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gn4478

Towing A Sailing Dinghy As a Tender

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So I’m headed out for a coastal cruise. Down the Long Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard. I’m thinking about towing my 14 ft O’day Javelin to have as a tender. As a kid we towed my Cape Dory 10 and sailed around every harbor. I have never towed a Sailing dinghy with the rig up. Has anyone here tried this?

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I wouldn't want to tow a dinghy with the rig up, that seems like a recipe for trouble. But I regularly towed an Eli around with rig stowed and used it in anchorages. If having a towed inflatable capsize or swamp is a PITA, imagine a turtled javelin.

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I used to use rubber dinghies but gave up on them and now tow a 10 foot clinker dinghy that sails

I remove the rig and stow iit along the side deck - it starts planing at about three knots and just skims across  the surface. An old barge skiper told me to tow it on a long springy warp - long enough too let the physics of the dinghy take over and long enough to stop it smashing itself against the transome.

I was surprised at how well it tows - never taken in more than a drop of water. The fenders around the side keep lots of the moisture out.

I also have a slightly heavier 12 footer which does not tow quite so well.

I like watching the dinghy nmaking its way through rough water - I reckon it costs me about a quarter of a knot on a 26 footer

I love sailing it around the anchorages and estuaries - I also enjoy rowing it. Hardly ever use the outboard anymore.

 

 

incidentally, she has no centre plate or rudder and sails like a dream

 

I have a 12 foot tender that is a bit heavier and does not tow as well

 

D

 

 

https://studio.youtube.com/#/video/-Z7gQValP7w/edit

 

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On July 29, 2018 at 9:45 PM, gn4478 said:

So I’m headed out for a coastal cruise. Down the Long Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard. I’m thinking about towing my 14 ft O’day Javelin to have as a tender. As a kid we towed my Cape Dory 10 and sailed around every harbor. I have never towed a Sailing dinghy with the rig up. Has anyone here tried this?

I wouldn't tow with the rig up. Lash all gear thoroughly, or stow aboard cruiser. Another important consideration is that a sailboat like a Javelin wasn't built for extended towing, so the bow eye will need some heavy reinforcing fiberglass and possibly a heavier eye. 

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1 hour ago, RKoch said:

I wouldn't tow with the rig up. Lash all gear thoroughly, or stow aboard cruiser. Another important consideration is that a sailboat like a Javelin wasn't built for extended towing, so the bow eye will need some heavy reinforcing fiberglass and possibly a heavier eye. 

good point

 

I also find that a towing eye down at water level helps to keep the dinghy on the plane

 

My dinghy has two

 

one high up for when in harbour and the other further down for when I am towing out at sea

 

D

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if you have a dagger board trunk, take some blue painters tape and tape the opening closed.  a splashing trunk can turn your sailing dinghy into a sea anchor fairly quickly. 

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On 7/29/2018 at 9:45 PM, gn4478 said:

So I’m headed out for a coastal cruise. Down the Long Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard. I’m thinking about towing my 14 ft O’day Javelin to have as a tender. As a kid we towed my Cape Dory 10 and sailed around every harbor. I have never towed a Sailing dinghy with the rig up. Has anyone here tried this?

I think this is a good idea if you point a GoPro at the O'Day and keep it recording.

5 hours ago, nebe said:

if you have a dagger board trunk, take some blue painters tape and tape the opening closed.  a splashing trunk can turn your sailing dinghy into a sea anchor fairly quickly. 

And this could help extend the entertainment a bit.

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10 hours ago, nebe said:

if you have a dagger board trunk, take some blue painters tape and tape the opening closed.  a splashing trunk can turn your sailing dinghy into a sea anchor fairly quickly. 

When I was very young, my father would use my wooden Opti as a dinghy for cruising trips on his boat.   I build a copy of the upper half of a daggerboard to put in the trunk and a bungie to hold it down.   It would tow ok, but slewed around a lot.   I later came up with a fixed shallow depth rudder to act as a skeg.    Again, better than nothing.  It did run very well with a 2hp Johnson outboard.

Down the road after that, it was replaced with a true dinghy, which solved a lot of the towing and usage issues.

- Stumbling

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On 8/15/2018 at 2:44 AM, nebe said:

if you have a dagger board trunk, take some blue painters tape and tape the opening closed.  a splashing trunk can turn your sailing dinghy into a sea anchor fairly quickly. 

I wish you had posted this a week ago.

