SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: towing a dingy, performance issues... Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-21-2009 08:30 PM
zeehag we have now 2500 miles on sail cruising this summer---we donot tow dink--we keep on formosa i can keep on foredeck or abaft mast --i can keep a kayak and a hard dink as well on deck in formosa---lol---but then i have the space and the weight of boat to be able to do that--i will not criuise with a rigid--they weigh too much--a 9' caribe is 145 pounds without engine----i use now a soft rollup with hard transom and a 3 1/2 hp engine----2 perfect for cruising and independence--i donot need to plane with guests in my dink--
10-18-2009 04:29 PM
MJBrown Lancelot9898 we have a 2000 Achilles LIS104 which is the roll up with inflatable floor model. It's a nice dinghy but the floor does have it's problem with leaks from time to time. Usually around the air valve. We sail on the Cheaspeke and always tow with the motor on. I use a double bridle. One off the stern of the boat and one off the bow of the dinghy. I rig it so the dink is riding on the face of our stern wake so the drag is minimized. We've been out in 4-5' chop and it's been fine. I do pay close attention to the wakes from some of the big cruisers that roll by. In extreme weather I've dropped the motor so it's riding in the water. It creates enough drag to add stability. If we were to do an ocean voyage I'd likely defalte it and bring it up on deck.
10-18-2009 10:41 AM
Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
.... I've never seen my dinghy airborn even though last year we were hit by a 60 knot storm on the beam. .... The stress imposed on the dinghy would be very great and the attachment point would be the issue and I doubt if the dingy would survive unless deflated.
Several years ago in flat water and puffy 25-30 knot conditions we had our 8 foot zodiac (wood floors, no engine) flip over in a puff. It hit the water like a suction cup, noticeably slowing a powered up 40 foot boat and before we could do anything one of the forward towing bridle patches ripped clean off.

We had to stop the boat, drag the still upside down dinghy close-to, and break the suction before we could pick it back up.

Last year in similar conditons, different boat, different dinghy (a 7.5 foot roll-up slat floor zodiac) on a beam reach the dinghy was doing airborne barrel rolls until we pulled it up against the transom.

MAYBE an engine would have settled things down, but then again maybe not and we'd have had a waterlogged engine to deal with as well.
10-18-2009 10:02 AM
Originally Posted by chenniepreston View Post
We had a 11' Zodiac with plywood floors.
I wouldn't have an inflatable floor as everyone we knew that had one had leaks, and it was soft. It's nice to be able to toss in your anchor, fuel, shells or what ever and not worry about it.
I feel the same about the inflatable floors even though there is a newer version out where the high pressure is the V rather than just flat. I also have the plywood, but it is very difficult to assemble on deck. I like the Archilles Al roll up floor which seems to stow easily on deck and if anyone out there has some experience with it, I would like to hear. As far as the towing issue, I've never seen my dinghy airborn even though last year we were hit by a 60 knot storm on the beam. Always felt uneasy about towing it in storm conditions and wondered how easily that it might get swamped. I'm not sure that it would even be a bad situation considering that you want to keep the stern of the mother ship from going broadside to the waves?? Consider a Jordan series drouge and what is suppose to do. Just don't want to be the first to try it with the dinghy even if it is over 20 years old. The stress imposed on the dinghy would be very great and the attachment point would be the issue and I doubt if the dingy would survive unless deflated.
10-18-2009 09:39 AM
chenniepreston We towed our dinghy the entire length of the ICW from Cape May to Miami. We ALWAYS took off the motor as we had a lift on the stern of our Tartan 37.
We carried it on deck for crossings in open water, like across the Gulf Stream, but we towed it from Bimini all the way to Georgetown, and back.
It will cost you about a knot, but who cares!! It's a hassle to take it in and out of the water, tie it down etc. We had a 11' Zodiac with plywood floors.
I wouldn't have an inflatable floor as everyone we knew that had one had leaks, and it was soft. It's nice to be able to toss in your anchor, fuel, shells or what ever and not worry about it.
10-16-2009 01:19 PM
sck5 davits are quite useful in settled weather in places like the Chesapeake or the ICW. Easy to get the boat up and down, which I cant say about the deck. Also, my marina is OK with me having it on davits but not tied to the stern. Hauling it up on deck or taking it to the dinghy dock every time I come back is a pain. For bad weather or on the ocean it goes on the deck. But davits are very convenient things. Also, and maybe I am just being paranoid, I feel like it is less likely to be stolen from davits than from floating around behind the boat. Not such an issue most places in the Chesapeake but a real issue in some islands.
10-16-2009 10:02 AM
lancelot9898 I usually tow the dinghy with a floating line and a bridle on the dingy. I think it might do better with a bridle on the mother ship too. Nothing is in the dingy should it flip over, but I do not like to tow in 20 plus knots. I was thinking about the drag issue and i'm not sure if that is much of an issue unless in light winds. In heavier winds the limit is hull speed and the sails should propell the boat enough to overcome the drag. IMHO No proof however. The issue I have is it getting swamped, but then again I responded to someone the other day about hurricane conditions and how I handled the dingy. While I was anchored in a hurricane hole and it was only a Cat 1, I did fill the dinghy with water and it did well tied astern of the boat on about 20 feet or so of floating line. The waves were not much of a factor so I'm not sure how that might play. There have been times when sailing that the dingy has sped down a wave to hit the stern of the boat, but adjusting the painter to having it ride further away or even bringing it right up to the stern has remedied the situation. The dinghy is a 10 ft. Archilles with wooden floor and the mother ship is a 37 foot Tayana with limited deck space.
10-16-2009 09:33 AM
Bene505 We needed a big hard bottom dinghy that could haul the whole family, and I wanted to get up on plane with everyone aboard. The best solution was an 11'6" Achilles RIB with a 20hp Tohatsu. All together I figure it's too much weight for our davits, so I put the 117 pounds engine on the rail-mounted wood piece and raised the dinghy without the engine. I did this once this past summer, with the help of one of the davit hoists -- main concerns during this procedure were losing the engine overboard and cutting the inflated hull with the outboard's prop.

