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Towing a tender. Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by CTdave, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Irish Wake

    Irish Wake Member

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    Not about towing but whatever. Looking for input on a towed CC in the 30 foot range. Will be used as a taxi around the islands not for fishing. Criteria includes ride, comfort level of seating, dryness, and how tender the hull is. The tenderness of the hull is important as guests sometimes like to scoot across the boat for a photo op and adjusting the tabs constantly gets tiresome. Any help on the popular S.F. brands who be helpful. Thanks
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Center consol/ seating hmmm. That aside, Everglades makes a nice boat in the 290 and 320cc.
  3. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    If you are going to tow at that speed, you'll need to reinforce the mounting of all the hardware involved on the Bertram as well as the Whaler. Remember, drag increases at the square of speed. I would also suggest you use poly propylene tow line. It will float and is less susceptible to getting in a prop and you can size it to be the weak link. I personally don't like seeing family boats towing, there are many subtle hazards involved that can cost a limb or even a life.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I run a 27' Whaler sometimes also, and it does indeed lean on one side to the other etc. etc...... and you have to trim it.....however it has a LOT of built in ammenities for it's size.

    Intrepid makes a nice boat, Yellowfin makes a heck of a nice riding boat, Conch 27', Everglades, etc.
  5. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Irish Wake,

    If your protocol is for ride quality and a stable hull when guests are moving about, I would suggest a wide beam, heavy center console boat, EXCEPT that you intend to tow it. For towing, a narrow beam, light hull will be your best choice. They track better and add less resistance. I've been watching the center console market for about 7 years. I reserved a domain name way-back-when with plans to develop a forum based on the same, but YF quickly became a full time job.

    The prices of premium, center console boats is borderline criminal. I believe this was mostly fueled by low interest rate, easy credit loans and the squandering of home equity. It will be interesting to see how many of these bass boats on steroids will survive the squeeze. For those CC builders gouging the public, I wish them a quick and speedy demise. So here we go...

    Topping the list would be Jupiter. Although these boats are grossly overpriced, they have come into favor in recent years, sold on the premise of being an extremely strong, overbuilt boat and that's exactly what they are… overbuilt to the tune of 3,000 to 4,000 lbs. heavier than they need to be and overpriced to the tune of $50k to $100k, depending on length. There is no use of hi-performance, lamination technology to make them light or strong, just a heaping mound of resin that adds SO much weight, they now brag about being the best riding boat in their segment, of course failing to mention that it takes huge horsepower and your own personal oil reserve to keep them on plane. Consider yourself lucky to crack the 50 mph mark with a tail wind, down current, light on fuel and vapor escaping from your tanks. While speed isn’t everything, efficiency accounts for something. In that category, Jupiter's are a tug boat with a planning hull. Jupiter prides themselves on fit and finish, but that pride doesn't come through in their mold work. Eye the side of their new 29’, 34’ and 38’ hulls and you’ll see the same imperfections that caught my eye, a very inconsistent, wavey finish. In fact, I’ve seen better finishes from some of the Hialeah, warehouse-based boat builders (that’s not saying much!). You could attribute this to pulling the hull early and not properly supporting it before the superstructure was added, but I think these are just poorly maintained molds to begin with. Again, the sign of a builder with little care in building quality boats. To their credit, the ergonomics of Jupiter’s are among the best in the biz and the ride is exceptional, albeit a little wet compared to others due to weight.

    A boat I never gave much attention to is the Contender. It’s a personal thing, I just don’t care for the lines of the boat and the accommodations & ergonomics are pretty basic. That said, I live in an area with a high concentration of center console boats, northern Palm Beach. Matter of fact, I live right next to a popular boat ramp and on weekends, I see 100’s of center consoles. A good number of them are Contenders. They are quite popular, but why? They are built much the same way as the Jupiter, but not quite as heavy, without any frills, at a price that leaves money left over for tackle and their mold work is excellent. They are simply a better value for the money, especially for guys that aren’t interested in making a statement, just getting to the fish and getting home.

    I haven’t spent any time on the water with an Everglades, but I’ve boarded them at boat shows. If I had the money to buy any of these boats, I would place it on my short list, sea trial pending. The sweep of the bow to the waterline, along the chine, makes me suspect these boats would slam in certain seas. Setting this aside, they are beautifully appointed boats with exceptional ergonomics. The protective, wrap windscreen is welcome, but the cut-outs in their t-tops, aft of the helm, is not. Don’t recall the reason for this, but prefer as much shade as I can get in the sun.

    Intrepids have been extremely popular as tenders over the past decade. As one of the original all foam, no wood boats, they quickly created a market that others have followed. I have no experience with them and have not looked at their specs because these boats remain too pricey for me, but with 6000-7000 captains on YF, there’s bound to be someone using an Intrepid as a tender. Will wait for them to chime in.

    Another popular CC, due to style, price point (and probably name recognition) is Donzi. For the inland, bay boater, I’m sure it will do just fine. But for those of us that run to the islands, I wouldn’t choose a production boat of this nature. I‘ve seen two of these boats return with broken bits, one with a center console lifted off the deck. I’ve heard this story from others as well.

    Fountain makes a fast center console because they are laid up light, have a ventilated hull and a step bottom. There’s a good selection of these boats in the used market as well. I’m not a fan of Reggie’s boats. I remember them all too well from the 90’s when people had to cut out interior liners to replace leaking gas tanks. I’m sure they’ve learned from past mistakes and taken corrective measures. Or have they?

