Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
Guru
 
Max Simmons's Avatar
 
City: Everett, WA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 38'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 529
To tow or not to Tow

Boats are all about compromise.* We have a 10 foot tender that has served us well over the past 5 years, but a growing family demands that we look for somthing bigger.* I just got back from checking out* a 13' center console, 40 hp. RIB*that would be perfect, except that I would be towing it instead of neatly setting it on the aft cabin.* the weight of this thing is around 1,150 lbs.* Our boat is 38' and I have some hesitation about dragging around that much weight.* It is a pain when docking, etc.* But*it would be awfully fun*running around in.* Anyone else with experience towing with a trawler and what kind of added fuel burn to be expected?*
__________________
Advertisement

Max Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jay N's Avatar
 
City: Edmonds, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WESTERLY
Vessel Model: 1974 Pacific Trawler 37
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 387
RE: To tow or not to Tow

We towed a similar tender for a number of years, and found that it decreased speed around .3-.4 kts even though it was usually placed on the forward part of a following wave.* This for a 7.5 kt boat.

The hassle of handling the tender around docks were not that big a problem, but it did narrow our weather window of crossing open water in rough weather conditions as it is possible for the towed boat to capsize given the right situation.* Have seen a couple of these.

The benefits of having a larger tender*are still worth the added complications (in our view) if you need to tow.

*
__________________

Jay N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
Veteran Member
 
jcwyatt's Avatar
 
City: Ridge, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: CANTELYA
Vessel Model: 54' Davis / Westlake
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 48
RE: To tow or not to Tow

Here is a picture of my 13' RIB being towed at 10 knots. I have it too close to the boat for a good tow setup. I generally haul it up on the top deck, but for short trips I sometimes tow it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	towing rib.jpg
Views:	222
Size:	236.3 KB
ID:	5951  
jcwyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
Guru
 
Max Simmons's Avatar
 
City: Everett, WA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 38'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 529
RE: To tow or not to Tow

We towed our smaller RIB around the Gulf Islands last summer and just snubbed it up to the side when docking or anchoring. That one weighs around 350 lbs. The potential future RIB is Rendova and is essentially a fiberglass boat with a tube around it and weighs 3 times as much. My other option that I've been checlking out is going with a slightly bigger model than existing, still being able to lift it up and set it on the aft cabin. The problem is we are limited in size and can only fit one maybe 12" longer than our existing with out completely blocking the aft deck. Of course, if I'm towing the skiff, that frees up deck space for the sailing dinghy I'v been wanting...
Max Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
RE: To tow or not to Tow

I was towing an inflatable soft bottom Zodiac 8' when the wind came up 30knts. The thing was like a giant kite. Actually left the water and fliped over gotta watch it.

SD
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
TF Site Team
 
dwhatty's Avatar
 
City: Home Port: Buck's Harbor, Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: "Emily Anne"
Vessel Model: 2001 Island Gypsy 32 Europa (Hull #146)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,733
To tow or not to Tow

We've towed our 10' + Achilles RIB (engine up) with 18hp Yamaha for years behind both of our 8 kt +/- boats (latest boat has done 13.7 kts over the ground with it in tow) in winds, including following winds, of up to 35 kts. No problems. Always watching the dink though, especially in high wind, following seas, and worrying about what might happen if we had to slam on the brakes for whatever reason. Would love to be able to haul and store the dink on board for open water runs, but on our current 32 footer the options are limited and a bit pricey. Would not give up the dink though. We love it.


-- Edited by dwhatty on Wednesday 11th of May 2011 03:26:56 PM
dwhatty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,170
RE: To tow or not to Tow

I have towed for years and still do when doing short hops. The old Achilles SE11 with a 15 merc towed for years, in some of the nastiest following seas I have been out in, no problems. Sometimes it would look like it was going to pass the trawler as it surfed down the front of a big wave, but always slowed before any sign of trouble. In a trip where a companion flipped a slightly smaller inflatable, mine was perfectly stable. I left my 85 lb outboard mounted, the other guy struggled his off and put it awway, then his dinghy flipped, cause it was too light and the 35 to 40 knot wind got under it. My current caribe is 750lb or more, tows well. With all that weight, it just parks behind the boat.

With that 1100 lb Rendova, there is no wind anywhere in BC capable of causing you a problem. A boat like that will change the way you boat. You will explore places you have always wanted to stop and see, just because you can now get there in a few minutes, instead of having to dedicate the best part of a day. Your wife will want to go in the dinghy, instead of avoiding it. That will get you out a lot more. You will get more Prawns, cause you can set your traps where they live, by spending 5 miniutes more to zip over to the good spot. Its all good.
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Avista's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 106
RE: To tow or not to Tow

I have towed various tenders for years including: 8' Penn Yann wood dinghy, various 10-12' inflatables, 13' Boston Whaler, 16' Alumacraft skiff, etc. I presently have a 20' Center Console outboard Seacraft and a 20' 'Walk-thru' inboard Shamrock that both tow well, although I will be selling one or the other soon as the Admiral has so ordered.
I have had a few minor problems including the temporary loss of the 13' foot whaler (luckily we turned around and found it) early on, but since I learned the value of a good tow eye and towing rig, I haven't had any issues including some pretty hilly gulf stream crossings.
Avista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
yachtbrokerguy's Avatar


 
City: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Model: I have keys to lots of boats...
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 469
RE: To tow or not to Tow

If you tow on a regular basis you should have a set of portable towing lights for use if you are out after dark that can be mounted on your own boat, and you may want to consider a radar reflector on the tender.
Plus check with your insurance, some policies will not cover the tender when towing, only on board.
yachtbrokerguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 08:34 AM   #10
Guru
 
motion30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 740
To tow or not to Tow

I lost a 9' west marine dink and a 2hp merc both less then a month old leaving the potomic in some huge following seas Saw it go but could not go back without risking life or boat Now I am to parnoid to tow anything


-- Edited by motion30 on Saturday 21st of May 2011 07:39:30 AM
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Avista's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 106
RE: To tow or not to Tow

Quote:
motion30 wrote:
I lost a 9' west marine dink and a 2hp merc both less then a month old leaving the potomic in some huge following seas Saw it go but could not go back without risking life or boat Now I am to parnoid to two anything
*That's how I lost my Whaler 'way back when'* since that time, I have learned that several things can be done to tow safely in almost any condition in which you are willing to take the big boat out.* You must determine the proper tow length, too short is just as bad as too long;*you don't want a mountain of water between you and the towed boat*as*you will not be able to pull your tow 'through it'.* and you certainly don't want the tow crashing into your stern either.* You need a good strong tow eye on the towed boat at the proper height (usually just at the water line)*and a proper rig on the big boat (I like a bridle for a number of reasons) and you must have someone assigned to monitor the tow and make adjustments to the tow length as*dictated by the conditions and vessel speed.* there are some good articles on towing floating around the 'net.
Avista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2011, 07:36 AM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
RE: To tow or not to Tow

I ran across this thread while looking for information on towing a tender. I'm considering the idea of towing an 18' Boston Whaler behind a 50' motorsailer (I know this is a trawler forum but I'm not a purest sailor and you guys seem to have bigger toys!)

Seems to me it would be a blast to have a "real" boat to fish and play with while in the islands instead of a little dink although I wouldn't want a Whaler running up my derriere in a following sea. Anybody ever consider or have any knowledge of using a solid tow rig verses line? Is there such a thing? Just a thought...not that I've seen one but you know "necessity is the mother of invention".
Il Pescatore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2011, 07:30 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jay N's Avatar
 
City: Edmonds, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WESTERLY
Vessel Model: 1974 Pacific Trawler 37
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 387
RE: To tow or not to Tow

Quote:
Il Pescatore wrote:
I ran across this thread while looking for information on towing a tender. I'm considering the idea of towing an 18' Boston Whaler behind a 50' motorsailer (I know this is a trawler forum but I'm not a purest sailor and you guys seem to have bigger toys!)

Seems to me it would be a blast to have a "real" boat to fish and play with while in the islands instead of a little dink although I wouldn't want a Whaler running up my derriere in a following sea. Anybody ever consider or have any knowledge of using a solid tow rig verses line? Is there such a thing? Just a thought...not that I've seen one but you know "necessity is the mother of invention".
*Have never seen what you are talking about, although some of the under transom step cradles could possibly qualify in a limited way.

The forces put on such a connection would be considerable, and would require significant engineering and critical support on both vessels.

Tugs are able to connect to their barges (pushing ahead) in an articulated system (both vessels move to the sea seperately), but everything about the barge and tug's specially designed and constructed connection system is a significant cost item.* And even then, it has limitations.

Make sure you have a good towing point, a good line, and*sufficient experience to know how much towline to put out so as to preclude "a Whaler running up my derriere in a following sea."****

Good luck.*
Jay N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
Veteran Member
 
Penny Lane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 46
RE: To tow or not to Tow

As yet unmentioned, if you leave a dink in the water for a couple of months you will have little baby barnacles at the end of the season, at least in the PNW.* They come off with a stiff brush and a little effort.*

*

*
Penny Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
Guru
 
Tony B's Avatar
 
City: Joe Wheeler State Park, Al
Country: Cruising/Live-Aboard USA
Vessel Name: Serenity
Vessel Model: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin -1986
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,250
RE: To tow or not to Tow

Quote:
Jay N wrote:
Tugs are able to connect to their barges (pushing ahead) in an articulated system (both vessels move to the sea seperately).....
*I work in the Gulf of Mex and I have never seen a Tug pushing a barge in open water. I have only seen that on rivers, bays and bayous. In open water in rough weather they tow on a fairly long line.

