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Convenient way to tow a boat from a yacht

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by theav8r, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. theav8r

    theav8r New Member

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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 .....
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    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.
  3. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    Good info.......I too was wondering many times how to do it right......now I know.
  4. linnetwoods

    linnetwoods New Member

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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:D

    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.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    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.
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Do you have water, power, telephone, cable TV and sewage connections at the bow as well as a gangway?
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    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.
  8. linnetwoods

    linnetwoods New Member

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    I'm a bit confused... I thought the boat being towed was around 30 feet long!
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Didn't she tell you: size doesn't matter.:p 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.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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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.
  11. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    If the slip is deep enough and/or your cords are long enough it's not a problem. Most boats have a forward boarding location.

    I like bowing in when I can. You tend to get a better veiw off the aft deck and less looky loos.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You have to bow in just about every Hatteras and older Viking MY because all of your connections are 1/3 of the way from the bow and they just won't reach if you stern in........I would say the majority of US built motoryachts bow in (under 100') for that reason and for aft deck view/privacy.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    "I would say the majority of US built motoryachts bow in (under 100') for that reason and for aft deck view/privacy."
    I don't know what boats you fellows run, but other than full-body motoryachts over 70' most boats under 100' have their shore connections in the cockpit or transom and rarely do I see motoryachts bowed in. Even in Sag Harbor where the view is away from the dock even the 100' plus dock stern in. Granted though that Hats do tend to bow in.
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    on the east coast, bow in is usually a sailboat thing, most MYs go stern in.

    These days i bow in my 53 Hatt. to make it easier to tie the Hobie 16 to the stern when we leave it in the water for a few days..

    Shore power cords make really no difference on Hatt MY, you can run the power cords either way, it's a few ft more to the stern but not by much and always long enough to reach. Never been an issue on any on the Hatt MY i've run...
  15. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Yeah, you're right. Most power boats do tend to stern in. But as you noted the veiw tends to be better if you bow in.

    I think it comes from the fact that a lot of docks have shorter piers and that forces you to back in so you can get off the boat. As well as the fact that a lot of boat you can only plug in towards or at the aft end.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Actually, I think it has more to do with sociability. Most boaters want to interact with their neighbors. (Hense shore power connections have migrated to the sterns.) In other words they like to sit on their aft deck and talk with the people walking by (and hopefully notice their admiring glances). Granted, the Lookie Lous can be a pain, but that goes with having a nice boat. Boats that bow in tend to be snobbish or at least thought of that way.
  17. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    I guess I can see how people might think that. Though I've never thought that myself.

    But to me it's all about the view for cocktails and dinning. Once I show owners/charter guests what a better view they get bow in they never seem to want to go back to stern in unless that is where the better view is from at the time.
  18. chrismlewis

    chrismlewis New Member

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    With all due respect Bill, Spectra does not float if it has large stainless fittings & shanckles attached to it!!:D I also thought it would float until:

    I used to regularly tow a 32' intrepid (2 towing eyes built in) behind a 115' yacht. We started with Spectra line of 100' with 2 x 50' bridles to the yacht and a 10' polyprop leader to the tender as recommended by a rope supplier in Ft L. S/S eyes and shackles. We broke the leader, got the spectra mainline wrapped around one of the props at dusk - a real nightmare and learning experience! We finally managed to get the tow reattached and hobble to sheltered anchorage to sort the mess out. BTW we were making 7 knots in 8' swell North of Dom Rep at the time....

    We replaced the Spectra with braided polyprop of the same length. this took a lot of the shock on the towing eye out, but we would still occasionally bend or break the stainless shackles.

    I then talked to a couple of offshore tug Captains. Firstly, we replaced all the fittings with galvanised test shackles. On short sheltered trips (Exumas etc) we used the 100' mainline. On long distances we also added a 250' length of mainline to give 400' in all. The join was made with 2 large shackles (I think 1"). the result was that the line was heavy enough to never come out of the water as the load came on. ie No shock load on the eyes (we added an additional back up leader that is 3" longer than the first). We never had another failure. Next time you pass a tug offshore you will see that the towing gear never comes tight (ie clear of the water).

    If you have a light line to the head of the leader then connecting/ disconnecting in sheltered water gets fairly routine after a little practice.

    Also a good idea to install a solar powered ARW light on the tow (to help find it and for collision aviodance). It will automatically come on at night.

    A surveyor told me that i should have a yellow light on the transom of the yacht if i was towing regularly.....

    Finally i loved have this large tender along; above all else it would be a great life boat if we have an emergency situation on the main yacht. 400 nm range, satphone and full tank of water :cool:
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "A surveyor told me that i should have a yellow light on the transom of the yacht if i was towing regularly....."

    COLREGS 24 ... you're either towing or you're not, there isn't an exemption for not towing "regularly."
  20. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    And a masthead range

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