Towing 12 ft whaler off shore help ? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-09-2009
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Towing 12 ft whaler off shore help ?

I have to tow my 12ft whaler , from Sarasota to Marathon off shore in the Gulf of Mexico. I know it might be tough, but any thoughts on bridals, lengths to tow behind would really be helpful.

I can pick my weather and the passage is 24-30 hours,, But I also respect the Gulf and her many summer storms.

Thanks

Popeye
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Old 06-09-2009
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opps

37 foot Ketch motor as needed expect to loose 1.5-2 knots under way.

thanks
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Old 06-09-2009
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No way I'd tow a dinghy for that long a trip/passage...

And Whalers are way too heavy to store on the foredeck.

Here is my take...if you do decide to tow, you will get damage on the stern due to the dink bumping you every once in a while. It happens. Now think of the costs to get the gelcoat repaired from the beating your stern and sides will take from that Whaler. Probably going to cost more than $2000...right?

$2000 will get you a really nice used inflatable and a motor...and one you can store on your foredeck on passages like this.

just my take...
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Old 06-09-2009
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[edit] THAT NOISE!

Just tie it to a 300' long floating line. Done!

Last edited by JohnRPollard; 06-10-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Please do not use profanity or variations to defeat filters!
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Old 06-10-2009
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We see the megayachts down here in the Bahamas towing nice big tenders all the time, but I would seriously hesitate to tow that whaler. Do NOT tow it in a following sea. We've towed our 10' dinghy with 20HP engine for 8-10nm passages with following seas and will never do it again. Even with 50' of line out, the SNAP you get when the dinghy surges forward, stops and the towing boat catches it is horrendous! I swear our deck cleats almost pulled out a few times. I can't even imagine towing something heavier. The risk of damage and/or loss (towline breaking) and/or wear and tear is just too high. I'd look at transporting it over land.
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Towing a whaler is borderline foolish in my view, because they are so damn heavy (and I love whalers for that reason, because they are stable platforms for working around boats.

Generally, you want the boat quite close or quite distant in towing situations. A Dinghy Tow is thus the choice of inflatable owners for this reason, but that's not possible or desirable with a whaler.

However, if you are determined to wreck your gelcoat, I would have three lines: a bridle to two D rings, one either side of the bow and a nice big, slightly slack poly line to a stem fitting on the whaler. The bridle will take the main pull, and, should you encounter cross currents or winds, can be tightened and slacked as needed to correct tracking problems. The big center line is a backup. You'll want chafe gear at the stern that won't allow the poly to heat up and melt as the friction energy of shock loading is converted to warmth.

Really, choose the foredeck. I don't know what a 12 foot whaler weighs (500 lbs?) and I know it's going to be a bear getting it aboard, but towing it in anything bigger than 2 foot waves is problematic given its inertia.
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Thanks

I know its crazy and have looked at getting a trailer, its just so darn nice to cruise down the coast, west Florida and fish swim etc I do appreciate the help A trailer it is when my friends drives down to deliver my daughter.

Thanks cheers
popeye n sweetp
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