SailNet Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Scalawag
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is the proper way to dock while towing a dinghy? Do you bring the dinghy up along the side of your boat keeping the dinghy on the side opposite the dock?

What kind of line do you want for towing a dinghy? How long should it be? I saw something that said for a rigid dinghy you should run a line from a cleat on one side of the stern back thru the eye loop on the dinghy then back to a cleat on the other side of the stern of the towing boat (making is necessary for the tow line to be a little more than twice the length you want the dinghy to be from the towing boat.
 

·
Sailor
Joined
·
924 Posts
To pull up abreast of a dock and not into a slip, it's best to pull the dinghy amidships opposite to where you are tying up to. I believe one line from the bow of the dinghy is sufficient. That makes it much easier to keep track of when motoring. Tie it to one of the stern cleats as you are sailing and adjust the length to put it back a wave of 2.

Tod


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
When pulling into a slip, I pull my dinghy right up right to the stern of the boat. I have a ladder hinged up on the stern and the dinghy rides on that. A fender will do if you don't have a ladder. When pulling up alongside I do as Gladrags said, I tie the dinghy to the other side with lines bow and stern to keep it alongside.
The tow line arrangement you described could be described as a sliding bridle, which would not normally be needed for a dinghy. If what you are towing is big and heavy relative to the tow boat, a sliding bridle is helpful as it keeps equal pull on each stern cleat. Towing off just one stern cleat will affect your steering, the boat will want to turn toward the side with the tow connected. I've towed boats much larger than my own and lacking a proper tow bitt, that's about the only way to make it work.
Many will advise to use poly propylene rope as it floats and can't get caught on your prop, but I don't like it as it's not very strong and the sunlight eats it up, especially in the easy to find yellow or white colors. If you can find it in black, that will last much longer. I use 3/8 or 1/2" nylon and I'm careful not to back down on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,758 Posts
Assuming you are clear to one side, while docking, I prefer a bow line off the dinghy to one of the side deck cleats. Short enough (virtually straight up) that the motor can't swing around and hit the boat. The dinghy can still pivot from front to back, in the event the docking requires some maneuvering.

If you are not clear, then a short line off the bow or stern of the boat, depending on which end is clear.
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
dock when towing dink.... dock the boat the say "oh I forgot we are towing a dink!"

Seriously if there is any current at all the dink will follow unless you a going with the flow then the dink is all over the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
The one time I ever wrapped once of my own lines on the prop was when I forgot I had the dinghy on a long tow line. I backed up, wrapped the line, and bent the shaft. Expensive lesson.
 

·
Scalawag
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Assuming you are clear to one side, while docking, I prefer a bow line off the dinghy to one of the side deck cleats. Short enough (virtually straight up) that the motor can't swing around and hit the boat. The dinghy can still pivot from front to back, in the event the docking requires some maneuvering.

If you are not clear, then a short line off the bow or stern of the boat, depending on which end is clear.
I like this idea for a tight slip where you couldnt have the dinghy pulled up alongside and secured from the bow and potentially the stern. But what about a failed docking attempt where you find yourself reversing for a go around. Will that situation cause problems for the dinghy tied up as you described?
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,182 Posts
I like this idea for a tight slip where you couldnt have the dinghy pulled up alongside and secured from the bow and potentially the stern. But what about a failed docking attempt where you find yourself reversing for a go around. Will that situation cause problems for the dinghy tied up as you described?
If the painter is "virtually straight up" as Minnewaska suggests, there is not enough line to find its way to (or around) the prop. I do this too when I pull into my slip; dinghy painter short so that the dinghy's bow is tight against the transom.
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
Absolutely essential that the tow line is shortened so it is near vertical. A longer line risks the dinghy going somewhere it should not, like the wrong side of a mooring pole. I have seen it happen and it ripped the towing eyes off the dink.

If it is a hard dink fenders are a good idea.
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
this is one place where floating poly line is a good thing for the bridle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
If solo I will dock backward and have the dinghy cleared at my bow with a 10ft line so it moves freely and follows the moves.
If I have a crew and dock forward I will have someone hold the dinghy line on hand and move along the deck to bring dinghy on the side of boat just a few feet before docking .
If anything happens crew will walk the dinghy toward the bow as we move backward to clear the dock and then bring the dinghy to side for a second attempt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,669 Posts
I towed my inflatable dinghy for about 200 miles in Florida - it slowed the boat, didn't get used nearly as much as I thought it would, and nearly flipped a dozen times when I was hit with wakes from big cruisers blasting by an old man in a sailboat. Since then, when I take a long trip, it pretty much stays deflated and rolled up on the port side of the forward section of the boat and strapped in place. When I decide I need it, my electric pump inflates it in just about 10 minutes, which is plenty fast for me.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,758 Posts
I like this idea for a tight slip where you couldnt have the dinghy pulled up alongside and secured from the bow and potentially the stern. But what about a failed docking attempt where you find yourself reversing for a go around. Will that situation cause problems for the dinghy tied up as you described?
It shouldn't. If tied closely enough, the dinghy should just swing around a fairly tight pivot point.

You would never move underway like this, but maneuvering at 1kt or so is fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,051 Posts
I do this all the time. I have a bow line on the dink... quite long... and one at the transom about 15'. I tie the dink a mid ship and pretty tight to the hull.

Once I am done I remove the transom line and take the dink bow painter to a stern cleat and tow it to the mooring.

For towing I use a bridle (1" webbing w/ a float) attached to 2 30'x 3/8" lines tied to the stern cleats. The long dinghy bow line painter is tied as a security line to the pushpit. I use the stern ties to "trim" the dink to where I want it to be... relative the the waves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,148 Posts
Don’t tow the dinghy except very rarely. Coastal in davits. Offshore on foredeck.

If going from slip to anchor May tow if it’s in the water already. If enough room for it to reverse direction put line on stern cleat. Bring line to midship and cleat there with just enough line to be able to reverse direction. Clear slip. Let off midship cleat tow from stern.
If not enough room cleat painter at stern on very short lead. Always cleat near end of painter first then put second cleating at distance I want. That way don’t lose dinghy when I undo top cleating.

You can flood dinghy if cleated midship and at stern if you back up fast. Personally don’t do that. Seems every time I leave a slip some joyful person fills the fairway. Regardless of how carefully we look around or signal we are leaving. Usually a small motorboat with helmsman not looking at us. Been tempted to just hit them. Put too much a gentleman and I hate lawyers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
The one time I ever wrapped once of my own lines on the prop was when I forgot I had the dinghy on a long tow line. I backed up, wrapped the line, and bent the shaft. Expensive lesson.
Yep, did the same thing. So easy to do. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise as that's how I really learned to sail; no motor's a great teacher. Fixed it myself too, eventually: sawsall to cut the old shaft out, grounded boat on high tide, had to remove the rudder. For me, it's these things that made liveaboard sailing memorable.

But to address the thread, to the side, something like this:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,051 Posts
Even if you are towing your dink in "close quarters" you need to keep the tow line very short with the dink's bow almost touching the transom. Then there is no chance of fouling the prop with the tow line.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top