Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central New York
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Yes, if you take out the engine and oars it will be not a problem in not very bad weather but it slow you down and with bad weather the fixation points can break. The cover will not prevent the boat to capsize (with the wind) and that will slow you down even more and put more strain on the fixation points.
The last time I have done that on a small passage, last year between Minorca and Maiorca the wind suddenly gust over 40K (about 25 sustained) and the dinghy just take off like a kite on the back of the boat, finishing upside down.
We had it on the end of a long cable so it was just funny but the strain on the attachment points could have broken and will broke if we do that too many times
Several people have mentioned that towing a dinghy in high winds will probably result in towing a dinghy upside down and/or flying around at the end of the tow line. But thereís another reason you probably donít want to do it:
Bad weather offshore creates stress on skipper and crew. You begin to worry about stuff going wrong....things breaking, etc. Because the bad weather stays with you for a while, the stress doesnít go away -- it can be with you for days. Now, imagine what a dinghy flying about and plowing itís inverted bow into every other wave will do to your already stressed brain. Itís just another worry and, unlike some of the imagined stressors, itís very visible and constantly following you -- you canít stop looking back to see whatís happening..... you get the picture. Youíre going to want to do something about it -- but you canít because once youíre in that situation all you can do is live with it or cut it loose. You you realize you canít fix the problem, you begin to think, ďHow could I have been so dumb to have that dinghy back there in conditions like this?Ē The self-doubt also adds to the stress.
In bad weather the towed dinghy is a problem you donít need AND, unlike other problems you may face during the ordeal of a storm at sea, you can do something about it. Stow it! before things get bad -- which, practically speaking, means stowing it before you leave.
Thanks for the response gentlemen. One more question. What about towing it using one of the various systems for rigidly attaching the dingy to the stern of the boat? It wouldn't clutter the deck and wouldn't be blown around.
2003 Hunter 260
"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester while loading his boat with gin.
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