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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > towing a dinghy, Painter size?
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Thread: towing a dinghy, Painter size? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-17-2011 02:04 PM
DonScribner I use 5/16" line, about 25' long. The painter is usually looped thru the stern cleat but when we come into port I tie it to the stern rail and make it real short to keep it out of the prop and the dinghy under control. Once, the welded ring on the dinghy broke in VERY rough seas. I noticed it 1/2 mile off, surfing for the rocks. We ran it down and reattached it.
09-17-2011 01:01 PM
LarryandSusanMacDonald MY two cents:
We had three connection points on the dinghy when we used to tow it. We used one of those Y shaped towlines connected to the two outside connection points, and a single straight painter on the bow of the dinghy. We connected each to different cleats on the 'mother ship.' This way, we had redundancy if anything broke.

Normally, we adjusted the two painters so it the dinghy traveled in a 'quiet' spot behind the boat. When we didn't anticipate that it would get rough but it did, we let out enough line so that the dinghy stayed about one wavelength behind us. There was less jerking that way.

When it was time to drop anchor, or come into a slip, we tightened the painters so the dinghy was snug to the back of the boat. We learned this the hard way, after backing down and catching the painter in the prop.

Now we have dinghy davits - but when we're making a longer or a rough passage, we lash the dinghy to the foredeck.

It's usually not a good idea to tow your dinghy with the dinghy engine attached - especially on a hard bottomed dinghy. Take the time to stow the dinghy engine. It takes a lot longer to repair it. (Learned this one the hard way, too.)
09-16-2011 07:30 PM
Cruiser2B well....I bought 3/8th...for .20/ft why not, better safe than sorry. thank you for everyone opinions. i hope all goes well and will post my experiences.
09-16-2011 05:33 PM
TQA I tow a much heavier dink with a 15 hp on 5/16ths As others have said 1/4 will do or 5/16ths. Add a couple of floats.
09-16-2011 01:33 PM
remetau
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cptken View Post
Poly degrades from UV much quicker than other types of line. After 2 years mine had so many fish hooks and broken strands that it was really rough on the hands. Replaced it with 3 strand about 5 seasons ago.

Highly recommend the fishing floats! I can verify that it is possible to wrap the prop with floating poly line.
All you need to do is put it away when not in use. I wrapped my prop with nylon and floats after my wife backed down on the anchor. I use a float with the poly. You are much more unlikely to wrap the prop, but I guess everybody has a preference.
09-16-2011 01:27 PM
Cptken Poly degrades from UV much quicker than other types of line. After 2 years mine had so many fish hooks and broken strands that it was really rough on the hands. Replaced it with 3 strand about 5 seasons ago.

Highly recommend the fishing floats! I can verify that it is possible to wrap the prop with floating poly line.
09-16-2011 01:17 PM
Cruiser2B
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoney View Post
I use a 3/8 poly line, just because I found it on sale, lol. I'd imagine that 5/16 will be plenty more than you need (same way I think). Put a loop in one end and the line can serve as the dinghy's anchor line as well (always like to have more than one use for everything). Those mushroom anchors ride the best. I store the outboard on the rail too, as mentioned above. Don't forget, in some states, at least down here, the dinghy has to be registered if you're going to use any type of propulsion, other than the oars. Local officers will seek out the dings and pull them over. Same rules apply to the little boat that applies to the big one (lighting, anchor, throw cushion, pfd's, etc.). I've had plenty of friends find this out the hard way.
thank you....We will be rowing on this trip...we'll see how it goes. I have been thinking of an electric trolling motor...trying to stay away from gas if possible. just trying to figure a good way to charge battery other than the engine on the main boat. baby steps for us
09-16-2011 12:44 PM
emoney I use a 3/8 poly line, just because I found it on sale, lol. I'd imagine that 5/16 will be plenty more than you need (same way I think). Put a loop in one end and the line can serve as the dinghy's anchor line as well (always like to have more than one use for everything). Those mushroom anchors ride the best. I store the outboard on the rail too, as mentioned above. Don't forget, in some states, at least down here, the dinghy has to be registered if you're going to use any type of propulsion, other than the oars. Local officers will seek out the dings and pull them over. Same rules apply to the little boat that applies to the big one (lighting, anchor, throw cushion, pfd's, etc.). I've had plenty of friends find this out the hard way.
09-16-2011 12:28 PM
Cruiser2B Thanks everyone for the useful info. I am headed out to buy line now. I will probably opt for the 5/16 just for piece of mind. Thanks to all the additional advice, can and will put dinghy on fordeck if necessary, am going to tow as wife and I are going to day hop up the western part of the Ches bay to Annapolis then day hop the eastern shore on the return home. I have seen what the bay can dish out, so any chance of rough weather and that dinghy will be on deck......somewhere

Thanks again
09-16-2011 11:00 AM
EJO The 5/16" will do fine with your nutshell I even would opt for the 1/4" as your dinghy is very light. I pull my dingy (14' Achilles with 25HP OB and 10 gallons of gas and bow-bag with 10lbs anchor and pump, and 4 PFD's) across Lake Michigan all the time using a double 5/16" painter about 30' behind the boat. I also have the loop end at the boat and I have an extra second 1/4" safety line.
I make fast running the bitter end of the painter thru both side bow "D" rings and than back to the boat knoting a second loop, I put both loops over/thru one of my aft cleats or use both SB and Port cleat. This enables the dinghy to slide sideways keeping force off the center "safety" line which is connected to the center tow/bow ring on the dinghy.
I must use this set up as I can't lift the 250lbs dinghy and/or the 140lbs OB on board (I should get davits, but the expense keeps me from it).
This seems to be working fine although I haven't used this set-up in 5 ft or more waves and if caught with these higher waves I would double my tow length if not triple it.
Last but not least never assume the dinghy is there, i.e. visually check at regular intervals.
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