Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Houston, TX
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Re: dingy towing
Things to look out for when towing a dinghy:
1. Overstressing the towing points on the dinghy. Dinghies have attachment points to attach the towing line. On inflatables, these are usually sewn in "D" rings. It's best to spread out the load by attaching to both port and starboard "D" rings and then feed the lines thru to "D" ring at the bow. If you simply attach the tow line to the bow ring, you risk pulling it out.
2. Shock loads on the tow line could pull out the attachement points. Even if you spread out the load to multiple attachment points, you could overstress them with shock loading as the dinghy is surged forward/aft. What we do to minimize the shock loads. From #1 above, a line is tied to an attachment on the stbd and the port side of the dinghy. This line is fed thru the D ring on the bow and forward where we tie a bight. This arrangement is called a towing bridle. From the sailboat's stern cleat, we tie a line and run it through the bight on the towing bridle and back to the stern cleat on the other side of the sailboat. This towing line is long enough that we can ease it out so that the dinghy rides far enough back for the tow line to take the shock loads instead of the attachement points. Also, you can reduce shock loading by having the dinghy ride the troughs of waves when the boat is in a trough, and not having the dinghy at a crest when the boat is in a trough.
3. Be careful not to foul your propeller on the tow line. When coming to an anchorage/marina, we pull the tow line in so that it is not longer in the water. Also, the tow bridle we use is made up of floating polypro line. Some attach a float at the end of the towing bridle to assist in keeping the arrangement from getting under the rudder.
4. Flipping the dinghy. We make sure there is nothing in the dinghy when we tow it. Outboard, thwart, oars, everything, is on the sailboat and not in the dinghy. If it flips over while being towed, you might lose this stuff.
[/B]S/V Wind Orchid
Catalina 350 (hull# 273)
LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT REMOVING POLITCAL TAG LINES -- NOW!