Originally Posted by TrueBlue
Presumably, the USCG would have instructed the Hunter's crew to cleat off the anchor rode, before attaching the tow line. The crew either failed to do so, or the cleat snapped from the strain - not surprising, considering the boat's typically lightweight hardware.
There's a late model 45 Hunter at my dock - never goes out and is used as a summer condo. By comparison, my 33 foot boat's bow cleats are over twice as big.
I'm a novice, but from what I've read I don't think I would ever attempt to tow from any single point, regardless of how robust a cleat appeared. I hope to never have to test my theories, but if I ever have to be towed in rough conditions, I think I would use my rock climbing background to try to rig a load equalizing, 3 point harness to spread the load over both bow cleats and the base of the mast. Hopefully, such a bridle tied into a long enough tow line would spread the shock load and keep anything from failing, but any single point of failure would not leave me adrift again.