Challenges of towing dink while on plane

Discussion in 'Dinghies' started by potis, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. potis

    potis Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Ramon, CA
    2000 340 DA Sundancer
    "Soggy Dollar"
    7.4L V-Drives
    We are considering moving up to a slightly larger dinghy, 14' inflatabke, alum hull with steering console, with 30 HP, about 500lbs. It will not really fit on our platform so we will always tow it. I have a good bridle I use at 60' length, but may go up to 75-100' if I find it works better With new dink. I have bridle on our tow boat attached to the cleats and bridle on dink attached to two tow rings on forward side of tubes (not the center bow eye. More stable tow this way). Slow cruise tows are not a problem for us but I'm curious of challenges, concerns of towing it when we are on plane cruising 23-27 kts.
  2. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    One of the boats in our marina has a fixed tow bar type of setup for his center console style of RIB. It has a swivel that connects to the boat and holds the RIB back about 2 feet off the swim platform. I have no idea if he tows on plane or not. Problem is it is winter here so I cannot talk to him or take a picture. So not much help, but others may wade in.
  3. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I put two cleats near the bow on my Whaler (13' Super Sport with console and with 40hp Merc) and made a 3 point bridle that attaches to the two cleats and the bow eye, to spread the load around a bit.

    I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard that dragging a short (15'?) line behind the dinghy and putting a section of a "noodle" on it to create some drag and keep the dinghy in line behind the tow boat.
  4. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    have you seen this?.....

  5. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    I've done it - and if you use the search you will find some posts on the topic......needs to be past the 3rd tier of the wake (close to 100' back for me) best results with the tow line "floating" on a line rigged between the "d" rings on either side of the dink - use floating line - either need the motor partially down and locked straight or "fins" on the bottom of boat - lengths of chain hooked to the rear "d" rings of the dinghy are an even better alternative to leaving the motor down - all in all things still get "sporty" over 20kts in any seas over 1-2' dink is an avon 10' rib with a Honda 9.9 (230 or so lbs total) - I am always prepared to cut it loose if necessary......that is one of the risks of towing......
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    No direct experience myself, but observations from a friend who has towed a 20' something center console across the gulf stream a fair amount.

    First, as mentioned above don't depend on the bow eye. There are stainless steel towing rigs that bolt on the bow of the tender with straps (1-2) feet long then bolt through the hull.

    Second, he added a holder for a 10-15 mast which he then rigged with radar reflectors. When towing the mast was in place and if the tender was either lost from the tow, or cut loose in a emergency it would show up easily on radar so he could find it again.


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