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Towing dinghies

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12924
Printed Date: 28 Jan 22 at 11:14am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Towing dinghies
Posted By: Riv
Subject: Towing dinghies
Date Posted: 29 Nov 17 at 8:37pm
I will need to tow 4 or 5 dinghies with a 20hp Dory next summer on the Dart, probably a mixture of Wayfarer, Wanderers, Picos and lasers, depends on who turns up.

Whats the best way of towing a range of boats?





Replies:
Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 29 Nov 17 at 9:01pm
wayfarer at the back. all boats with centreboards up.go easy on the beer!


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 29 Nov 17 at 9:19pm
You may struggle with a 20hp, 
our new safety boat struggles with a comet duo when lashed side to side.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 29 Nov 17 at 9:36pm
Put them alternate on a long rope, too. Remind sailors to follow the steering of the powerboat, and to sit back in the dinghies. Don't try against a strong tide.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: zippyRN
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 12:07am
Originally posted by Rupert

Put them alternate on a long rope, too. Remind sailors to follow the steering of the powerboat, and to sit back in the dinghies. Don't try against a strong tide.


This


Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 7:49am
Sounds good, the plan is to go down to Dartmouth from Stoke Gabriel on the ebb, come back on the flood towing those who don't want to sail back. 

What sort of spacing on a long rope for each dinghy? 2 or 3 times boat length. 

I'm pleased to know I should put the Wayfarer at the back!


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 8:20am
If they are herringbone style, they can be quite close together (just a few feet between back of one and bow of next), which helps with tying and untying at each end. If there are waves, use more space between boats. Others will have more experience on that front.

Putting loops in the tow line, or whipping hooks onto it, can avoid having to learn the rolling hitch, but does make the rope tangle more easily.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 9:58am
Rolling hitch is not difficult though, and is very useful, imagine a clove hitch (we can all tie a clove hitch can't we Wink) but with one extra turn on the after side of the hitch and it will slide forward but lock when pulled aft. The main tow rope needs to be a fair bit bigger than the boats painters for the RH to work. 

FWIW a rolling hitch around the mast is the standard way of attaching an adjustable downhaul setup to a Raceboard rig and happily holds considerable tension.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 11:48am
Rolling hitches tend to slip with modern ropes, from what I've seen, but an extra roll can help.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 12:47pm
Just make sure that each dinghy ties onto the main tow rope separately, and that they can slip their tow if needed.

Each dinghy should have their own anchor (on a tidal river).




Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 3:53pm
Thanks, I'm thinking of making up a tow rope with loops for this event and keeping it on a reel. I'm also thinking (given the discussion of knots above) of giving each boat a painter with a snap hook to minimise errors. We will be hitching up just below the higher ferry on a July or August Saturday and it's likely to be busy.

So what would be a good painter length for a Pico?


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by Riv

Sounds good, the plan is to go down to Dartmouth from Stoke Gabriel on the ebb, come back on the flood towing those who don't want to sail back. 
What sort of spacing on a long rope for each dinghy? 2 or 3 times boat length. 
I'm pleased to know I should put the Wayfarer at the back!


i was told to put the heaviest boat at the back of the string to stabilise things


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 6:26pm
Not sure snap hooks are ideal if you want the boats to be able to release themselves in a hurry?

-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 30 Nov 17 at 9:59pm
When I was being towed in a group, I used the following technique:-

Painter tied to the main tow line, taken through a rope loop on the stemhead, then a couple of turns round the mast, and hand held.
That way the tow can be slipped easily - possibly at the cost of a painter.

Snap hooks/carabinas on short rope tethers simplify things, but as Sam notes, you can't disengage them underway.
Maybe a rope loop with a snap hook to go round the mast - easily accessible, but it will cause the towline to sink.


Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 01 Dec 17 at 9:41am
Ok , good points lots of room for thought.

Lastly when towing dinghies such as Picos is it best to run the painter through a fairlead on the bow
and then to the mast or straight to the mast? Would you do the same with a Wayfarer?


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 01 Dec 17 at 10:29am
It is very common for boats to sail up to a slow moving trailing towline and tie their own painters to it. It might not have the get out of jail free advantages of a line running through something at the bow and round the mast, but it seems to work and keeps things very simple and understandable for the sailors.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 01 Dec 17 at 1:41pm
Painter long enough to go through the loop and back to the mast.  Yes secure at the bow so that the boat doesn't yaw.  Round turn or 2 at the mast to have quick release.  Retain most of that with a couple of hitches on the bight if it's a long tow.


Posted By: Andymac
Date Posted: 07 Dec 17 at 4:17pm
Originally posted by Riv

Lastly when towing dinghies such as Picos is it best to run the painter through a fairlead on the bow
and then to the mast or straight to the mast? Would you do the same with a Wayfarer?



Bear in mind if any have decked stepped masts ie Enterprise it is better to take the loading turns around some other structure such as the thwart or the king post otherwise there is a risk of dismasting, especially whilst sails are dropped and there is no rig tension on to keep the mast Insitu.

As others have said use a long towline, whatever you do, don't daisy chain boats using painter to the one in front this transmits the whole load behind through the boats in front.

Some bow fairleads can be a little 'fragile' only really being designed for tying up to jetty; advise use to lead rope but again make loading turn around mast/other.




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