I'm not saying that they dont push in open water, just saying I have never seen it.
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 09:20 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jay N's Avatar
 
City: Edmonds, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WESTERLY
Vessel Model: 1974 Pacific Trawler 37
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 387
To tow or not to Tow

Quote:
Tony B wrote:Jay N wrote:
Tugs are able to connect to their barges (pushing ahead) in an articulated system (both vessels move to the sea seperately).....
*I work in the Gulf of Mex and I have never seen a Tug pushing a barge in open water. I have only seen that on rivers, bays and bayous. In open water in rough weather they tow on a fairly long line.

I'm not saying that they dont push in open water, just saying I have never seen it.

*There are a number of articulated tug/barge combinations that I have seen working off the west coast by pushing ahead.* COASTAL RELIANCE, COMMITMENT, GALVESTON, GULF RELIANCE, INTEGRITY, OCEAN RELIANCE, PACIFIC RELIANCE, SEA RELIANCE, SKIPJACK, SOUND RELIANCE and TARPON.

Not all of the above may be working here now, and there may be un-named others that have replaced them.* From my reading of various maritime mags, there are also a number in the Gulf and East Coast.* Crowley, Penn Maritime, U.S. Shipping, Bouchard, K-Sea and a number of others have equipment designed/built to do this.

Some of them have sea/swell limitations (starting around 15'*), so they don't always go out if big storms are forecast.


-- Edited by Jay N on Saturday 30th of July 2011 09:21:25 PM
Jay N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 03:56 AM   #17
Guru
 
Tony B's Avatar
 
City: Joe Wheeler State Park, Al
Country: Cruising/Live-Aboard USA
Vessel Name: Serenity
Vessel Model: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin -1986
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,250
RE: To tow or not to Tow

Jay

I am confused. I thought articulated tug/barge combinations were what we call 'composite units'. The tug hooks up and they act as a single unit. Looks like a solid ship when hooked up and in the sea, it acts as a solid unit.
In your previous post you stated "Tugs are able to connect to their barges (pushing ahead) in an articulated system (both vessels move to the sea seperately)".

I'm confused.
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 05:17 AM   #18
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,530
RE: To tow or not to Tow

(both vessels move to the sea seperately)".

I'm confused.

In other words they don't act as a solid boat would , but each reacts to the sea , although connected by the pin mechanism.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 06:27 AM   #19
Guru
 
Steve's Avatar
 
City: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gumbo
Vessel Model: 2003 Monk 36
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,607
To tow or not to Tow

I am puzzled by this too, I did a search and found some pix of "articulated tugs" but none hooked up to a barge to see how it is set up, anyone know where I can find some. I have seen what are sometimes called Notch systems, the stern of the barge has a notch and the tug slips its bow in there and is semi ridgid, like a ship.

I remember a thread years ago on some forum, about a rig someone had devised. Two pvc or fiberglass pipes in a V shape, the point of the V at the dinghy's bow, the tow legs attached to the towing boats transom corners all held together with rope. It was to tow the dinghy but supposed to keep the dinghy away from the boat. I never did see one or hear more about it so it maybe didn't work as planned. I don't think it would work well in significant seas.

Steve W


-- Edited by Steve on Sunday 31st of July 2011 06:37:35 AM
Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:29 AM   #20
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: Saint Augustine, Fl.
Country: Port of St Augustine ,FL
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,962
RE: To tow or not to Tow

There is a very big difference between articulated tug and barge (ATB) and composite units.
Composite units are hydraulically locked together as one unit, think ship like. They very seldom seperate and act at sea as one.

ATBs' are connected by retractable pins that extend out from the bow of the tug, that lock in to "ladders" or holes in the notch of a
specifically designed barge. The pins can be hydraulic (intercon system) or, pneumatic (JAK couple system). There are others bludworth etc.
The movement of the tug is one axis only, it pivots on the pins extended from the bow 90 degrees to the side. So when at sea, the tug will pitch to a different motion as the barge, but its much dampened, and they both roll as a unit.
The benefit to ATB is better speed, fuel economy and ability to enter harbors that they wouldn't be able to enter with wire tows.
Southwest pass (entering Mississippi) is a good example. Wire tows would have to wait for wx to come down to enter, now with atbs-come in any wx. No worrying with picking up the barge.
K-sea used to have an ATB called the Kara Sea that had a regular run from New Orleans to Pakistan hauling soybean oil.
Because the pins are exposed to sal****er, they are lubricated with a Vegetable oil based grease to be pollution free.
__________________

Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Prepare to tow or be towed. markpierce General Discussion 53 04-11-2011 08:32 PM
Rescue tow Sailor of Fortune Tug Designs 4 01-25-2010 02:33 PM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012