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Old 26-02-2021, 06:09   #16
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Yeah I never do either. It only takes one time when you have to wrestle it into the boat if sea conditions worsen, and putting yourself in danger, to convince you to get the boat on deck before there is any chance for any unsettled conditions. Also it'll slow you down.
Yes, yes and yes.

I have NEVER towed a dinghy.

Well, there was that one time in a Club race-around-the-cans - but that, of course, was a joke.

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Old 26-02-2021, 06:25   #17
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

With a 24 foot boat there wasn't much choice so I towed an inflatable thousands of miles Sydney to Darwin and two trips to Indonesia. With the dinghy bridle bow lashed to top of stern rail only the feet dragged in the water. The bung was left out to stop tropical rain fill it up, and never took much water on board it from whitecaps.

When towing even a short distance back it would often flip then transom would drag.

That was many years ago. Now I have a 34 foot boat and 9 foot airdeck dinghy I tow on very short line (with backup 8 foot bike lock cable). Overnight or longer trips I carry athwartships on the swim platform up against the stern rail. This is in the Mediterranean so no big ocean swells.
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Old 26-02-2021, 06:51   #18
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

I'm about to experiment with towing a Portland Pudgy. Many users report them to be much more stable under tow than inflatables. It doesn't change the concern with tow lines and bad weather, but I may be able to tow it longer than a comparable inflatable, leaving my decks clear for as long as possible before I give in and hoist it on deck.
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Old 26-02-2021, 07:12   #19
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

We USED to tow the dinghy but not often any more more.
Lost it 2x but had phone no. on it so got it returned luckily. Also dont leave the outboard on it if it gets a bit gusty.
As Don CL says, its not fun wrestling with it once it gets rough.
On a 26ftr we lash it rolled up in front of the mast.
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Old 26-02-2021, 07:44   #20
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

Seems there's a common theme here. People tow until they learn -- the hard way -- that it's not a good idea.
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Old 08-01-2022, 23:31   #21
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

We don't like to tow our dinghy. Have had problems. When making passages we roll it up and secure it forward on the deck. Outboard is mounted on the stern pulpit.
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Old 09-01-2022, 01:09   #22
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

Tried it a few times in relatively calm condition, never felt comfortable doing it, so we stopped.
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:57   #23
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

Whenever it is with me, our 9.5 ft inflatable rib goes on the foredeck while inflated, OB mounted on the stern rail, 99% of the time when underway. I have towed it short distances in sheltered or calm waters even with OB still mounted. Usually this is when motoring from one anchorage to another one nearby. Previously owned inflatables (airfloor or slat floor) were usually deflated, rolled up, and stowed on deck or in a locker.

I don’t like towing when sailing, and will usually do the extra work to bring it aboard even if not going far. I have the boat rigged where it’s not all that much more work (or as many more steps) than raising it onto davits would be.

But, earlier towing experiences from the beginning days. 1) tow line (painter) snapped; recovered. 2) tow line came off tow cleat (not properly cleated—crew); recovered. 3) dinghy flipped in sudden high wind and steep wind waves, tow eyes pulled off; not recovered. 4) dinghy flipped and dive-planed, remained attached.
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:05   #24
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

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Originally Posted by Auklet View Post
Whenever it is with me, our 9.5 ft inflatable rib goes on the foredeck while inflated, OB mounted on the stern rail, 99% of the time when underway. I have towed it short distances in sheltered or calm waters even with OB still mounted. Usually this is when motoring from one anchorage to another one nearby. Previously owned inflatables (airfloor or slat floor) were usually deflated, rolled up, and stowed on deck or in a locker.

I don’t like towing when sailing, and will usually do the extra work to bring it aboard even if not going far. I have the boat rigged where it’s not all that much more work (or as many more steps) than raising it onto davits would be.

But, earlier towing experiences from the beginning days. 1) tow line (painter) snapped; recovered. 2) tow line came off tow cleat (not properly cleated—crew); recovered. 3) dinghy flipped in sudden high wind and steep wind waves, tow eyes pulled off; not recovered. 4) dinghy flipped and dive-planed, remained attached.
Since we have tried all the above - we never tow either. Up on deck (it only takes a couple of minutes) The only exception is if we are moving in an anchorage and it is calm weather - we will tow then.
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:40   #25
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

I generally tow in anything under about 3 foot swells. Above that I lift it aboard. Never tow wit the engine attached
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:54   #26
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

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Originally Posted by KHHanse341 View Post
My boat has limited deck space for a dinghy, so I find the need to deflate my dinghy when making long passages. I am curious what others practice when towing the dinghy. Is there a rule of thumb on how far one cruises while towing a dinghy?
Best practice is to lift the dinghy out of the water. I would buy/make a different dinghy.


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Seems there's a common theme here. People tow until they learn -- the hard way -- that it's not a good idea.
Yes indeed, even a good down pour can cause havoc.
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:22   #27
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

As others have said, I only tow VERY short distances and in VERY sheltered waters. Otherwise, the nesting dinghy lives broken down broken down just forward of the mast.
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:25   #28
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Seems there's a common theme here. People tow until they learn -- the hard way -- that it's not a good idea.

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Old 10-01-2022, 07:40   #29
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Seems there's a common theme here. People tow until they learn -- the hard way -- that it's not a good idea.
Yep, I towed mine just a few times before I figured it out.
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Old 10-01-2022, 08:07   #30
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Re: Towing your dinghy.

here's what I do....

I fabricated a 1/4" s/s wire cable bridle so that it can be attached to the transom and go around the clamp of the outboard. The center of the bridle has an eye-ring. The ends of the bridle are attached to stout thru-bolted eye pads on the fiberglass transom.

To the eye, I attach another tow line....also stout....about 1/2" line.....

So now I have two tow lines. One from the bow, and one from the stern.

I typically attach these to the upper rail on my stern pulpit, so I can adjust the two lines, so that the dink stern tow line is about 1/2-1" tighter than the dink bow tow line.

The towing force is then 95% on the stern line. The bow line is there basically to keep the dink pointed straight ahead.

I tow my dink, with engine on, all over the place with this setup. Never had an issue with it. On long trips, off course, it goes on the davits...
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