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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Re: Towing a dinghy
Departing from the wisdom above, we've spent a lot of time over the years towing hard dinghies.. what's worked for us is to tow close in off the leeward quarter (with a fender perhaps for surges) This seems to minimize the shipping of water over time and keeps things well behaved. It's even worthwhile 'tacking' the dinghy from side to side on a beat.
If you do tow far aft, for a solid dinghy I'd recommend a transom plug that's left open while moving to let any spray accumulation get out of the boat. Most dinghies will float high enough not to ship water through the plug at rest (but don't forget to put the plug back in as soon as you board!!) Trying to recover a swamped dinghy on a long painter in a blow is not fun.. don't ask....
In following seas the up-close tow can be problematic, but as you say you can stow it aboard if necessary....
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)