I bought an old Dyer about a month ago and refurbished (quite nicely if I do say so myself) it for the kids to use.  Cartopped it down to the mothership last Tuesday, dropped it in the water and off we go from eastern CT to Block Island.  Great start to the trip. Dinghy towing nicely. Out into BI Sound we go, decent wind, 2-3 ft waves.  Maybe an hour later I'm thinking we're going kind of slowly for the conditions.  Check sail trim etc.  Seems fine. Hmmmmmm. Look back and dinghy and notice it is towing very stern down.  I slow the boat down and with great difficulty haul the dinghy close enough to see that is is about half full of water and to notice little jets of water shooting up through the dagger board hole.  Who knew?  OK, everyone but dumbass me apparently.  So what do I do now?  I decide to take a bailer and get in the dinghy to empty it.  I knew this was not a great idea.  You can guess the next event, which is me swimming beside the over turned and sinking dinghy. I now have two images seared into my memory: 1. my daughter calmly asking if I would like a life jacket as I swim off the stern, and 2. the dinghy, still attached to the stern, and 'floating' about 4 feet below the surface as we bob around in the sound.

Anyway.  After many blue words, I attached the towing line to the spin halyard and hauled the dinghy up on deck for the rest of the trip. 

Did have a blast sailing it around the Salt Pond.

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Sounds like you got a good story out of it, as did your daughter!

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On 8/14/2018 at 11:44 PM, nebe said:

if you have a dagger board trunk, take some blue painters tape and tape the opening closed.  a splashing trunk can turn your sailing dinghy into a sea anchor fairly quickly. 

That happened to the guy that bought my C-43 - he was towing a 9' sailing hull - just the bare hull - and it filled through the trunk and sank to the flotation level within about 20 minutes.

It also seems to be important where the boat trails behind - you don't want it to sit on the forward face of the following wave IIRC or it can surf down it. Up near the top of the back of the following wave with the painter attached about the W/L of the dink seems to be the consensus - keeps the bow up.

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18 hours ago, monsoon said:

I wish you had posted this a week ago.

I bought an old Dyer about a month ago and refurbished (quite nicely if I do say so myself) it for the kids to use.  Cartopped it down to the mothership last Tuesday, dropped it in the water and off we go from eastern CT to Block Island.  Great start to the trip. Dinghy towing nicely. Out into BI Sound we go, decent wind, 2-3 ft waves.  Maybe an hour later I'm thinking we're going kind of slowly for the conditions.  Check sail trim etc.  Seems fine. Hmmmmmm. Look back and dinghy and notice it is towing very stern down.  I slow the boat down and with great difficulty haul the dinghy close enough to see that is is about half full of water and to notice little jets of water shooting up through the dagger board hole.  Who knew?  OK, everyone but dumbass me apparently.  So what do I do now?  I decide to take a bailer and get in the dinghy to empty it.  I knew this was not a great idea.  You can guess the next event, which is me swimming beside the over turned and sinking dinghy. I now have two images seared into my memory: 1. my daughter calmly asking if I would like a life jacket as I swim off the stern, and 2. the dinghy, still attached to the stern, and 'floating' about 4 feet below the surface as we bob around in the sound.

Anyway.  After many blue words, I attached the towing line to the spin halyard and hauled the dinghy up on deck for the rest of the trip. 

Did have a blast sailing it around the Salt Pond.

Hah! Did you take the life jacket or just get aboard?

The height of the little roostertail out of the centerboard trunk was a pretty decent boat speed indicator on an F-24 Mk I.

Hobie includes a Mirage Drive well plug with Adventure Islands so you can sail with a relatively fair bottom when the drive is removed. If you decide to remove the drive when going 6 knots or so, a giant slug of water comes up at your face at about 6 knots or so.

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2 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Hah! Did you take the life jacket or just get aboard?

The height of the little roostertail out of the centerboard trunk was a pretty decent boat speed indicator on an F-24 Mk I.

Hobie includes a Mirage Drive well plug with Adventure Islands so you can sail with a relatively fair bottom when the drive is removed. If you decide to remove the drive when going 6 knots or so, a giant slug of water comes up at your face at about 6 knots or so.

Ahh, the 'Sinus flush option'.  

Old Windsurfers with daggerboards did that too, off the wind.

- Stumbling

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I built a plug for the daggerboard when I built this dinghy long ago. Once, water pressure forced the plug out and the dinghy swamped. Since I fitted a line to the plug that lashes around a post on the daggerboard trunk. That's foolproof. I just towed 600 NM and I rarely give it a thought. It's a light tow even at hull speeds like this: Reaching between Sequin Island and the mainland, homeward bound. 

29192873307_07414e20dd_o.jpg

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On 8/18/2018 at 12:34 PM, SloopJonB said:

That happened to the guy that bought my C-43 - he was towing a 9' sailing hull - just the bare hull - and it filled through the trunk and sank to the flotation level within about 20 minutes.

