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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2012
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Towing a dinghy

I am building a plywood and epoxy dinghy that is small enough to carry on the foredeck. However, in good weather I will tow it. I have found that my other dinghy (similar design), really seems to 'stick' in the the water when towed. It seems like it should jump up on a plane and tow easier, but, it just sucks into the water deeper. Do you think it would help to mount a tow eye closer to the surface of the water?
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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Towing a dinghy

Nope; higher will be better you want to get the nose of the dink down. A longer line seems to help too.

Having a fender across the front of it is a good idea too.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Towing a dinghy

As TQA says, tow it further aft, but on the "downhill" slope of the next wave behind the stern wave.

A plywood dinghy will tow better than an inflatable.
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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....
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Old 04-12-2012
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Re: Towing a dinghy

Make your towing eye at least as strong as the breaking strength of your line.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Towing a dinghy

I'm going to try to build a pretty light dinghy. I am just going to drill a hole through the bow and splice a poly line in. Maybe a little reinforcement in that part of the bow.
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Re: Towing a dinghy

I tow a dingy and have also built small ply and epoxy boats. Make sure your towing eye is very strong. The problem is not what is needed to pull the weight and drag of the dink, but the forces on the set up if it surges forward in a following sea and then falls back with a snap, or if it gets swamped or turtled.
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Re: Towing a dinghy

More motivation to keep it on deck in anything but flat conditions. It will be 4mm okoume, so if it gets dragged under at 6 or 7 knots, I think it might be transformed into toothpicks regardless of painter attachment. Will definitly reinforce around the painter hole.
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Re: Towing a dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipStevens View Post
As TQA says, tow it further aft, but on the "downhill" slope of the next wave behind the stern wave.

A plywood dinghy will tow better than an inflatable.
Soft bottom inflatable or RIb? My Avon RiB tows much easier than my Dyer Dhow (with or w/o the center board down.)

When it is rough I will usually use two painters. That makes it possible to to control exactly the position of the dink in the boats wake.
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Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Towing a dinghy

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Originally Posted by LinekinBayCD View Post
Soft bottom inflatable or RIb? My Avon RiB tows much easier than my Dyer Dhow (with or w/o the center board down.)

When it is rough I will usually use two painters. That makes it possible to to control exactly the position of the dink in the boats wake.
Semi thread-hijack.

I am right now in the process of deciding whether to switch from a hard plastic dinghy to an inflatable.

This must have been discussed ad nauseum here, but I can't find a thread on pros and cons.

Interested in any thoughts folks might have, or a link to a thread if I missed it.
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