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Old 12 June 2013, 03:54   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Basingstoke
Make: Zodiac Pro Open 550
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard 90hp
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 57
Towing with a cover on

Hi all,

I am still pretty new to this game and ticking off one experience at a time learning what works and does not.

My latest dilemma is towing with a cover. I will need to do this as I plan to trail to far flung places (like Scotland and Cornwall) and carry quite a bit of kit (inc. windsurfing boards, sails, etc).

For the first time last night I tried it, just on the local dual carriage way, up to 60Mph. The cover (see picture) is held made of pretty sturdy canvas and is held on using 10mm bungees which go under the hull (not attached to trailer).

What happened? Well, the back of the boat looked fine, but the front (where you have the big dip between a high bow then the console) stretched out and flattened against the console. It looked a little worrying. If this then filled up with rain, I think I would have a real issue. The other observations were the bungees at the front were bouncing around a lot - risk of losing them.

What advice is out there? Should I consider some form of rope from bow to console to create more of a tent? should I give up the bungees?

Thanks guys.
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Old 12 June 2013, 04:14   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Make: RIBTEC 655
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yam 150
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,152
I was told early in my RIB life never to tow with a cover on, mainly because it increases drag by a huge amount with slows you down and costs a fortune in fuel. I did once tow with just the console cover on, it lasted about 5 miles on the A3 before it nearly came off.

There are plenty who do tow with them though.

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Old 12 June 2013, 04:44   #3
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willk's Avatar
Country: Ireland
Make: Redbay Boats
Length: 9m +
Engine: 370hp
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,148
IMO, your cover and attachments are not suitable for towing and if they give under tow, could cause a horrible accident.

A heavy custom cover, with a waist drawcord and proper straps can be OK, not that. Wrap your gear up in the cover and secure it to the deck of the rib - sorted
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Old 12 June 2013, 04:56   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Warwickshire
Boat name: Impulse
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki 140
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,020
Best to strap things down using the deck cleats and aframe. The previous owner of my boat tried towing with the cover on and it looked like a parachute once he got over 40mph so removed it straight away and my cover has drawstrings all the way round underneath the tubes and numerous bungee cords on each side connected to the trailer.

Its a pain I know, I clean my boat when I get back from a trip and by the time I get down to the South Coast it is peppered in bugs

Best leave it off as its an accident waiting to happen if it snaps from drag/ airspeed and end ups covering the vehicle behinds windscreen.
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Old 12 June 2013, 05:03   #5
macattack101's Avatar
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: livingston
Boat name: the massive
Make: valiant
Length: 6m +
Engine: honda BF115
MMSI: 235092322
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 199
I agree with wiilk but even though I have a drawstring and tiedowns on my main cover I would also strap over the top to remove any potential billowing. I also fit pipe insulation over the bar above my console to prevent chaffing.
My lovely fitted console cover lasted 3 miles without extra tiedowns to back up the poppers!
If you are travelling away on your holibags you have loads of stuff to pile in so a cover is great as you can just chuck in your gear and cover.
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Old 12 June 2013, 05:36   #6
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Country: UK - England
Town: Hertfordshire
Boat name: Five-o
Make: Tornado 645
Length: 6m +
Engine: mercury Optimax 150
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 92
I do not recommend towing with the cover on I have done this on my ribcraft 585 it had a early heavy duty cover ,I got away with it four times towing to Dorset and Devon The next time it started to split on the way down , on the way back there was not a lot left to repair the cover .
The new cover was very expensive , I now strap every thing down using ratchet straps , large dry bags come in handy
If you do decide to tow with the cover on put a ratchet strap across the bow of the rib over the cover just in front of the console ,this should stop the wind getting under the cover .
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Old 12 June 2013, 05:53   #7
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Country: UK - England
Town: Sticks, N.Yorks
Boat name: Tamanco
Make: Honwave 3.5AE
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu Outboard
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,029
I've never had a good experience towing with a cover on !!
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Old 12 June 2013, 06:28   #8
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Country: UK - England
Town: Gloucester
Boat name: Lunasea
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzi 140
MMSI: 232005050
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Posts: 1,003
I wouldn't tow with cover on.
Lash down anything you want to carry in the boat thoroughly.
You can wrap anything not waterproof in the cover, so it can still be of use.
Member of the Macmillan Round the Isle of Wight Club
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Old 12 June 2013, 07:29   #9
Leapy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Sheepy Parva
Boat name: Sadly Sold
Length: no boat
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,728
I've towed with a cover on for years and thousands of miles. It was supplied by Ribcraft and custom made to the boat. It has an elasticated band that sits and tightens just under the tubes coupled with four sewn in nylon ratchet straps that go under the hull.

Doesn't move (even when sodden), hasn't frayed, hasn't chaffed the boat, is waterproof and turns the boat into a great holiday crap trailer. It cost 500 though.
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Old 12 June 2013, 08:10   #10
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Country: UK - N Ireland
Town: Rostrevor
Boat name: Ricochet
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Twin F115 Yams
MMSI: 235083269
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 849
I think I towed once with a cover on and never again since - why bother

Maximum Preparation - Maximum Fun
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