Should I Drag Along the Dinghy? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-18-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

People get inflatables and don't know what to do with them it's too much trouble to inflate deflate. So.. it's down to towing a slug. or sell it for a nice little rowboat like a walker bay. or a old town Loon kayak, much less drag, light enough to hoist up with a halyard and set on the fore deck. Even on a C27
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

If you are going to be out for 2 weeks I can really see wanting to have it along. I have a Catalina 27 with an 8' Zodiac. Inflated, it is much too big to put on the foredeck but if you deflate it it lashes on fine and is not much in of the way. It's not too difficult to inflate on the deck and launch with the spinnaker halyard - takes maybe 15 minutes. Towing it seems to cost about half a knot - play with different lengths of towlines. I would NOT tow it with the motor attached, because if the dinghy flips your outboard will be submerged.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

I've had dinghies flip on me a couple times, once underway and once on the mooring during an 80 mph wind storm. There was a Stiletto cat that flipped during that storm as well. The motor was on it both times, fortunately we're on fresh water so no permanent damage was done. The guy with the cat can't say that. Now I don't tow long distance with the motor on, and I also pull the drain plug. Less drag with the motor off too.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

For a 2 week cruise, we'd take the dingy. Here's our protocol:

If (calm weather, inland, short distance) then (tow with motor on)
If (not so calm weather, longer distance) then (tow with motor on stern rail of sailboat)
if (offshore passage, longer yet, uncertain weather) then (deflate and secure on deck)

chances are you will spend most of your time in the first 2 if's.

Have fun.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

Roll it up and store it on your foredeck.

When towing, don't leave the engine on the dink; unless you know how to get all the water out of the outboard engine, after the dink and outboard 'inverts' during a heavy sea state.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Great input! You guys gave me a lot of info that I never thought of (deflate the inflatable and store on the deck... that actually did not occur to me)
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

If you're going to do the inflate/deflate route, a 12v electric pump is really nice, especially if you deflate significantly. Just topping up a small amount by hand or foot isn't so laborious. A big round trip daily gets old fast.

I would rather have it on deck, if practical and insignificant effort, but towing is done commonly. I bet you end up doing both, being up on deck, if the weather looks rough, towing if tame.

I'm not familiar with your cruising grounds. Will you be anchoring at all? Are there plenty of marinas, where you can tell one to pound salt and move on, if they don't want your dinghy in the water? I think it's only an issue, if things are tight and it would be in others way. Some marinas get around that, by having a separate dinghy dock to bring it to, so it won't block the fairway or blow into your neighbors. Others don't care.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-19-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

I just bought an inflatable and engine this year.*

I noticed no drag during our cruise this summer.

I kept the engine on the stern rail except for 2 very short runs in protected water.

Here's how I towed it:
The bowline was secured to the port stern cleat with all of it out (about 25').
The towing bridle was on the stbd cleat.
I brought in the towing bridle until the bowline started to slack and secured it there.

The bridle takes all the force and the back up line stays out of the water.

Ken

*North Atlantic Inflatables DB300-AL & Tohatsu 3.5 4stroke very happy with both.
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-21-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonSink62 View Post
I just bought an inflatable and engine this year.*

I noticed no drag during our cruise this summer.
Try pulling your dinghy toward your sailboat while underway and you'll get an idea of the actual drag. A lighter dinghy will not be as bad as a heavy dinghy with motor still attached. Can't believe the drag is zero.
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-21-2016
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Re: Should I Drag Along the Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
YES tow it... it can be a life boat and it can get you to shore when you anchor...
Or a tow boat if you engine starts acting up.

Rigging your inflatable for a hip tow can be an easy way out of trouble. Practice the best rigging on a calm day. Once you know the best set up, all it takes is pulling the dink alongside and adding a couple of lines in the right places. Start the engine and off you go.

It might help to have some weight in the dink to reduce prop cavitation. You can even keep the boat on course using just the outboard if you are alone and want to sit in the dink and steer.

When you get to calm water with restricted room to maneuver use your helm with just enough thrust to maintain steerage.

HANUMAN
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NOANK, CT
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