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View Full Version : If you were going to have a rowing dinghy......



bamamick
01-28-2015, 08:06 PM
that you'd tow behind an 18' cat boat, what would be the largest boat you'd have? The Marshall Sanderling only draws 18' with the board up, but there are some really cool places around here where you can anchor and go fooling around in a little boat. Of course, I already have a couple of kayaks, but with my more athletic days seemingly behind me I really can't see me stepping in and out of an anchored cat boat into or out of a decked kayak.

I see some pretty cool rowing boats on www.sailingtexas.com, but is it silly to tow a 12' boat behind an 18' boat? I really have no idea about this kind of thing.

Thanks,

Mickey Lake

James McMullen
01-28-2015, 08:14 PM
The one trick is when you are towing a boat that glides better than the towboat. Towing Rowan behind my old Ericson turned out to be kind of a trick, because whenever the big'un would slow down, hitting chop or a wake or something, Rowan would cut right through it and come charging right towards my transom, needing to be fended off a couple of times. In the end, I resorted to putting her rudder on, and lashing it a few degrees off center, so that she'd veer rather than try to smack us in the back.

Towing a little pram or something turned out to be easier, maybe because of the increased resistance. Towing a long, slender, fast boat takes more figuring out.

John B
01-28-2015, 08:19 PM
That's because of weight though James. I've just towed the stripper , which is about 15 ft from memory, all over the place for three weeks and it doesn't do that. And its had multiple cruises away over the last few years. It weighs about ooooo, 55kg or so I think, 120 lbs?
A nuisance when backing down or fishing but otherwise not too much of a problem. Well, a bit light in a gale ,I weight it down with solar showers and tow a drogue then .

And towing , I didn't fish scale it like I have to many other dinghies over the years , but the stripper is almost finger tip, there's very little tow pressure from it , far less, possibly half the weight compared to our 7 ft 6 sabot for example.

Ben Fuller
01-28-2015, 08:28 PM
No problem towing a 10' Chamberlain dory skiff behind my 18' catboat. That would be as small as I would go for a pleasant rowing experience. 10-12 foot is fine. I've also towed the ducker at 15' and had no problem.

bamamick
01-29-2015, 07:04 AM
Good advice. Thanks, guys. I imagine I could put a few water jugs in any dinghy I was towing if I had to?

Mickey Lake

John B
01-29-2015, 02:28 PM
The only reason I had to do that a few times ,Mickey, was broad reaching in big swells in about 25 or 30 knots. As the stripper rode to the top of the wave the wind would get it and it looked very close to being rolled by the wind strength and because she'd already come up the wave on an angle. flat water it doesn't seem to matter.

The only time she's surfed up on the boat was one hard day . really hard. 40 knots , about 12 ft or so close swells in whiteout heavy rain.
The stripper got a lot of rainwater in it and the combination of extra weight and free surface effect front to back had her running up beside us and sticking her chin in and yawing. 14 or 15 knots that day!! fat ole 1975 cruiser doing 13 and 15 knots down waves with 10 boat lengths visibility . exciting , nerve wracking steering the transom around the tender.
Only happened once though.
I agree with Ben , an 8 ft dinghy is not much fun... 10 ft is OK so 10 to 12 might be the go.

Paul Pless
01-29-2015, 02:35 PM
a catrigged dinghy towed behind a catboat will be a very pretty picture

John B
01-29-2015, 02:49 PM
You don't tow a tender rigged Paul, at least ,not more than once. Maybe a very light day , flat water....

Paul Pless
01-29-2015, 02:59 PM
You don't tow a tender rigged Paul, at least ,not more than once. Maybe a very light day , flat water....I'm just thinking of the image from Mickey's first post: a catboat anchored in a quiet shallow cove, with a cat rigged dinghy tied astern waiting for an evening exploration of the anchorage. . .

For what its worth, I kind of foresee Mickey sailing the intracoastal and shallow protected bays of south alabama and the florida panhandle. Google Bon Secor, Weeks bay, Wolf bay, Perdido Bay by way of example. . .

Then zoom out and follow along the intra coatal water way from Texas down the Gulf Coast to the Keys and then all the way up the East coast - its really something, a 3000 imile long navigable protected waterway, separated from either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic by a thin strip of barrier island or dunes in most places; in other places its a canal or takes to inland rivers to offer separation from the ocean.

Maybe I'm wrong. . .

bamamick
01-29-2015, 03:09 PM
Yep. Starting at Fairhope (Fly Creek) I could putter away from now on, given the time and the desire. It's a beautiful area.

Mickey Lake

Paul Pless
01-29-2015, 03:13 PM
Yep. Starting at Fairhope (Fly Creek) I could putter away from now on, given the time and the desire. It's a beautiful area.

Mickey Lake

Mickey, have you read The Boy, Me, and the Cat - Life afloat sailing the Intracoastal from Massechusetts to the Keys and back in 1912-1913?

bamamick
01-29-2015, 03:28 PM
Nope. I'd like to. I will look for it.

Mickey Lake

Paul Pless
01-29-2015, 03:38 PM
Its excellent.

Ben Fuller
01-29-2015, 04:06 PM
There are lots of ways to add a drogue to a dinghy when it is trying to climb aboard. Maybe the one I like best is a stern painter long enough to live coiled loosely on the deck of the towing boat when things get gnarly. When the boat starts misbehaving pay it out. Biggest thing is to have a dinghy that tows well, aka does not have a deep forefoot. A big nutshell could be nice or one of the dinghies we have built here ( Penobscot Marine Museum), a Joel White whose name escapes me at the moment. Rig and oars are lashed down inside.

John B
01-29-2015, 05:18 PM
If you're sailing and it all turns to cactus and you're too chicken to slow down or heave to to modify what your dinghy is doing , something to try is to bowline a long rope or a bight of rope over your painter and let it slide down to the bow. That dampens yawing and acts like drogue , even if its from the wrong end.

Ben Fuller
01-29-2015, 09:44 PM
Now that dinner is in me, and bedtime approaching, it is Joel White's Shellback that I am thinking about. A pleasant small rowing and sailing boat, kind of like my Chaisson ( which I kept even after the catboat went).