towing a dinghy, Painter size? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-07-2011   #1
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towing a dinghy, Painter size?

just picked up a classic nutshell 7'7" hard dinghy/pram to use as a tender. I have room to store on foredeck deck and will do so on longer journeys or rough weather, but for day hops and calm weather i would like to tow it. I have been told and read that this hard dinghy will tow well. I cannot however find any recommended size for the tow line,Painter. Is 3/8 or 7/16 double braid enough or would i need a completely different type of line, i was thinking poly so it would float. Please give me some advice as I have not towed a tender before.

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Old 08-07-2011   #2
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I like using a dock line.

Just buy a 7/16" or so pre made dockline. I use a 15' braided. Use a bowline or splice to the dinghy so you have the loop on the big boat end.

It's so much handier to throw the loop over a cleat or winch and not have to trust yourself or someone else to properly cleat the painter.

Towing underway, you'll adjust the length for the least drag but the loop stays on the cleat so you won't lose it.
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Old 08-08-2011   #3
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Nylon would be good to absorb shock loads, poly would be good b/c it floats. I could probably rip the fittings off my wood dinghy with the breaking strenth of 3/8" nylon, but just as with moorings, you might want a little more thickness for chafe insurance.
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Old 09-15-2011   #4
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thanks guys, went down to west marine today and guy there said that the 5/16 poly line(light blue in color) would be fine. it floats and has a maximum work load of 2600...seems like it would be fine. even the 1/4 stuff had a working load of 1400lbs and was cheap too. anyone use this stuff?

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Old 09-15-2011   #5
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Hope you have a cover for the dinghy. Hard dinghies on tow can sink easily.
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Old 09-15-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulicity View Post
Hope you have a cover for the dinghy. Hard dinghies on tow can sink easily.
i do not, I am taking a cruise on the chesapeake here in a few weeks and will be my first time towing a dinghy. I will keep an eye on the weather and will stow the dinghy on the fordeck if need be. do you have a recommendation as to the size line? what size painter do you use as you've commented like you have experience?

Now with that said.....anyone have a recommendation on painter size? lots of good feedback on towing, stowing and everything else on the good ole net but what size to use. I guess larger is always better. I will probably buy the 3/8in poly.
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Old 09-15-2011   #7
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Sorry I don't really have towing experience. I do have a rigid dinghy though and no davits. So I considered towing and then I remembered how much water the dinghy took on when I first got it and had it towed to my marina by a powerboat going rather slowly. I didn't pay attention to the painter line at the time.
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Old 09-16-2011   #8
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I tow my dinghy on the middle Chesapeake on day hops. I use the same blue poly 5/16" line you mentioned for my Caribe L9 with engine and gas tank aboard. My painter is about 70' long, maybe a bit more. I use an anchor bend for the painter connection to the tow ring on the dinghy. Pull it in close when anchoring and ease it way back underway. In light air it is a sea anchor and we pull the engine and stow the dinghy on the foredeck (where it goes offshore without exception).

When I tow I do keep my SPOT in a waterproof container in the dinghy - just in case.
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Old 09-16-2011   #9
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It is best "not to tow" any dingy, for any length of time.
The floating rope will be of little help. It is better to include some floats used on fishing nets. During the maneuvers the rope will dive and and most probably find yor prop.
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Old 09-16-2011   #10
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I use 5/16" poly with a float and a ring making a nice bridal. I suggest that you splice the line since poly does not like to hold knots. It is probably one of the simplest lines to splice.
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