harbor in winds that built to 20+ and everything worked out well.
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Old 10-06-2015, 17:31   #3
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

We have Montgomery 6'8" which we tow coastal only. Upside down cabin top for offshore.
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Old 10-06-2015, 17:57   #4
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

We now have a 42' but we did this on our 33' as well. We just use a spare jib halyard and hoist the dingy up and over the lifelines then fasten it down for travel. We found towing slows us down by about a knot and that's a lot when you're only doing 5-6 as it is. We stow it upside down with the bow at the bow and the stern at the mast.
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Old 10-06-2015, 19:37   #5
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Even with my 35...I got sick and tired of not being able to see forward because of my Livingston 7.5'. Now i have a Portabot in Garhaur Kayak racks outside of my stantions.
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Old 10-06-2015, 23:58   #6
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Inshore tow offshore stow on the fore deck
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Old 11-06-2015, 00:13   #7
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Porta-bote Garhauer brackets
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Old 11-06-2015, 00:55   #8
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

We tow in good weather and short hops. Anything over 2hrs we lash it to the foredeck it gives 1/2 a knot and peace of mind.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:27   #9
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

It's too bad the towing eye is so high on it-but nothing you can do about it.
High mounted eye tends to tow dink thru the water instead of over water,especially in following seas.
My suggestion is a 20ft length of floating lifering rope-keeps it out of prop.
Attach center of rope to tow ring with a cow hitch? & tie other ends to port & stbd stern cleats.(put a bowline in them). Tow it 1/2 a dink length from ur stern. This will hold bow up & help prevent swamping. The tow line to each aft cleat stops dink from skating side to side.
If it bothers you that ur plastic dink occasionally bumps ur plastic transom,you will have to rig a bumper strip across bow of dink-whatever.

When you come in to dock,take the tow line off the stern cleat of the side you are docking to.Bring that tow line up the other side & drop it over your mid breastline cleat,so dink lays along side of boat out of the way.

Suggest you bring oars & other loose gear aboard mothership,if it's snotty.

I'm sure you will get much conflicting advice.
All I can say is that's the way I've done it for years & in up to 6ft mothership bow burying seas & my 11ft polyethelene dinghy is still afloat.

Cheers/ Len
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:45   #10
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Having had a 9' hard dinghy land in the cockpit I would never tow one at sea. Even my inflatable gets packed up and stowed if the trip is more than a couple of miles.

Get a tender that suits the mothership.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:08   #11
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

As Ann and I have posted before, dinghy towing is best avoided. but if undertaken, there are a couple of things you should be aware of:

Keeping the dinghy from filling with water whilst under way is very important. Inflatables can usually be towed with their drain plugs out, and the situation is less hazardous... their inherent bouyancy will keep them high enough after taking a big wave so that it has a good chance of draining. But a typical hard dink lacks that, and most will not self bail worth a crap if a big wave inundates it. Thus a really good cover that keeps the water out when under tow is essential.

Second, keeping them towing straight is crucial. If they get sideways on a wave capsize is possible and will likely lead to loss of the dink. Getting sideways is often a result of the dink surfing when the towing boat does not. This leads to a big loop of slack in the painter(s) and a broach, followed by the painter coming tight violently. With just a little bad luck, this can lead to capsize in a heartbeat. Our response to this issue was to build a two element series drogue which we deploy from the dinks stern. This has proven to be enough drag to keep the dink from surfing and following dociley behind and without too damn much parasitic drag. It does slow one down perceptably, but it is a price we are willing to pay if we must tow in any sort of a seaway.

But it is poor seamanship at best and there will always be risk if you do it. Nowadays we don't tow in open waters very much at all, but have in the past and understand why folks do it.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:26   #12
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
As Ann and I have posted before, dinghy towing is best avoided. but if undertaken, there are a couple of things you should be aware of:

Keeping the dinghy from filling with water whilst under way is very important. Inflatables can usually be towed with their drain plugs out, and the situation is less hazardous... their inherent bouyancy will keep them high enough after taking a big wave so that it has a good chance of draining. But a typical hard dink lacks that, and most will not self bail worth a crap if a big wave inundates it. Thus a really good cover that keeps the water out when under tow is essential.

Second, keeping them towing straight is crucial. If they get sideways on a wave capsize is possible and will likely lead to loss of the dink. Getting sideways is often a result of the dink surfing when the towing boat does not. This leads to a big loop of slack in the painter(s) and a broach, followed by the painter coming tight violently. With just a little bad luck, this can lead to capsize in a heartbeat. Our response to this issue was to build a two element series drogue which we deploy from the dinks stern. This has proven to be enough drag to keep the dink from surfing and following dociley behind and without too damn much parasitic drag. It does slow one down perceptably, but it is a price we are willing to pay if we must tow in any sort of a seaway.

But it is poor seamanship at best and there will always be risk if you do it. Nowadays we don't tow in open waters very much at all, but have in the past and understand why folks do it.

Cheers,

Jim

You are correct Jim. But my little 28 with pilot house has no space onboard to stow even the smallest dink-I've tried- so I'm forced to tow.
Like the OP,my trips are 8-10hrs max/day & normally in decent conditions.
I gamble & so far been lucky. I do find the twin port & stbd painters & keeping dink very close works best for me.
There is not enough painter length to allow dink to come more than 1/2 it's length aboard-not that I want to test that theory.
A cover would be nice-I often have to bail a few inches from spray if it has been extra windy.
Cheers / Len
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:08   #13
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Some good suggestions here on the twin bow lines, led to port and stb cleats. Though I prefer separate lines for redundancy. Also jims drogue can be a dinghy saver. I often rig one up but have the drogue line leading back to the transom ready if the weather cuts up, but not increasing drag in good weather.

Another idea I often use is lashing a full jerrycan in the stern. Helps keep the bow up.

Sometimes I also lash a few fenders into the dink to help if things go really pear shaped. Also I normally lash the oars in well so the dinghy becomes an instant liferaft or for MOB rescue.

Saying this I avoid towing a dink anywhere except in perfect conditions, too many bad experiances.

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Old 11-06-2015, 07:23   #14
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Thanks for all the replies. If I go with bringing it on deck, what's the best way? It weighs about 104lbs.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:01   #15
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Re: Stow or tow hard dinghy

Use a halyard and winch it up.
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