    I've looked closely at the hull and decks on the new Concept center console boats at the shows and can't find a straight line anywhere. Everything is crooked, with waves and inconsistency. They cover up this mess with fancy paint jobs. If the finish is a reflection on the laminate, I don't want to think about hitting a wave the wrong way. Your hull and deck are the foundation. Without a solid, well built base, no amount of paint, fancy bezels or pattern stitched interiors are enough to separate me from my better judgment. But, I regress… they recently built a 44’ center console that is an absolute stand-out in the market. I haven’t ridden in this boat, but I wouldn’t expect any surprises. The design, finish, ergonomics, amenities, rigging… are all present and accounted for. It’s an exceptional boat in the super-size, center console market.

    There is one boat that stands out in my mind as the best center console ever built, however the company discontinued operations in 2005. If you can find one, it will serve you well for a lifetime. They are light, strong, very fast and super solid. The Powerplay 33’ Center Console. These boats were built by one of the most meticulous guys in boat building, using the same race boat methods and procedures that took him to national and world championships. The people that buy these boats are generally go fast guys that had Cigarettes, Apaches, Skaters, etc., but they grew up, slowed down and learned that a well-built boat without all the bells and whistles meant more time on the water. Danny Weinstein, the builder of these boats, employed a number of the original lay-up guys from Apache. They carved the plugs by hand (long before automated CNC routers) and they remain the truest, straightest hulls and decks in the business. The layup and finish is flawless. More importantly, go crack any size wave and I promise you, you won’t have any cracks. Equally, you won’t hear a thing while charging hard offshore. They are solid and quiet. If I sound like a fan, I am. I own 2 Powerplays. Here's my 1991 25’ sportdeck...

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  6. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    ...and here's my 2005 PowerPlay 33’ Center Console…

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  7. Irish Wake

    Irish Wake Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. Have seen a couple of those cat type hulls being used as towed tenders <glacier bay ?> but didn't have a chance to ask about them. We may leave the boat @ west end for the season so short tows would be more common than back and forth across the stream. Hope someone can talk about Intrepids as well. Thanks again.
  8. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    Carl, in the same vein, do you have any experience or knowledge of the newer Blackfins by Ruby Yachts (that name cracks me up)?

    The old blackfin CCs were fairly robust boats, though perhaps heavy for towing as a tender.

    Fountain CCs are fun to run, but I'm not sure how they would really hold up being towed in open water. Sutphen builds a nice CC with Yanmar power as well.
  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    This morning I was looking for some editorial I saved a few years ago in a file buried deep on my hard drive. In my response to Irish Wake above, I mentioned that I reserved a domain name to develop a forum on Center Consoles. Scanning some files, I found this header I made up for the forum, but I never went live with it. I let the domain slip and a yacht broker capitalized the mistake. Ironically, it included a 33' Powerplay...

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  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The difference between success and failure is often nothing more than following through. How many of us have watched our ideas sail by under someone else's name.
  11. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    The last I heard, the latest incarnation of Blackfin is occupying Davey Jones locker. If memory serves, Jupiter is owned by the original founders of Blackfin.
  12. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    I know of a owner who had a 27' Intrepid that was towed behind his 64' Hat. The only time I heard of it being a problem was in rough seas, the following sea threatened to ride the Intrepid into the transom when the Hat was in the trough. But towed at a safe distance, they never had any real issues.
  13. Schminsky

    Schminsky New Member

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    My Capt has towed a 37 intrepid for 6 years now. First behind an 85' (got some looks for that) and now a 117'. Great boat to tow and Intrepid does a wonderful job of integrating the towing bits into the structure of the boat without exposing the stainless "bandaid" on the bow that is typical of boats not built to tow. I can also vouch for their structural quality and ability to incorporate custom features if you pay.

    The boat has been through some really tough stuff behind the big boat (carib x4 and panama canal up to costa rica & cali x2) and aside from getting a bit waterlogged (the tow lines tend to pull the bow of the tender through a wave vs. allow it to ride over depending on how the big boat is going through/over the wave it is on) the boat has always been a champ.

    Happy to elaborate over PM if helpful.
  14. Justus

    Justus Guest

    I know it's the wrong thread
    but i didn't found a right thread for this :

    How can i create a new a new thread?
  15. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Go to the specific forum in which you wish to create a new thread and click the [​IMG] button in the upper left of the screen.
  16. Justus

    Justus Guest

    Ah thank you very much !
  17. SaltyDog52

    SaltyDog52 New Member

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    I tow a 21 foot M2 catamaran behind a 52 viking. 70 feet of 5/8 nylon with 150 feel of plasma line, outboards up. When it is calm I can tow it at 34 knots with no problems. When it gets rough I tow it at 20-25 knots. Truth of the matter is if you want a secondary boat that you can really use, you have no choice but to tow something or buy a mega yacht.
  18. leek

    leek New Member

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    Towing smaller boats

    From reading the above I would think at towing a 22 Grady Dual Console behind an older (93) Fleming 55 would not be an issue at 8-10 knots. Route would be north out of Seattle to top of Vancouver Island. Both boats have pretty stout hardware but any suggestions welcomed
  19. Lucky guy

    Lucky guy New Member

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    outboard in / out of water

    The outboard out of water will create less drag, which is definatelly favourable, BUT.... the whaler is kind of flat below, and could be bounced around by waves, especially on sideways courses to the waves. with the engine down it'll prove much more stable on course, but you know what they say: you only know when you try..... :)
  20. Rene GER

    Rene GER Senior Member

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    My father has banana boat and we tried to tow it behind an Finnclipper 35. It was a fail.


    After a few minutes it was a floating swimming pool :rolleyes: