Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-15-2021, 02:43 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: toronto
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 45
How big to tow a boat?

I was out fishing today on Lake Ontario and I heard a call from Prescott Coast Guard asking for assistance to tow a boat off of Lake Erie. The boat was a 42 foot Kadey Krogen. It made me wonder how big a boat you would need to tow a boat of that size off the lake?
floater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 02:56 PM   #2
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,863
It depends on the conditions. In good weather, TowBoatUS would happily do it with a 20-something foot center console. I'd happily do it with my 38 footer in good conditions as well (and if towing any significant distance it would be nicer than towing a smaller boat, as I wouldn't be limited to the lower hull speed of a smaller boat, meaning a faster tow at probably 6.5 kts instead of maybe 5 kts).
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:22 PM   #3
TF Site Team
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 12,712
Yes, depends on current conditions. We used to have a 22’ center console that we used for CG work. If the conditions were good we could have towed it with the 22’.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you aren’t one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:25 PM   #4
Guru
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Vessel Model: Back in the market looking
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 749
As rslifkin says, it depends on the conditions. I once used my 9' Avon inflatable to tow my 37' sloop back to the dock. The engine wouldn't crank, and the wind had completely died, so we couldn't sail. But the absence of wind meant for glass calm conditions, so I lashed the dinghy alongside and towed the bigger boat "on the hip." Once I had the bigger boat moving enough to answer her rudder, we steered the whole mess with that. (Try towing a larger boat with a little outboard sometime, and you'll quickly discover why I put it on the hip).
__________________
"Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast. Yet it must be confessed that wit give an edge to sense, and recommends it extremely." ~ William Penn
Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:27 PM   #5
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,863
To add on for the hip tow vs stern tow thing, generally I'd stern tow until entering a harbor or other protected water, then switch to a hip tow for maneuvering in tighter spaces.
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:31 PM   #6
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
Or with a little vessel with an outboard or I/O, tow bow to bow as the little vessel will be much more maneuverable in reverse.

It doesn't take much horsepower to tow, but to fight conditions or be able to start and stop quickly it does take a lot more than to just keep it moving.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:32 PM   #7
Veteran Member
 
City: toronto
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 45
Wind was calm on Lake O when the call went out but they were forecasting 60 km winds from the south around 1 pm. I thought about my boat for towing purposes and I have no hard points anywhere on the boat I could use to tow with. My two D loops on the transom have been removed due to two motors being used.
floater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:33 PM   #8
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Vessel Model: Monk 36
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,128
We have been towed by a 20’ Shamrock in calm conditions. PSN is the go to guy for commercial towing questions.
__________________
Archie
Irish Lady
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently in Cape May NJ
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:35 PM   #9
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,863
Quote:
Originally Posted by floater View Post
Wind was calm on Lake O when the call went out but they were forecasting 60 km winds from the south around 1 pm. I thought about my boat for towing purposes and I have no hard points anywhere on the boat I could use to tow with. My two D loops on the transom have been removed due to two motors being used.
Suitable hard points to tow with are definitely a concern on some boats. On mine I have well backed stern cleats and they're placed such that I can lead a bridle aft from them cleanly.
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:42 PM   #10
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
Towing in mild conditions doesn't require real heavy duty line or towing points. Heavy weather, ungrounding, or towing half sunk vessels are often where you hear the horror stories of lines snapping or cleats as missiles.

I am not saying that you should be careless, but most can handle a simple tow in benign conditions.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 04:49 PM   #11
Guru
 
City: Owings, Md
Vessel Name: Graceland
Vessel Model: Mainship 34 MK1
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 661
I used to tow boats all the time in my little aluminum runabout with a 40hp, I would even pull sailboats off of groundings by pulling on their halyards to heel them over. It was just a fun challenge for me and people used to help each other out more before the towing services became more prevalent. Nothing against the services, as it is safer to have pros doing things but I do miss the days that boaters were more inclined to help each other. I think your average family boat was also smaller back then.
Gdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 05:05 PM   #12
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8,424
Historically, people would mount their outboard on the swim platform to be use as an emergency get home engine.
I have not seen this setup in years.
__________________
The meek will inherit the earth but, the brave will inherit the seas.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 07:09 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Bill V's Avatar
 
City: Lynden
Vessel Name: Joint Venture
Vessel Model: 1978 GlasPly 2800 mid cabin
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 171
Being a ¨Chase Boat¨ for a charter service I once towed a BENETEAU 44 about 35 miles that had lost it´s prop and wind conditions were very calm. I towed 99% on auto pilot because I could not stay in front steering by hand, wandered terribly. On AP it steered perfect. maintained about 5-6 knots for fear of breaking the line that was attached to two cleats, aft stbd and port gunwales in a yoke configuration.
__________________
"Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 2800, twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines
Bill V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 09:48 AM   #14
Guru
 
City: Tampa, FL
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blissboat View Post
I once used my 9' Avon inflatable to tow my 37' sloop back to the dock.
I have done pretty much the same thing. In the right conditions, you can tow a very large boat, with a very small and low powered one.


