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Old 10-25-2015, 12:51 PM   #21
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We tow our 2500lb 17' Dusky and have no problems. When getting into a marina it goes on the hip, if it can't be docked with the boat on the hip then my dad takes it in first and I dock the boat.
Since I've known you, you've towed it mostly to and from the Bahamas. There are many tenders of all sizes one can see towed there and back. People tow 39' Center Consoles. So, first, what are your techniques since it obviously works for you. Second, have you towed it up and down the coast any or in the ICW other than the distance from Dania to Port Everglades? Third, what sea conditions do you feel comfortable towing it in?
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:52 PM   #22
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Tossing in my $0.02

Early in my career I worked for a captain that did not like to take the time to bring the 16' Boston Whaler aboard.

Open water towing was OK. The problem happened when the BW was on the hip and the big boat was maneuvering, particularly backing. If the BW wasn't tied up just right the stern would go down and flood the boat. If we didn't catch it fast enough it would capsize.
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:43 PM   #23
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I don't tow my dinghy.
All the towed dinghies I have seen are towed, engine UP.

I've thought that some drag could be introduced by a piece of chain off the transom, as near centered as possible, to keep the dinghy in line better. I have not tried it myself but I have dragged stuff and it should not need a lot of chain to produce the needed effect.

Anyways, just a suggestion, good or bad, for someone to try.

Portage Bay, I saw that happen and it was a BW. It took two other boats to get it righted. One to tow the flipped boat to another that had a suitable crane and then the towing boat to pull as the crane slowly lowered it so it floated. Still a mess.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:16 PM   #24
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Since I've known you, you've towed it mostly to and from the Bahamas. There are many tenders of all sizes one can see towed there and back. People tow 39' Center Consoles. So, first, what are your techniques since it obviously works for you. Second, have you towed it up and down the coast any or in the ICW other than the distance from Dania to Port Everglades? Third, what sea conditions do you feel comfortable towing it in?
#1 Slow down outside of marina and put boat in hip. If conditions are un-allowing then we wait till we get in the marina. Then we dock. Or if they don't have a big enough slip like i said my takes it in and i dock the boat.

#2 Yes we've towed it from WPB to FTL. When we get in the ICW from the inlet we pull it in closer. Then when we get to our marina, we disconnect it and my dad docks it and i dock the big boat.

#3 Iv'e only towed it in up-to 7-8 @7 sec and i did feel uncomfortable as it was with our older tow rope intended for a smaller boat. But id be comfortable towing in 10ft seas.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:26 PM   #25
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Many smaller, narrower skiffs with a heavy four stroke on them in the tilted up position will flip very easily and like to remain upside down.

That is based on dozens of salvages of that combination.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:48 PM   #26
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Towing a hard Skiff

I tow our 17' Logic Marine on the Mississippi River and have been thru locks and into marinas. When going into locks or marinas I shorten up the tow so the bow is at the swim step. I then use a short 1/2" rope with a snap shackle on one end, I use the shackle at the bow eye and cleat the rope off to a cleat in the center at the edge of the swim platform, this keeps the bow from over running the swim platform and keeps it centered. I then use lines from each transom cleat to each forward cleat on the Logic, when I'am towing these lines take the strain and the bow eye line is slack. This has worked great for us with no problems when maneuvering, the marinas have all charged a extra $10.00 for tying it to a finger. I do lower the 50 hp Merc so the skeg is in the water, I would change my rigging to heavier lines anywhere I might get into rougher conditions than we get on the Mississippi. Click image for larger version

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ID:	45833 here is a pic of how we tow in normal cruising.


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Old 10-25-2015, 10:02 PM   #27
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I tow our 17' Logic Marine on the Mississippi River and have been thru locks and into marinas. When going into locks or marinas I shorten up the tow so the bow is at the swim step. I then use a short 1/2" rope with a snap shackle on one end, I use the shackle at the bow eye and cleat the rope off to a cleat in the center at the edge of the swim platform, this keeps the bow from over running the swim platform and keeps it centered. I then use lines from each transom cleat to each forward cleat on the Logic, when I'am towing these lines take the strain and the bow eye line is slack. This has worked great for us with no problems when maneuvering, the marinas have all charged a extra $10.00 for tying it to a finger. I do lower the 50 hp Merc so the skeg is in the water, I would change my rigging to heavier lines anywhere I might get into rougher conditions than we get on the Mississippi. Attachment 45833 here is a pic of how we tow in normal cruising.


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Interesting. Thanks.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:08 PM   #28
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I have heard some people remove the prop, if towing down. Is that necessary?
Not that I've seen.

