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Old 30-10-2019, 15:44   #136
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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A64 Pilot, I went online at Youtube to see if I could find any video testing of tug doing a bollard pull.

Your post and the associated videos (and the rabbit hole YouTube sent me down *grin*) reminded me of a story. I have a lot of stories. A customer had me managing a pretty big refit that included a repower. Valiant 42 and Yanmar 4JH-something. The owners wanted to get the 50 hour service done before they left. My original plan was to motor from Annapolis to Norfolk and back. What the heck, right? Weather didn't make that look wise so I broke out the Rolodex (okay - my Outlook address book) and started making phone calls. A guy I know was easing people out of his boutique marina (maybe 25 slips) for a major rebuild (it's done and it's beautiful). He agreed to let me tie up and run over the weekend pulling against the dock. Stern lines and aft springs to separate pilings. Up every half hour to take temp and pressure readings and some power changes. Thank you John! Back to the service yard on Monday for 50 hr service. Engine was only 54 hp so no competition to 6,000. I don't remember any significant squat.



Towing is an entirely different deal.



More Dave stories.
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Old 30-10-2019, 16:37   #137
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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yes, but a tug generally pulls from a location near it's center, so as to allow the tug steerage, from there, this is simple math, given enough throttle and tied to a towing warp attached to towing post located near the middle of the boat, the forward thrust could push the tug's transom down.

but, it's an interesting thought. I have seen many tug boats out of the water, and their underwater body is simple massive to behold. Enormous displacement. I've also had many large tugs come by me at speed.

They throw out a prodigious bow wave, that is for sure, and the aft deck does appear to be quite low to the water, but I think they are designed for this, as the railing around the deck is pretty much open at deck level, allowing any water or wave to simply run off.


No, not pulling or pushing anything, if they put too much throttle into it, the stern goes under water.
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Old 30-10-2019, 16:38   #138
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

CAN a ship tow a sailboat? Okay I guess there will never be a consensus here. Actual data, experience, and deduction based thereon are irrelevant, it seems. Urban legends never go away even when disproven. An easier and more relevant question is: "WOULD a ship tow a sailboat?" and the answer is absolutely not. Nix. Nein. Non. Nee. Bango. Nyet. No way Jose.
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Old 30-10-2019, 16:53   #139
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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It's not really a belief, but in any case the theory.
I don't think you read my posts very thoroughly. I am quite familiar with how the bow wave train and hull speed are linked. The 'belief' I referenced is the continued assertion by some that when hull speed is exceeded, a vessel will sink - yes SINK!
Hard because the wave will not get longer but will increase in amplitude, which costs a lot of energy.
If speed increases, the wavelength will increase.
A heavy displacement vessel will produce a wave of sufficient amplitude that it will break on itself over the stern of the boat .
Only possible if the vessel slows down suddenly, otherwise the vessel is outrunning the waves - so that wave breaks over itself astern of the boat.
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Old 30-10-2019, 17:20   #140
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

...just recently a 65' sailboat ran into trouble off the NE Florida coast. Two men were aboard trying to get this rather large sail boat to Charleston against a howling nor-easter.

I believe their engine quit, and being newbies, they called the Coasties, who were very close by.

The Coasties came out, bless 'em, and tried to affect a tow as the Mayport Inlet was only a few miles away. I think the waves offshore were in the 6-8' range and wind was probably 25-35 mph, right on the nose for a trip north.

I'm not exactly sure what happened next, why or how, but apparently the tow line broke/snapped/parted and the 65' sailboat ended up on the beach, where it was later salvaged by a tug.

I relate this story as trying to impress that trying to tow a sailboat is not without it's travails. I was rather surprised that the Coasties even tried to attempt this, but the fact that the tow line snapped attests to the enormous strains involved.

As the above poster suggests, the odds of a ship successfully towing a sailboat is as close to nil as one could get. The beginning video is a clear example of that as the seas looked relatively smooth, but the first time that sailboat veered off, it was game over. Had the seas been even a smidge rougher, I doubt that ships' captain would have even tried.
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Old 30-10-2019, 19:16   #141
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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CAN a ship tow a sailboat? Okay I guess there will never be a consensus here. Actual data, experience, and deduction based thereon are irrelevant, it seems. Urban legends never go away even when disproven. An easier and more relevant question is: "WOULD a ship tow a sailboat?" and the answer is absolutely not. Nix. Nein. Non. Nee. Bango. Nyet. No way Jose.
huh? Guess I must have dreamt it then.
I am sure there is a difference between a commercial ship and naval auxiliary freighter though in terms of accommodation. We actually asked the captain to leave us and wed wait for a tug to come get us, after we had some trouble with the chafing. But he was having none of it. Dont worry well work it out. And with that he shut down one engine and towed us a good deal slower, much to the dismay of the crew and and passengers who were anxious to finish their trip. Once the captain had us, he was not going to leave us, of course.
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Old 31-10-2019, 06:05   #142
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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The Coasties came out, bless 'em, and tried to affect a tow as the Mayport Inlet was only a few miles away. I think the waves offshore were in the 6-8' range and wind was probably 25-35 mph, right on the nose for a trip north.

