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Old 06-24-2016, 07:47 PM   #1
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How many people have tow ropes?

ok. I'm kinda newbie to boating(dad had a 25ft we used for fishing/diving) And after today i seriously got to thinking about how many people are prepared to pull a stranded boat or be pull back in?

(my day )
I was out today doing some data collection on a 60ft sport fisher. We started our run up the coast towards gulfport harbor. Seas were 1 to 3 with bit of chop. Boat was running good(topped out at 46 mph) Captain made the turn back west and backed her down to about 35. About 5 mins run time he chops the throttles and informs us we were getting flagged down for help. We swing in close to a 20ish ft center console. The guy said he could get his ob running and was trying to limp in on a trolling motor but he was just about out of battery. So we start hunting for a tow lie. The only line left on board was one 25 ft dock mine. Luckily the other boat had a 50ish ft piece of 5/16 poly. So we limped it on in at low idle and on just one screw. That was a LOOONG ride back to the dock. But every one made it to shore safely.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:53 PM   #2
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I have towed boats several times. I have used a combination of lines to accomplish it.

I don't carry a dedicated tow line as I am not a tow service. I will tow when needed to help a fellow boater in trouble but not something that I want to make a habit of.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:58 PM   #3
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We carry a dedicated tow line and bridle for the stern cleats. Have used it once already with this boat we have had for only 4 months. It was while we were bringing her up from Sydney to Brisbane and a chap who had run out of fuel flagged us down. His VHF was not transmitting and none of his mates were answering their phones,

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Old 06-24-2016, 08:17 PM   #4
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We carry a dedicated tow line and bridle for the times that I don't want to load the dinghy between stops. If need be, it could serve as a tow for a disabled boat. But that would be an exceptional circumstance. I would not hesitate to render aid to get passengers to safety, but the risk of towing a boat give me pause.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:35 PM   #5
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I've towed many boats over the years. I always ask them to provide the tow line.
If I want to drop the tow, I can without losing my rope. If I have to provide a tow line, I'll use my second anchor rode.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:37 PM   #6
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We carry one. But that is mostly because we tow a 34' Grady White along with us most places we go.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
We carry one. But that is mostly because we tow a 34' Grady White along with us most places we go.
You tow a 34' (thirty four foot) Grady White most places you go... Really??

Pulling up to a fuel dock must be fun!

Yes, we keep plenty of line ready for most any circumstance.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You tow a 34' (thirty four foot) Grady White most places you go... Really??

Pulling up to a fuel dock must be fun!

Yes, we keep plenty of line ready for most any circumstance.

lol i'm going to go out on a limb and say that comment was aimed at a certain person/boat.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:35 PM   #9
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110' of 3/4 polyprop, with a bridle to fit the stern cleats. I made it up when I had a 19' fibreform, with outdrive. I towed it once, then got rid of it.
Since then, I have towed others maybe half a dozen times. I will continue to carry the towline.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:57 AM   #10
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Have a 125 ft line which we have used twice for towing and once for tying off to shore in 17 years. Probably not an efficient use of storage space, nor of the investment in the cost of the line.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:18 AM   #11
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We typically carried a couple of towing bridles that we used for towing boats up to our 24' RibCat - two of them could be used for towing a disabled boat if needed.
When the need came up we actually found it easier to use the larger RIBS to do the towing that was required.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:11 AM   #12
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We've been towed once and was sure glad the boat that happened along had a line and more importantly would oblige.
My two spring lines and other 5/8ths lines in the hold would do fine tied together w bowlines but it may take a few minutes to piece together.
So no we do'nt have a dedicated tow line.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:21 AM   #13
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Used to on my smaller boats. No tow line anymore. I will gladly call Sea Tow or Boat/US for someone if they can't do it themselves. If I need a tow, I have SeaTow Gold.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:42 AM   #14
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How many people have tow ropes?

Aren't you required to tow someone in who is in distress?

20 years ago, on our first trip in our first "big" boat (a 24' cabin cruiser with a GM 350V8 I/O), my wife and I got flagged down by some folks on a disabled 18' fishing boat. We were about 5 miles from South Padre Island after a two day trip down the ICW, and we were ready to get there. I called the Coast Guard for them, thinking they would offer them assistance, but the CG said I was required to offer assistance since they had no boat in the area. We slowly pulled them the 5 miles to SPI. We tried at first to leave the folks in their boat but they were 4 big heavy guys and gals and their boat was not pulling well, so we eventually put them all in our boat. It worked out well in the end-- they gave us a lift to the grocery store and helped us arrange a slip since they knew the area.

I have not towed anyone using our current boat. I have a poly dingy tow line, but not sure it's big enough to tow a big boat, and don't think I would really know how to do that correctly. That would be my worry-- causing more harm than good.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:13 AM   #15
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Side note:

You could call this towing... but I do not feel it is to be thought of as a real tow - which I see as a boat weighing over 5K lbs... to 30K + lbs.

Anyway: All my life I have had very often towed dinks from a low of a few hundred lbs. - to Boston Whaler with 40 hp Johnson - to Crestliner with 50 hp Johnson - to ski boats with 350 inboards.

Nearly every time we go out in our Tolly there is some sort of fast runabout in tow. After decades of towing small, fun craft it's second nature and can easily be accommodated under nearly any weather or sea condition we encounter. I always have several tow line adaptation potentials on hand with sturdy quick-clips that make it easy to change quickly for meeting tow needs.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
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You tow a 34' (thirty four foot) Grady White most places you go... Really??

Pulling up to a fuel dock must be fun!
Yeah, we tow this:
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:30 AM   #17
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With this:
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:32 AM   #18
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The fuel dock is not a problem locally. The truck just comes to the house.

Otherwise either the Grady is left behind while we fuel or tied to the hip.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:52 AM   #19
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Aren't you required to tow someone in who is in distress?
I don't believe so. You are required to render assistance to protect lives if you can do so without jeopardizing your own life, but I don't think you have an obligation to preserve property.

I'm not 100% sure of that, but it's my understanding.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:02 AM   #20
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About 150' of 5/8" three braid nylon for backup anchor in lazarette. Used it to tow others several times.
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