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Old 17 August 2009, 12:48   #11
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I have produced a number of bridles for friends who have seen mine. I use 12mm normal plait nylon rope and splice a snap shackle on one end and tie the snap shackle to the other end (which allows for length adjustment). I then make a short towing strop with a S/S eye spliced into each end, one slides on to the bridle and the other takes the end of the tow rope. Before i splice the second eye on to the strop I thread 1 or 2 egg-shaped floats on to the line. These floats are usually red and white and are readily available from swimming pool accessory suppliers, they are used to float ropes on the surface of swimming pools.
I have utilised this bridle to tow boats, inflatable toys and skiers and have yet to foul the prop. (until the next time!!!)
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Old 17 August 2009, 12:52   #12
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Towing along side is good if you need to put the boat back on a mooring and if set up properly you can put the boat anywhere, with practice.

The other reason its good to tow along side is if its a swamped dinghy, burst tubes you can use your bouncy to help to prevent further capsize. Esp. in sailing dinghys.

To set up along side you need at least two ropes, and put on springs foe and aft, as earlier mentioned , make sure your boat engine is behind the stern of boat other wise you will have no steering. You will find you can turn in one direction more quicker than the other.

We use this method for recovering waterlogged dinghy and placing 27 foot yachts on their moorings after there engine failure, or after craning in in harbour.

Long Tow behind is good for longer distances, but you might need to stop to bring them along side to get into harbour/moorings.

Use long lengths of rope and try and get it to sit on a rising crest of wave at least 4 or 5 boat lengths behind if not further. I am towing behind i usaully have crew member ready to cut rope if anything goes wrong, and i try my best not to tie on the towing boat usually asking them to put rope from bow follower then wrap around mast a few time and hold.

It good fun to tie about along side, and see how it affects you.

RYA Level II teaches the theory behind Towing & RYA Safety Boat course teaches towing and recovery of different craft practical.

I always carry 2off 20 metre rope, 2 off 10 metres rope, this along with a heaving line float able, plus various of other rope.

Main point we teach on level two course - always pass your own tow rope to the craft, this helps with salvage.

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Old 17 August 2009, 13:13   #13
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Main point we teach on level two course - always pass your own tow rope to the craft, this helps with salvage.
I am sure I have read that this is really urban myth - and the provision of a tow rope is not likely to be considered "specialist equipment" that would significantly increase a salvage claim.

The contrast of course is if you were training people to provide a towing service (whether as a rescue service, or e.g. Sea Start, harbour master or similar) I am sure you would be saying "don't accept a tow rope from the casualty, always provide the rope as you know how strong, stretchy, etc it is!"
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Old 17 August 2009, 14:23   #14
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RYA Practical Course Notes PBPCN Publication Page 63.

see attached.


Maybe RYA got it wrong.....
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Old 17 August 2009, 14:30   #15
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I am sure I have read that this is really urban myth - and the provision of a tow rope is not likely to be considered "specialist equipment" that would significantly increase a salvage claim.

The contrast of course is if you were training people to provide a towing service (whether as a rescue service, or e.g. Sea Start, harbour master or similar) I am sure you would be saying "don't accept a tow rope from the casualty, always provide the rope as you know how strong, stretchy, etc it is!"
I agree i always use my own ropes for towing, and RNLI etc will do the same, but the risk of salvage with these organisations are minimum ......
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Old 17 August 2009, 19:03   #16
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its always been a saga with some yachtie/ motor cruiser types when the lifeboat turns up and the casualty boats skipper insists that they use his crappy tow rope instead of the lifeboats, sometimes nearly getting to a heated agument to the ,,, if i use the lifeboats tow line it means that i have accepted it , and they could claim salvage ,,, not understanding that the lifeboats tow line will be probely longer and in far better condition. and the fact that the lifeboat wont be able make it longer if needed without faffing about .,,nowadays i doubt that an rnli lifeboat crew would make salvage as the institution have said that if they did ,they would have to pay the institution for any fuel and any damages and as lifeboats are not insured it would be a very high risk .it could also possilby start to put people off from calling for help,
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Old 18 August 2009, 00:56   #17
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I am sure I have read that this is really urban myth - and the provision of a tow rope is not likely to be considered "specialist equipment" that would significantly increase a salvage claim.
I think that the advice to use own warps comes from the fact that it has been held a valid salvage service to supply tackle to a vessel in need of it: for example a vessel makes a distress signal, a salvor rocks up and offers a towline = the vessel in distress is deemed to have accepted his help. But salvage services could also include simply standing by a boat in need, taking equipment off the boat, or taking a passenger ashore, so it's not that simple.

There is a difference between a contract for towing and salvage. Let's stick with salvage. In the very essence of salvage is the requirement that the vessel involved or someone on it must be in real danger (there is no claim for salvage without real danger) - and in those circumstances the sensible choice must surely be to choose the option with the greatest chance of getting to safety. In the case of the RNLI and others who have their own specialist equipment, use theirs. If it's one boat helping another, use whoever's equipment is best suited to the job. Not many people would claim salvage, but even if they do - I'd rather be safe at home and let my insurers settle a claim than still arguing about whose towline to use as the boat drifts closer and closer to that rather unpleasant lee shore
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Old 18 August 2009, 03:25   #18
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Ian/SPR,

I've had a quick dig around and can't find the article I remember. I am sure it was in a mainstream boat mag like PBO, MBM... and that part was from a lawyer (possibly even from the RYA!)

I'm not an RYA member but it would be interesting to see what the relevant section of the RYA legal site says (access to members only).

I did find this interesting article from the US (where the details may be different but the principles are similar).

http://www.safesea.com/salvage/law/a...son_myths.html

It does also discuss the difference between towing and salvage.
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Old 18 August 2009, 07:23   #19
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i know the M.c.a. now have overiding powers to a vessle that will not accept a tow if it is getting itself into a critical situation ,which i think came about from the penlee lifeboat /union star disaster ....though one advantage with using the other boats anchor and line if towing a small boat is that if a situation arises, eg collision with another boat, you can toss the whole lot over the side and at least they will be anchored and not drifting about ,,,,,its suprizing how many small boats will start to tow another boat and then find them selves in danger from lack of control or the boat is handling not as good or the tides stronger than they think with another boat under tow .,,,and dont forget to show the correct signals when towing .
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Old 18 August 2009, 07:51   #20
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Be really careful with nylon: the stretch can make it fairly dangerous should something fail. The line will become a large rubber band, and snap back in both directions (depending on where and what breaks.) I doubt the rumored amputation factor holds a lot of credibility, but the possibility of injury is cretainly there, especially if you have a cleat from the towed vessel being thrown at your head.
jky
nylon is ok when towing another boat but yes with the stresses of towing a heavy boat there is a possibility of serious injury ,,i agree with the roumoured amputation theory but i was also present when a young lad lost an eye when trying to recover a swamped speedboat[ new first time boaters ],.that was being towed up a beach with nylon rope and the bow cleat broke out of the boat and whipped back hitting him the face .
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