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Old 27 February 2013, 15:02   #1
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Towing bridle

Hi all

Can anyone point me in the right direction for a heavy duty towing bridle ?
Needs to be very strong as will be used often.
Would i go to a specialist rigger ?
Any info would be great .

Cheers
Rich
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Old 27 February 2013, 15:38   #2
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Give these a call http://www.liftingandcrane.co.uk/ they will make to your requirements
They do all the Land Rover recovery gear
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Old 27 February 2013, 15:49   #3
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What's the general take on towing bridles? I've always been the towee, so never got a decent gander at the works

Do we prefer floating or sinking line? Buoyed or not?

Any useful info? Anyone?
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Old 27 February 2013, 16:07   #4
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Towing bridles are a must if towing regularly. They spread the load across the transom, allow "self centering" of the tow rope whilst improving manouevrability and very importantly help dissipate energy in the event of a tow point failure. I personally use heavy three-strand rope spliced onto good stainless towing eyes, long enough to allow the engine to be raised unimpeded, but not so long as to dangle and flap excessively in the water! Floating rope shouldn't be necessary unless you need a longer, looser bridle, but some prefer it. You can buy specialist made up bridles with floats for towing skiers and toys, but a towing (ski) pole is often preferable for those jobs.

Having been involved in follow up reports and investigations on towing accidents and fatalities, it is best to avoid single point towing on both towing and towed vessel if at all possible.

HTH....

Mike
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Old 27 February 2013, 16:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
I've always been the towee, so never got a decent gander at the works
Yes I can fully understand that - being towed by Tom at 20 knots is not for the faint hearted and I certainly never read his "book" but its always in the proof of the pudding .

Talking of books - there is a comprehensive section in Paul Glatzel's Powerboat Handbook and this very good article by Dave Mallett

The Powerboat Training Website

My top tips for a long tow - good comms - nylon - a snatch block in the rough stuff - round turn & 2 1/2 hitches - keep the weight in the towee aft - spread the load - long rather than short
Use a side tow for manoeuvring
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Old 27 February 2013, 16:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
Hi all

Can anyone point me in the right direction for a heavy duty towing bridle ?
Needs to be very strong as will be used often.
Would i go to a specialist rigger ?
Any info would be great .

Cheers
Rich
Talk to Ken at Spencer Rigging on the Isle of Wight. I have purchased quite a few from him for ribs
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Old 27 February 2013, 16:41   #7
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Yes I can fully understand that - being towed by Tom at 20 knots is not for the faint hearted
Doesn't get any easier at 28kts. We got Therapy after that trip - I still get "Duck & Cover" flashbacks...
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Old 27 February 2013, 17:18   #8
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Get yourself a couple of metres of good polproplylene or similar & splice it on yourself, attached to the towing eyes on the transom. We've got just that. You could always have carabiners attached if don't want it permanently on. Allow enough clearance for the engine to be tilted but not too long that it fouls the prop?
Cheap as chips!
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Old 28 February 2013, 02:24   #9
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Depending on how heavy the other boat is or if its much larger than your own ,
towing just from the transom or from behind the the props ( boats pivot point ) it's best to have a 2 point fix with a short bridle say a couple of metres but with the tow line fastened to that so its able to slide or travel about using either a thimble with an eye or a pully on the tow line ,

otherwise steering or making turns with a single engine is just about impossible when under load especially if the towed boat is heavy or deep keeled or a displacement hull .

If your towing from a Samson post set away from the transom something like on an Atlantic class lifeboat or its in front of the props you don't need it as the (boats pivot point) then is further forward making steering much better but you will have to watch the engine hood /cowls don't get fouled up or use a protecter bar over the engines .

Use a long tow line & longer to allow for any swell or waves that may be present if in a following sea you don't want the towed boat to start surfing into the back of you ,
Not a bad idea if theres a big swell to tow a drouge behing the towed boat as well even an old tyre ,crab pot or a coil of rope will do .

If your towing a much smaller boat keep an eye on not going too fast either might be ok for you but not the other boat or its crew .

Make sure that the tow is fixed to the other boat & that if the tow parts or any bridle set up or any fitting pulls out its not going to then put the boat broadside on with the chance of swamping or capsize .

you can tow another boat in an emergency but if your doing it commercially or on a regular basis the correct day signals or lights may need to be on show .

Don't forget to allow for your own boat breaking down so keep away from a lee shore and allow for the tow ,, may be ok for you to anchor but doesn't look good when the tows dangling half way up the beach or up under a sheer cliff .

