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Tow or Not

3062 Views 23 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Omatako
I moved a boat about 100 miles from the Hudson river to Shelter Is, LI NY with the owner of a newer 43' sailboat.

The trip was through Hell Gate and Plum Gut.

I strongly suggested that we do not tow the dinghy. It is an inflatable with an air floor so wasn't that hard to deflate and re-inflate two days latter.

The owner of the boat couldn't figure out how to hook up his power inflate to a battery and said that the manual pump would not inflate the floor.

We compromised and figured out how to tie it on the fore-deck. It rode there well although it made forward visibility a little harder.

The owner gave me a lot of grief, said he was just kidding but I couldn't be sure about that decision.
So we kept the dinghy on the for-deck for the first day of about 80 miles then towed it the last 20 miles.

The weather was supposed to be mild but it is the LIS which is notorious for fickleness. Do you think I was too cautious or would you have done the same?
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The real answer is to never do a delivery with the owner aboard, unless you're very comfortable telling them they are wrong. It is rare to have a relationship like that. This was a pretty minor issue, the next test gets tougher.
I think the better answer is to make sure you know before hand who the captain is, the owner or someone else. If one feels comfortable with the owner being captain then do the trip, otherwise find another one.

I know people that tow dinghies in open water but I prefer not to for many of the reasons cited here. Davits can be ok if being pooped isn't an issue and the davits are strong enough.
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