I'm a huge fan of the Coast Guard. They've saved my bacon. I still send Christmas Cards to Station Lynnhaven Roads.



In my experience they aren't very good at depths. When sorting through options in one event they proposed to tow me across Oregon Inlet, way too shallow for the boat I was on. TowboatUS and SeaTow are much better at depths.



I've seen some really outstanding boathandling by the USCG. I've had little cutters pull up and hold 6" away for extended periods underway. I've been towed in from well offshore in pretty heavy conditions (bless TowboatUS for saying it was too rough for them, releasing USCG to come get me). I was very surprised that they could not/would not transfer fuel by floating it - that needs a helicopter.
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Old 31-10-2019, 07:41   #143
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

I gotta go with you their....the Coasties, in my opinion, are unsung heroes, they do an admirable job with little reward and even less pay.

Besides being there for rescue operations, they also haul in a fair amount of illegal drugs.

I have been boarded by the Coasties before, and they were nothing less than gentlemanly.

Hats off to the USCG !!!!!!!!!!!

In the same breath, hats off to the police and fire fighters, as with the Coasties, they do a stellar job, often entailing very dangerous situations.

Let's not forget the military, anyone that voluntarily takes on a job where getting shot at is part of the deal, deserves our admiration and respect and gratefulness.

Were I ever to becomes President (very unlikely) I would give them all a huge raise !!!
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Old 31-10-2019, 08:27   #144
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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Only possible if the vessel slows down suddenly, otherwise the vessel is outrunning the waves - so that wave breaks over itself astern of the boat.
We're not necessarily in disagreement. Displacement vessels under their own power won't exceed their hull speed by much because it simply takes too much energy. And hence simply sinking ike that I also find highly implausible. Being towed is a different situation altogether, the yacht being towed will, regardless of its hull speed have to travel at the same speed as the boat towing it. This will produce an extremely steep bow wave, bow is pointing up, stern is well down in the trough, and the following crest behind the stern will eventually break, swamping the boat. All this assumes the towed yacht is tracking nicely in a very turbulent wake, which is unlikely.
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Old 31-10-2019, 15:01   #145
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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Let's not forget the military, anyone that voluntarily takes on a job where getting shot at is part of the deal, deserves our admiration and respect and gratefulness.

If I get in serious trouble offshore I want a US Navy amphibious assault ship to find me. It might help that my name is on the well deck tie down manual.
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Old 07-11-2019, 20:40   #146
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

I can't believe there is no existing video of a boat being towed fast, other than this particular incident. Probably B/C no ships will mess around with this, but you would think there might be a very large powerboat doing this.
Looks like this boat was towing well enough, until it wandered off to SB. From what I see it looks like it was surfing up and kind of planing, as well as could be expected, just that it didn't like being towed sideways. Probably ripped a cleat out or winch or broke the line. I wouldn't have any qualms about my boat being towed 14 Knots.
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Old 08-11-2019, 00:06   #147
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

It depends on the ship's power plant.



I served aboard a navy ship that was powered by steam turbines. The steam turbines directly drive the prop. They have complete control of the prop to point that they can move the prop in factions of a turn. They can propel the ship at any speed from zero to far in excess of its maximum rated speed.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Hoel_(DDG-13)


"During the passage from Cartagena to the Canal Zone she came upon sailing yacht Stardrift becalmed and adrift en route to Sydney, Australia, from London. Hoel towed the 36-foot (11 m) craft 100 miles (161 km) to safety in Panama".


The merchant ships I have served on all seemed to have a minimum speed that is to fast for towing recreational vessels.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:54   #148
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

I don't get this one. Why not steer with the wind vane. Oh...maybe they didn't have one.
Also, I know they were pumping but they boat continued to float until someone scavenged it? No engine but they had sails. No water but the ship could have passed on water. Two healthy looking dudes that were able to climb up the side of a ship's ladder? Probably something not known.
I would like to learn more.
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Old 09-11-2019, 19:36   #149
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

Apparently the ship made 2 attempts to tow the boat but the tow parted each time and the boat was finally left to drift, later being towed semi flooded into a small port in Sumatra where she now lies on a sand bank. The owner is quite an experienced sailor and has made International voyages in South China Sea and Indian ocean in the past ....and the boat was well equipped and well built so the situation must have been serious for him to abandon his boat of at least 15 years despite the lack of urgency or peril seen in the OP video.
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Old 09-11-2019, 19:47   #150
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Re: Can a ship tow a sail boat?

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I don't get this one. Why not steer with the wind vane. Oh...maybe they didn't have one.
Also, I know they were pumping but they boat continued to float until someone scavenged it? No engine but they had sails. No water but the ship could have passed on water. Two healthy looking dudes that were able to climb up the side of a ship's ladder? Probably something not known.
I would like to learn more.


As I understand it, they had no steering.
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