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Old 08-30-2018, 03:31 PM   #1
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Tow a skiff?

I'm gonna buy a 40-45ft trawler to live on anchor in sofl/keys single-handed. It's mandatory that I have a fishing skiff. I think my 14ft cc twin vee cat with a 50hp is about as small as I can go, so might as well keep that.

It seems I'd have to go well over 50ft to even consider being able to put that on deck. So it's gonna need to be towed everywhere. I can avoid weekends inshore, and wait for flat days offshore. I know the standard protocol offshore is to pull it far back. My concern is inshore, particularly around bridges & icw boat traffic. I imagine I'm gonna need to pull it close behind, but then as a single-hander how do I manage it if I need to slow or stop for a bridge/etc?

The internet offers almost zero guidance. I found a couple brief mentions of using a mooring whip. Anybody have experience with that? OR a different/better system?
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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Do a search on this forum. Many towing threads. How you handle bringing it in depends on the design of your boat and your dexterity.

I'm curious as to where exactly you plan to live "on anchor".
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:07 PM   #3
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Two things that folks will do is to bring up close to the stern so that it is braced against the stern. That works well for a RIB but probably not for your boat. The other option is to hip tie the tender to your aft quarter. In essence you are docking the tender to your trawler.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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I'm curious as to where exactly you plan to live "on anchor".
There's several great anchorages in Miami. Plenty of people doing it in the keys as well.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:16 PM   #5
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There's several great anchorages in Miami. Plenty of people doing it in the keys as well.
I am very familiar with SE FL. Where exactly are you talking about?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:21 PM   #6
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I towed a 9' RIB behind a sailing catamaran all the way from SW Florida to Maine. I did pull it in when I went offshore for 2-3 overnight hops.


It was bridled to run about 20' behind my stern just at the top of the first stern wave and was never a problem with bridges or docking. When I docked for fuel I pulled it up tight along the outboard side before going in. At overnight slips, I just brought it up tight to the stern.


RIBs are much easier to do this with than a hard sided 14' cat. You can buy RIBs in almost any size, including center consoles and twin outboards. They won't perform as well as your cat, but they will be just as stable and seakindly.



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Old 08-30-2018, 05:23 PM   #7
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I like the Marine Stadium the best because better fishing down there. But the bay across from Haulover is a great spot too. Not too interested in the super crowded anchorages by Venetian Causeway.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:34 PM   #8
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Problem is they cost a fortune, don't last, and still have way less room than what I already have. Better for most people's purposes, but not mine. I'm on the water to fish.

I figure I'll just employ a small inflatable or cheap little row boat (I can stow on deck) when I need to go ashore. Something I can beach and not worry about. Or maybe just kayak or a paddle board.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:31 PM   #9
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Problem is they cost a fortune, don't last, and still have way less room than what I already have. Better for most people's purposes, but not mine. I'm on the water to fish.

I figure I'll just employ a small inflatable or cheap little row boat (I can stow on deck) when I need to go ashore. Something I can beach and not worry about. Or maybe just kayak or a paddle board.
Kayak might be the ticket for you. Gaff resistant, hook resistant, doesn't need a motor, good exercise, could go on... I remember a snorkler tossing in my inflatable a lobster. Both horns made holes in the far tube. OH, that may have been me.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:48 PM   #10
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Kayak might be the ticket for you. Gaff resistant, hook resistant, doesn't need a motor, good exercise, could go on...
Oh...I actually just meant as a supplement to my skiff. Gonna tow the skiff for sure. Just figured something cheap & light would be nice for certain shore trips where my skiff would be too big or too valuable to leave sitting there.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:39 PM   #11
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To tow your skiff single handed mount a long fiberglass mooring whip on your stern. Use the mooring whip to hold the skiff from hitting the stern of the big boat if you have to maneuver. For a 14 Ft skiff youd probably want an 18 whip.
Premium Mooring Whips - Taylor Made Products 2018 Catalog

Ive seen this done but never tried it myself.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:35 AM   #12
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You might contemplate creating a stern mount that was a big single pin.

The tow could flex but not surf a wave and smash into the stern.

Yes your transom would be lifting and depressing the bow of the tow underway , but built robustly that should be no problem.

A line P&S from the stern could keep it aligned , as could Parks GRP whip.

No lines in the water , little problem in locks , except big turning radius , and no problem backing to anchor.

We have tight towed our smaller dink , with no problems.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:45 AM   #13
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Problem is they cost a fortune, don't last, and still have way less room than what I already have. Better for most people's purposes, but not mine. I'm on the water to fish.

