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Old 04-10-2009, 05:02   #1
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Dinghy Painter - How Long?

I am trying to find out has anyone found the optimum lenght for a dinghy to be hauled while you sail. I do not have an easy way to bring the dinghy up on deck for a short sail, on long sails I take off the motor and tie her to the bow deck. I have a 33' Monohaul.

Do you lose less speed towing the dinghy up close? or back a ways? And how far back?

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Old 04-10-2009, 05:32   #2
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When towing my dingy I try to play with the amount of line I let out so the dingy does not surf down the waves. The dingy surfing down the waves causes slack in the line, and when it snaps tight it is very hard on the dingy and my boat. Usually this means that the dingy is towed close to the stern, but not soo close as to have the dingy surf into the transom. The length of line I let out varies with the wind and wave conditions, but the main objective is always to keep a steady pull on the dingy to stop it surfing. As far as wether there is less drag hauling the dingy up close or far away,... if there is any difference I doubt that it is worth considering.
Please do not take this as expert advice, it is only what I practice and I look forward to more responses to this thread and hear what others are doing.

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Old 04-10-2009, 05:41   #3
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Same as Exocet except in rough conditions I used to pull the dingy as close to the transom as possible. Finally went to davits but it took me a long time not to look back to see how the dink was doing.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:21   #4
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My speedo reads in hundredths of a knot. - K.XX and when conditions are stable you can really see how various trim changes effect speed. The speedo need not be perfectly accurate for this use, but the trends are still apparent.

I tow a 10' Alum bottom RIB with a towing bridal which leads to port and stbd cleat so I can position the tow almost anywhere aft of the boat I want.

For motoring I tow the dink on top of the first following wave with the crest just forward of the center of the dink. You want the tension on the line to be as little as possible (obviously) indicating the least drag.

For sailing I tow it down to leeward and as on the crest of the first following wave. If the waves are large and long then I move it forward so it is on the face of the wave. It shouldn't surf down and hit the transom or fall back an snap the tow line.

I've had no luck with super long tow lines.

In real big chop the stern is riding up and down and so is the dink, but usually there is little you can do to mitigate this.
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Old 05-10-2009, 17:51   #5
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It should be long enough to go from the stern to the dingy.

Seriously, in different sea conditions you will have to adjust it.

I would go with two hard points on the dingy to tow from.

It might help you from losing it at night
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Old 06-10-2009, 00:08   #6
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Double tied...

I tie the the painter to the dinghy twice and to the boat twice, on two different points on each.

Don't ask.
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Old 27-10-2014, 17:37   #7
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Re: Dinghy Painter - How Long?

I see that these replies are all with good intent, but *none* of them offer an actual length.

How long are your dinghy painters? 15'? 50'? Gotta give someone a place to start, at least....
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Old 27-10-2014, 18:13   #8
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Re: Dinghy Painter - How Long?

Your question also answers it self. The faster you sail you need to adjust your length to keep the tender from surfing. May be shorter or longer going up wind or down. No simple answer, just like sail trim....short day sail does not seem to matter the speed effects, unless you are trying to catch and pass your neighbor for bragging rights. If so leave the tender at the dock....

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Old 28-10-2014, 02:07   #9
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Re: Dinghy Painter - How Long?

Thanks for the replies. Since the post I added dinghy davits, that added a knot when sailing. Before that I would adjust as the weather warrented. Actually went out for this purpose and after "securing" the painter to the cleat, it came undone and for the next 2 hours I was in search of my dinghy. Waves make things hard to see in the ocean. Found it though. Now we pull it up if we have distance to cover.
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Old 28-10-2014, 02:27   #10
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Re: Dinghy Painter - How Long?

I use a 10m painter, tied in a sennit except for the last 2m. It's a 10mm braid, with the core removed over the final 1.5m, and replaced with bungy. This gives great shock absorbing if towing. The sennit can easily be undone to the length required. The painter is attached to the dinghy with a 3 point bridle, and on the loose end, a safety harness clip spliced on. If towing, of course, this is clipped to a hard point on the transom.

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