Towing laser

Thread starter #1
Any suggestions Re: towing a laser?
I plan of towing my laser aprox 25 miles across open seas to Catalina from Long Beach.

Does anyone have experience with this tye of towing?

I figure, I'd remove the mast and dagger board and tie the rudder to ctr. I'd also use a shock spring in the tow line.
The big question is, where is a good place to tie the tow line? Is the bow eye strong enough? Any suggestions?
The best place to tie a tow line to is around the base of the mast (at deck level.) The bow eye will pull out rather quickly.

I would suggest leaving the daggerboard in, also. It will keep the boat from swinging/swaying back and forth, allowing it to track straighter.


I might consider creating a bridle that goes around the boat just below the gunwales and goes around the transom. This is typically the suggestion when towing big boats for a long ways.
computeroman2 said:
Or, if a child is so inclined, just put 'im in the boat and tell him to play follow the leader. :)
It's gonna get pretty boring after the first 2 miles LOL..."Only 23 more to go" :D

Well, I know there was a towing thread on this back a little while, and I tried pasting the link but it wouldn't work. So, if you do a search for Towing a Laser, there is a thread with about 15 responses that has some good info.
Thread starter #8
Thanks for the Input.

"The best place to tie a tow line to is around the base of the mast (at deck level.) The bow eye will pull out rather quickly."

I was thinking of this, I guess I'll build a stubbie just for towing. Come to think of it, I can rig a down haul to keep the stubbie in.

"I would suggest leaving the daggerboard in, also. It will keep the boat from swinging/swaying back and forth, allowing it to track straighter."

I used to tow my C-15, I found that leaving the swing keel down created an unstable situation. Having just the rudder in, the boat kept a nice track.

I guess I just need to try it out. Good call using the mast support.


You can't go more than a few knots either. If the boat is pounding up and down, the word is, it will pound apart. Seems like it would be more fun, a real adventure, to sail the boat to Catalina! Pack lunch!
Thread starter #10
Are you saying; If you travel, say 8kts, the laser will bounce? I guess that would be true depending on how long the tow line is? BTW I'll be towing with a larger sailboat. Have you tried towing a small sailboat?

I think my biggest concern is, flipping and submarining, that would suck! Especially if were under sail.
You can tow lasers rather quickly if you measure the towing line so that the boat is on a "uphill" of the wave the tower creates. This place is quite stable... I have towed 6 lasers driving as fast as the boat could... picturse attached:D


Yes I'm crazy and it sounds like a blast to sail a Laser to Catalina island!
As far as towing a Laser, It really depends on conditions. If it is rough and choppy it will be hard on the hull to take that kind of pounding. but like one of the other posters said if you can vary the length of your tow line where the boat is riding in a smooth trough ot patch behind the towing boat. I'd maybe think about trying it with the rudder bungee corded to centerline to help tracking.
Good luck,
Towing a Laser, or any small sailboat for that matter with the daggerboard in place is a mistake, especially in following seas. Anything beyond about 6 kts and the boat will capsize. Just leave the daggerboard out and you won't have a problem. I would attach tha painter as far forward as possible.


Active Member
If there is ANY way to put the baot on the deck of the towing boat, you will save abuse that would otherwise be comparable to years of sailing.

The boat only weighs 130 lbs. Can you POSSIBLY put it sideways across the back or bow of your tow baot.. Can you stand it against a cabin? can you put it on edge between the seats? Be clever!! Try your heart out NOT to tow the thing!!!


New Member
After numerous crossings on a C & C 38 from MDR to Catalina my first response is "no big deal towing a Laser over." Many times I would tow my 10 ft inflatable. Even if its windy your only going 7 - 8 knots in a big sailboat. But.........
If the towed Laser subermarines through a Frieghter wave you could have problems. It would rip out the bow eye or possibly break your mast step (if you set up something to tow the boat there). The last post is right : put it on deck if possible or don't take the Laser over. Unless the boats an old beater then give it a try using the mast step. No dagerboard. I'm not sold on using the rudder either.
Thread starter #20

Thanks, Tankers typically don't leave large stearn waves, due to their bow design. however I think your right about waves off of boats in general. I need to watch it. Leaving the rudder in did work for me before. A friend also brought up, using a small drogue chute tied off the gudgeons to help keep tracking sraight.

The more I think about it, The laser gets towed if we have normal So Cal weather, if we have a chance of unusually high wind and swells, the laser stays nice and safe on her perch.

The laser is an '78 model, I think I'll take the chance towing.