Don't forget to allow for the depth or draught of the towed boat eg deep keeled yacht .
Remember someone towing a sinking yacht back in & knocking its keel out on a submerged training wall .
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Old 28 February 2013, 06:02   #10
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I use a sailing webbing life line. Great clips, strong and short.
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Old 28 February 2013, 10:42   #11
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If you can do an eye splice any decent offcut of 3- strand for myour local chandler.

+1 for al lthe comments above, and I'll throw this into the mix as a thought - I have a spinnaker snap shackle fixed to one of my towing eyes. All because many moons ago I was towing a large Yacht, the guy at the helm of which was too busty watching the scottish scenery go by. He didnlt notice the small gust of winfd, and his flapping sails filled for about 30 seconds. It shot past me, and next thing I knew I was being towed stern first. If it wasn't for the guy on the bow of the yacht fighting to uncleat us, there's a chance the entire engine would have been dragged under.

The Spi cleat allows me to dump the bridle (& the tow) at second's notice - the luminous yellow release line runs almost the full length of the boat up the toob.

Another of those PhD (hindsight) meets naeivety of towing moments... and of course I've not had to tow anything in anger since!

(I'l try to remmeber to take a pic tonight on the assumption someone will want to see it!)
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Old 28 February 2013, 12:41   #12
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Quote:
and this very good article by Dave Mallett
ooh thats an old one, I were nowt but a lad then with hair on both my face and m'head. Both of which are now sadly follically challenged.
We have a rope bridle permanently attached twixt stern eyes, sorta fix n forget..tend to use it a lot for various unfortunates..hope they're there and remember if I want a bit of assistance.
Quote:
correct day signals or lights may need to be on show .
Historically lifeboats have not carried towing lights and they do "tend to do a bit", even though the stock answer is that it is for life saving not towing...but in the real world
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Old 01 March 2013, 03:32   #13
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If you get the option, you really need one person to watch the towed boat and another to drive. Agree signals in advance. (Perhaps we should fit rear view mirrors? If towing solo, a mirror would be invaluable, but I have never seen one fitted to a boat.)

I wonder about putting a ring on the bridle to attach the towed boat's line. A knot was adequate, but didn't slide very freely.

David
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Old 01 March 2013, 10:41   #14
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We have a rope bridle permanently attached twixt stern eyes, sorta fix n forget..
Then you want to get the engine off!

For that very reason I fitted a shackle at one end - the other end is held by the spinnaker quick release type (should have said above - only the ones for Yacht spinnys will guarantee to let go when "tripped" - "standard" snap shackles are highly likely to hook the rope eye on the moving bit)


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I wonder about putting a ring on the bridle to attach the towed boat's line. A knot was adequate, but didn't slide very freely.
Good idea, I have also used a slippy (shiny smooth surface) rope - had to do double the length of eye splice to keep it put tho'
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Old 01 March 2013, 14:27   #15
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Then you want to get the engine off!
nope you got me ...what does that mean??
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Old 02 March 2013, 12:01   #16
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Hi all

Can anyone point me in the right direction for a heavy duty towing bridle ?
Needs to be very strong as will be used often.
Would i go to a specialist rigger ?
Any info would be great .

Cheers
Rich
I've always found a stout piece of rope is good for making a heavy duty towing bridle. You can cut it to length with a knife and tie a knot in either end to fix it in place. It's inexpensive and not too hard to find either.
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:25   #17
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I've always found a stout piece of rope is good for making a heavy duty towing bridle. You can cut it to length with a knife and tie a knot in either end to fix it in place. It's inexpensive and not too hard to find either.
Towing Kerny Back in Scoland gave the Spur to knock one up. Strong Rope with Two Carabina's to Fit my Transum- Loosely-(Hopefully not Someone Else's!) Small Bouy that clips on to central Ring.
When we Towed in Scotland conditions were Pretty Beniegn,and it still took Quite a few minutes to sort out a Cradle-Cut rope- Bouy ect.In a Heavey Sea Lee shore-Close to Rocks- no Power ect..ect I think I'd be Happy to have it in the Hold
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:32   #18
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Towing Kerny Back in Scoland
Should of done a runner and left him there when we had the chance
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:40   #19
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Should of done a runner and left him there when we had the chance
..Or..''Nine Nine Nine''....Those Krouts have Long Memories....AND Tend to Hold a Grudge!
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:47   #20
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Maxi - the advice above above the carabiners was interesting. Maybe a case for a locking crab?
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