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Old 13 August 2011, 05:37   #1
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Towing bridle for a SIB - Tow and be towed.

As part of our preps for Scotland soon I wondered if I ought to make up a towing bridle in case of emergency.... both for us to be towed and perhaps to tow another similar sized boat (i.e. around 4m). For us to be towed we have a decent ring on the Zodiac part way round each side from the bow at about water level. I guess any arrangement that gets the midpoint where the bridle sides join just away from being under the bow will be OK? Perhaps put a small float on the end so if it's dropped it doesn't go under our boat??

Similarly for towing others I guess a bridle that joins up well behind our prop... with a float on the end (or at join point of the 3 ropes)?? I have stainless eyes that I fit in the Zodiac transom wheel top holes once I've taken the wheels off at launch so I can shackle the bridle to these to spread the load and get the pull close to the outboard??

Fully appreciate the responsibilities of towing re speed, load and cleats flying off the towed craft etc. Just seems daft not to be equipped to help a similar smallcraft in trouble.

Wonder if one bridle can be made to do either job?

All ideas appreciated.
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Old 13 August 2011, 06:10   #2
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Excellent topic Fenlander - I've been asking myself the same questions.

My tub is quite a bit smaller than yours but the issues are the same. I keep a bridle permanently fixed to the bow rings - it enters the SIB over the bow tube and I have a loop on it for towing/attaching cargo to/holding on to.

The stern is trickier. Firstly, my transom is very light and I'd be wary of towing anything that was of any weight. I've been wondering about just using the engine itself as a fixing point for a line - any suggestions for where would be best for this?

For either type of tow I keep a bungee handy. I understand that they can be tightly wound round a couple of loops of towing line to act as a kind of damper to lessen any snatch that will occur - good if your fixing points are, um, a bit light.

People find the idea of something this small doing a tow hilarious - but I've already assisted one SIB to RTB. It was Mart C. who gave me the idea, having read his account of towing bigger hard boats. I've seen quite a few craft rescued/towed in locally, and certainly most could be handled by a small SIB (with a big donk ). Think about it - those 6m boats should have a 6-8hp aux. I'll leave you with two words:

Salvage Rights
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Old 13 August 2011, 07:28   #3
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Funnily enough I'd already planned to do the front bridle across the tubes from the outer rings for my teens to hold onto. The Fastroller has nothing to hold onto for the third of its length near the bow. So actually I could just attach any line to tow us onto this with a sliding shackle.

Not sure about attaching anything to the outboard... it's designed to be pushed hard towards the transom not pulled away from it. Also, great outboards that they are, everything on the Tohatsu 9.8 is much much lighter than most brand's 9.9/15hp construction. Would hate to spoil something on that outboard.

My transom is quite light too. For the inside of where the towing eyes fix I have 2" dia washers... well not actually washers because most will start to bend even as you do bolts up tight when against wood. Mine are something from a tractor and almsot 1/4" thick so they'll spread the load.

Most important I'm good at avoiding impulsive bravado... if anything looked too heavy or stressful I'd perhaps help them hold position while we considered options rather than plugging off into a chop towing a 4-up clinker 16ft workboat!

So if we consider the front bridle sorted as a bridle/safety line combined it's just how long to have the Y part of the rear bridle before it joins behind the prop... then I can get it made.
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Old 13 August 2011, 09:29   #4
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You will find that having a yoke that can slide about on the bridle will give you much more steerage and control of your own boat when towing something heavy than just having a ridgid spliced/knotted bridle. Photo of my towing set up .Towing a hard boat back and another much lager fishing boat though to get it in the mooring we tied alongside .
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Old 13 August 2011, 09:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m chappelow View Post
and another much lager fishing boat
How's the Lager catch been this season, Mart?
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Old 13 August 2011, 13:06   #6
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When towing with my sib we ran a rope right around the boat, through teh two eyes on teh side and teh front d-ring. This then continued around to a point behind the engine where we attached a float and teh tow line.

We then effectivly 'pushed' teh rop that was towing the item behind. No load on the transom and lots of control.
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Old 16 August 2011, 14:57   #7
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Thanks for the ideas guys. In the end I made up something like this...

eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace

...with similar stainless snaps at the transom end and a smooth stainless bow shackle in place of the pully. Used exactly the same Plastimo float bought from these guys...

Mooring Buoys | Plastimo | Marker Float

Hopefully it will stay in the anchor box unused but it'll be good to know it's to hand if needed.
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