It also seems to be important where the boat trails behind - you don't want it to sit on the forward face of the following wave IIRC or it can surf down it. Up near the top of the back of the following wave with the painter attached about the W/L of the dink seems to be the consensus - keeps the bow up.

Can confirm! Towed a sabot dinghy behind my Coronado 25, and had quite a long line on it. (about 20 feet of line plus another 5 of bungie to keep from pulling out the eye on the dinghy). 

Worked great most of the time but going downwind in 25+ knots in the BC fall, it would start to surf down the waves behind me, and usually come about even with the boat on one side or the other. A couple times it bumped into the stern and I ended up always hanging fenders there. 

 

I stuffed a towel into the daggerboard case most fo the time, and it seemed to work quite well. That dinghy was amazing, had 30 knots, gusting 38 one day and the waves were getting (at least to my eyes) pretty large, I'd estimate like 15 feet top to bottom (but fairly far apart luckily). The ol' sabot rode it like a champ, didn't capsize once even if id did "race" me down the faces of the waves. 

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In the early days of EAORA (East Coast Offshore Racing Association) towing a dinghy was obligatory. 

We have often towed our lovely clinker dinghy over the couple of years we have owned her. The decision as to whether to hoist it on deck on coastal passage is fraught, with idleness and convenience on one side of the equation and the certainty that leaving it in will lead to unpredicted big seas or any other number of clusterfucks. So far he has behaved better than I deserve. 

I do need a clever way of making chocks for it on deck. At the moment it sits on fenders, which are sort of OK but need careful strapping down. 

The two yards I’ve mentioned it to sort of evade the question - making up custom ones to fit the deck and the boat is clearly one of those jobs that is a pain in the elbow and not worth the candle. 

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4 hours ago, Mr. Ed said:

I do need a clever way of making chocks for it on deck. At the moment it sits on fenders, which are sort of OK but need careful strapping down. 

The two yards I’ve mentioned it to sort of evade the question - making up custom ones to fit the deck and the boat is clearly one of those jobs that is a pain in the elbow and not worth the candle. 

I think the modern clever way is to get a fancy laser that accurately scans your deck and dink and then a geek who tells a fancy 3D printer how to make chocks that fit both exactly.

Failing that, maybe try mentioning a price the yard can't refuse? Or get out your tools...

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On 8/18/2018 at 10:34 AM, monsoon said:

I wish you had posted this a week ago.

I bought an old Dyer about a month ago and refurbished (quite nicely if I do say so myself) it for the kids to use.  Cartopped it down to the mothership last Tuesday, dropped it in the water and off we go from eastern CT to Block Island.  Great start to the trip. Dinghy towing nicely. Out into BI Sound we go, decent wind, 2-3 ft waves.  Maybe an hour later I'm thinking we're going kind of slowly for the conditions.  Check sail trim etc.  Seems fine. Hmmmmmm. Look back and dinghy and notice it is towing very stern down.  I slow the boat down and with great difficulty haul the dinghy close enough to see that is is about half full of water and to notice little jets of water shooting up through the dagger board hole.  Who knew?  OK, everyone but dumbass me apparently.  So what do I do now?  I decide to take a bailer and get in the dinghy to empty it.  I knew this was not a great idea.  You can guess the next event, which is me swimming beside the over turned and sinking dinghy. I now have two images seared into my memory: 1. my daughter calmly asking if I would like a life jacket as I swim off the stern, and 2. the dinghy, still attached to the stern, and 'floating' about 4 feet below the surface as we bob around in the sound.

Anyway.  After many blue words, I attached the towing line to the spin halyard and hauled the dinghy up on deck for the rest of the trip. 

Did have a blast sailing it around the Salt Pond.

well.. if i have to admit my failures, my learning experience about the dagger board trunk flooding came from sailing from Newport to Block with my new to me Cape Cod Shipbuilding MK9 sailing dinghy... just off of Point judith i started questioning my boat speed and went through all of the steps you went through, minus going in the drink.. All I had on the boat to stop future flooding for the run back to Newport was the painters tape.. it worked perfectly.    Having a sailing dinghy is a blast.    

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15 hours ago, nebe said:

well.. if i have to admit my failures, my learning experience about the dagger board trunk flooding came from sailing from Newport to Block with my new to me Cape Cod Shipbuilding MK9 sailing dinghy... just off of Point judith i started questioning my boat speed and went through all of the steps you went through, minus going in the drink.. All I had on the boat to stop future flooding for the run back to Newport was the painters tape.. it worked perfectly.    Having a sailing dinghy is a blast.    

I'm just glad I went for a dip in August and not early June. I had to do that once to clear lobster pot buoy from my rudder.  Brrrrrrrr......  

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