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Thread: Setting up a pram for towing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Setting up a pram for towing?



    I am putting one of these together right now (a "Feather Pram" courtesy of Iain Oughtred) for use as a rowed tender when anchored/moored off the beach. This will be a new adventure so please bear with me. Should I just but an eye on the bow? How high above the waterline? Some of my internet searches have suggested using a bridle off the tender, once again where to tie off in relation to the waterline? Then there is the "reverse bridle" where a line is reeved through an eye at the bow with the two ends tied off, one to port/one to starboard on the towing boat.

    So many options! She's a wee little thing, 6'-8" long and (allegedly) coming in at around 50 pounds long term stowage should be on the roof of the cabin but I think that will be problematic for seeing where we are going when under way. A sit happens she is also just about the same size as the dinghy for Fenwick William's 24' gaff yawl "Annie" a boat I have long had a strong desire to build.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    La Conner, WA
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    139

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Having the eye on the towed dinghy down low will bring the bow up, which will dig the skeg in aft, which will act as a tail feather, keeping the towed dinghy in the middle of the wake. A bridle from the towing vessel leading to a long tow line that puts the towed boat on the aft side of the second stern wave of the towing vessel will make for a fairly slack tow line, a comfortable tow, and a slight chance of the dinghy overtaking the towing vessel if it has to go out of gear.
    Of all the previous items, the towing eye down low is the most important.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Having the eye on the towed dinghy down low will bring the bow up, which will dig the skeg in aft, which will act as a tail feather, keeping the towed dinghy in the middle of the wake. A bridle from the towing vessel leading to a long tow line that puts the towed boat on the aft side of the second stern wave of the towing vessel will make for a fairly slack tow line, a comfortable tow, and a slight chance of the dinghy overtaking the towing vessel if it has to go out of gear.
    Of all the previous items, the towing eye down low is the most important.
    Just what I would have said.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Auckland NZ
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    263

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Steve I had a "Feather" as a tender for my "Golant Gaffer". The towing eye was approx 50mm above the lower edge of the bow transom. It towed beautifully with seemingly any length of painter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Plug the CB trunk, otherwise when towed water will slosh up into the wee thing and it will get heavier, and heavier with time and distance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    se pa (Bristol PA)
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    I had a 30-foot plastic boat had a 8 foot plastic dinghy carried on the foredeck on some trips, towed it on other trips. The drag of a dinghy In tow actually does make quite a difference,. and if the weather kicks up it doesn't take much to lose or flip a dinghy. Just things to consider
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Ok, low it is.

    The sailing rig calls for a leeboard that gets moved to leeward on each tack so no worries (or weight) about a cb trunk.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Ok, low it is.

    The sailing rig calls for a leeboard that gets moved to leeward on each tack so no worries (or weight) about a cb trunk.
    Because low is better for towing... and high is more convenient for a painter location... some folks install two boy eyes on towed tenders.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Low works best for towing for 2 reasons -- first, when you are going downwind, and the dinghy surfs, it often ends up with a large amount of slack in the rope, and no longer directly behind the boat. Then when the rope comes up tight again with a jerk, the dinghy will get flipped if the tow-point is too high. And second, if you are towing while motoring or going upwind, you can take the towline over top of your stern rail, pull the dinghy in tight, and get the dinghy's bow up. It will then water-ski along on it's stern section with very little drag. And the lower the tow-point, the more upward pull can be generated.

    This has been towed for thousands of miles, occasionally in some brutal conditions. It stays dry and perfectly mannered. It has dead-rise in the bow, but is flat-bottomed astern. Weighs 70 lbs. 10 ft x 4 ft. Two small skegs aft which aid tracking, but function as handles when it's upside down on a dock. The tow-point is as low as the interior architecture would allow. And the tow-eye is backed by a hardwood pad, not just the nuts. If you don't use a pad, make a huge flat washer out of some flat steel.



    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ed-ketch/page9

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    22,488

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Towing painter to external eye bolt and be sure that the eye bolt is a good one and well secured.

    Have another painter made up to an internal eye in the bow transom.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
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    10,675

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    Your pram looks to be nearly identical to ours! Just a bit shorter. I have a pad eye mounted low on the fwd transom of the dink. The boat has twin skegs to keep it level when beached.
    We tow off of the lee quarter with the dinghy riding just behind the crest of the stern wave. It is just a matter of laying out enough tow line to make her happy.
    Towing from the lee quarter keeps the boat out of the center of the wake and makes the boat more docile as it tracks better than a center line tow will.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-30-2017 at 12:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    I am pushing to get her buttoned up in time to tow her behind Marianita to the PTWBF next month. Glued lap, one plank a day seems to be my rhythm and I've got 4 planks to go.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Portland, Maine
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    14,906

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    14,906

    Default Re: Setting up a pram for towing?

    There are a couple of shots in this video that show how low the bow eye is on our Oughtred Humblebee.


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