I figure I'll just employ a small inflatable or cheap little row boat (I can stow on deck) when I need to go ashore. Something I can beach and not worry about. Or maybe just kayak or a paddle board.
We occasionally tow a 13' Boston whaler for long distances. IMO the best location is relatively close so that the whaler is climbing the second stern wave. If you want an indestructible, easily stored multi purpose tender, a Porta Bote is hard to beat. We tow ours snuggled up to the stern and in that position they are bullet proof. Just ordered the 10' version to replace an 8' we wore out after 20 years. $2k, plus a bit, as they had some kind of special going on.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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Would I connect the whip to the bow or the stern of the tender?
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:12 AM   #15
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You might contemplate creating a stern mount that was a big single pin.
Can you explain this in a bit more detail? Are you imagining some kind of bracket built off the swimstep or stern that basically connects directly to the bow eyes? Almost like the front part of a trailer that you winch the boat against?
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:23 AM   #16
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Towing a 22' Bay Boat

I just got back from 2 months in the Abacos and I towed my 22' Bay Boat. I had initially planned to tow a 27 Contender but we sold it at the last minute before the trip so I towed the bay boast instead. I had already purchased a tow rope from the pro rope folks in FFL so I was set as far as tow line. Like DJ says, I shortened it way up for tight spots and nights with wind and/or current. On the nights where it was somewhat still I'd bring it along side and tie it up with the bow a little loose so the wind would push it off the big boat a little and provide an air cushion. When I got ready to go into a very tight spot or during anchoring I'd bring it along side and tie it up very tight against 3 fenders hung vertically from the big boat. I never had a problem and traveled a good bit single handed in a variety of situations. The auto pilot will be your best friend but, needless to say, be very careful! Also, advise bridge tenders that you have "a vessel in tow" when approaching, you will have right of way in most situation's. Before my trip was over I felt very confident in all situations and had the time of my life with my fishing boat along!
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:33 AM   #17
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I just got back from 2 months in the Abacos and I towed my 22' Bay Boat. I had initially planned to tow a 27 Contender but we sold it at the last minute before the trip so I towed the bay boast instead. I had already purchased a tow rope from the pro rope folks in FFL so I was set as far as tow line. Like DJ says, I shortened it way up for tight spots and nights with wind and/or current. On the nights where it was somewhat still I'd bring it along side and tie it up with the bow a little loose so the wind would push it off the big boat a little and provide an air cushion. When I got ready to go into a very tight spot or during anchoring I'd bring it along side and tie it up very tight against 3 fenders hung vertically from the big boat. I never had a problem and traveled a good bit single handed in a variety of situations. The auto pilot will be your best friend but, needless to say, be very careful! Also, advise bridge tenders that you have "a vessel in tow" when approaching, you will have right of way in most situation's. Before my trip was over I felt very confident in all situations and had the time of my life with my fishing boat along!
Not to hijack but that sounds awesome. I have a 20 bow rider that is love to have with us. What did you do when going into marinas?
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:45 AM   #18
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Would I connect the whip to the bow or the stern of the tender?
I was thinking the bow but now that you mention it, I think the ones Ive seen had the line from the whip attached to the stern. Might be hard to do with a 14 Boat.

I like FFs idea. Attach the line from the whip to the bow of the towed boat and lines from port and starboard of the big boat to the stern of the towed boat. Also a tow rope from the big boat to the bow eye of the towed boat.

The tow line pulls the boat.
The whip prevents the towed boat from running into the towing boat.
The port and starboard lines prevent the towed boat from swinging side to side.

Ive never done this. It might be a good idea to try it with a piece of pvc pipe before you spend the money on a real whip. You might get an idea of how this would work before the pvc breaks.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:22 PM   #19
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Tie it up tight.....

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Not to hijack but that sounds awesome. I have a 20 bow rider that is love to have with us. What did you do when going into marinas?
I'd tie it up very tight along side. I stayed at Leeward a good bit in Black Sound at Green Turtle. I'd stop about a half mile out in Sea of Abaco and bring the Scout along side and tie it up tight on my outboard side. Then just motor slowly into the sound and to the "tee dock". The entrance to the sound is very tight and the first time I did it the "pucker factor" was very high but, it was a piece of cake..... probably traveled in and out of there half dozen times single handed. I used the same setup for dropping and pulling the anchor. Then when you get out into the clear just maintain a little bit of forward momentum and ease her off the side and drop her back to tow length.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:02 PM   #20
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Trying out the pix thing....

Long
[IMG][/IMG]


Short



Laying Back


Along Side Loose
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