Towing the Dink

Bryant Vann vann at
Mon Mar 23 09:55:02 EST 1998

>Two of the posts on towing a dink describe serious troubles in weather,
>including the dink surfing into the towing boat, breaking away, or

I guess I'm just hyper conservative, but I try to make a practice of
bringing the dinghy aboard before leaving a secure anchorage and leaving it
on board until the anchor is down again.  I've watched dinghies (and their
towlines) take a terrible beating in even moderate seas.  I've had dinghies
"fly," rolling over and over and creating a Spanish windlass out of the
towline(s), until it was dragged over the transom and secured (about the
only way I know how to get one back on board in a seaway).  I've had
friends tell me of their dinghies rolling over and DIVING FOR THE BOTTOM
until they had to be cut away.  I've seen them adrift in the Bay and in the
ocean.  I've seen MANY folks back over the towline and either drag the
dinghy under or jam the shaft (at least this usually occurs in an anchorage
rather than out at sea).  I have a friend who left their dinghy behind to
avoid towing it in the ocean, only to lose his boat when he grounded on a
reef and had no dinghy to set a kedge and save the situation -- or even
escape to shore when the reef worked the stabilizer fin until it holed the
boat and sank her on the reef.  All of this says to me to rig a hoisting
arrangement you can handle and size your dinghy (be it hard or rubber) to
maatch its capability and conscientiously bring it on board before
departing protected waters.

Stepping down from the TWiLer soap box and drawing the dark cloak of

- Bryant Vann
  M/V Salty Lady, K42

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