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Old 03-19-2002
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Towing your dingy

This will be my first season with my "new" boat (C&C30 towing an 11 ft aluminum). What is the best way to tow a hard dingy? Should I use a bridle and if so how far aft of the bow should I attach the lines to the dingy, or doesn''t it matter?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 03-20-2002
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Towing your dingy

Use a bridle, meaning simply a rope loop between the two stern cleats. Set a block to run on the bridle and shackle the end of your tow rope to the block. Your tow rope should not be too long (depending on the length of your dinghy painter). The tow rope should have a hard eye spliced into both ends. Then use the other end of your tow rope to tie the dinghy painter (securely!) to. The length adjustment to the tow is done by changing the effective painter length.

A few other tips. For a towed dinghy use a ringbolt on the dinghy bow very low down near its waterline, and make sure it is through bolted (and probably with a backing plate if its only Aluminium
Attach a spare piece of line to the block on the bridle and keep it loosely attached in-board. This helps pull the dinghy in, because it can be a bit tricky chasing the block if you pull on one end of the bridle.
Of course, you want a nice long tow when at sea but do remove the bridle and pull the tow right up short before you start to manouvre in a tight anchorage. I learned that one the hard way when sailing onto moorings ... when the dinghy goes the other side of someone else''s mooring buoy its a mess!
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Old 03-21-2002
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Towing your dingy

Bruce Bingham has a very good description of how he towed an 8 foot Trinka over some 18,000 miles (9,000 miles on open ocean) in his book, "The Sailor''s Sketchbook", pp. 64-68. The rest of the book is very good also.

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