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Old 12 April 2004, 11:29   #1
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Practise

I mentioned earlier that we planned to do some practice before the season started in earnest. Well, today Andy in Awesome Explorer and me in Cyanide went out to play in Torbay.

First we set a sea anchor and recovered it.
It worked well but pulling it back on board was quite dificult. We learned that in future we would attach a line plus maybe a small bouy to the "closed" end of the parachute to make recovery easier.

Next we tried towing each other.
Andy tows me:
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Old 12 April 2004, 11:30   #2
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Then I tow Andy:
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Old 12 April 2004, 11:33   #3
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We learned that the Sheeps Bend DOES NOT hold two dissimilar ropes together, but two bowlines work just fine.


Then we tried towing side-by-side.
We learned this is fine if you follow the book. If the tug is ahead of the casualty you definately CANNOT steer (we went round in a complete circle even with the helm hard over on the opposite lock).
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Old 12 April 2004, 12:50   #4
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So it was you who we were paged for today!!!!! only joking.
Good to see you out practising towing etc. So many boat owners have never had the experience. When I get my 6.5 I will come out as well.
Reference the "Sheet Bend", were you using a Double sheet bend?
Last year I towed a 38ft Yacht off Scabbacombe Beach near Dartmouth back to Brixham Marina with the tow lines (made up of mooring line and anchor warp of different thicknesses) without any problem but they were doubles.
Perhaps lets try it again in a couple of weeks when the new FLYBY arrives.

David
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Old 12 April 2004, 14:20   #5
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And what a lovely flat sea is was down in that part of the world.

Did you try manovering with the unpowered vessel on both sides of the powered or driven vessel ?? Either way recomend the 'dead' weight be forward of the rear of the driven vessel if you intend to manouver.

Did you try going astern as well as forward ? You may need to go astern when you eventually got the 'dead' weight vessel back to safe haven !!
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Old 12 April 2004, 16:56   #6
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Sounds like you had a good day Brian

What I find when reversing is when the boat starts to veer off in the wrong dir, give the engine a gentle kick ahead so both boats go back into the right dir - sometimes I find it's possible without even stopping the backward movement.

Hopefully I won't be doing many towing jobs this year - sailing boats going aground, speed boats running out of petrol etc... all good fun....

When we move our work pontoon around the dock with the dory, if the dory is at the back as it should be, the tow angle actually runs at around 35 degrees off straight even though you're going in a straight line - it feels and looks odd, but it works though.

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Old 13 April 2004, 01:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hickman
So it was you who we were paged for today!!!!! only joking.
Good to see you out practising towing etc. So many boat owners have never had the experience. When I get my 6.5 I will come out as well.
Reference the "Sheet Bend", were you using a Double sheet bend?
agree with dave re the double sheet bend working, try a hunters bend thats
a good one nice to see people putting it all into practice, makes for safer boating .
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Old 13 April 2004, 09:40   #8
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We found that when the two rope types were badly mismatched (one thin nylon and "slippery" and the other 25mm properly plaited) the thin rope cut badly into the thicker one and would have also slipped through but for a knot at its end.
I am sure you are "right", after all it's what the RNLI also recommend, it's just that it didn't work for us.
David, Tim
I, like Homer Simpson, cannot remember something new without pushing out some old stuff to make room. Sheeps Bend, double ditto, Hunters whatsit. Bloody hell I have enough trouble doing a bowline, and even then I can't tie it without moving my lips!
Martin
Yes, we tried several alongside towing methods and you are quite right, you must be behind the casualty if you are the tug. Reversing was fine, if not even easier. Also we reckon that the alongside method is only for in-harbour working. In anything other than a flat sea the damage to either boat seems almost guaranteed.
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Old 13 April 2004, 09:45   #9
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It occured to Andy and I that we ought to ask you pros what do we do when we want two boats to tow one. The 3 boats that normally cruise together weigh 6, 5 and 3.5 tons respectively so it's not an idle problem.
I assume that 3 boats in line astern is no good and that we ought to form a V formation with the two tugs at the front?
How would you then attach to the casualty? By individual lines? If so how do the two tugs coordinate speed and direction?
If on a rolling yoke, what would this configuration look like?
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Old 13 April 2004, 09:49   #10
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can't see why you would want two boats to tow one
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Old 13 April 2004, 10:02   #11
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Imagine my boat at 3.5 tons and 315hp trying to tow Andys at 5 tons.
Believe you me yesterday I got up to 5/6knots on a flat sea, was burning 3 to 4 litres per mile and running at over 3000rpm. After 10 mins things got veeeery hot.

