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· Freedom 39
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I spend most of my time sailing in somewhat protected waters. Winds in the teens to twenties isn't uncommon and seas of 5'-8' are not out of ordinary. I've towed a dinghy for thousands of miles in those conditions. My previous boat was a 31' sloop towing a 8' Apex rib with a two stroke 4hp engine. The irony of that combination was that under about 5kts the drag from the dinghy was substantial, noted by grabbing the painter and feeling the load. Above 5.5kts the dinghy would plane and the drag would drop to nearly nothing. Following seas were always the worst! The dinghy would surf and veer around before being jerked by the painter when the line became taught. Keeping the motor down to add some drag helped a little. Current boat is a much faster 39' mono towing a 10' rib with a 15hp two stroke. I've been out in 25+knot winds and large seas towing that dinghy. The worst thing witnessed is the dinghy catching air jumping off of waves. The solution to that was just to reef the sails and slow the boat down. I was also tasked with moving a 50' mono across 40 miles of open water towing a 12' RIB with a 15hp. Seas were way up on that trip and winds were 25-30. Finding an angle for the rib to take the seas, beam on was best, was the solution to that excursion. In a perfect world I would have the motor off and dingy lashed down on the deck. I do not like towing a dinghy with OB on a single line in rough conditions. Perhaps I've been lucky or perhaps very cautious and attentive to how the dinghy is riding. Seeing the size of the OPs boat and having owned one about that size and making some longer trips on it, I would definitely get the dinghy out of the water to help with speed. One more knot of gained speed on something with that short of a waterline will more that make up for the time to splash the dinghy upon arrival at your destination.
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