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Discussion Starter #1
New to sailing so just wondering if anybody has ever towed two kayaks behind their tub while sailing? I would love to tow my two kayaks so when we anchor and relax near the shore or on the many islands on Saginaw Bay, we could just kayak around for awhile. I wasn't sure what effect this would have on the sailboat while sailing.
 

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I haven't. But, I'd probably differentiate between a sit-on-top and a sit in style.

If you have the sit-in style, what's the plan for keeping them from filling with water and becoming an anchor?
 

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We've towed our sit-ins on rare occasions for short hops. For some reason they seem to randomly capsize now and then... Dragging an inverted kayak is indeed slow. This mainly seemed to occur when we towed two of them.. Unfortunately never happened to be looking aft when it happened so not sure of the cause.
 

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Short distance towing in calm water is OK.
Towing a kayak in waves can be a disaster, as you will soon find out how much weight of water can fill a kayak. As Faster states, they have the propensity to capsize at random.

If you do tow, I would very strongly recommend to add a stout and waterproof cover/skirt, and be sure that any kayak hatches are tightly fitting.
I would also recommend towing a hanked up or coiled length of 'rope' as a 'warp' from the kayak ... to keep it straight and less 'frenetic'. Without some drag behind the kayak to keep it straight, it will 'dance' all over the place and will include 'surprise' capsizing and swamping.
 

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Another problem with towing something as light as a kayak is the possibility of them running into your stern in following seas. Just had a bareboat come into Admiralty Bay towing a dinghy with the motor prop straight up in the air, resting on the cowling in the boat. He said it surfed into his stern with such force it broke the bracket and flipped it over the transom to land upside down in the dink.
My rule is that if I want to lose it; tow it. The line always seems to break when you don't notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The replies are what I thought. I think I will just tow them out the channel that I have to go through and then anchor in calm waters and kayak from there or just motor up the shore a tad and anchor.
 

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For towing two kayaks in calm-ish water, I wonder if it would make sense to lash them together, spaced a couple feet apart like a catamaran. Like mutual outriggers.
 

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Speaking as a fossil, coming from the era when there were "canoes" "kayaks" and "boards", a sit-on kayak is a "sityak", it ain't a kayak. My friend Quinn, the Mighty Eskimo, will be glad to let the walrus explain that to anyone who can't figure it out.

Kayaks are DESIGNED TO BE TIPPY AND EASY TO ROLL OVER. This is so they can be very maneuverable, which requires leaning (heeling) into a turn. And, they are also conveniently tippy so you can do an "eskimo roll" and quickly and easily get an inverted one rightside up!

So, towing it without anyone in it? I'd expect it to do what is natural and INVERT itself pretty quickly. Of course, if you have the spray skirt in it, no big deal, it will probably roll back up before a lot of water gets in. Maybe.

But if you had two, you'd be better off bolting on some deck hardware, lashing them up as a simple catamaran, and then letting them be stable in that configuration.

Otherwise...I think we've all seen how that movie ends.(G)
 

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Kayaks are really light. Put them on your bow, or side deck. Play around a bit to find the position where they don't interfere with your jib sheets, tie them down, and then go from there. Many people like to use the kayak racks that attach to the stanchions. I prefer not to use those, since side loads can loosen the bedding or even bend the stanchion.
 

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I used a 14 ft. Sit-in kayak as my dinghy around SW Florida and the Keys for a couple of seasons. Towed well in calm waters but carried on deck mostly. (Bristol 29.9) Towed from Naples to Ft. Myers Beach once. Kayaks, Canoes, etc. are not meant go thru the water at 5-6+ knots!
 

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For towing two kayaks in calm-ish water, I wonder if it would make sense to lash them together, spaced a couple feet apart like a catamaran. Like mutual outriggers.
I sometimes tow a two seat sit inside kayak and my 13' SUP board. I lash them together using 6' long bamboo poles front and back, with a short bridle to the tow. I also have a cockpit cover for my kayak. They never flip but they do slow me down a bit, half a knot at least.
 

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I have towed a sit on top several times on short coastal cruises. All was well until one of the screw in covers for gear opened in rough weather and it swamped. Major PITA dragging it after that. The smaller, lighter one I have now will be easy to stow on board if I can't rely on light winds . . .

Sityak, I mean. :)
 

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I have towed two kayaks behind before, one of them is out there somewhere, not sure where, $400 down :(
Well, they're pretty indestructable.. so the good news is someone is probably enjoying it somewhere!
 

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We have towed 2 kayaks for a few years. Learned a few things: definitely use a cockpit cover - get a good one that won't be sucked off by the kayak being inverted at 6 kts. These light boats are absolute torpedos in any sea that is abaft the beam, lots of trial and error to find the right length for the painter to keep them from trying to come through the transom or running off to the side like a slalom skier. And we lost one, also. Didn't know when the painter parted, just all of a sudden the kayak wasn't there. It was blowing stink, big swell and cross chop, and we did a 180, sailed the reciprocal course for about a mile and there it was, happily bobbing around. I was amazed it hadn't made a 1/2 mile of leeway and gone forever. Recovery was not easy - nothing to grab with the boat hook. Got all kinds of images going in our heads about MOB possibilities! My bottom line: it is doable but a pita. And then again - so far - worth it. Nothing like the exploring of a quiet anchorage at sundown. Enjoy!
 

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We tow a tandom kayak most of the time. Prefer it to the dighny, it's lighter. boat sails better. I've had it in some pretty rough conditions. It's done great so far, barely gets any water at all inside. It so light with no people or gear in it, she just pulls beautifully. Cockpit cover would a good idea but so far we'v
e had great luck towing her. Knock on wood!
 

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I have towed 2 kayaks with good results. The first is a sit on top, with no hatches or parts that allow water into the sealed hull. If it flips it does not swamp, but drag goes up a lot.

The second is a short tubby sit in yak. It has a skirt that I use while towing. It was a kit built boat and since I planned to tow it I set up a with a briddle attachment point low on the bow. It has never flipped.

Neither are high performance long narrow boats, having the painter low on the bow helps, and only are towed in protected water.
 

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a. We have towed them behind the cat a few times, within very sheltered waters. No problems. We frequently tow them with our tender, to reduce paddling distances if we want to go far up a creek. Very easy, very light on the water.

b. I've never tried open water. They are so easy to bring on deck, why would I want to think about it?

I'm not sure how folks are loosing them. Old line? Poorly conceived carabiner set-ups (can un-hook if clipped to u-bolt)? Weak painter? Seems to me if it swamped and was well attached, anything that could break the rope would be hard not to notice. But I would put it on deck when the waves passed about 2'.
 

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Just something to add to my this thread. I added flotation to my kayak. Just that spray foam, stood the boat up on its bow and sprayed it in. It already had flotation in the stern. Then I installed a good stainless eye with heavy duty stainless togel bolts. If she does get swamped I should be able to retrieve her.
 

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Just something to add to my this thread. I added flotation to my kayak. Just that spray foam, stood the boat up on its bow and sprayed it in. It already had flotation in the stern. Then I installed a good stainless eye with heavy duty stainless togel bolts. If she does get swamped I should be able to retrieve her.
I'm bring back another old thread to share my experience. We swamped her this past weekend. I was lucky had my son and his Navy buddy with me or I don't think I would have been able to recover it. It was some pretty rough conditions, breaking wave took it out. Live and learn. Good thing I i reinforce all of the towing components or she would have went down. I think I'll be stowing her on the bow for our next trip to Oakracroke.
 
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