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Old 02-10-2015, 07:30 PM   #21
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Towable fishing "dinghy"?

We just got a new bridle as our old one didn't seem adequate, our new one well that's a different story. I can be used to tow us if need be or other vessels too. Way oversized for what we needed but what the heck. Ours is like this: two tow legs 25 ft 7/8 double braid, main tow line 100ft 5/8 Amsteel. With short leg with quick shackle for easy separation. The little leg is about 12ft and stays on the boat being towed via the shackle that goes onto the tow eye. Miami Cordage did ours, we chose them just because we have been long time customers.

Definitely go with a purpose built towing eye.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by swabbmob View Post
I am planning to build an 18ft Carolinian skiff from Spira International. Fairly light and seaworthy. Would have a bilge pump in place whenever towing. We want a "car" for messing around our area, and pulling over to the Bahamas. We've had a RIB for years and I have grown allergic to them (yes, they are very practical! and stable). I just like building boats out of wood. The dory style skiff is quick with low horsepower - easy and inexpensive to build, and will carry a large payload.

I an currently building the exact same boat for some local fishing in our rivers and maybe the inner harbor here in Charleston, SC. I think it will be well suited as a casting platform also.

However I cringe thinking of towing it any distance in blue water due to it's flat bottom.

Marin and FF are both telling you something you need to take to heart.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:57 PM   #23
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Sorry, that was FF and Parsneed not Marin, but I believe Marin would agree 100%.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:08 PM   #24
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We have decided to make a tow setup that uses they towing eye on our boat as recommended, thank you and a towing bridle attached to our boat. Our deal on the Lund Alaskan fell through and we decided to buy a new Klamath Westcoaster 15. All welded with a 30hp Honda set up with downriggers for fishing. We take delivery this coming Saturday.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:22 PM   #25
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I would suggest two tow lines (independent attachment points) and regularly check your shadow. I had a wire end part but my secondary held fine while I attached another line. I connect to an outside U-bolt on Algae and also an inside the hull eye bolt. The drag is even, or as close to even as I can make it.

Of course you're towing a much larger boat/bigger motor and further back too so perhaps dual isn't as critical as I deem it. Still, having two points of protection might save you the headache of a boat hunt someday.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:45 PM   #26
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We have two points of connection.
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Then from the long tow line ends with a thimble then there is another smaller line with chuckle and snap shackle. The smaller line is meant to stay on the boat being towed. The snap shackle makes for a quick disconnect from the main tow line.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:28 PM   #27
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Do not tow with a bow eye designed to pull the boat onto a trailer. It may not be strong enough for the stresses of towing. A towing eye should be suitably backed and strong enough for the significant loads generated by towing.

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Old 02-15-2015, 10:42 PM   #28
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Thank you for the heads up on a towing eye. I had mistakingly thought the eye for the trailer might work...wrong. I have been reading about towing eyes and of course, it makes perfect sense now. The stresses associated with towing need a dedicated towing eye. I will be looking to get one fabricated for my boat before towing. All the comments are very much appreciated. I learned a lot in a short time. Now to find a local fabricator in the Seattle area to build one.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:22 AM   #29
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Keith, if it's aluminum, can't you have an eye welded on? Actually, the trailer eye on a welded aluminum boat is probably as strong as an add-on towing eye anyway.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:25 AM   #30
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Generally the towing eyes that are stainless u bolts are just fine for towing unless you are planning to tow in severe weather. It is where the towing companies generally tow from.

You can check the backside for a backing plate if worried.... and if none, add one.

The stresses on that eye witching a boat on the trailer are often greater than what the dingy or small boat would see towing unless it swamped.

Aluminum boat eyes are usually welded eyes on the bow....now those I would be more concerned about without knowing the manufacturer and checking the welds....but again 90 plus percent are going to be fine unless the boat is trashed or some off brand.

