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Old 01-07-2015, 07:44   #16
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Keep in mind the towboat's idling speed cannot exceed the safe hull speed of the towed vessel. Saw a Royal Navy frigate rip the entire stemhead fitting, port side stanchions, and whole port coamings out of a Cal 40.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:31   #17
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Why not sail the other sailboat? You have to have someone on board to steer towed vessel, so put a sail and sail it..... Just saying its a sailboat after all
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:33   #18
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

I agree, just do what you have to and it is dangerous and likely will cause some damage. However, since this was likely an emergency it probably has already happened. How did it work out??
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:37   #19
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Sea Tow or Boats US. Towing under sail, questionable at best?
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Old 01-07-2015, 16:26   #20
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Key issues have been covered above, but to summarise:
* Decent length tow line secured to mast and primaries or other very strong and secure points with chafe protection. Mid point floats also help too see what is happening
* Both boats manned and actively steered
* Communication important to convey your intent
* Lead boat is in charge
* Towed boat steers for transom of towing boat.
* When you tack, the towed boat gives enough slack to allow the lead boat to establish way
* Finally, obey the rules, use the shapes and lights appropriate but still keep the spotlight and white flare handy. Idiots abound and I do not like gathering yet more on the tow line.

Roger
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Old 01-07-2015, 19:43   #21
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Thanks to everyone for some great advice. I routinely sail without an engine and have looked at the normal towing procedures when the tow boat has an engine for power but found little about what to consider if you are without an engine and need to tow another sailboat. I especially think the info on steering considerations are very valuable. Also liked the comments on the inability and difficulty of trying to tow to windward under sail. Again, thanks to all and keep the comments coming.


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Old 01-07-2015, 21:01   #22
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

I've towed power vessels under sail, but never another sailboat (should only be in the case of a rigging/sail failure). Planning hulls are not very directionally stable at low speeds so some means of keeping it tracking straight is important...bridle, drogue, outdrive/outboard as drag device/rudder....or some combination of the above.

Some small skiffs tow better backwards with the bow pointing "astern".
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:12   #23
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Yeah, what belizesailor said, generally speaking boats tow poorly.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:27   #24
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

After thousands of tows...while the towed vessel doesn't think for you...towing isn't all that difficult or dangerous in benign conditions. I see weekend warriors towing just fine all the time, they just lack the right equipment and difficult landing they screw up some of the time.


Crowds and weather make boating more difficult, towing even more so.


Power vessels tow just fine, even without drogues as long as the stern stays squatted either through balance or enough speed, or if necessary motor down. Inboards unless really bow heavy are usually never an issue. Cats can be squirrely, especially if bow down a tad because if they start zig sagging, it can be significant.


Djarraluda summed it up pretty well.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:24   #25
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Re: Procedures for towing a sailboat with a sailboat under sail

Have some sort of quick on load release handy at both ends. Eg knife/axe etc for rope. It can be dangerous if you use chain for antichafe at both ends.

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