FEBRUARY | MARCH 2014 BoatU.S. Magazine | 83
We CoUld loSe IteMS
utes Caribe and Highfield inflatable boats in
the U.S., explains how to do this using two
separate painters to maximize stability. “Most
dinghies have two towing rings in the tran-
som,” he said. “Beginning at these rings, pass
two towing lines over the top of the transom
and then under the dinghy, let them cross in
the bow eye, then attach them to the cleats
on the yacht, port, and starboard.”
FroM the dInghy
It’s always preferred to remove the motor and
any other items from the dinghy before towing. The last thing you need to deal with is
a projectile behind you if weather conditions
deteriorate. If you choose not to remove the
motor, be sure to attach it with a cable in case
its mounts back out. Absolutely tilt it up,
secure it in position, and lash down any items.
We CoUld Wrap the dInghy
paInter aroUnd the BIg
Many boaters use polyester line or nylon line
for dinghy painters; nylon stretches, putting
less strain on attachment points than polyester, especially in a seaway. But it doesn’t float.
For close quarters or backing down, one
crewmember is typically tasked with guiding the painter to keep it clear of the prop.
To be safest, shorten up the painter so the
BeatIng MUrphy’S rap
dinghy rests alongside the bigger boat during
maneuvers. Be sure to use a fender to keep
the dinghy from rubbing against your top-
sides. Joe Saindon, president of North Atlantic
Inflatables in Portland, Maine, recommends
using a painter made from polypropylene line
– the kind waterskiers use – because it floats.
Beware of UV degradation, though, especially
in more tropical latitudes. Also, it’s almost
impossible to make knots in polypropylene
that will hold fast; the knots loosen up, as
does this line when it’s cleated. If you’re using
polypropylene, splicing is preferred.
The conditions through the day are never the
conditions you started in. After you’ve started
your tow, keep an eye on the dinghy behind
you to make sure it’s riding steady and not
taking on water.
If waves and wind start to pick up, act
early to bring the motor aboard, or to bring
the dinghy aboard. You can beat Murphy’s
Law, that something will go wrong if it can, by
thinking one step ahead.
Tim Murphy, former executive editor of
Cruising World magazine, is co-author of
Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology
( www.abycinc.org, 2012).
Boat size restrictions may apply. *Restrictions may apply. Ask your North Sails Direct representative for details.
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a float on the bridle helps
keep the painter out of
the prop when towing the
dinghy close to the stern.