The old style, single bolt, chrome plated bronze eyes that had square looking heads are the worst...but usually because of age and corrosion...not from pulling out.

if I was going to tow more than a coup,e thousand pound boat, or a small boat at speeds above 8 to 10 knots on a regular and open water basis...I would then invest in a custom tow eye.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:55 AM   #31
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This is where it gets interesting. Yes it is aluminum and a welded aluminum boat, but I have not looked at the eye to see how it is attached yet. I take delivery next Saturday in Bremerton, so that is my chance to look at it. I will be able to better determine the eye then.

Gotta laugh because there are so many angles to view this from and I tend to err on the side of safety so it will be interesting to see it. In the mean time I will of course be contacting the manufacturer to see what they say about the eye.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:26 AM   #32
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Contacting the mfg is the way to go. We have a Boston Whaler and they had a tow eye option that we ordered when they built the boat. Very heavy duty looking compared to the normal trailer eye.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:52 AM   #33
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I didn't see towing eye location (Heigth) mentioned but I think it's an issue.

When I was to cross Hecate Strait w my new boat I wanted a dinghy of some sort. Found a 12' aluminum skiff for super cheap and set out. The thing was all over the place in the calm water in front of Masett so I gave it away to a guy standing on the dock.

I think it boils down to the lower attach point on the stem of the boat the better. Psneeld what's your take on eye height? You've surely seen it all.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:00 AM   #34
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Eric, when I did some reading about this there were a couple of manufacturers that gave specific details on where o take measurements to get it located properly. Towingeyes This site gave good info.
http://www.browardmachine.com/toweyes.html This is another one that shows the towing eye beneath the trailer tow eye.

I have an email sent to the manufacturer of our boat to get their input into this as well. It might end up being a new eye welded in or bolted, backed and welded. We'll see, but regardless, it will get done correctly wit manufacturer input.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:17 AM   #35
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Eye height all depends on the rig and how you are towing...but generally does not matter....they are usually placed for how a boat sits on a trailer.

Sure you can order a heavy duty one, install one or beef yours up..but if the are strong enough to pull a boat off the dry sand of a sand bar...towing is baby stuff.

Now.... as the dingy grows into a multi-thousand pound center console of say 25 feet or bigger, loaded down and twins....sure the forces start to rise where a custom tow eye or multiple tow rings are added is probably a good idea.

Boats with cored hulls just need to ensure the backing plate is substantial enough...usually eyeballing is enough if better than fender washers....but I have never had an issue with say Boston Whalers newer than from the 60s or back when the eyes were poorly installed.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:36 AM   #36
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Hopefully the photo will load. Not a very good shot of the trailer eye but it will give you an idea of the boat and setup. Boat weight approximately 500 lbs, add 30 hp Honda and some gear so maybe 725 lbs.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:42 AM   #37
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If the boat was broken down 20 miles offshore in 4 foot , choppy seas, I would have no problem towing that boat back to harbor by the eye through even 4 footers at speeds up to 8 knots.

Higher speeds and I would hope the owner could tell me if the eye was working (getting loose) if visible from the inside or I would stop every 15 minutes for the 1st hour to have the check how solid it still was.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:45 AM   #38
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Another shot of boat with a little better angle on the eye.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #39
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psneeld, Thanks for the feedback from someone who tows. Still looking forward the the manufacturer feedback too. I will post something as soon as they reply, hopefully tomorrow!
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:01 PM   #40
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Those are good boats Keith and very popular in Alaska.

It will be interesting to hear what they say about the eye location. The bow eyes on stock boats are put there mostly for trailer functions. I think towing directional stability would be far better w the eye much lower. It would depend a lot also on the location of the towing line on the towing vessel as well. And the CG of the towed boat, her keel or keel like appendages and probably other things.

I assume it won't be until next week to hear from Klamath.

The strength of stock bow eyes varies a lot. The eye on my 19' Winner OB almost pulled out just from the trailer winch ... need to repair. So for towing I'd be inclined to a dedicated eye w a sizable and well designed backing plate in addition to two studs or bolts.
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