Towing with a tender ?

Jim Schofield

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Recently, I had to move our 21 ft Westerly up the Liffey. It was just dusk, on a calm evening, so I tied our little Zodiac alongside, powered by a 2 HP Honda.

As soon as I cast off from the pontoon, I knew it was a bad idea. Slowly swinging out of control, I finally untied the aft line and ended up towing her very slowly from the front, the tender in reverse and the little honda pulling upstream.

It was the longest 200 yards to reach the mooring. I remember reading an article about towing and there seemed to be one best method.

For the next time, what is the best method ?

Jim

There are no small boats, only small sailors.

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Len Ingalls

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Tie tender to aft quarter,so that tender stern & o/b motor are sticking out behind Westerly transom. This allows you to steer the tender, as o/b prop wash will be free of the effect of hitting the Westerly on one side.
Cheers/Len
 

rogerthebodger

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Tie tender to aft quarter,so that tender stern & o/b motor are sticking out behind Westerly transom. This allows you to steer the tender, as o/b prop wash will be free of the effect of hitting the Westerly on one side.
Cheers/Len

Or as I do use the steering of the main vessel.
 

contessaman

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t1.JPGt2.JPG

hopefully thats come out clear enough to see. cant attatch very high res images here.

should be no problem towing using the above techniques. been moving my 38 foot yacht 10 ton displacement with a small dory and outboard while engine replacement work is going on.
 

theoldsalt

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Tie tender to aft quarter,so that tender stern & o/b motor are sticking out behind Westerly transom. This allows you to steer the tender, as o/b prop wash will be free of the effect of hitting the Westerly on one side.
Cheers/Len

This is the technique marinas use when moving vessels and works very well.
 

Sybarite

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This is the technique marinas use when moving vessels and works very well.

That's how I got my Feeling 920 into Bénodet with a 2.5 hp Tohatsu against the tide. I had to have my daughter sit in the dinghy so that it didn't backflip and so that she could pull the stop cord.
 

JumbleDuck

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Recently, I had to move our 21 ft Westerly up the Liffey. It was just dusk, on a calm evening, so I tied our little Zodiac alongside, powered by a 2 HP Honda.

I used to tow a 21' Westerly behind a small rigid dinghy, usually rowed. It worked fine, as long as you remembered to tie the tow rope to the middle thwart of the dinghy. If you tie it on at the back the dinghy is impossible to steer.
 

25931

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Recently, I had to move our 21 ft Westerly up the Liffey. It was just dusk, on a calm evening, so I tied our little Zodiac alongside, powered by a 2 HP Honda.

As soon as I cast off from the pontoon, I knew it was a bad idea. Slowly swinging out of control, I finally untied the aft line and ended up towing her very slowly from the front, the tender in reverse and the little honda pulling upstream.

It was the longest 200 yards to reach the mooring. I remember reading an article about towing and there seemed to be one best method.

For the next time, what is the best method ?

Jim

There are no small boats, only small sailors.

http://liffeysailor.blogspot.ie/

The best is to have a catamaran so that you can lash the dinghy between the bows - have travelled half the length of the Algarve happily.
 

Seajet

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Jim Schofield,

while technique obviously has to be right, I suspect you were lucky to get anywhere with 2hp; my 22' uses a 4-5hp in the well and does 5 knots with this.

I tried the Mariner 2hp 2-stroke from the tender one day as an experiment, and it barely moved us even in a calm - that's a good little 2hp too...
 

contessaman

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Jim Schofield,

while technique obviously has to be right, I suspect you were lucky to get anywhere with 2hp; my 22' uses a 4-5hp in the well and does 5 knots with this.

I tried the Mariner 2hp 2-stroke from the tender one day as an experiment, and it barely moved us even in a calm - that's a good little 2hp too...

when I was a kid my dad had a 21' debutante. we sailed that for years on the bristol channel with a yamaha 2a outboard for its engine. it pushed the tubby triple keeler along at a decent clip in the flat. there were some hairy moments entering harbours when it was rough, but for the purpose of towing a boat in still conditions 2hp should be more than enough.
 

Seajet

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Yes, I expected more speed than I got; the 2hp is in good condition & tune, maybe it's the prop; probably as it just seemed to whizz away like an egg whisk !

That was quite a few years ago, maybe it did a bit better than I remember, I was hoping for quite good ' impulse power ' useable for cruising situations at a pinch; certainly didn't get that.

If yours could propel a Debutante at all ( first boat I ever sailed was a similarly draggy Mystic ) I'm sure there must be a vast difference in prop's.
 

theoldsalt

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when I was a kid my dad had a 21' debutante. we sailed that for years on the bristol channel with a yamaha 2a outboard for its engine. it pushed the tubby triple keeler along at a decent clip in the flat. there were some hairy moments entering harbours when it was rough, but for the purpose of towing a boat in still conditions 2hp should be more than enough.

PM sent
 

Arcady

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If towing from the front, forget how you usually steer the dinghy. This is especially true if towing with an inflatable. To turn the tow to starboard, push the outboard tiller to starboard. It's the direction of thrust from the outboard relative to the position of the bow of the boat being towed that will determine what direction you end up heading in.
 

JumbleDuck

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If towing from the front, forget how you usually steer the dinghy. This is especially true if towing with an inflatable. To turn the tow to starboard, push the outboard tiller to starboard. It's the direction of thrust from the outboard relative to the position of the bow of the boat being towed that will determine what direction you end up heading in.

This problem doesn't arise if you tow from a centre point. The dinghy steers normally, using the tow attachment point as a pivot.
 

theoldsalt

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Inflatables do not usually have anywhere amidships to attach a tow line so, if towing from the front, fit a bridle to the painter attachment point on the bow. This will enable the dinghy to steer normally. If the tow line is short put extra weight towards the bow of the dinghy to prevent the tow line lifting the bow.

If the tow line is attached to the stern of the dinghy steering is almost inpossible with a tight tow line.
 
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Arcady

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This problem doesn't arise if you tow from a centre point. The dinghy steers normally, using the tow attachment point as a pivot.

Agreed, but as theoldsalt points out, securing a line to the centre of the dink is not always easy. Even if you can, when pivoting, the line then sweeps across the rear section of the dinghy and is likely to foul both the helmsman and outboard. Sometimes it's easier to tie it to the transom or outboard bracket and vector thrust as I described. If it helps, imagine the bow of the towed boat as a fixed point on land and you'll see what I mean about ignoring the dinghy and vectoring thrust accordingly with respect to the tow.
 
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