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Tender towing

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Skykomish E29 says:

I think we may have commented on this in the past on a photo but couldn't find a discussion thread. (my apologies Norman if there is already one and I have missed it)
Can anybody advise the best way to tow an inflatable?

We plan on taking our tender on our trip up the Essex coast, initially , crossing the Thames we plan on keeping it on deck deflated but once in the Blackwater hope to inflate her and tow behind for rest of holiday so that there is more room on deck , and can go ashore if we have to moor up on a swing mooring.
I plan on making up a towing bridle but would appreciate any input those experienced at such things can give, i.e. how far behind the boat do I need her, is it better to tow with the nose of the dinghy close to the stern out of the water, how do I arrange the tow line..etc. etc...... thanks
8:54AM, 4 June 2009 PST (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

I would say there's 2 choices.
1/ Tow it with the nose out of the water on the pushpit and just trailing the stern of the pontoons.
2/ On a decent length towline attached to the bridle on the dinghy.
How far depends on speed and wave action. If you have a stern wave, try and pop it over that so the dinghy is on the upslope. A bit more drag but the dinghy will keep the towline tight. If it was on the front of the wave it could theoretically surf up to you, slackening the towline, then snatching tight again.
I usually just cleat the towline at whatever length necessary, remembering to pull it in when approaching a mooring or anchoring. I have seen people with permanent loops in their towline at various points e.g. right in, towing at lower speeds in confined areas and also where they would tow it whilst fully under way.
115 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Tow it up on the pushpit,, as high as poss... Mine tried to do a submarine drill last week ,on a line astern. (6.9kts)
Tie a line from those two cromeee bits underneath ,, bring up through
the front one by 2ft as a loop, attach another line as a painter,
The less boat in the water the less drag,,, Try pulling it in when doing 5kts ,, thats drag,,
115 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

Thanks guys there was a bit in PBO some time ago about towing a tender but can't find it.
As you know Ron the tender that we have has some huge tubes and is quite a handful to hump on and off the boat so towing is the only really practical option.
I seem to remember that in PBO they suggested that the nose should be out of the water, but I know that when I have been on boats before they have just let the dinghy trail behind.

At least it will make a good sea anchor...haha
115 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Hi Malcolm
Have a look at Ron's latest photo of Sweet Lucy.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

yes did so, infact I also found the PBO article, one suggestion there was to have the dinghy alongside the lee of the yacht, also fit a bridle to the transom running the lines to the bow through eyes to attach to the towing line via a running block that would ensure the dinghy stayed central.
I think it is going to be trial and error, as most will be river cruising I am not too worried about speed / drag effect , it would have been a different story in the open sea. Just didn't want to cut the 10 metres of towing line that I just bought before I had some idea on how I was going to rig it.l
Originally posted 115 months ago. (permalink)
Skykomish E29 edited this topic 115 months ago.

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