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Old 11-08-2013, 17:53   #1
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Dinghy Towing.

Hi all. I am currently in the process of acquiring a dinghy tender that is to be towed. Can anybody talk to me about the pros and cons of conventional single hull of the more stable catamaran type hull. Does the twin hull shape track as well as the single hull shape? Towing speeds may be up to 17knots on occasions. Help!
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Old 11-08-2013, 18:19   #2
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Hi all. I am currently in the process of acquiring a dinghy tender that is to be towed. Can anybody talk to me about the pros and cons of conventional single hull of the more stable catamaran type hull. Does the twin hull shape track as well as the single hull shape? Towing speeds may be up to 17knots on occasions. Help!
Towing anything at 17 knots is pretty dicey.

What kind of boat will be doing the towing, what kind of gear?
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Old 11-08-2013, 18:26   #3
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Re: Dinghy towing.

Thanks for your interest. The boat is a 7.6m cabin cruiser. Most of the towing will be at or around 10knots and in sheltered harbour waters. The 17knot figure is the boats maximum speed which is rarely done. The dinghy will also have a small outboard attached. I am more concerned at a twin hull configuration's tracking ability compared to a convention dinghy.
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Old 11-08-2013, 18:37   #4
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Re: Dinghy towing.

Cats are more difficult to tow than monos in my experience as an assistance tower...even a tiny drogue behind the cat helps but it REALLY depends...especially when talking speeds above 15 knots.

Cats want to wander easily I think because the towline weighs down the bows of the hulls...get the cat to trim by the stern and the bad handling will probably disappear....or the drogue as a last resort.

Towing above 15 knots isn't the issue..it's just getting the pieces and parts in harmony that's tricky.
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Old 11-08-2013, 19:27   #5
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Re: Dinghy towing.

You should plan to take the outboard off when towing your dinghy. There's always a risk of flipping it, especially at higher speeds.
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Old 11-08-2013, 19:36   #6
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Re: Dinghy towing.

So should it be towed close in, or on a long painter?
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:53   #7
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Re: Dinghy towing.

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So should it be towed close in, or on a long painter?
It needs to ride in the wake well...so if slow there's no wake to worry about..at 15 knots if you throw a big wake it needs to settle in behind the second wave or so...really gotta see the wake to say though. It's usually pretty easy to see where it's riding well at speed and not riding out of the first big wake.

If slow...some will have it tied/attached directly to the swim platform...others like it way back...really matters more on how the 2 boats would ride together and your expected conditions.

That's why many don't like or recommend towing....to many different conditions even on one day's passage that you need to adjust for...then there's the constant checking for chafe and tie offs.
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Old 25-09-2013, 17:35   #8
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

I lost a dinghy once when towing so don't do it in open water anymore. It flipped and the suction created by the overturned hull was so great that when three of tried to right it in 8 foot seas the painter parted. It went floating by Kauai in about 25 knots of wind. Never again.
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Old 25-09-2013, 18:20   #9
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boysie View Post
Hi all. I am currently in the process of acquiring a dinghy tender that is to be towed. Can anybody talk to me about the pros and cons of conventional single hull of the more stable catamaran type hull. Does the twin hull shape track as well as the single hull shape? Towing speeds may be up to 17knots on occasions. Help!
You could tow a Porta Bote at those speeds if you cinched it up tight to the transom of the towing vessel. The key is to have it within inches of the stern, lifting the bow up on the painter, where the boat will ride on the stern wave quite nicely. If you can't lift the bow a bit off the water as you cinch it up, beware. You need it to be towed just on the stern of the dinghy without the bow really contacting the water much. Tow it further behind, and it will not work, nor would any other design I can think of at those speeds. The Porta Bote is plastic, so won't ding anything when you slow down.

You might also look into Port Townsend dinghies that offer a nesting model that takes up little room.
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:16   #10
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We used to tow a livingston around. A good bridle kept it tracking true.
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:26   #11
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

A boat can be towed at any speed it is designed to run at....if it can do 20 knots with a 20hp motor...it can be towed that fast. You just have to watch it's trim and where it's riding in the wake. Open water with cross seas and a lot of spray can wreak havoc buy putting a lot of water in her and make it roll till it flips...a cover, self bailing or bilge pump and battery is a plus.
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:34   #12
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

this is over a month old....
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:19   #13
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

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this is over a month old....
Yes, I'm certain there is an expiration date on questions.
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:31   #14
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Re: Dinghy Towing.

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
A boat can be towed at any speed it is designed to run at....if it can do 20 knots with a 20hp motor...it can be towed that fast. You just have to watch it's trim and where it's riding in the wake. Open water with cross seas and a lot of spray can wreak havoc buy putting a lot of water in her and make it roll till it flips...a cover, self bailing or bilge pump and battery is a plus.
That is why towing the dinghy up close and personal to the transom of the towing vessel works. A dinghy that could only do 15 knots under power before it becomes hopelessly unstable, like a Porta Bote, can be towed at 40 knots because only the stern is in the water.
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