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Ever rigged up a permanent tow line to tow others behind?

trails

New Member
I’m wanting to do this because my teens have a blast on a forebay/reservoir and sometimes have towed eachother around with the one being towed in a kayak or inflatable boat. I was thinking of adding another bridle. What do you folks think? Thanks!
 

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my2fish
my 1st-hand experience is with having a squirmy kid in an inner tube tied behind a canoe floating down a river, and I can say with strong conviction that it creates a TON of drag. but if you're thinking of towing a kayak or paddleboard, and don't have squirmy kids legs dangling in the water creating drag, then it might be ok.

tacking and turning might be a bit of a challenge.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
tacking and turning might be a bit of a challenge.
In my experience, not a "challenge", but just plain impossible :confused: I once tried to tow a trolley (floating tyres and a very light construction) a short distance to a sailing club on an island with no bridge connection. It became quite quickly clear it was not working... the load on the transom kept the boat from going upwind at all (It would actually point up to 45° to the wind, but move sideways).
This might work only if the thing being towed had negligible displacement/resistance (no people!), and the towing line was attached as close as possible to the centre of resistance (in practice, the centreboard). Not needing to go higher than a beam reach would help, too :D

_
 

gzblack2

Active Member
Under the right conditions, it’s doable. It’s only gonna be a “blast” down wind.
I rescued a young couple on an inflatable boat who were blown across the lake by strong breeze one day. I noticed the poor guy struggling to paddle and being blown backwards. Having seen them launch earlier I knew they were on the opposite side of they lake they started from, and the wind was picking up.
I sailed over and offered help, the sign of relief in there faces was worth the effort I eventually had to put in, I gave them one end of my painter and attached the other end to my bridle, it took FOR-EV-ER (in my best sandlot impression).
It was down right laborious, but we all got to know each other very well...lol.
But if your determined to give it a try maybe a sort of bridle set up with eye hooks through the lip of the deck further up toward the stern to move the center of resistance up a bit, just keep in mind where your gonna sit...ouch.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Did you tow their craft and carry them as passengers?

I towed a pair of adults who'd stalled in a small (12') outboard boat. Progress to windward was almost undetectable. :(

That said, I recall the "Windward Passage" passed a fellow racing yacht while towing a skier! :p
 

norcalsail

Well-Known Member
The very first time I sailed with my friend Andy, I broke the plastic rudder cheek trying to put it up and down with the tiller. He towed me back with his Laser on a broad reach/run. It worked better when I joined him in the Laser (he knew better than me). We did not have to tack until the very end to turn into shore. He posted a video here, I think. It was actually fun to hang out with him on the Laser and he still agreed to sail with me after that. I have since bought two aluminum cheeks and have two spare plastic ones.
 

gzblack2

Active Member
Did you tow their craft and carry them as passengers?

I towed a pair of adults who'd stalled in a small (12') outboard boat. Progress to windward was almost undetectable. :(

That said, I recall the "Windward Passage" passed a fellow racing yacht while towing a skier! :p
No, just through them the painter and towed them in their boat.
Having them jump in the sunfish would’ve probably work out a bit better. My comment about getting to know each other was due to the amount of time we three spent together getting back to shore.
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
my 1st-hand experience is with having a squirmy kid in an inner tube tied behind a canoe floating down a river, and I can say with strong conviction that it creates a TON of drag. but if you're thinking of towing a kayak or paddleboard, and don't have squirmy kids legs dangling in the water creating drag, then it might be ok.

tacking and turning might be a bit of a challenge.
I have towed 25 foot sailboats and a young adult in an inner tube while rowing (not paddling) one of my Grumman canoes. The 25 foot sailboat was MUCH easier to tow!
 
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