While towing that time, the dinghy caught a wave and dumped the life jackets overbard (MOB drill was useful) and the hand pump (gone). So I need to get some straps like Daniel Goldberg uses or a cross bar or something to raise the dinghy up farther.

I think there has to be a way to reinforce one of the davits to hold the extra 117 pounds from the engine. That would be very convenient.

So usually we tow the dinghy everywhere. We aren't out in the ocean much though. We probably lose 1/2 knot.

I pull the dinghy in close when docking -- close enough so that the painter can't reach the prop. Then when out in the open we let out enough painter so that the dinghy surfs down the stern wave.

10-16-2009 07:39 AM
Davits: can't even imaging towing further than across the harbor.

Ugly. Things that work are not ugly. Things that do not work are ugly, from my point of view.

Safety. Yes, on deck is safe. But getting it there may not be. I have a poor back, and if I had to put in on-deck when things kicked up, by my self, I would be safer to sell it now. Listen to the stories!

Safety. Davits can be safe in some pretty wild weather, depending on the boat. Perhaps this is a multihull advatage, as the dingy is not behind the boat but tucked up between the hulls, and way out of the water. IF I decided to get it on-deck from there, it is not hard to hook two halyards and take it from there - done it. I have not been in a full gale, but I have been in 8- to 10-foot waves up and down wind, and it never came within 30" of the water. I lift it pretty high.

Weight on transom. Move some stuff forward. In my case, the boat was designed for it and is nose-heavy when the dingy is forward. Depends on the boat.

Ease of deployment. With good tackle, easy. You will use it more. The motor, PFD, whistle, and the like just stay on-board. Drop and go.

Securing in bad weather. Yes, if it going to be more than ~ 20 knots you should lash the dingy to the davits to prevent swinging.

Speed. Why would I want to give up 3/4 knots? That is huge, really, for boats that only go 6-7 knots.

I guess these reasons ad up to why you seldom see a multihull towing. Perhaps the monohull math is different.
10-10-2009 08:32 AM
chuck5499 we are full time cruisers and we tow only if we are in enclosed water such as long island sound or cheaspeake bay or on icw - if we go to sea it is on the deck period - no motor when we tow - in maine this summer if we had short jumps we towed otherwise it went on the deck -
i figure we lose about 1/2k at least

chuck patty and svsoulmates
on the hook deltaville va
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome