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Old 02-28-2016, 10:13 PM   #1
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You ever needed a tow?

Thinking about the shift from twins to single power, I have to keep reminding myself how many boats there are, just on our coast alone, which have run with one engine forever.

I also think of how many times I have lost use of an engine; twice. Once when my port I/O went through 2 props in one weekend and the other when a valve decided to take on a piston.

In both cases I had the other engine. Based on hours or miles those are pretty low occurrences which should be a comfort.

How many of you have needed a tow and why?
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:21 PM   #2
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Nope, not yet............

As there's no towing service where we are and boats can be few once off the Inside Passage treadmill, we have a 9.9 outboard on the swim step mounted to a swivelling bracket. Might be enough to get us home, or at least to an anchorage to figure things out or wait for assistance. Never needed to use it, yet.........
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:06 PM   #3
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Your timing is amazing. About 3 weeks ago we got towed for the first time. We were in AZ on our Whaler. The engine wouldn't run due to some bad gas. We got towed about 2 miles back to the ramp where we launched from by a guy on a Sea Ray 270.


I've towed others several times but that was my first and only tow. (Knocking on wood!)
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:07 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Many, many moons ago (25+ years). Last run of the season. Beautiful warm fall afternoon. Boat full of in-laws. Boat empty of fuel. Twin engines, no gas about 8 miles out. Good Samaritan towed us back to marina.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM;
we have a 9.9 outboard on the swim step mounted to a swivelling bracket. Might be enough to get us home, or at least to an anchorage to figure things out or wait for assistance. Never needed to use it, yet.........
Well now, since Mark suggests you get a new hobby, maybe tomorrow you can take the boat out and have a pretend breakdown just to see how that little J A Pan kicker will do. Iffin it don't work, then you can have a real breakdown.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:18 PM   #6
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In 1987. Managed to do it myself, by hip tying the dinghy to the 30 ft sailboat. 15 hp on the dinghy got us going at hull speed, so little time was lost.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:40 PM   #7
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In 1987. Managed to do it myself, by hip tying the dinghy to the 30 ft sailboat. 15 hp on the dinghy got us going at hull speed, so little time was lost.
Good one. Not as easy putting a sailboat on the hip. Not real hard either, just have to get the fit right.

Having done that your 44 should be a piece of cake and no fear of falling off the swim grid. Course, so many folks now have tenders big enough to tow the condo anyway.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:56 PM   #8
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Well now, since Mark suggests you get a new hobby...
Say what

Don't a lot of mid-sized boats down south where you are use kickers on their swim steps to troll for salmon? No great leap of logic to use one for a get home kicker, don't you think?
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:04 AM   #9
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I have never need to be towed, but I have towed two vessels who lost power and needed assistance.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:08 AM   #10
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"Having done that your 44 should be a piece of cake and no fear of falling off the swim grid. Course, so many folks now have tenders big enough to tow the condo anyway."

With a 40 on the dinghy I have tried it on the 44, just to see if it would work. It is a lot like pushing a condo.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:15 AM   #11
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Yes
On our trip south we went dead in the water about 2hrs so of Comox BC. Couldn't get the engine going but these wonderful people came along and towed us all the way back to Comox. Nice place to spend a few days.
Saw them again at one of the LaConner Classic Car and Boat Show.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:20 AM   #12
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Well now, since Mark suggests you get a new hobby....
Oh, got it...the "sweetie" joke
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:57 AM   #13
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How many of you have needed a tow and why?
Boat's 40 years old this July. Have lost one engine, for various reasons, more times than I can count, but have never been towed.

Plugged fuel filter a number of times,
Rolled up a prop coming out of Fishermans Bay on low tide once, (My Dad)
Rolled up a prop coming out of Pirates Cove on low tide once (My Fault)
Shaft coupling came loose after yard didn't replace split pin, (That was fun!)
Throttle linkage failed once,
Crab pot line in prop a couple times,
Fuel lift pump failed once,
WIX oil filter failed coming through Dodd Narrows. (What a mess!)
Starter failed while anchored at Sucia Island. (shorted windings)
Sucked a grocery bag in raw water intake at Desolation Sound. (TG I had Diving gear)
Probably other times I've forgotten. . . . .
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:04 AM   #14
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Not yet, but have towed a few folks. I also make sure to keep my towboat subscription active.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver;
It is a lot like pushing a condo.
I've wondered, actually, with the soft snout of a RIB that wouldn't rip the swim grid, if it could be a pusher.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:46 AM   #16
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I've never been towed.

When I was young, before we had the tow services on the lake, I averaged towing 3 to 4 boats a year. Once the tow services came, I only towed on average one every two years. So, guess in 28 years or so there I towed around 20 boats. More than half I would guess were simply out of gas. I don't recall more than two twin engine boats I towed, one with outboards and the other with I/O's. Both were out of gas. A very different world on inland lakes. A lot of happy go lucky and not much preparation. No fear.

Now, while I don't own nor intend to own a single engine boat, I don't see anything wrong with them. Location and type boating would influence me.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:09 AM   #17
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Many twin engine boats get towed.

Some singles maybe never.

Part of the equation is just how handy are you? Do you have lots of miscellaneous small parts aboard that can be adapted? Will you take a small, educated risk to keep going? Things like this make a difference.

My single has stopped or had an issue pretty much every trip from/to Florida in the last 4 years. Fortunately never at a hugely critical time, yes in the middle of the narrow ICW with lot's of wind and current (those normal not critical unless just on the approach to a bridge with fair tide). But no tows needed.

3 times in 13 years needed a tow when running an assistance towboat..once up on a submerged sod bank, once with rebar from a crab cage wrapped around the prop and once when an oil cooler fell apart.

The oil cooler I might have been able to bypass and limp home but a friend was right there and only 1/2 mile to the marina.

But over 13 years, I bet I jury rigged something to get home or keep towing a hundred or more times. The last 4 months I ran the boat I had to manually jump the fuel pump with a hot wire. Not unsafe and we didn't want to take the boat out of service till its winter overhaul.

So I am not fearful of singles, not at all....are twins nice on multiple levels...sure. I like not paying for a second engine and maintaining it...but having owned both singles and twins (and run both commercially for 15 years)....I can't say a single has stranded me any more than the twins that I run 1/10 the time.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:47 AM   #18
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Many twin engine boats get towed.

Some singles maybe never.

...but having owned both singles and twins (and run both commercially for 15 years)....I can say a single has stranded me any more than the twins that I run 1/10 the time.
Did you mean for your last sentence to say "can't"?

In my readings before Dauntless, I never saw any significant differences between Single and Twins.

The advantage Twins had in redundancy, was mitigated by the damage caused to the running gear by running aground not having a keel to protect them.

And running aground seems far more common than engine failure.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:51 AM   #19
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I got towed last season in my 30' sailboat when the engine died about a mile from the marina. Zero wind and an ebbing tide made it impossible to even consider sailing in. TowBoatUS did their thing and it was easy. Well worth the yearly premium, IMO.

A couple of years ago I also towed a sailboat in the Elizabeth River up from Norfolk while headed for the Dismal Swamp Canal...he had run out of fuel and was drifting towards the commercial docks. Towed him back out into the fairway, gave him a little fuel to get back to a marina.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:52 AM   #20
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Thanks Richard! Fixed.

I didn't mean this to become a singles vs twin discussion...but obviously having ANY means of secondary propulsion from sails, to wing engine to powefrful enough dingy, etc...might mean the difference of a tow or not.

What CAUSES you to need a tow can be debated on forever like the S vs T discussion....
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