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Old 16 September 2018, 12:50   #1
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Towing bridle

Whiling away the time as I can't get out, I was reading an article on towing, (not specifically on ribs), which went into all sorts of detail about tow points legalities etc, but simply stated..."rig a bridle". Is there a "proper way to do this? My thought would be to use a line - the thickest on board with some stretch (if poss), tie a bowline in the bight and wrap/ tape spare materiel - old towel etc around the eye to minimise chaffing.

However, on a rib which will often not have "hard" cleats, is a bridle the best medium for a tow rope - and without strong cleats, where would you attach a bridle securely?

If there is no sampson post in the bow and the external painter D-ring is not accessible from inside the boat, where is best to attach a tow? Is using the painter - again with a padded bowline, if attaching to a bridle,or bending onto a single towline the only options?
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Old 16 September 2018, 13:35   #2
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A couple of SS Eye Bolts fitted with decent sized washers through the Transum both sides 3/4 high up and a few inches inside the Tubes will do the trick....a made up Y shaped Bridle (rope) with a float is good idea
....I use an old solid "beach find" Bouy which all clips on ...(this will help keep the Rope clear of the prop if it (the rope/Bridle) goes slack at anytime during the Tow.
You can have a separate Tow rope (which is easier and more importantly quicker!.. Which may well be very important!) or you can improvise with your,or the other Boats Anchour rope...attach to outside Bow painter.
The stretch thing is of no real consequence as the Sea will act as a Buffer....and shock absorber.... just remember the worse the Sea the longer the Tow Rope...it also helps if the other boat is manned A. to keep the weight forward and B keep an eye on things and stay in contact via VHF
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Old 16 September 2018, 13:59   #3
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Quote:
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A couple of SS Eye Bolts fitted with decent sized washers through the Transum both sides:
I think he is actually asking about being towed rather than towing someone else.

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Originally Posted by lakelandterrier View Post
If there is no sampson post in the bow and the external painter D-ring is not accessible from inside the boat, where is best to attach a tow? Is using the painter - again with a padded bowline, if attaching to a bridle,or bending onto a single towline the only options?
Personally I'd say it pays to invest the time setting up a proper painter that attaches to a strong point such as the D-ring, and leading it back inside the boat. If for some reason that wasn't possible then perhaps where you tie your anchor off is a strong point?
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Old 16 September 2018, 14:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
I think he is actually asking about being towed rather than towing someone else.


Personally I'd say it pays to invest the time setting up a proper painter that attaches to a strong point such as the D-ring, and leading it back inside the boat. If for some reason that wasn't possible then perhaps where you tie your anchor off is a strong point?
The D ring on the Bow IS THE place to attach any Tow line....The towed Boat will then run much more true and follow the Tower with minimum drag and stress to Both vessels!

ANY attachment inside the Boat is best avoided for the same reason....and the fact that the rope will have to pass over the Tubes and can do severe damage...
That includes a front mounted Sampson post which is a very poor second

I've towed other Boats (including a Yaught ) a few times ...one over a considerable distance and the system I use works...with a minimum of fuss,and as said...I HAVE made a towing Bridle as described which makes the process a lot easier ....and quicker to deploy.
If the Bow eye is not accessible from the Boat simply tie the tow line to the Painter...which should be permantly attached to the Bow eye anyway and secured inside the Bow on a cleat.....another reason to have a strong one of decencent size
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Old 16 September 2018, 16:08   #5
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Thanks for your thoughts.

My painter is attached to the external D ring, but the D ring is too far down to reach from inside the boat, hence my thought the painter would need to be the tow line - no bridle.

I had considered using a line from the A frame as bridle - but it would need to be a very long line c. 15m just to clear the boat from the stern, and how to keep it away from crew safely - possiblely run it through the lifeline D rings?

2) have considered use of anchor line (eyebolt in anchor locker)- but it does run over the bow (through a snubber), so under tow could put a lot of pressure on the bow tubes in a sea.

Setting a line for a tow bridle is not such a problem - I have strong eye bolts on the transom. As Poly has identified it's more about being towed, than towing.

