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Old 03 March 2018, 00:39   #1
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Towing a RIB with deflated tubes

Hi all,

I'm planning of towing a wider RIB (9'6") and was wandering if there are any drawbacks, dangers or excessive stress on the tubes when towing it while deflated and what to watch for.

If deflating is not ideal, then I could get a permit to tow it.

Thanks!
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Old 03 March 2018, 05:24   #2
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I do this quite a lot.

My technique is as follows:
  • Leave the bow section inflated - it helps the shape/tautness.
  • Deflate the other sections
  • Lift the rubber strake/fender onto the tube carriers/hull as the tubes are deflating [edited]
  • Remove almost all the air with a pump until the fabric is sucked in against the tube carriers and the cones collapse.
  • Tie the cone ends to each other with soft rope.
  • Use straps and padding to wrap the main tubes - securing them to the hull. DO NOT place the straps around the trailer frame!!
  • Make sure all loose stuff is secure - you have no "sides" now.
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Old 03 March 2018, 06:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post
Hi all,

I'm planning of towing a wider RIB (9'6") and was wandering if there are any drawbacks, dangers or excessive stress on the tubes when towing it while deflated and what to watch for.

If deflating is not ideal, then I could get a permit to tow it.

Thanks!
Just out of interest what is the max width in the US , 9'6" is max legal limit in the UK
I expected it to be more in the US, you guys seem to tow much larger rigs than we can here in the UK
I've used a similar technique to willk to reduce the size of tubes I found you needed to be careful with placement of the fender when sucking the tubes flat to avoid the vacuum trying to peel the tube off the edge of the fender
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Old 03 March 2018, 08:13   #4
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Originally Posted by beamishken View Post
I found you needed to be careful with placement of the fender when sucking the tubes flat to avoid the vacuum trying to peel the tube off the edge of the fender
Good point - I make sure that as the tubes deflate, the fender/rubbing strake is lifted and set onto the tube carrier/hull. Care would obviously have to be taken regarding how much suction is enough. I drop the air to the point that the tubes are gently stuck to the boat - no more. On opening the valves - air will be sucked INWARDS, so they must be closed in transit. What I'm trying to achieve is to have the tubes neatly tucked in and secured, with no bits loose and flapping when under way. I'll edit my post above to reflect this.
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Old 03 March 2018, 10:42   #5
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@beamishken : 8'6" is the maximum width of a vehicle allowed on public streets/highways. Anything over that you need permits, pilot escorts or even police escorts. At least in California, not sure about the rest of the country.

@willk: thanks so much, this is a lot of useful information. I have a very thick and wide rubbing strake. So basically, the tubes themselves are ok bending in sharper angles but you have to keep the rubbing strake flat...
- just to clarify, the cones should be tied so that they gently angle towards each other?
- when you say to secure the tubes to hull, I'm assume tying them to each other by the holding patches or d-rings so that they also angle towards each other and not downward?

Thanks again!
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Old 03 March 2018, 10:48   #6
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The regulations are different in each state. I live on Long Island which is in New York. Here are our official regulations with out getting any special permits : Total length: 60 feet (excluding bumpers); trailer length: 48 feet; motor home length: 40 feet (excluding bumpers); width: 96 inches (excluding safety equipment up to 6 inches; for motor homes, excluding awnings over 7.5 feet from the ground and up to 6 inches on the right and 4 inches on the left); height: 13 feet 6 inches.
That being said, my big boat is on a triple axle trailer with a total length of 36' and is 10'4" wide. When I went to get an over wide permit I was told as long as I am not using it commercially and the trailer, boat and tow vehicle are registered in my name I did not need to get a permit to tow. I have made several trips with no problems.
I have called several agencies and have gotten different answers each time. I carry the new your state police officers name and phone number with me in case I have a problem. This was at his advise.
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Old 03 March 2018, 11:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post
- just to clarify, the cones should be tied so that they gently angle towards each other?
Yes - I just throw a loop/noose over the end and tighten them towards each other - you're just trying to hold them inside the outer limits of the boat and stop them flapping.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post
- when you say to secure the tubes to hull, I'm assume tying them to each other by the holding patches or d-rings so that they also angle towards each other and not downward?
No, I use straps and pull the deflated tubes inwards until they are lying tight to the boat. See photo below:
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Old 03 March 2018, 11:43   #8
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Awesome, thanks so much!!!
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Old 03 March 2018, 15:11   #9
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Yes - I just throw a loop/noose over the end and tighten them towards each other - you're just trying to hold them inside the outer limits of the boat and stop them flapping.

No, I use straps and pull the deflated tubes inwards until they are lying tight to the boat. See photo below:
ooooh straps over tubes I can see a Lynch mob heading your way
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Old 03 March 2018, 15:14   #10
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Originally Posted by breezeblock View Post
ooooh straps over tubes I can see a Lynch mob heading your way
Stuff 'em, I do it the right way - padded straps securing tubes to the hull, not the boat to the trailer
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Old 03 March 2018, 15:26   #11
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Don't forget to use some pipe lagging or the straps go right through layers of polish....ask me how I know
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Old 03 March 2018, 15:38   #12
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Don't forget to use some pipe lagging or the straps go right through layers of polish....ask me how I know
I generally do but clearly didn't that time - that or an assistant was slacking...
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Old 03 March 2018, 15:53   #13
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It is a pita folding tubes in but needs must now. My new storage place the door isn't wide enough with tubes up but it is like 1/8th cost of my "premier storage facilty" that has no chandlers, can't launch from, toilet is a portacabin as is the showers and you get layers of seagull shit to contend with into the bargain....wish I could get boat up side of the house
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