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I have a 27foot sailboat, I don't bluewater cruise much but I do also own an oldtown loon 16t. I want to start towing this behind my cal2-27 as my dink. I think a kayak would tow nice and be less drag than most. it is a tandem and I can outfit it with a spray skirt to prevent taking on water so then it could be practically unsinkable. what do you guys think about that? mostly SF bay, and maybe some blue water trips never more than 2 days or so.

let me know what you think! :)
 

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We once towed a kayak in the Chesapeake and had a lot of problems with stability in a crosswind. It may have been the model, a long, narrow lake kayak. It was great for exploring the creeks though.
 

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Be sure that you avoid getting into a situation where you have to run with a big following sea as the towed kayak will attempt to join you in the cockpit.

But in mild conditions no probs. I am seeing some impecunious sailors in the Caribbean using surf canoes as tenders and some tow them.
 

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My thoughts are if you pop the skirt, you'll likely submarine it if you're in anything but flat conditions. Not much freeboard, so it will collect water easily. Sounds risky for blue water. Figure out how you will deal with it if it fills.

Try it and see how it works when you aren't depending on it. And tie a float on the skirt.
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Thanks Courtney.
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They make rail mounts for kayaks to sit in on the side decks of larger boats. Since your boat is smaller, why not try mounting them outboard the lifelines instead? That would allow you to take the kayak cruising, but avoid towing issues.
 

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GREETINGS EARTHLINGS, Tow on your spinny boom with crossed bow lines and fill both boats with empty lemonade bottles ! this is a good reliable way to gain indpendent cells of nearly unbrackable litres of air Look at Plasitxie the Thore Hyadal Tribute ( also a great read) ENJOY LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE
GO SAFE
 

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Towed a 12 Pungo kayak on lake Mich and Gulf. Tested it by filling with water to see if it would sink(it didn't). Try the test. If its gonna sink it will be in bad weather and better to know ahead of time.
I climbed down swim ladder to carefully enter kayak and visited barrier islands in Northern Gulf at Miss. and Florida. Depending how you Tie it, the kayak may have a mind of its own following you.
My Kayak did fill with water in open water-I had no skirt. Then I put on deck. Friend used kayak to take his Dog ashore 2 times a day (on river trip from Chicago to Florida). As you know, rough weather makes difficult to climb off sailboat on swim ladder into kayak.
 

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If you exceed the 'hull speed' of the kayak the kayak may become VERY unstable and instantly become a sea anchor.

Only way I know how to prevent this is to keep the kayak close to the stern and tie the painter 'high' (even up the backstay of the mother ship) to keep the kayak 'planing'.
Of course when going downwind in 'heavy' conditions you can expect the kayak to try to 'pass' you, roll up diagonally across a wave face ........ and become an instant sea anchor.

Best is to carry a lightweight kayak 'on deck'.
 

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I would suggest put the kayak on deck. I use Kayak brackets that attache to stanchions. That may not work for you given the relative sizes of the kayak and your boat.

Dave
 

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I've towed single kayaks from multihulls, but only as a learning experiment.
* Hull speed didn't really exist; they popped up on plane quickly.
* Stability depends on the skeg. Perhaps add some.
Keep the tow point higher than the bow of the kayak so that these is some lift. Closer is generally better.
* I didn't really have a quarter wave, so can't comment on that.
* Tow line tension was generally < 10 pounds even at high speeds (8-9 knots).

But a double will be different, perhaps much different.

That said, I hate towing stuff. There will come a day you can't tow it. I hate looking behind me, worrying. Get something you can carry.
 

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We tow a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135 T (beamy tandem kayak). Fantastic dinghy IMO. Load capacity of 425 pounds, so same ball park as a Walker Bay, but much more easily driven through the water. We have a Falcon sail rig on the kayak as well so she can cover some miles with minimal effort.

The boat tows fine. She just pops up on plane behind our Bay Hen. The boat doesn't have a water tight compartment in the bow, so we stick an air bladder in there but we have never needed it.

A folding or inflatable kayak would probably be easier.
 

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The issue I've seen with towing a kayak is--and while this is especially the case when anchoring--that they tend to quickly "torpedo" forward into the stern. Seeing they are so narrow stowing it aboard seems more practical to me.
 

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I had a very bad experience attempting this type of kayak tow about 25 years ago. The boat was single cockpit fiberglass boat with fore and aft bulkheaded compartments--so "unsinkable". In tow, it was uncontrollable even at relatively low speeds, rolled frequently, eventually resulting in a flooded cockpit. Before it was done, the boat was broken. It was not a fragile boat, but it was not designed for those types of stresses and loading. I was able to salvage it with a lot of fiberglass work (I learned a lot about doing that), but I would NEVER do that again. My advice: put your kayak on your deck or find a true dinghy.

A sit on top might be different--no flooding...
 

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I think if you are going to tow a kayak as a tender, you have to be selective about which kayak you tow. I can't think of any fibreglass kayaks I would want to tow.

Sea kayaks and surf skis both are too narrow and tippy to tow. They are lacking in initial stability for that application IMO. Any other fibreglass design is likely pretty dated.

If I was to choose a kayak specifically for towing it would be a beamy polythylene sit on top, probably a tandem for the extra load capacity.

I wouldn't rule out towing all kayaks in all situations because of a bad experience with an old fibreglass kayak.

However, I do kind of agree that for a dedicated tender a high quality inflatable or folding kayak might make a better choice than towing in a lot of situations.
 

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Mine rides upside down on the deck of my Cal. It doesn't interfere with lines or anything. Keep a lift line in it and hoist away when you reach your anchorage.
 

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I think the main lesson of this thread is that it very much depends on the kayak. I'm guessing all of the posters are right.

For example, the kayak I have towed is a hybrid recreational/whitewater boat, with a retractable skid and more rocker than most recreational kayaks. It is very well mannered. I have two others of similar design that tow well. But I can see how others, with narrow bows, less rocker, and no skeg could be quite unrully. Kayaks are a much more varied breed than is generally obvious.
 

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Sometimes the clinically insane can stumble on something useful. CaptFlood for instance. I've seen folks up here tow kayaks. I'm not sure with what success. But, should you decide to try it, buy a couple of cheap WallyWorld beach balls and stuff them in before you put the skirt on. $2 and 3 minutes of cheap insurance, not to mention the light head and giddiness associated with beach balls (and teen dating). Let us know how you make out.
 

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What I meant was when anchoring & boat's swinging around if waves from wind or perhaps motorboat wake etc the kayak instead of bobbing over wave like regular dinghy tends to glide forward ramming the transom.
 
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