Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty? - SailNet Community

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Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Recently dinghied out an old fatused car tire from my g/f's car trunk to my convalescent Columbia 40 at moor...a nice fat 235 /R17 ...
I have hauled one aboard before...on my old C-29....briefly...for a trip up to Cedar keys...now that I got the C-40 awhile back, there's more room for selective additions like this...It's mostly a love of the rustic and and quaint side of nauticalia that drives me to do things like this...suppose.....but there seems to also be a faint but genuine impulse of practicality that may supply this urge from time to time...Btw..I know they leave a nice black rubber residue on most things...but I'd rather save my good cone-shaped orange sea anchor for dedicated sea-anchor duty..not for multi-purpose work...like towing stability and for when u just need one more fender when "rafting up".

Last edited by souljour2000; 6 Days Ago at 09:14 PM.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Car tires should only be used aboard work boats, never a sailboat.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Sloopjon :

Never say never.

I have painful memories of one Thursday morning when a terrible squall came through Peterhead, Scotland. The buffeting was terrible, and my Polaris 36 was pinned against the pontoon. In seconds, two of my best fenders ruptured and the boat began losing her teak rubbing strake to the dockside. The only thing that saved her were tyres. It needed the full strength of 3 men to get the tyres between the boat and the dock.
Do not under-estimate the loads that a tyre can take in an emergency. No fender comes close. I carry a single tyre now, in the sail locker, with a hole drilled in the bottom of it so the water can get out, and a big chunk of rope tied round the top of it.
Be wary of squalls, when they are bad, the only thing that will save you are tyres.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

I think they're a great idea, and have considered getting one or 2 to augment my supply of conventional fenders. The downsides I see are that they take up a lot of room, and the black rubber would probably mark the topsides. But in a situation that calls for a fender board, I would think they'd be ideal.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Using tire as a sea anchor? Brilliant! Does it need to be weighted to work properly?
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Going to Cedar Key, a tire is just what is needed if you wanna tie up to that awful concrete dock there.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
Using tire as a sea anchor? Brilliant! Does it need to be weighted to work properly?
Use as a drogue and drag behind on a length of line. I'm kicking myself for letting the tyre place keep a couple of old boat trailer 10" tyres I got replaced recently which would've been perfect.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Would be worthwhile if you have a place to hide it when not in use, I don't, my lazarrette is full now. Tying up to a sea wall in a place that gets surge, you need all the help you can get. I'd put some kind of cover on them though.
Not really what you're talking about, but I once saw one of those little tug yachts with a string of go cart tires down each side, made it look like a real working tug. Really cute.

Last edited by capt jgwinks; 6 Days Ago at 07:23 AM.
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
Using tire as a sea anchor? Brilliant! Does it need to be weighted to work properly?
It would need to be an awfully big tire to be suitable as a sea anchor, though their use when used to configure a makeshift drogue is well known...

As for their use as fenders, aside from their bulkiness and weight, they have one big downside if put to use in tidal waters, or against an especially rough surface. Proper fenders are round for good reason, a substitute like a tire can easily become caught or hung up on something as the tide rises, and the only alternative is to have the attachment point break or torn free, or to release or cut free the line... Tires could have served as excellent fenders while transiting a system like the Erie Canal but for that downside, and have long been prohibited as fenders on the NYS canals for that reason, and the possibility of their being torn free, and then creating problems by getting stuck in the lock's valves, or gate mechanism...
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Re: Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
It would need to be an awfully big tire to be suitable as a sea anchor, though their use when used to configure a makeshift drogue is well known...
Probably bigger tire for bigger boats. I thought that adding a bit of weight to it (like a short section of chain to act as a bridle on the tire leading to the towing line) might be a good idea - it would change the angle of the towing line and act a shock absorber.
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