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Convenient way to tow a boat from a yacht

 
 
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi,

Reading a lot of what has been posted above is not what Poster No 1 asked about.

Big bolts. big plates , washers, big head bolts, 5200 joints and you will be good to go within 24 hrs of 5200 application. Prove me wrong.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by K1W1
Hi,

Reading a lot of what has been posted above is not what Poster No 1 asked about.

Big bolts. big plates , washers, big head bolts, 5200 joints and you will be good to go within 24 hrs of 5200 application. Prove me wrong.

Actually, what he asked was: "Is there an especially convenient way to tow a fun/performance boat from a yacht ??"

And the short answer is, no, there is not a convenient way to tow a big tender.

Unless it's behind some one elses boat. :-)

While it's well worth doing, it can be a PITA.

Now if you have one of those built in power winch tow line systems I guess that lessens the PITA factor. And using Spectra in your tow line and bridle system sure helps. But as some one else mentioned, sooner or later it's going to kick up and some one will have to go in the water to unhook the **** thing.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have done a little towing over the years and just about everthing said I agree with. Except for the spectra, I know it's strong thats not the issue. I have always used polypropelene because it floats usually about 1 1/2" for a 27 ft tender, and I have never sucked it into a wheel. But I have seen more than once that problem with other types of line.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Garry Hartshorn
I have done a little towing over the years and just about everthing said I agree with. Except for the spectra, I know it's strong thats not the issue. I have always used polypropelene because it floats usually about 1 1/2" for a 27 ft tender, and I have never sucked it into a wheel. But I have seen more than once that problem with other types of line.

Spectra floats.

"With outstanding toughness and extraordinary visco-elastic properties, Spectra® fiber can withstand high-load strain-rate velocities. Light enough to float, it also exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light. It has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics, and Spectra® fiber's low dielectric constant makes it virtually transparent to radar."
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes Spectra floats, and it's a heck of a lot better working with and storing then polypropelene. But, in the end is it worth it to tow a tender. The short answer is YES.

We were able to see 4x the distance and 10x the amount of places in the tender then we would've been able to in the yacht. We could get in and out of many of the islands in the Bahamas, that you could only get close enough to see with binoculars in the yacht. In 5 days, we were able to go ALL, from Paradise Island. We did the Berry's, The Abacos, The Exumas, etc. etc. At 40-50 mph, they were all short hops......less then 2 hours running time. It was really easy to stop for lunch, jump in and hit another island......see a cool spot and snorkle.......a very up close and personal way of doing things that you could've never done with a 15' Inflatable tender.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I guess I envisioned a rigid/semi-rigid collapsible/foldable "A-frame" (a pole from each side of the transom) that would hold the position of the boat being towed and would not allow the boat to come forward when the yacht slowed .....
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theav8r
I guess I envisioned a rigid/semi-rigid collapsible/foldable "A-frame" (a pole from each side of the transom) that would hold the position of the boat being towed and would not allow the boat to come forward when the yacht slowed .....
Such a contraption couldn't handle the up/down-side to side stresses caused by wave action, nor get the towed boat far enough back. In addition, by making it a semi-composite vessel you would throw off the handling of the yacht.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:57 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Capt J
I've done it before. A boat I occassionally worked on towed a 26' Whaler from a 74' Sunseeker and at cruise (24 knots). You're going to want a very reinforced larger bow eye on the tender. A stout short piece of line with shackel on the tender (usually around 10')comes in very very handy for unhooking in heavy seas and you just pull the end up and secure on the bow of the tender. Then a spectrabraid tow line, I think the proper ratio is 1.5 times the towboats length. And a spectrabride bridal for the stern of the towing vessel, you can usually get away with the vessels cleats on the towing vessel as they are usually pretty stout on a 70'+ vessel. A company in Fort Lauderdale does a lot of these and can set it all up. I forget the name of them right now. Depending on the towing vessel and stern wake many times you'll have to tow at 12 knots or under. Some fast boats with a lot of power like a sportfish can get away with towing at near cruise speeds.

It's relatively easy, however you'll have to unhook before going into marina's and ports usually and likewise, hook up after leaving port....... I did once have to swim to the tender in 10' seas with a lifevest on, to get into the tender and unhook it because it was too rough to safely get close enough to it to jump in it to disconnect it........NOT FUN. Also people that tow at cruise speeds will usually drag 30' of heavy chain 1" or so with 10' of lighter nylon rope 3/8" or even less. in front of it (a breakaway in case your in shallow water and the chain hooks something) behind the tender, this keeps enough drag to keep the tender tracking straight without all of the drag of the 2+ outboard motors.....

