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Towing

blueachilles 12:52pm, 6 January 2012
There is a great deal of discussion over on the Yachting Monthly Scuttlebutt forum at the mo, regarding the yacht Liquid Vortex that was rescued in the English Channel a couple of nights ago. Basically, the skipper seems to have set off from Southampton to London even though a F10 was forecast, and the yacht and crew had to be rescued by a helicopter and two lifeboats. General consensus is that the skipper was far too "gung ho" and should have stayed in port.

But this got me thinking about what I would do if Blue needed a tow in nasty weather. The received wisdom seems to be to rig a bridle to spread the load across the bow cleat, and the winches. I think I would use mooring lines from both winches to the bow cleat, and then attach the tow to the bow cleat. Tightening the mooring lines on the winches would ensure the bow cleat wouldn't take the whole load.

Any thoughts? Any practical experiences?
Skykomish E29 7 years ago
Are Blue,
Yes we have the yacht here at Ramsgate and must say I am inclined to agree that setting sail when the forecast was SO bad does seem a little fool hardy.
I agree with you in respect of how to set up a towing bridle and have seen this method suggested in a publication somewhere. The cynic in me also thinks that it would be a good idea to have a long enough line on board to act as a tow rope in case you do need a tow from a passing boat, as it would provide a safeguard against possible "salvage" claims from the towing boat.
As I understand it, if YOU accept a line from the towing boat, they are entitled to claim a salvage fee
If YOU throw a line to them then it is just what you are happy to give to show your appreciation.
rothwell_neil Posted 7 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 7 years ago
I have experience of the mountain rescue service. No one in the service minds going out in terrible conditions to save those unfortunate enough to be caught out or injured, that's why they volunteer. The ones that set off into a white out knowingly are the ones that deserve to be charged for the service. There are too many calls now with high tech GPS and mobile phones where people ring to say where they are and can they please be rescued because they are tired.

Bet the rescue services didn't use the words "gung ho" when they were settled in the pub that night. They deserve to be treated with respect for risking their lives to save others, setting off into a forecast 10 is gross stupidity. Off soap box.
busy home [deleted] 7 years ago
The Life boat would supply suitable size warp to act as a bridle,
Mooring warp would be like sewing cotton,
Andrew Curry 7 years ago
Well said Neil.
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