SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!

Anyone keep an old tire aboard for tow-assist/fender/sea-anchor duty?

5236 Views 23 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  pdqaltair
Recently dinghied out an old fatused car tire from my g/f's car trunk to my convalescent Columbia 40 at moor...a nice fat 235 /R17 ...
I have hauled one aboard before...on my old C-29....briefly...for a trip up to Cedar that I got the C-40 awhile back, there's more room for selective additions like this...It's mostly a love of the rustic and and quaint side of nauticalia that drives me to do things like this...suppose.....but there seems to also be a faint but genuine impulse of practicality that may supply this urge from time to time...Btw..I know they leave a nice black rubber residue on most things...but I'd rather save my good cone-shaped orange sea anchor for dedicated sea-anchor duty..not for multi-purpose towing stability and for when u just need one more fender when "rafting up".
1 - 4 of 24 Posts
Using tire as a sea anchor? Brilliant! Does it need to be weighted to work properly?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
It would need to be an awfully big tire to be suitable as a sea anchor, though their use when used to configure a makeshift drogue is well known...
Probably bigger tire for bigger boats. I thought that adding a bit of weight to it (like a short section of chain to act as a bridle on the tire leading to the towing line) might be a good idea - it would change the angle of the towing line and act a shock absorber.
Krisscross: Why do we say "perfect" when we have no reason to think it would do anything?

Peter Bruce was simply writing about something someone else wrote. Sloppy anecdotal journalism. No test results and no personal experience. Not worth the ink.

Weighted with what? Why would it not simply skip when the speed gets up?

Weighted warps are more practical and effective... but they are probably pretty pointless. If you need drag, you need more than that. Perhaps it would generate 100-150 pounds of drag, which won't mean diddly.

Test results on drogues. I'm pretty sure a tire would be near the bottom of the list.
What I had in mind was a 17 or 18" car tire weighted with 20-30 lbs of anchoring chain, tied to a 200' of anchoring rope, to use on a 30' boat as a sea anchor. I have no direct experience with something like that (and hope I never have to use it in a really bad storm), but it would seem like an effective, low cost option. Tire creates a lot of drag due to it's complex, hollow shape. I would not carry a big tire just for use as a sea anchor, but mostly as a fender. They are illegal in some places because folks don't make holes in them for drainage and they breed mosquitoes like crazy.
I found that the easiest way to cut a drainage hole in a tire is to use a punch made of galvanized pipe with a sharpened edge.
Grind down the edge on the pipe to a sharp angle, place the tire on a solid piece of wood (like a stump), set the pipe punch on the inside of the tire, give it 2-3 sharp blows with a hammer, and you have a large hole that will keep draining the water no matter what junk gets in it.
1 - 4 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.