Outboard boats are much easier to tow. If you get into towing an inboard boat you have to lock down the shafts, and it's recommended that you remove the propellors also, otherwise you're pulling a lot of drag. It also never seems to work out right with inboard boats towing them......

Also, ANYONE who has lost a tender in rough seas obviously was not maintaining a proper radar watch. If you cannot see a 32' center console trailing off behind you on radar, it's either not tuned right or you're not paying attention or both.

Also I wouldn't get too greedy with the size of the vessel you are towing. If it's a 80' yacht I wouldn't go much past 26' for the towed vessel.......100+ feet and you can tow a 30'. If you get too much weight back there, a following sea can be downright scary.
Good info.......I too was wondering many times how to do it right......now I know.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Thought we were going wrong somewhere...

Reading this thread has made all clear to me in a flash... You're supposed to tow the little Nouvorania dinghy with the 72' schooner, not the other way around

Seriously, though, it has made very interesting reading and I would imagine that the easiest way to handle arriving at marinas and ports would be to have an anchor on the main vessel, ready to deploy on the towing line so that the towed vessel could be left outside at anchor and collected once the main vesel is berthed.

You'd only have to hang about long enough to be certain that the anchor had bitten and thus wouldn't need to spare a crew member for the berthing process.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I would imagine that the easiest way to handle arriving at marinas and ports would be to have an anchor on the main vessel, ready to deploy on the towing line so that the towed vessel could be left outside at anchor and collected once the main vesel is berthed.

You'd only have to hang about long enough to be certain that the anchor had bitten and thus wouldn't need to spare a crew member for the berthing process."
But then how would you get back out to the boat you left unmaned and clogging the bay? Plus, what would you do if the anchor didn't bite? If you can't send a crewmember with the dink the best thing (and this is tricky) is to bring the dink around to the bow. Tie it tight in if it won't block you from getting into the slip. Otherwise trail it off your bow as you back into the slip. Someone has to controll it though so it doesn't scratch your neighbor. Another alternative is simply to bow into the slip.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:54 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NYCAP123
Another alternative is simply to bow into the slip.
Hi,

Do you have water, power, telephone, cable TV and sewage connections at the bow as well as a gangway?
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:55 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NYCAP123
"I would imagine that the easiest way to handle arriving at marinas and ports would be to have an anchor on the main vessel, ready to deploy on the towing line so that the towed vessel could be left outside at anchor and collected once the main vesel is berthed.

You'd only have to hang about long enough to be certain that the anchor had bitten and thus wouldn't need to spare a crew member for the berthing process."

But then how would you get back out to the boat you left unmaned and clogging the bay? Plus, what would you do if the anchor didn't bite? If you can't send a crewmember with the dink the best thing (and this is tricky) is to bring the dink around to the bow. Tie it tight in if it won't block you from getting into the slip. Otherwise trail it off your bow as you back into the slip. Someone has to controll it though so it doesn't scratch your neighbor. Another alternative is simply to bow into the slip.
Leaving the main vessel is not an alternative. We either had an additional crew member for the small vessel. Or the mate would bring the small vessel in, secure it, then jump on the stern or bow of the big vessel (the Captain would just nose a section in) and then tie up the larger vessel in it's slip.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:00 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCAP123
But then how would you get back out to the boat you left unmaned and clogging the bay? Plus, what would you do if the anchor didn't bite? If you can't send a crewmember with the dink the best thing (and this is tricky) is to bring the dink around to the bow. Tie it tight in if it won't block you from getting into the slip. Otherwise trail it off your bow as you back into the slip. Someone has to controll it though so it doesn't scratch your neighbor. Another alternative is simply to bow into the slip.
I'm a bit confused... I thought the boat being towed was around 30 feet long!
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:15 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by linnetwoods
I'm a bit confused... I thought the boat being towed was around 30 feet long!
Didn't she tell you: size doesn't matter. Seriously though that only means you have more to be careful with. At 30' securing tight at the bow is unlikely which leaves the other ways (not leaving the boat to drift unattended). If you'll be putting in bow first on a regular basis installing a forward shore connection may be a good idea. If not extension cables can be used. Personally I hate bowing in as it seldom leaves good access but every situation is different. As putting a crewmember on board the dink is the best option Capt. J makes a good suggestion. Send him in with the dink, then pick him up at the fueldock or wherever.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:46 AM   #30 (permalink)
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how this is handled will really depends on the specifics, starting with where you cruise. If you med moor or back into a slip, you may need to put a crew in the small boat, hopefully a boat towing a boat too large to store on board can spare a crew to man the small boat. In many marinas on the US east coast, larger vessels are put on face docks, so keeping the small boat alongside isn't a big deal while docking.

like everything in this job, you need to adapt to the situation and make the best decision.
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