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Old 08-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #21
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I helped a friend move his 56' sailboat from Anacortes to Oak Harbor, probably a distance "over water" of 20 miles through Deception Pass. The boat was under construction, no rigging and auxiliary wasn't running yet, rudder was locked.

Towing a large sailboat has it's challenges and is quite an experience. While moving out of or into the marina, we had the two boats tied together side-by-side. With my twin engines, his deep keel and weight, I had complete control and could spin us both on a dime.

When we cleared the marina we separated, he had prepared a 5/8" nylon 50' tow line with a bridle which we attached to my stern, port and starboard cleats. I could easily tow him up to 6 - 7 knots, but the two different hull styles and I suspect his locked rudder, plus wind and tide, resulted in the sailboat not following the tow boat track. At times he would be 30 to 45 degrees off my track. The tow line pressure to one side would cause my boat to change course slightly as well. Slowing down quickly was also an issue as the sailboat would slide right up next to us.

In calm water such as a river assuming no wave action and tight quarters, it might be easier to deal with the current and control the towed sailboat by tying side-by-side.

Larry B
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #22
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Open water should almost always be a stern tow...just because of vertical movement between the boats is hard to manage.

Sailboats should always be on a long tow if you can because they will outrun you or into you if you slow or stop even just a little. If you can...try and use a drogue with a sailboat...especially when you need to shorten up.

Sailboats that have steering (probably single engine trawlers too) just need a little hp near their stern and can steer themselves better in tight quarters than be towed...so a dingy on the hip is a good idea if the wind and current isn't too much.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #23
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Boy, that's the rub. We were in sheltered waters with little to no wind. But 1/2 of the requested trip has two narrow, straight channels that are well marked (day markers only mostly) with very skinny water outside of them so on the hip may have presented some problems. I can certainly understand the need in your area SD to look out for each other. Same here for the most part. Another small note, we had no handgun on board. These guys appeared to pose no risk - especially on that nice of a boat. My FDH self wouldn't have given it a thought, but the Admiral wisely pointed out that appearances aren't always true.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by skipperdude View Post
Where I live and boat there is no Sea tow, Boat U.S. or any other kind of tow service.

There are a few charter company's that will do salvage. Thats about it.

If you are broke down you can only call the USGS or another boater.

when you are out in the woods you gotta help each other.

That being said . Were I in Mr Forklifts situation where there are other options. I would have done exactly as he did.

There are cruisers out there in parts of the world where like me there is no other option than to ask for help from another human being.
A break down on a trawler is an issue that can turn into a May-Day.

Sail boaters call the engine the auxiliary. Sail being the primary form of propulsion. Like F.F. said an intact sailboat has propulsion eventually.


May Day is one thing.

I will help.

All others get out the card.

So if you have to tow what is the best way?
On the hip or a tow behind?

SD
In my experiences in PWS, if you need help most boaters will assist if they can. That is the one thing I can say about Alaska boaters is they are not afraid of helping a fellow boater because it might be you that needs help next time. However, that doesn't mean that if you did something stupid you won’t get a lecture!
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:27 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=psneeld;100895]Unless your deck is rotten...your stern cleats could tow very easily up to another vessel your size or larger if you had the right towing setup...meaning 3/4 or better towline at least several hundred feet long..that would serve in up to moderate conditions.

Where most people underestimate loading is ungrounding....the forces there are much larger than in just towing.

/QUOTE]
Thanks psneeld, the aft cleats on my IG are mounted next to the hawse holes, on the inside of the bulwarks(coaming),not on the deck, which is not rotted,at least not there. I`d risk towing on them if another boat was in dire trouble,but hesitate otherwise. Am I on the right track with a bridle to split the load between both cleats?
A previous boat had cleats mounted on the top of the transom, with plates underneath the fixings. There were (?) surface crazes around the base of these, I`ve no doubt they were towed on by the PO, the Cruising Yacht Club of Aust (CYCA) who run the Sydney-Hobart and other racing, using her as committee boat etc (very large refrigerator fitted).I figured they were proven for towing, but never had to. BruceK
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:48 AM   #26
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So if you have to tow what is the best way?
On the hip or a tow behind?