It's just the article was pretty insistent that the towed boat should present a bridle, to give spread the force of the tow evenly. On a RIB, my thinking is is if being towed you need to secure that line to the external D ring, either directly (not possible on most 5m+ ribs) or via the painter - another reason to have as strong a painter as poss - mine's 5m of 14mm line.
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Old 16 September 2018, 16:25   #6
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If you are being towed then use the bow D ring .......... the tow boat should be able to come alongside and attach the rope.

I usually splice my painter onto the D ring and it is a permanent feature of the boat.

If you are towing, then rig a bridle off the transom and feed it through a spliced loop in the tow rope.

TBH if the tow is a short distance then rafting the boats is a better and safer option.
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Old 16 September 2018, 18:03   #7
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If you are being towed then use the bow D ring .......... the tow boat should be able to come alongside and attach the rope.
More difficult than you might think in any kind of sea.... to reach over your boat to the underhang beneath another boats bow tubes.

My painter is shackled to D-ring with S/S eye in the eye-splice, so I think single point of tow from well secured strong painter for a RIB is the right solution -contrary to the learned article I read.
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Old 16 September 2018, 18:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakelandterrier View Post
Thanks for your thoughts.

My painter is attached to the external D ring, but the D ring is too far down to reach from inside the boat, hence my thought the painter would need to be the tow line - no bridle.

I had considered using a line from the A frame as bridle - but it would need to be a very long line c. 15m just to clear the boat from the stern, and how to keep it away from crew safely - possiblely run it through the lifeline D rings?

2) have considered use of anchor line (eyebolt in anchor locker)- but it does run over the bow (through a snubber), so under tow could put a lot of pressure on the bow tubes in a sea.

Setting a line for a tow bridle is not such a problem - I have strong eye bolts on the transom. As Poly has identified it's more about being towed, than towing.

It's just the article was pretty insistent that the towed boat should present a bridle, to give spread the force of the tow evenly. On a RIB, my thinking is is if being towed you need to secure that line to the external D ring, either directly (not possible on most 5m+ ribs) or via the painter - another reason to have as strong a painter as poss - mine's 5m of 14mm line.
I suspect your article is written by/for raggies. The generally won't have a single towing point at the apex of the bow like we do. So the author is trying to discourage them from tying off a towing line at the same point they'd tie the anchor off, and God forbid taking it through the fairlead first. The former means your pulling the bow side to side rather than just forward the latter places enormous strain on the fairlead (which will also often be quite sharp and chaff the rope to death).

In a rib, being towed: good strong painter, double sheet bend to towing line.

In a rib towing: bridle between transom u-bolts. Towing line onto bridle with a bowline.
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Old 17 September 2018, 02:54   #9
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^^^ What he said!
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Old 17 September 2018, 09:16   #10
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In a rib, being towed: good strong painter, double sheet bend to towing line.

In a rib towing: bridle between transom u-bolts. Towing line onto bridle with a bowline.
Yes, that's what I have concluded.

Article was in Powerboat & RIB, so you'd have thought it would have covered the differences / best practice for a RIB somewhere.
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Old 17 September 2018, 10:49   #11
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Yes, that's what I have concluded.

Article was in Powerboat & RIB, so you'd have thought it would have covered the differences / best practice for a RIB somewhere.
I don't have my copy here - but I think its started by saying "if you don't have a bow eye like on a rib, or if you can't reach it?" or something to that effect...
...I'll check tonight.
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Old 17 September 2018, 14:52   #12
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My plan is to have a short length of thicker tow rope with an eye in each end. One end is on the bow eye with the other end ordinarily with my usual bow line on it but long enough so I can shackle / tie a long tow line to it by leaning over the bow.

I'm estimating about 1m as I don't think that will interfere with normal tying up but Ill be able to reach it when if required.
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Old 18 September 2018, 05:07   #13
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I don't have my copy here - but I think its started by saying "if you don't have a bow eye like on a rib, or if you can't reach it?" or something to that effect...
...I'll check tonight.
Sorry for the wait...
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Old 18 September 2018, 06:25   #14
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