Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-02-2017, 07:59 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
City: Florida
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 420AC Sea Ray
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 317
Towing a tender

I'm finishing up a rebuild on a 16' Wahoo side console boat that I intend on dragging behind out bigger boat when we go to the Abacos next year.

My current plan is to get used to towing it behind the boat between now and July when we cross over.

I don't want to sound cheap but I am looking to track down what would be the most reasonably prices tow rope to use.

My thoughts were to make a bridle out of a 3/4" nylon rope and then use another 3/4" or 5/8" section that is about 50-75' long.

I'm looking at using poly rope for the longer section since it's bright and floats.

Any thoughts?
__________________
Advertisement

k9medic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 09:32 AM   #2
Guru
 
City: Northport
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
I'm finishing up a rebuild on a 16' Wahoo side console boat that I intend on dragging behind out bigger boat when we go to the Abacos next year.

My current plan is to get used to towing it behind the boat between now and July when we cross over.

I don't want to sound cheap but I am looking to track down what would be the most reasonably prices tow rope to use.

My thoughts were to make a bridle out of a 3/4" nylon rope and then use another 3/4" or 5/8" section that is about 50-75' long.

I'm looking at using poly rope for the longer section since it's bright and floats.

Any thoughts?
We have towed for about 800 miles worth each year for maybe 15 years and really think you want to make sure there are no potential problems with the tow bridle.
I would guess that there are not too many more concerning things than getting into some bad weather and looking back hoping you don't lose the tow.
Our tow bridle was a "V" on each end with the towing boat having the V made out of 3/4" line with chafe guards and floats. The "V" on the other side was made of Dyneema as well as the center section between the two V's. The Dyneema was light, floats and is easily payed out and collected.
At the towed boat side we had 2 asymmetrical snap clips which allowed quick and easy deployment and reattachment of the dinghy. The tow rings on the dinghy were backed up on the inside and sufficiently low on the boat so that it was always towed with a bow up attitude.
The entire tow bridle was a bit over 85' which allowed the tow to ride just behind the 2nd wave when running between 15-18 knots.
A little extra time and thought here will help make sure that there are no problems which grow in size later on.
__________________

smitty477 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 09:36 AM   #3
Guru
 
City: Northport
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,295
One of our tows at about 16 knots or so....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P8010568.JPG
Views:	156
Size:	97.4 KB
ID:	69962  
smitty477 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:40 AM   #4
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,486
You can tow like smitty above in good weather, but crossing to the Bahamas won't always be that smooth. I have a friend who swamped his dinghy while towing it just offshore on the Texas coast when a thunderstorm came up suddenly. He kept towing it slowly and when the storm passed was able to pump it out and keep going. That won't be so easy to do in the Gulf Stream.

If this is an heirloom type of dinghy, I wouldn't do it.

David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:41 AM   #5
Guru
 
City: Fort Myers
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,073
Weather will be the key to towing crossing to Bahamas, so provided you have plenty of schedule float and have it setup correctly you should be ok.
Marlinmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:50 AM   #6
Guru
 
City: Northport
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlinmike View Post
Weather will be the key to towing crossing to Bahamas, so provided you have plenty of schedule float and have it setup correctly you should be ok.
FWIW - I have been in at least 5'-8' seas with RIBS between 18' and 24' with no issues. Also towed numerous times up thru hells gate and past BI.
We towed in some pretty torrential downpours as well - just made sure we had self bailing hulls and adjusted speed/direction accordingly.
I would be really careful with smaller dinghies that are not self bailing - we did sometimes tow a 12.5" RIB and it was much more delicate in the sea states than the 18' - not even comparable.
The 12.5 normally was carried up top on those chocks on the picture above, otherwise we would not have brought it along.
smitty477 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:56 AM   #7
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,450
I tow a 13' Boston Whaler with a 40hp Merc 4-stroke on it.


I had this company (mooringlines.com) make up my bridle for the tow boat end using 5/8" line with chafe guards where it attaches at the stern cleats. They put a stainless snap shackle at the apex of the bridle. That snap shackle attaches to the tow line (they did a 50' and 75' line for me) with a stainless ring at the boat end and another snap shackle at the towed boat end.


They made up a 3-legged bridle at the dinghy end that attaches to my two bow cleats and the bow eye. I wanted to do it that way to spread the load out between the 3 attachment points. I sent them the measurements for this bridle and they made it to my specs.


They do good work. They ain't cheap but everything they have done for me has been very good quality.


We haven't towed in any strong winds or big waves, but the towing we've done has been a piece of cake.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:57 AM   #8
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,897
Pick you weather, if a t-storm threatens, put the motor down.

Have seen a lot of skiffs with the motor up that get squirrely.

If I was going to tow that boat with regularity, I would put huge scuppers in where for normal ops, they could be blocked off, but dump a lot of water if towing.

The advantage of not using floating line is when it gets wet, the catenary is good for shock absorption. So using bridles at either end with floats that are chafe resistant is great and stetchy or heavy when wet in between is great too.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 11:19 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Northport
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,295
This is towing a 19' at about 17 knots with the 12.5 on the boat deck....

https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/ser...622177/enhance
smitty477 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 12:41 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
City: Florida
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 420AC Sea Ray
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 317
This is nothing fancy as far as the boat goes. I've got about $1800 in the boat all together.

Would a 5/8" bridle ans a 1/2" rope to the "tender" work?

I have no plans to tow at anything above 15kts since the boat won't go that fast and most likely it will be between 6-8kts.

We have plenty of time for the trip which is why we are bringing a 16' boat along with us. We plan on staying 16 days in the Abacos.
k9medic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 12:44 PM   #11
Guru
 
Bigsfish's Avatar
 
City: Miami River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,178
I e towed a flats skiff to the Bahamas on numerous trip, last one weather got nasty in the stream with six foot seas. I almost lost the skiff as it flooded and couldn’t get close to it in those seas to try to fix towing problems. Slowed down to a few knots and finally hit Cat. Towing lines suffered lots of chafe. Save the skiff but won’t do it again.
Bigsfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 03:54 PM   #12
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,994
$1,600 is a riskable amount. Check with your insurance if you are covered if the tender is being towed.

I put in a back up camera (cheap) so I could watch the dinghy when it is towed (as well as backing up when docking).
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 04:57 PM   #13
Guru
 
City: Northport
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
This is nothing fancy as far as the boat goes. I've got about $1800 in the boat all together.

Would a 5/8" bridle ans a 1/2" rope to the "tender" work?

I have no plans to tow at anything above 15kts since the boat won't go that fast and most likely it will be between 6-8kts.

We have plenty of time for the trip which is why we are bringing a 16' boat along with us. We plan on staying 16 days in the Abacos.

Depends on the break strength of the weakest point and your ability to make sure chafe guard is in place wherever needed.
Is the dinghy self bailing? Are there really good attachment points for the bridle? Does it ride bow high and with good manners in heavy seas?
smitty477 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 05:08 PM   #14
Guru
 
Bigsfish's Avatar
 
City: Miami River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,178
Let me also add that you need to have an easy way to adjust the length of the tow line so the boat being towed is being headed up the wave produced by the towing boat, this should eliminate all yawing.
Bigsfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 10:46 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
City: Houston
Country: USA
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 318
I realize you are on a budget but you're putting a good bit of effort into the renovation, so...

Aside from the bridles/tow line, you might consider strapping in a couple of air-filled buoyancy bags in the Wahoo for longer open-water passages. This substantially reduces the chance of swamping and adds no weight. It's not easy to deal with a swamped tender especially in the kind of conditions that caused it in the first place.

May have to Google. I think Seaerboat makes some big ones.

Bigsfish is right...you will have to experiment with the length of the tow line until you find the sweet spot. Then mark it.
Night time always made me nervous as I couldn't easily see it back there even with an LED "running" light on it.

But it's nice to have when you get where you're going!
CDreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 05:32 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Ex Sailor's Avatar
 
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
Vessel Model: Kha Shing 40
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 271
Correct me if I'm wrong ..... but should the dink not be towed as close as possible to the transom of the big boat ? My way of thinking .... less stress on the rope, dinghy wondering etc. etc. F
Ex Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 06:29 AM   #17
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,897
In calmer conditions, say narrow ICW, and going slow..... sure close might be OK.

But usually only for inflatables ot tiny dinks with light motors.

Bigger hard dinks with heavier motors will ride forward and slam your transom when you slow down. Sure you can pad everything, but usually better to just use a longer towline and reel it in when necessary.

If referring to sailboats with inflatables tied right to the transom or upside down being towed with only their bows in the water....never did it, it may work spectacularly......but I bet it would take a bit of experimentation for each boat its tried on for angle, etc....
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 06:30 AM   #18
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,071
If the tow is a good bit smaller that the big boat, no need for a bridle on the big boat. Just a single line to one of the stern cleats. Asymmetric drag not a big deal. That way you can adjust the length of the tow line to get it into the most favorable spot of the wake.

And at night, you want a light on the tow. That way if you lose it, you can find it. Been there, done that. We did lose it and we did get it back under tow. Twice. LED won't kill the battery.

Tow speed is an issue. At 6-8kts the skiff will be plowing, might get over the hump at 8, depending on its weight. A heavy skiff plowing is a LOT of drag. That's why I like a light inflatable. But those can flip with enough wind.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 07:00 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
City: Houston
Country: USA
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 318
My dad pulled a 13' Whaler from time to time. The one with the side console. He always tied one of those cheap folding radar reflectors to the steering wheel in case it got loose at night. Even down low it made a pretty clear target on that old radar.
We lost a dinghy in a blow down in Roatan once. Heavy little sucker that CSY provided with their sailing charters. We had chartered two CSY 44 sailboats so we had two dinghys. We eventually found it but what a PITA.
Anyway the tow line was pretty long...I'd say 35'.

That was 1983. I guess today that thing would have been stolen within about 10 minutes. (Another problem with towing)
CDreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 07:03 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Ex Sailor's Avatar
 
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
Vessel Model: Kha Shing 40
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
In calmer conditions, say narrow ICW, and going slow..... sure close might be OK.

But usually only for inflatables ot tiny dinks with light motors.

Bigger hard dinks with heavier motors will ride forward and slam your transom when you slow down. Sure you can pad everything, but usually better to just use a longer towline and reel it in when necessary.

If referring to sailboats with inflatables tied right to the transom or upside down being towed with only their bows in the water....never did it, it may work spectacularly......but I bet it would take a bit of experimentation for each boat its tried on for angle, etc....

You are absolutely right ..... I was referring to an inflatable only. In any event, I would never tow an inflatable by it's D rings ! ..... bridle or not ! A friend had a sailboat and had the set up you are referring to .... it was a " dinghy tow " F
__________________

Ex Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012