towing a dingy, performance issues... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-06-2009
stpetersburgsailor
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Cool towing a dingy, performance issues...

any good people like to comment on the effects of towing a dingy


obviously boat & dingy size are relevant
let's say in the 25' - 38' boat range
dingy without outboard

a lead weight on the ankle while running?
zero effect?
in between?

do any folks tie it to the deck? sometimes?

cheers

-Jonathan
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2009
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Towing our inflatable RIB behind our 33 costs us 3/4-knt to 1 knt boat speed. For going any serious distance we tie it on deck.

We don't have or want davits: too much weight on the stern, (ugly), and too risky in following seas.
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Old 10-06-2009
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I'd be hesitant to tow any dinghy with the outboard attached unless you KNOW you're not going to get any major wash or seas. Also with the engine attached you will notice significantly increased drag over the empty dinghy.

There's a definite cost in boat speed, but there's also the convenience of easy deployment and the fact that the dinghy would be instantly available as a liferaft of sorts if the occasion called for it.

If you are going to tow in chop, then a cover or an open transom drain will prevent additional drag and strain from a dinghy filling up with spray during a passage.
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Old 10-06-2009
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I lost a new dingy and motor and I am sure you will hear other stories like this
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Old 10-07-2009
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We've been using davits for many years now, but we used to tow. Our most disappointing times (twice) were to see our dinghy flying & spinning in the wind during a harsh squall line. We can deploy very quickly from a secure mount. 'take care and joy, Aythyan crew
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Old 10-07-2009
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I tow the dinghy with the motor on but locked in the up position. It costs about 1/2 to 3/4 kt in boat speed. I find that adjusting the tow line so it's riding down the face of the stern wake it causes the least amount of drag. BTW I use a double bridle. One bridle from the stern cleats to a tow line that then attaches to a bridle off the bow of the dinghy. I find that even in rough water the setup seems to keep it riding safely. If I think it's going to be too nasty I'll drop the motor which provides a bit of drag and keeps the dinghy more stable. Mind you all of this is on Cheasapeake Bay not the ocean.
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Old 10-07-2009
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I tow my hardbottom in any conditions and never felt the preformance impact mwas material. Due to its weight a RIB is pretty stable even in rought weather, and generally too heavy to put on a small to mid-size cruiser. You should always remove the engine on the whole thing becomes unstable.
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Old 10-07-2009
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What about performance loss when things go wrong? I was towing my dyer once in no wind when things started to pick up. I found myself on a run in a following sea. The dinghy broached on a surf and headed towards the bottom like a diving plane attached to my quarter cleat . As it was effectively a sea-anchor at this point, I could not turn up into the wind to releive the strain on the painter. Fortunately, the towing eye failed on the dinghy and it floated freely to the surface. I had to tack back upwind to get to it and wrestle it aboard with no line to retrieve it by.An hour later, it was on deck , where it should have been all along. I was glad no one else was aboard to witness my stupity/lazyness. I was only going from Beaufot to Wrightsville and would just have to put it back in the water again. Now I always load my dinghy on deck ,even on the ditch.
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Old 10-07-2009
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It depends on the boat, the dinghy, how the dinghy is equipped and attached and the sea state. In relatively flat conditions, with a hard dinghy, the resulting drag isn't that bad. In choppy conditions, with a soft-bottomed inflatable dinghy with soft, under-inflated tubes, with a big outboard attached.... the drag is going to be a good deal more noticeable.
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Old 10-07-2009
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I used to tow my dinghy and outboard. It was hugely convenient and afterall I was just coastal sailing so didn't really care about the odd half knot. I stopped this habit, though, when on one uneventful weather/water passage I noticed my dinghy had flipped and I was towing my outboard under water. Amazing it remained attached to my dinghy. Amazing it still worked after a flush with fresh water. It's the kind of thing you do once or rather - I did once. Each to their own.
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