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Old 01 April 2004, 03:37   #21
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Towing on water

I would always tow a RIB (or any other outboard powered craft) with the engine at least partly down to give some stability. If a windmilling prop is a problem then tow with the engine in gear (although with killcord out to prevent any inadvertent restart!).

Brian will recall trying to tow a Ribcraft 4.8 with a broken saddle bracket halfway across the Bristol channel. In that instance because we couldnt tow with the engine down as the forces would have further damaged the saddle bracket, the towed boat was uncontrollable at anything above 10-12kts. So it was a very very long tow into Milford Haven from 40nm offshore!

With a stable tow there is no reason why you can be towed on the plane. E.g. Cyanide being towed by Hot Lemon from the Shiant Isles to Skye back in 01!
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Old 01 April 2004, 06:24   #22
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Why not........

......tow alongside. You will have superior manoeuvrability when compared to traditional towing. The towed boat will most importantly be stable. It states below to tow with the engine down, but it may be possible to tow just as well, with the engine up. Anybody have any experience of this? I've only tried it briefly on my powerboat course with the engine down on the boat being towed. Works well!!
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Old 01 April 2004, 06:33   #23
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Towing alongside can be Ok when in sheltered waters and when you need maximum manoeuverability - e.g. when bringing the casualty boat alongside a berth. However at any speed or in any kind of sea it is not good - you risk major damage to both vessels.

Towing at sea and at any speed needs a long line - 20-40ft and great care in where it is attached to both tug and tow.
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Old 01 April 2004, 07:34   #24
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Come to think of it when we towed the craft on the powerboat course it was in sheltered waters. Thanks Alan
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Old 01 April 2004, 12:57   #25
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When we tow boats into the boat hoist at work, it's always an alongside job with at least 4 tight ropes in the required positions to maintain steerage, and reduce play when going from forward to reverse gear between the two boats.

When alongside, as long as you're set right back, and the other boat be it sailing or motor has central rudder, the tow is usually pretty good - for instance, you should be able to accurately place a boat onto a finger in a marina with no hassle, even with a decent wind.

I don't think I could even consider this at sea with a swell or any small chop, because something would get broken knowing my luck. When we towed another boat last year at sea, I think the rope was around 40ft long, and the rib being towed had its engine half way down to prevent it from swinging from side to side, and also not cause too much drag to my boat.

I always find it a great challenge to tow boats/pontoons etc... because every time is different

-Alex
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