Towing a tender?

Richard_Peevor

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Just wondering about people's experience of towing a tender.

I have 28' yacht and a GRP pram tender about 8'6" or something similar. I can just about get it on the foredeck but its a wrestle and also fills up the space. How much speed do you lose towing a dinghy (ignoring time spent messing around pre and post berthing and getting the tow the correct length!?

Any experiences much appreciated.

Richard
 

Twister_Ken

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We sometimes tow Chuckle behind our 28 footer, for short trips in sheltered waters. Performance hit can be noticed in light airs, but I've never tried to quantify it. Given Indigo weighs in at something over 4 tons, and Chuckle is probably less than 100 lbs, I've never worried about it. Its shape helps it tow in a straight line without hassle.

IMG_0692_1.jpg
 

whipper_snapper

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I would do just about anything to avoid towing a tender except for the shortest hop in the most sheltered water. It is a drag in every sense of the word and reduces your ability to respond quickly to changes in conditions.

The smallest yacht can carry a half inflated dinghy tied-down somewhere.
 

Cornishman

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Always taught as bad seamanship practice at the better schools. You can, of course, use the dinghy to tow the yacht in flat calms!
 

FullCircle

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I must say that I had to do it with my first couple of boats.
I found that when running before some poor weather the dinghy mounted the transom and fetched me a thick ear. It then slid back and took on a lot of water, which pulled the boat back and I got a dousing from the next wave coming over the back. I then spent a lot of effort dragging it up halfway onto the transom and tying it down as it was safer that way. It caused me to lose a lot of speed......

Perhaps thats why I dont do it anymore.
 

rwoofer

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I generally never tow, because I once tried to pull on the towline whilst in motion and couldn't pull it in. The force really was quite surprising, however the winds were reasonably strong.

I suspect that it makes most difference to speed in the middle of the boat speed range. In very light winds, the tender is probably still going at hull speed or less, so probably doesn't make much difference. In strong wind, it is sapping power that would only be used to make bigger waves, because the big boat is at hull speed. In the middle, the tender is climbing the bow wave and the main boat is still below hull speed.
 

DJE

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We've towed an 8' rigid dignhy behind a 29' yacht from Portsmouth to Poole and back several times. Upwind has been no problem even in quite rough stuff because the dinghy sags off to leeward a bit and seems to sit in the smoothish water in the lee of the yacht. Downwind is a problem if there is any sea. We find it best to tack downwind then if the dinghy gets surfing it overtakes us rather than ramming us. I've always had it in the back of my mind that if it gets too rough I will leave the dignhy in one of the marinas and go back for it by car. Pictures of our tender on this thread. If it's a sailing dinghy like ours take something to bung up the centreboard case while towing. I find very little drag towing the rigid dinghy, certainly a lot less than when towing a 9' inflatable.
 

Achillesheel

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Betcha it can't. There is a useful couple of feet behind the cockpit where it might go, except we wouldn't then be able to get into the lazarette lockers; there is no room on the cabin roof; it might go on the foredeck rolled up but this would make foredeck work very dangerous. And even if we did get it aboard, I don't know where we would inflate it!

See http://achilles24.users.btopenworld.com/blue.htm for pics of boat.

What was your first yacht, whippersnapper, and where onboard did you keep your inflatable?

If anyone has kept their inflatable on an Achilles instead of behind it, I would be interested to hear.

I have never had a problem towing, apart from being overtaken occasionally!!
 

whipper_snapper

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[ QUOTE ]
What was your first yacht, whippersnapper, and where onboard did you keep your inflatable?

[/ QUOTE ]

Ehhh a megayacht!

This was my 1st boat - 19' LWL. The dinghy was stuffed into a cockpit locker!




Framegypsy.JPG
 

Black Sheep

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My yacht is 18 feet and my tender is a 15-foot canadian canoe. My first experiences towing were "interesting" - Jemima slewed to the side, swamped and submarined. On gaining speed again, she would rear up out of the water like some sea monster. But once I'd fitted a towing bridle, trailed a coil of rope to keep her pointing, and fitted twin 18-pint buoyancy bags (courtesy of the Nelson Brewery) she has trailed sweetly and without a problem.

Needless to say, there's not room for her on my foredeck!
 

CliveG

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We are a 25' trailer sailer.

We towed our hard dinghy (No. 32) up to Orford from the Deben the other weekend.
the trip was down wind and up tide.
We could not get 32 to behave.
She kept charging up behind us and clouting the boarding ladder.
In the end her towing eye broke just as we where crossing the River Ore bar.
We managed to catch her.
A crew member had to hang on to her until we were in the river and could sort out a new attachment point.

The only reason we took her was that we could not find the inflation hose for the inflatable that was and is in out large cockpit locker.

The moral of the tale is if you have to tow and dinghy at sea make sure that her towing eye is more that strong enough.
I would do my best to get an inflatable to avoid towing.
 
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