towing a tandem kayak as dinghy - SailNet Community

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Old 04-27-2011
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towing a tandem kayak as dinghy

I have a 27foot sailboat, I don't bluewater cruise much but I do also own an oldtown loon 16t. I want to start towing this behind my cal2-27 as my dink. I think a kayak would tow nice and be less drag than most. it is a tandem and I can outfit it with a spray skirt to prevent taking on water so then it could be practically unsinkable. what do you guys think about that? mostly SF bay, and maybe some blue water trips never more than 2 days or so.

let me know what you think!
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Old 04-27-2011
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We once towed a kayak in the Chesapeake and had a lot of problems with stability in a crosswind. It may have been the model, a long, narrow lake kayak. It was great for exploring the creeks though.
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Old 04-27-2011
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Be sure that you avoid getting into a situation where you have to run with a big following sea as the towed kayak will attempt to join you in the cockpit.

But in mild conditions no probs. I am seeing some impecunious sailors in the Caribbean using surf canoes as tenders and some tow them.
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Old 04-27-2011
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My thoughts are if you pop the skirt, you'll likely submarine it if you're in anything but flat conditions. Not much freeboard, so it will collect water easily. Sounds risky for blue water. Figure out how you will deal with it if it fills.

Try it and see how it works when you aren't depending on it. And tie a float on the skirt.
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Old 04-27-2011
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They make rail mounts for kayaks to sit in on the side decks of larger boats. Since your boat is smaller, why not try mounting them outboard the lifelines instead? That would allow you to take the kayak cruising, but avoid towing issues.
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GREETINGS EARTHLINGS, Tow on your spinny boom with crossed bow lines and fill both boats with empty lemonade bottles ! this is a good reliable way to gain indpendent cells of nearly unbrackable litres of air Look at Plasitxie the Thore Hyadal Tribute ( also a great read) ENJOY LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE
GO SAFE
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Seriously?
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Towed a 12 Pungo kayak on lake Mich and Gulf. Tested it by filling with water to see if it would sink(it didn't). Try the test. If its gonna sink it will be in bad weather and better to know ahead of time.
I climbed down swim ladder to carefully enter kayak and visited barrier islands in Northern Gulf at Miss. and Florida. Depending how you Tie it, the kayak may have a mind of its own following you.
My Kayak did fill with water in open water-I had no skirt. Then I put on deck. Friend used kayak to take his Dog ashore 2 times a day (on river trip from Chicago to Florida). As you know, rough weather makes difficult to climb off sailboat on swim ladder into kayak.
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If you exceed the 'hull speed' of the kayak the kayak may become VERY unstable and instantly become a sea anchor.

Only way I know how to prevent this is to keep the kayak close to the stern and tie the painter 'high' (even up the backstay of the mother ship) to keep the kayak 'planing'.
Of course when going downwind in 'heavy' conditions you can expect the kayak to try to 'pass' you, roll up diagonally across a wave face ........ and become an instant sea anchor.

Best is to carry a lightweight kayak 'on deck'.
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I would suggest put the kayak on deck. I use Kayak brackets that attache to stanchions. That may not work for you given the relative sizes of the kayak and your boat.

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