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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: dingy towing

I tow my inflatable all the time. Much easier than towing a hard dinghy. As noted, never tow with anything in it that could be lost if it flips. If the weather is really bad, you can bring it on board and deflate it.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: dingy towing

About 30 years ago, we towed my buddy's aluminum boat along in back of my old 42' stinkpot to use as a dink. It became detached at some point in time during a long run, never to be seen again. If a towed dink does get loose, it is easy to lose it because with your attention elsewhere, it can be long gone over the horizon pretty quickly. I would not trust the glued-on attachments of a RIB in any case. IMO, towing a dink is never a good idea for a whole host of reasons as mentioned above.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: dingy towing

I tow an Achilles inflatable with a folding wooden floor when cruising as a last ditch floating object in case the boat sinks beneath me. It costs about 1/3 knot in boatspeed, but it is worth it for the peace of mind it provides.

Incidentally, I was anchored behind the sunken cargo ships and inside the L-shaped pier in Kiptopeake Beach the evening of June 30th, when the "derecho" passed through the Chesapeake Bay. It sounded like a freight train on shore - I thought I was about to be killed by a tornado. I have been in a number of squalls, storms, cold front passages, etc., and this seemed to be the highest wind gusts I have ever experienced. My boat was heeled over 45 degrees at anchor at times with no canvas/bimini up. The Achilles inflatable was flipping over and over again in the wind, which was reported to be as high as 70-100 m.p.h. elsewhere, yet the dinghy survived unscathed. The experience reinforced my view that an inflatable dinghy might actually be useful as a ditch vessel in heavy weather, provided you can pull it back toward the boat.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: dingy towing

Use at least a half inch floating tow line, then make sure your towing eye is at least as strong as the breaking strength of your tow line. I use a fabricated stainless bow eye with a 3/8th inch ss rod eye, welded to a SS plate, and with a couple of 3/8th inch bolts,and a big backup plate inside. I have towed my dinghy submerged, in 40 knots of wind , at hull speed, for several hours without losing it.
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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