In our scenario, we could easily be 50 miles from land in inclement weather.
The tug is likely to a)run out of fuel and b) damage something and break down as well.
We really want to try to work out how to deal with this potential situation NOW.
Thats why we figured two boats towing the casualty would make our (theoretical) situation "bearable".
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Old 13 April 2004, 10:18   #12
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ok i get the picture now, last year my 9metre rib broke down due to the engineer, not double clipping the water inlet, engine overheated we were only in the Solent at the Needles and a ebb tide four persons onboard and dark , quick call to son who came out on the 5.4 valient with 50hp on the back and towed back to Cowes no problems for the little boat, you say your engine was over heating dont like the sound of that! 50 miles from land hmm! in the channel you are going to be only 30 miles from land in theory yes two boats could tow the one in a v formation would be the best option transfer the weight to the tug,s so tow is lighter but can't say ive come across this one before as for coordinating it vhf
sorry can't be of anymore help
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Old 13 April 2004, 11:40   #13
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Purely out of interest, what make/spec is your cruising partners boat which weighs 6 tons?

Must be a bit of a lump!

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Old 13 April 2004, 12:02   #14
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Magellan Alpha is a 9m cabin Ribtec that has had a lot of lead placed in the keel for stability. It has one Yanmar 300 engine and a Bravo 2 leg.
Awesome Explorer is an 11m 5 ton Redbay with two Yanmar 300s with Bravo 3 legs.
You can see what Cyanide is from my profile.
Hence if Awesome has a complete engine failure (say), MA and Cyanide would prefer to "assist tow" together. Ditto if MA broke down. If I broke down Awesome can tow me comfortably, though MA culd not. Out of interest, Still Deep One with two Yamaha 150s could not tow me outside Stornaway in 2002.
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Old 13 April 2004, 12:15   #15
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Cheers - just interested really as five and six tons is hell of a lot for a rib!!

Bet you guys have fun trying to transport the boats or are they hoist moves only?!

Would'nt have expected any of the boats having trouble moving each other either. Do the Yanmar engines lack low end torque?

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Old 13 April 2004, 13:11   #16
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When my 6.5 arrives brian I will have a go at towing Cyanide if that's O.K.

That 38ft Yacht I towed last summer off the beach where it had blown onto a lee shore near Dartmouth must have weighed a few tonne. I was in the 7m Ribeye with the Yam 200HPDI. Also there was no one on board, they had jumped clear (no I did not claim salvage). Lifeboat refused to go as no life was in danger!
No over heating and managed approx 7-8 knots all the way back to Brixham. Bit hairy around Berry head with a following easterly but other than that no probs.
One of the main problems with towing is getting the towed vessel moving and getting the momentum up. What the tug can do if the casualty does not want to budge is start steering left then right weaving your way forward. This is what I did with the Yacht and it worked fine.
Remember that the RNLI D class only has 40 hp and manages to tow some fairly heavy speed boats and day cruisers in.
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Old 13 April 2004, 13:12   #17
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I passed you about 12 noon just by rock i was cooming out torquay to exmouth i did wave i was doing about 65 mph fantastic day
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Old 13 April 2004, 13:26   #18
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Would a displacement hull be easier to tow than a planing hull not on the plane?
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Old 13 April 2004, 13:55   #19
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Dave have you ever come across a double tow, i have'nt but would be interested if anyone has done such a tow. re the overheating issue something is not quite right as all the boats should be capable of moving big lumps around
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Old 13 April 2004, 15:01   #20
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I agree with the over heating. I think brian should check the cooling system out. I am pretty sure I have seen 2 tugs both pulling at the front of a ship at about the 11 and 1 o clock positions in Southampton Water plus 1 at the back acting as a brake. I personally have not carried out a dual tow but I will ask one of the Torbay Lifeboat chaps tomorrow for his opinion.
If the sea was a bit lumpy, personally I think that it would be extremely risky to do a dual tow.
Should the situation arise when a single tug ( rib ) could not tow another which had broken down, then its time to bring in the professionals rather than ending up with more than 2 casualties!

There is a photo in the spring issue of lifeboat magazine on page 25 of the Exmouth lifeguard inflatable and ILB towing a yacht. At first glance I thought the inflatable was towing the yacht and the ILB was towing the inflatable. i.e. in tandem.
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