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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 12-15-2006
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feetup is on a distinguished road
Towing the dink

Our boat is only 25 feet but draws nearly 5 so we need a dingy, or a wet suit if we want to get to shore from most of the anchorages around here.
There is no room on the deck for a dink so unless were gunkholing we have to tow.
My question is: Has anyone put a toneau cover over their dink to keep the spray/green water out? Maybe an arch or two to keep it convex. Are there any traps to watch out for?.

Feetup
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feetup
Our boat is only 25 feet but draws nearly 5 so we need a dingy, or a wet suit if we want to get to shore from most of the anchorages around here.
There is no room on the deck for a dink so unless were gunkholing we have to tow.
My question is: Has anyone put a toneau cover over their dink to keep the spray/green water out? Maybe an arch or two to keep it convex. Are there any traps to watch out for?.

Feetup
This could work, but adds hassle and gives you another thing to store on a smallish boat. Simply having a transom drain plug, left open when underway, will allow the splashing and spray that gets in the boat to drain away. Most inflatables have a rubber disc checkvalve that allows you to get into the boat without a panic to replace the plug. In a hard dinghy, you may get your feet wet before you plug the hole.

If your dinghy has a daggerboard trunk, (sabot type) you will need to cover/block that as it can ship a lot of water at speed.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2006
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John: I'm not sure if this would work with your dinghy but the Millards on their Ontario 32 used this solution with their dinghy (photo attached). When I met them at the Toronto boat show two years ago, they were very positive about this towing arrangement. I think they mentioned they even towed their dinghy across the North Sea in this manner.

I expect you are familiar with them, they sailed their Ontario 32 across the Atlantic and cruised Europe, the Mediterranean, Black Sea for about five years.

http://www.searoom.com/veleda/images/veleda4.jpg
http://www.searoom.com/veleda/
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2006
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A tonneau cover would also prevent any water that did make its way into the dink from getting out easily, if the dinghy was not equipped with self-bailers or a transom drain plug. Since you need the drain plug anyways, why bother with the cover?
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2006
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It is common practice in the Virgin Islands to tow a dingy behind, mostly with an outboard. They should be tilted up, of course, but I've even seen some charterers who forgot to do that towing their dingy!

Both inflatables and hard dingies are towed behind with little problem. And, in the boisterous conditions of the Drake Channel on a good tradewinds day (15-25 knots, with short nasty waves) the dingys do OK, though they do put a strain on the boat and slow it down.

The amount of strain from a towed dingy with outboard and full gas tank has to be felt to be believed....it's very considerable. I've found that while painter length isn't critical, longer is better. When there's searoom, I tow my dingy about 20-30' behind.

I've NEVER seen a dingy swamped. And, I've NEVER seen one towed with the plug out. Remember, many dingies with the plug out will FILL WITH WATER unless considerable forward progress is being made.

Much of Cruisingdad's post should be taken as gospel. It's right on!

If you are going to tow a dingy with an outboard, be damned sure the outboard is securely clamped to the transom, and that there's a safety chain attached. I know of one experienced sailor who, with three lovely women crew aboard, neglected to check that little detail. His wonderful 15hp Nissan is now at the bottom of the Drake Channel somewhere north of Road Town, and he's only now beginning to be able to live that experience down. Some of you perceptive readers may be able to guess his identity :-)

Bill
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2006
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Could it be that Billie-T was trying to be too much like Willie-T???
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2006
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Well, after 2 weeks of towing mine, I had minimal water in it. I towed it at everything from 20' astern to about 5' and it seemed to ride just as well as at any other point. It never came close to capsizing or swamping. (8' Walker Bay) I did take the motor off though, so can't comment to that point.
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2006
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Thank you Bill for the kind comment.
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Camraderie....

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaybeeee. Or maybe it was just someone who looks like me at the helm of Born Free :-)

All I can further reveal about this wretched incident is that it happened on this boat on a day like this:

http://gallery.wdsg.com/Legacy/Sailing1?full=1


Dad...

You're welcome. They asked for experience, and they got it!

Happy Holidays, all.

Bill
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  #20  
Old 12-15-2006
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Bill,

Nice pictures. Your kids grow up on the water?
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