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Old 04-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #101
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City: Palmetto Bay
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Sunshine
Vessel Model: Island Pilot DSe 12m Hybrid
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I have come upon similar instances here on the east coast ICW. With a twin powered boat, I feel comfortable in relatively calm conditions to use a hip tow. With lots of fenders, tie the boat being towed alongside as though your were the dock, paying good attention the forward spring line (leading from aft of the disabled boat towards the bow of the towing boat) as this will carry the load. Since he had some power, he could contribute to the propulsion and steering, if necessary.

In 1988, my Mom (70 years old at the time) and I were taking our new 50' Florida Bay Coaster north for the Baltimore Boat Show. It was the 4th of July weekend when we heard a vessel calling that they had lost steering - we figured they were a mile or two in front of us, so we asked them to wait until we arrived. When we came alongside, my Mom recognized the boat and owners - so we offered them a lift up the waterway to Jacksonville Beach. About 10 minutes later we had a hip tow in place and were "steaming" up the ICW at about 7 knots.

Rather than waste the time underway, the owner and I decided to try to repair the steering while my Mom and his wife navigated from the raised bridge. Turned out the key on the rudder shaft was broken - so we found a replacement and about an hour later, we had his steering fixed.

Nice thing about a hip tow is you are in communications with the boat being towed and actually can go from one to the other (carefully). And since we were on a schedule we couldn't take the time to stop to make the repair - the hip tow proved ideal.

It was something seeing my 70 yo mother at the helm of the 120,000# Coaster with the 35 footer alongside - total beam over 30' - as if she were motoring up I-95.

For pulling someone off a sand bar or other short tows, a good towline always seems to work (later that same trip we pulled a couple of hung over fisherman off the salt marsh, a good 6' in from the water's edge). But for controlled towing, nothing beats a hip tow.

Reuben Trane
"Sunshine" - Island Pilot DSe 12m
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #102
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City: Lamaline
Country: Canada
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I have been towed couple times and have towed dozens.Rule off the road around these parts here in Eastern Canada.If you have trouble make a holler on vhf and you will get towed to safety.You will not be charged or sued.A thank you is all that is required.I towed a boat few years ago 20 miles in 8-10 swells using 200 fath rope with rubber tire in middle .lol.slow 4-5 knots but got him in.The injection pump failed on his 210 cummins so he was helpless.If you are rowing across the Alantic you could call CCG and you might get help.Otherwise Good Luck.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:00 AM   #103
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Iceberg what sort of boat were you in to be carrying a 200 fathom rope and a rubber tire?
Steve W.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #104
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I have a Cape Islander 36 ft.On the bow I have 150 lb anchor(folding anchor) with 5 fath 3/8 chain plus 150 fath 3/4 in anchor line (covered from sun ) .I also keep stowed away another 200 fath.Towing in deep water we always use weight in middle of tow(shackels,small anchor,etc.)to keep tow line in water.All the fishing boats in this area carry the same kind of gear,so towing is never a problem.If ever cruising Newfoundland waters and want help and cannot reach CCG ,try Channel 6 (Fishing Boats).
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:51 PM   #105
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Quick update. When we were on out first cruise of the season and we were heading to a nearby island I saw this sailboat leaning strangely towards the wind, naturally we paid close attention and soon enough as we were approaching them they showed the distress signals and we waived in acknowledgement. We were heading the same way but as these were off fairway waters I took it easy and approached slowly not to get myself aground.

Pretty soon there was another smaller powerboat (who apparently knew the waters) on the scene and he got to them first and we remained close by, just in case. It only took a small pull to get the boat free and I have to hand it to the other powerboater who singlehandedly took care of the process, nicely done. After it was all cleared and checked that their boat was ok we all went our separate ways, business as usual...

While I was repacking all my towing ropes I was kind of happy that I have taught my children the distress signs and that I have told them how to act in these situations they were amazed that these thing do happen in dayligjt and in calm conditions, lesson learned, I guess...
Storebro 34 Royal Cruiser - 1969
Twin Volvo Penta Tamd 40b with shafts
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #106
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Nicely done.

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