Tow behind on a long line, you want them out of uour wake and esop prop wash.

On the hip is fine if you have a powerful dink to use.

Otherwise let them anchor close to their destination and the yard do the help .

Towing requires very little effort if the water is calm.

Many small (under 45ft) sail boats burn 1 gph , so they are requiring 15--20 hp .

Each HP with a great prop might make 20 lbs of push.

So a 400 lb load is what your boat will feel , most times , unless the sea state is high.

FF
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #27
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[QUOTE=BruceK;101068]
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Unless your deck is rotten...your stern cleats could tow very easily up to another vessel your size or larger if you had the right towing setup...meaning 3/4 or better towline at least several hundred feet long..that would serve in up to moderate conditions.

Where most people underestimate loading is ungrounding....the forces there are much larger than in just towing.

/QUOTE]
Thanks psneeld, the aft cleats on my IG are mounted next to the hawse holes, on the inside of the bulwarks(coaming),not on the deck, which is not rotted,at least not there. I`d risk towing on them if another boat was in dire trouble,but hesitate otherwise. Am I on the right track with a bridle to split the load between both cleats?
A previous boat had cleats mounted on the top of the transom, with plates underneath the fixings. There were (?) surface crazes around the base of these, I`ve no doubt they were towed on by the PO, the Cruising Yacht Club of Aust (CYCA) who run the Sydney-Hobart and other racing, using her as committee boat etc (very large refrigerator fitted).I figured they were proven for towing, but never had to. BruceK
Yes ...a bridle on your boat also helps a bit with turning as well as spreading the load most of the time.

The towing load is really not much unless there is a lot of shock loading which you reuce with a longer towline if possible.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:20 AM   #28
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The towing load is really not much unless there is a lot of shock loading which you reuce with a longer towline if possible.

Thinner nylon tow line is the easiest way to absorb shock.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:29 AM   #29
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The towing load is really not much unless there is a lot of shock loading which you reuce with a longer towline if possible.

Thinner nylon tow line is the easiest way to absorb shock.
True but not everyone has numerous diameter nylon lines aboard to cover every towing situation. So if the towline you are using isn't absorbing the shock loads...letting out more and letting the weight form a catenary which then absorbs the shock loading...

So reducing the diameter isn't always the easiest.

When all else fails...adjusting speed might help too as well as getting the vessel at the proper distance behind you so you are "in step" with the seas....but that's really difficult with smaller vessels most of the time.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:42 AM   #30
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I would accept a tow from the average boater in from the ocean and to help me if my vessel was adrift in confined waters. However, if I can anchor in safe waters, I don't think I would accept a tow from the average boater; I would pay for a professional (that's why I have towing insurance). The risk of damage from the additional complexities isn't worth the money saved. You may think I have a poor opinion of the average recreational boater's skills in my area.........and you would be correct.

This is my towing policy to other boats, "Tow you to safety; turn you over to a professional".

Ted
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:02 AM   #31
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You did the right thing. Storm approaching and he was not in distress. He could have threw an anchor out. His story about Sea Tow not responding is dubious.. I would not assume the liability for their tow. Also dissimiliar type of vessels is a consideration.. the trawler can throw a good wake at slow speeds.

Low visibility and in skinny water under tow, makes you assume the liability if another vessel crosses the tow line.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #32
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You did the right thing. Storm approaching and he was not in distress. He could have threw an anchor out. His story about Sea Tow not responding is dubious.. I would not assume the liability for their tow. Also dissimiliar type of vessels is a consideration.. the trawler can throw a good wake at slow speeds.

Low visibility and in skinny water under tow, makes you assume the liability if another vessel crosses the tow line.
I'm not sure...they pull their boat also...no sense in risking an asset that's gonna be needed post storm big time.

They might have responded but not necessarily for the regular fees. If it were in my area and I was the boss...and the boat was already pulled or secured...it might add $3-$500 to an already $3-$600 towing bill. But that's usually not a big deal as many insurance companies pay up to $1000 per incident towing, and that would be a great reason to use that offering.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:39 PM   #33
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What a great discussion!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:48 PM   #34
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I'm not sure...they pull their boat also...no sense in risking an asset that's gonna be needed post storm big time.

