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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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  #41  
Old 01-15-2012
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Not many people carry a a suitable tow line but as long as the boat being towed has good ground tackle and as long as the water isn't too shallow, there is an alternative that also has some advantages.

On the vessel to be towed, attach a dock line (the longest one you can) to the anchor chain, just above the anchor (or the anchor itself, depending on the anchor type) and connect it to a bridle on the towing vessel. The anchor is then played out until a suitable distance is achieved and the chain/rode is then snubbed off on the towed vessel, as it would be if anchoring.

The weight of the ground tackle helps to keep the tow taught and acts a a shock absorber to reduce snatching and minimize stress to the points of attachment. Just make sure to shorten the tow if necessary as you enter shallower water.
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Old 01-15-2012
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there is always someone that cites some crazy reasons as to why someone else should not do something. if we always followed the doom and gloom worry wart type's advise, no body would ever do anything. we would all be at home sitting safely on our couches on the internet, now wouldn't we?
i would bet my last dollar on the fact that if ole capt sam were stranded afloat, he would gladly accept a tow without ever asking, "hey buddy, do you have the proper coast guard paper work authorizing you tow?".
most states have good samaritan laws protecting the those rendering aid in good faith.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff54 View Post
Not many people carry a a suitable tow line but as long as the boat being towed has good ground tackle and as long as the water isn't too shallow, there is an alternative that also has some advantages.

On the vessel to be towed, attach a dock line (the longest one you can) to the anchor chain, just above the anchor (or the anchor itself, depending on the anchor type) and connect it to a bridle on the towing vessel. The anchor is then played out until a suitable distance is achieved and the chain/rode is then snubbed off on the towed vessel, as it would be if anchoring.

The weight of the ground tackle helps to keep the tow taught and acts a a shock absorber to reduce snatching and minimize stress to the points of attachment. Just make sure to shorten the tow if necessary as you enter shallower water.
I like that. It is not unlike the tow cable used for towing barges. The weight of the cable is what moves the barge. When you look at a tow cable it is hanging down at about 45 degrees; it is not taut to the tug.
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Responding to a midnight call, found an anchored 38 ft fish boat on a nasty lee shore in 25,,30 knts. discussed the plan with the owner to receive his line looped with a bowline around his anchor rode .A deft piece of maneuver (my stern ,his bow) got the line on my stern cleat as I headed back.out.Looped line slid down the rode and chain to the anchor, picking it of the bottom as we both made our way to shelter behind an island. Hauled my end up short. Taking in the slack rode was easy now with no weight on it (no power for winch) and continued the tow back to Lund.
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