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Old 12 June 2013, 03:54   #1
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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
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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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.
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Old 12 June 2013, 07:29   #9
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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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I think I towed once with a cover on and never again since - why bother
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Old 12 June 2013, 08:21   #11
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I would tow with the cover on, for all the previous reasons, but especially if it blows off and covers the screen of the car behind.

Only one person to blame if there's an accident in those circumstances.
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Old 12 June 2013, 09:02   #12
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I did use a full cover on an 8.5m RIB which was very heavy duty. It did require a plank placed between the bow and console to stop the wind caving in the front and to keep rain running off. Bit of a pain in the butt really, but never caused any problems, and there is certainly no way it would have blown off. That said, was towing with a fairly large car (Discovery), so it was fairly well protected from the wind.

I use it only for longer term storage now, and have had a cover made up just for the console which use the vast majority of the time - which is absolutely ace and great for towing. :-)
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Old 12 June 2013, 09:15   #13
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I've never towed the rib with a cover on , but have taken 2 dinghies with - one a laser, the other a 470.

Never underestimate the power of a 60MPH wind!

- both dinghies the cover billows(ed) up behind the ratchet strap that was holding the boat down (with a dinghy it's usually easier to cover it then strap it down) - the strap was about a carpet thickness above the deck (Gunwhale hung trailers, and the carpet protected the hull / cover for mthe strap) and the turbulence behind the strap was enough to lift the cover well off the deck.

Had a mate used to tow an enterprise with the boom up cover on , surrounding the mast in the "down" position. It did same as your console, and from memory it needed re- stitched after about 400 miles..... he replaced it with a "jam pot" cover for towing.



For holiday stuff - if you can get some dry bags and / or I found some dry storage things on Fleabay - ex MoD I think meant for keeping ammo dry. - about 2' x 3' x 18". amazing what they will swallow! Only down side is you need to decant them into the car if you are worried about leaving them in a service station while you stop for lunch, but it's a small hassle.
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Old 12 June 2013, 09:18   #14
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I do not tow with the cover on, did it once & the cover had a hole in it by the time I got to Devon!
I have had better experience with my SR4 as it has a very heavy duty cover mad from the same material as lorry curtain sides.
I do use a webbing tie under my cover on the Ribeye to stop the cover sagging, but have only kept the cover on for short trips.
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Old 12 June 2013, 09:25   #15
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This is what i use now - not a big cover to be fair...
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Old 12 June 2013, 11:21   #16
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A lot depends on the cover and how well it fits

Just borrowed a D class for an RNLI education sea / beach safety talk that I did in a school yesterday
one important thing with that is a removable ridge pole is fitted from the top of the bow dodger running right to the transom with another wood upright for support that makes it a tighter fit
stops any rainwater from pooling & makes it more streamlined
Nothing can flap about even on the motorway .

Another good thing is the lighting board is fitted with a transparent junction box so that any loose connections or water ingress can be seen at a glance .
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Old 12 June 2013, 11:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totallydave View Post
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.
My Zodiac cover has a big no no attached to the cover ,with regards towing with it fitted.
Ian
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Old 12 June 2013, 13:03   #18
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Towed to Oban and back with my cover on with no issues

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Old 12 June 2013, 13:09   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick View Post
Towed to Oban and back with my cover on with no issues

Attachment 81354

It might make a big difference with what type of tow car you use e.g.

4x4 which is higher than the boat, so less wind resistance.

Just a thought
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Old 12 June 2013, 13:25   #20
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It might make a big difference with what type of tow car you use e.g.

4x4 which is higher than the boat, so less wind resistance.

Just a thought
Probably cos we use more fuel towing tintent more than the rib
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