They might have responded but not necessarily for the regular fees. If it were in my area and I was the boss...and the boat was already pulled or secured...it might add $3-$500 to an already $3-$600 towing bill. But that's usually not a big deal as many insurance companies pay up to $1000 per incident towing, and that would be a great reason to use that offering.
PS, this was Sunday night. Couple of days before the storm.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:13 PM   #35
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You may think I have a poor opinion of the average recreational boater's skills in my area.........and you would be correct.
Ted
I think your assessment is correct and not just for your area. It certainly applies to us. We have never towed anything but our wake. We are not rigged for towing and it would be very difficult to do so given that we carry a dinghy across our transom.

Carey of this forum received complete instruction as well as practice in towing in his time with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. So I would consider him to be qualified to provide a safe tow. But not us. Nor, I suspect, most of the boaters out there.

Consequently we would not offer to provide a tow nor would we agree to do so if asked. It's not in our skill set so the risk in terms of hull damage and liability is too high.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #36
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As I said, the comment that Sea Tow wouldn't respond is dubious... (Sea Tow was towing in p'cola on Monday. )
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #37
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As I said, the comment that Sea Tow wouldn't respond is dubious... (Sea Tow was towing in p'cola on Monday. )
They weren't "members", so their credit card was rejected?
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperdude
Where I live and boat there is no Sea tow, Boat U.S. or any other kind of tow service.

There are a few charter company's that will do salvage. Thats about it.

If you are broke down you can only call the USGS or another boater.

when you are out in the woods you gotta help each other.

That being said . Were I in Mr Forklifts situation where there are other options. I would have done exactly as he did.

There are cruisers out there in parts of the world where like me there is no other option than to ask for help from another human being.
A break down on a trawler is an issue that can turn into a May-Day.

Sail boaters call the engine the auxiliary. Sail being the primary form of propulsion. Like F.F. said an intact sailboat has propulsion eventually.

May Day is one thing.

I will help.

All others get out the card.

So if you have to tow what is the best way?
On the hip or a tow behind?

SD
Dave

In my 10 years of cruising PWS and the gulf I needed a tow once.

Called one of the kyak haulers and got towed from ester passage to Whittier. As you know about 25 miles.
Cost was 750 I was happy to pay it.

People can get a commercial tow in Alaska. The problem is that most boaters are too cheap to pay for it.

They'd rather ruin someone else's weekend by asking a fellow boater for a free tow.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:13 AM   #39
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They weren't "members", so their credit card was rejected?
---------------------------------

So their credit card was no good?? Because you don't have to be a member to use Sea Tow services. (see below)

That alone would make me wonder about the individuals on the sailboat.
Non-Member Services

Not yet a member of Sea Tow? We can still help. Non-members have access to the services that would normally be provided under the membership, but for a fee. Charges begin when our captain leaves the dock and end when they return. Per hour fees vary by location and can range from $175 to $450 per hour with the average service time being 2 ˝ hours. Payment is due at the time of service. Avoid the out-of-pocket expense by becoming a Sea Tow member today. Remember, our members get priority service over non-members.

LB
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #40
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---------------------------------

So their credit card was no good?? Because you don't have to be a member to use Sea Tow services. (see below)

That alone would make me wonder about the individuals on the sailboat.
Non-Member Services

Not yet a member of Sea Tow? We can still help. Non-members have access to the services that would normally be provided under the membership, but for a fee. Charges begin when our captain leaves the dock and end when they return. Per hour fees vary by location and can range from $175 to $450 per hour with the average service time being 2 ˝ hours. Payment is due at the time of service. Avoid the out-of-pocket expense by becoming a Sea Tow member today. Remember, our members get priority service over non-members.

LB
After we purchased our Bayliner that sank in Katrina (about 9 years ago) our first trip was across Lake Ponchatrain to New Orleans. We saw a Sea Tow boat for the first time and I remember getting an application and thinking it would be a good idea. Within 2 months, at night on Lake Ponchatrain in a storm, we were taking on water and at risk of sinking (long story) and we called Sea Tow. He came across the lake and got us to our slip in Madisonville. We hadn't signed up, so the bill was over $700. I would have gladly paid $7,000!
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