But I've never had to tow with an engine completely down. Just getting part of the lower unit into the water has helped.

One of the problems with towing with the engine down is unless you get the lower unit lined up exactly in the right postion for the boat to tow straight, it will veer of to one side. Then you have to stop, put some one in the boat again and adjust the helm position again. Hoping you get it right this time.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:09 AM   #29
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Really depends on the tow.

When going fast, if the small boat tends to plane, it should track straight unless bow heavy or an unusually deep forefoot. If towing at displacement speeds, just load it so it trims by the stern.

When going slow, the tow either needs most of the engine and prop in the water for drag so it doesn't run up on you or zig zag. If you want to leave the engine up, then rig a small drogue....hopefully you can rig an easy to deploy and recover one.

For tow lines, if using something that sinks, floats not only help in keeping it out of your prop, they also help in preventing the line from sinking and pulling the dingy all the way up to your transom quickly all the time.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:43 AM   #30
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I like to trim the motor on my 18' flats boat down just a little bit when towing, so the skeg is just under the water. It helps a little with tracking, but it is also nice that when pulling the skiff in close the skeg is not sicking out where it could gouge the side of the big boat.

I also think it is important to be able to get the small boat running and moving quickly in an emergency, so even though it wouldn't save much time it would be a little quicker if you didn't have to tilt the motor down all the way.

For this same reason I would never consider removing the prop. If a tow line breaks, or the little boat takes on a bunch of water or if the tow line wrapped in the big boat's props I would not want the skiff to be dead in the water.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:54 PM   #31
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Thanks again. Based on all this input, I am thinking I will move forward with purchasing a 18' Key West, but only to tow to the Bahamas and < 200 miles on the ICW. (not longer distances). Will be purchasing a bridle set up using a floating line like Amsteel with say 80 feet? of line to catch the second wave and tow with the skeg wet, prop on. Will practice a few times before leaving for the Berry's this Dec. Any recommendations on who to purchase the tow set up from?
Dougcole, looks like we have the same Mainship. What is your tow setup?
Thanks again all!!
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:10 PM   #32
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Thanks again. Based on all this input, I am thinking I will move forward with purchasing a 18' Key West, but only to tow to the Bahamas and < 200 miles on the ICW. (not longer distances). Will be purchasing a bridle set up using a floating line like Amsteel with say 80 feet? of line to catch the second wave and tow with the skeg wet, prop on. Will practice a few times before leaving for the Berry's this Dec. Any recommendations on who to purchase the tow set up from?
Dougcole, looks like we have the same Mainship. What is your tow setup?
Thanks again all!!
John R
You may want to be able to slide some weight down that Amsteel for catenary while in open water and bad conditions...or be able to add around 10p feet of nylon in there for stretch.

If you can't keep the towline tight ALL the time, the the shock loads will be disconcerting without some way of dampening them.
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:43 PM   #33
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https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...D550/ry%3D400/


https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...D550/ry%3D400/


https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...D550/ry%3D400/


We make our own bridles with Amsteel and large "Y"s on both ends. The towed boat ends are handled with an Amsteel "Y" and snap clips. The towing boat end has a very large 'Y' made with 3 strand nylon and anti-chafe so we can use both rear
cleats. These pictures are of the heavier bridle we used for our 19' and 24' inflatables and is about 90' when completely deployed.


Hope this helps
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mainship400 View Post
Thanks again. Based on all this input, I am thinking I will move forward with purchasing a 18' Key West, but only to tow to the Bahamas and < 200 miles on the ICW. (not longer distances). Will be purchasing a bridle set up using a floating line like Amsteel with say 80 feet? of line to catch the second wave and tow with the skeg wet, prop on. Will practice a few times before leaving for the Berry's this Dec. Any recommendations on who to purchase the tow set up from?
Dougcole, looks like we have the same Mainship. What is your tow setup?
Thanks again all!!
John R
Rope Inc of Fort Lauderdale or Miami Cordage make a great towing rig. Pricey but will last you forever according to those that have used them, (I am sure Capt Bill will chime on, he's one of "those". At least, if you are DIY oriented look at thier sites and see how they do it:

Rope Inc. Catalog Mighty Tow Yacht Tender Towing Rig

Miami Cordage » Tow Bridles
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:28 PM   #35
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Would you stick with the tow behind or go back to a smaller hypalon RIB that can be hung off a davit on the transom?
(Edit: After posting this I see you want an 18' boat. A little hard to pull up onto the transom!)

You can keep a hard shell on the transom with the right davits. We have a 11'4" Boston Whaler for a dinghy and we typically pull it up (manually!) onto the transom davits. The only time we don't is if we have a short run to another anchorage and the water is flat calm. Going into a marina or dock we always pull the dink up.

We use Weaver Davits: DHS Davit Heads for Weaver Davits - Weaver Industries | Fisheries Supply

The davits are elegantly simple and quite robust. Not sure how much the Whaler weighs, but my wife can also pull it up with the block and tackle system.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:37 PM   #36
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Towing a hard Skiff

What's the biggest boat I could safely tow to the Bahamas with my little 110hp Yanmar. Like the idea of having a nice center console to run around the Bahamas/ and leave the "big" boat as a home base.

Wonder how a 17' Carolina Skiff would work in the Bahamas? Flat bottom might suck.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:48 PM   #37
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Rope Inc of Fort Lauderdale or Miami Cordage make a great towing rig. Pricey but will last you forever according to those that have used them, (I am sure Capt Bill will chime on, he's one of "those". At least, if you are DIY oriented look at thier sites and see how they do it:

Rope Inc. Catalog Mighty Tow Yacht Tender Towing Rig

Miami Cordage » Tow Bridles
What George said. Of course you can make your own tow rig if you're handy with a fid and can sew a bit.

I'd add, don't use metal thimbles where the bridle lines come together with the tow line at the Y. Use synthetic anti-chafe covers on all the loops. And you can clip on a small ball fender/float at the Y to keep the nylon bridle lines from dragging down and sinking the bridle and tow line when you stop. That can help keep the line out of your prop if you have to stop suddenly and/or back down.

You need to make sure the bow eye on the boat you want to tow is properly reinforced for towing. I'd make the main tow line at least 100' long. And the bridle lines 25-30' or so.

Also you want to use a painter coming off your tender (which can be nylon for a little more shock absorption) that you attach the tow line to (instead of directly to the bow eye.) with one of these:
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:08 PM   #38
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We must tow a dinghy behind our Albin-25 because I won't use an inflatable in order to get the dog ashore. A hard dinghy is too large to hang from davits behind our little Albin, and there is insufficient deck space forward. The only issue with towing a CLC Eastport Pram is shipping water through the dagger board slot at cruising speed. We have a dummy dagger board (lower end flush with bottom) which is only about 70% effective. I have an idea for a molded silicone rubber "cork" held down by a plywood backer panel which we will try next season.

In tight quarters we tie the dinghy alongside, or tow on a very short line. If towing, use a LARGE DIA braided line that absolutely, positively floats. Getting an "iffy" floating line tangled up in our prop was not fun to deal with. I really dislike that yellow twist poly pro line. It is difficult to tie a secure knot with it.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:10 PM   #39
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What's the biggest boat I could safely tow to the Bahamas with my little 110hp Yanmar. Like the idea of having a nice center console to run around the Bahamas/ and leave the "big" boat as a home base.

Wonder how a 17' Carolina Skiff would work in the Bahamas? Flat bottom might suck.
You see a fair amount of Carolina Skiffs in the Bahamas. They make good tenders as far as price, room, draft and ease of towing go. But they don't have the best ride in a chop.

As to what you can tow, I towed a 27' twin engine Contender to and from the Bahamas once. In fact while in the Bahamas on that trip I was towing the Contender with a 13' Whaler behind it and had a 10' inflatable behind the Whaler all at the same time behind my 42' GB.

Looked like the Beverly Hillbillies of the Bahamas for a few days.

I'd say you could tow anything up to around 20' if you really wanted to. And the tender towed well.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:19 PM   #40
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Towing a hard Skiff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
You see a fair amount of Carolina Skiffs in the Bahamas. They make good tenders as far as price, room, draft and ease of towing go. But they don't have the best ride in a chop.



As to what you can tow, I towed a 27' twin engine Contender to and from the Bahamas once. In fact while in the Bahamas on that trip I was towing the Contender with a 13' Whaler behind it and had a 10' inflatable behind the Whaler all at the same time behind my 42' GB.



Looked like the Beverly Hillbillies of the Bahamas for a few days.



I'd say you could tow anything up to around 20' if you really wanted to. And the tender towed well.

That dingy train does sound pretty redneck. I like it. 👍👍👍

I just think it would be nice to leave the big boat moored at say, Hopetown, and then visit the other spots from there. I've only been to the Abacos so don't know if that translates to other parts of the Bahamas. I would only go to the trouble of pulling a big dink if cruising for a month or so I think.

But it would suck to get caught out in a storm in a 17' Carolina Skiff. Something with a decent V would be better. I had a CSkiff 21 DLX (also flat bottom) but it was OK in chop because of the length, but that that seems pretty big to tow with my dinky Yanmar.
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