So, as is almost always the case, the most correct answer is "it depends."
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 10:26 AM   #15
Guru
 
Fletcher500's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Vessel Model: Helmsman 4304
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,601
PSN is the go to person regarding towing.

A few weeks ago, a 30 ft sailboat in our marina lost its engine so I went out in our 12 ft. Bullfrog Dink with 30 HP to get them.

I first tried towing them off their bow cleat to a bridal off my stern to keep the line centered. The sailboat was zigging back and forth and behind me, even with them steering the same course. No bueno. Any ideas?

I therefore changed to a hip tie, which I knew was needed eventually anyway to manuever them inside the marina. I watch the BoatUS and SeaTow guys doing this, so I figured I was an expert too - yea right. This worked well, and I would call out steering directions, to match mine..Port- midship - starb ,etc.

I was able to make a couple 90 degree turns with them on my hip, and then place them inside their slip with the help of a few neighbors at the dock.

If it was a larger power boat, and not a sailboat with a deep rudder and keel to match my steering inputs, it would have been a lot more difficult.

This was in flat conditions, mild wind.
Fletcher500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 11:55 AM   #16
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,410
Before you kindly offer towing assistance again it might be a good idea to check into your insurance coverage to be sure you're covered for assistance towing. There's a big difference between towing someone out of danger to say safe a anchorage vs towing them all the way into the marina and their slip.

Unfortunately the world we now live and boat in requires a CYA attitude.
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 12:10 PM   #17
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
Definitely check for towing in your insurance as it is not mandated that you ever to by law or regulation. It is only required that you stand by a marine incident to help prevent loss of life.

I would never tow someone to their slip as there are too many things that can go wrong and not being a professional tower pretty easy to prove you were negligent. Tow them to a fuel/transient dock or open T head. Or drop them off at a safe, nearby place to anchor.

It would only be in the rarest of circumstances that I would use my boat or dingy. I would exhaust and make them exhaust every possibility first.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 12:14 PM   #18
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,863
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Definitely check for towing in your insurance as it is not mandated that you ever to by law or regulation. It is only required that you stand by a marine incident to help prevent loss of life.

I would never tow someone to their slip as there are too many things that can go wrong and not being a professional tower pretty easy to prove you were negligent. Tow them to a fuel/transient dock or open T head. Or drop them off at a safe, nearby place to anchor.
A lot of insurance (but not all, so good to check) will cover you if you're towing to assist, provided you're not getting paid.

As far as getting them to a slip, I agree. I'll happily place a boat on a face dock, but no way am I going to try to put a boat in a slip.
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 12:23 PM   #19
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8,424
I really, really, really hate this part...............
The last I heard was, you stand off, circling the boat ensuring everyone is wearing their PFD, call the USCG and ask what to do next. If the boat is sinking, put everyone in THEIR RIB or life raft, transferring them to your boat IF necessary, keeping the USCG informed of your location, intentions and progress. This crap about getting close enough to step aboard your boat is asking for trouble. "Slip and Fall" etc.
The USCG may want to come out or have the owner call TowBoat.
IF you elect to tow them, if they accept your line, you are in the salvage business. If you accept their line, I think, that may increase your liability for the safety of their boat and crew.
There are so many rules to follow to reduce your liability.
IF they dont have enough PFD, toss them one or two of your own, keeping in mind you must retain enough PFD to satisfy your own needs. Dont expect to get your PFD back. SHRUG
Gone are the days of 'hand shake contracts' and helping out a unknown fellow boater, without fear.
If course if your bestest buddy needs a tow, let's hope he is not out to get you.
Sad to say but, the good ole days are long since gone.
Standing off and circling the boat, rendering reasonable aid, PFD, while waiting for help from TowBoat or USCG is indeed the safest thing to do.
__________________
The meek will inherit the earth but, the brave will inherit the seas.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 12:26 PM   #20
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,863
The who's tow line thing has been proven not to impact liability. Realistically, if I'm towing someone, I'm going to rig whatever setup is safest regardless of who's lines it involves.
rslifkin is online now   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


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012