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Towing a Skiff
Hi Guys
This fall I anticipate towing a Lund Ducker behind the houseboat. I might even tow my 18' Jon. In your opinion what the best way to tow a skiff or boat. Not sure if I should just pull it straight behind the boat or along side.
The possible upside of the alongside option is the skiff won't be comin at me if I have the current coming at the stern.
I would appreciate your thoughts?
Thanks
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"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
I?d tie it tight alongside. You ought to be in a better position to keep an eye on it and if you stop or slow, you won?t have to worry about it drifting into the houseboat or throwing slack and fouling the prop.
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
make a bridle out of floating line off of your tow hooks to a carabiner maybe 12 feet total length. use the floating line so it doesnt get in your prop. make sure its long enough to go around your motor and not beat it up. than run a line maybe 20 yards to another carabiner to connect to your boat. check with your local sea tow or tow boats us as they can only use their rope for so many hours. their rope stretches to help the boat rid in wave action. good luck and be careful
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
I've towed a lot of boats to camp and back up the Mississippi river. 100' of rope sets the boat back where it rides the best. I make a bridle from my main rope and be sure to center the towed rig.

On a side note, towing a large boat or towing in rough conditions puts a TON of stress on your outboard. The main shaft, lower unit bearings and gears take a lot of stress and heat. I towed a 16' flat to camp 18 miles, killed the motor to pull the flat in and untie it, when I started my motor and put it into gear I had nothing. My shaft bearings had heated and then super cooled due to cold river water which must have locked the shaft to the bearings. When I turned the key to start the motor the shaft broke at the water pump. That was the end of my towing days except for emergencies.
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
I tow a 12 ft. jon behind my 20' seaark with a homemade bridle. Large stainless snap hooks clip into your factory tow points on stern.tied into bridle. Made bridle from 5/8 anchor rope running from each side back thru homemade red cedar float and exiting float as a large loop I can tie or clip into as needed. Crab pot buoy would also work for float. Float position just clears motor when attaching as I generally attach and detach afloat. Length of tow line depends on what and where your towing.In my case I can,t afford over about 30 ft. of line as I tow jon into a narrow gut with hairpin turns and set it up as a Woodie blind during early season. At that line length I constantly monitor my wake to make sure I don't swamp 12' jon. Only have to tow about a mile so it works. Towing distance on larger bodys that 100' sounds about right. First time out have a helper play out tow line till you find the sweet spot.
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
Paul Strombeck wrote:
Hi Guys
This fall I anticipate towing a Lund Ducker behind the houseboat.
??


I've only towed another boat a short distance a couple times and it was NOT behind a houseboat. My experience with tying along side, resulted in a lot of pull to the side. The entire rig(s) were crabwalking instead of going forward in a straight line. Besides the extra drag on one side, the thrust point is no longer centered in relation to the load.

What I have seen while in Canada as they cross the lake, is houseboats pulling one or more boats behind them. Most of them are tied up short using a semi- ridged bridle system which works in the same fashion as a tow bar for towing a vehicle behind a motor home. Except the bridle is fasten at two points on the rear of the houseboat and one point at the bow of the towed vessel.

I've seen multiple boats towed (using these bridles) in a single file, as well as two strings of boats towed side by side but each string being independent of the other. The nice thing about a solid bridle (rather than just a bridle from rope alone) is the towed boat is always under control and cannot run up on the house boat or swing way out to the side (due to waves or cross winds.)

A search of YouTube videos may help answer the question for you.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
Thanks Guys - Looks like I will be setting up a bridle with a 50' tow rope to start
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
No experience.. but watched a BIG houseboat with a pontoon tied to the side going up the Mississippi River yesterday.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, Kodi, and Otter
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
Important thing to watch especially with that lund ducker in tow is making sure that bow stays high enough so it won,t nose dive if towing at speed. Lenghtened tow rope and possably additional weigh in stern of ducker to raise bow may help. Theres a point where wake produced by your seaark will disapate behind boat. That's where you want towed boat to ride for least problems at speed.
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
I found this old pic from '07. I towed regularly due to the danger of running the MS river as well as the distance to camp. You can see the "sweet spot" where the boat is riding inside the wake and I still would have liked longer rope.

There are plenty of duck boats (and sport boats) lost in the bottom of the river due to taking on water from passing ships or storms. I've done this plenty of times solo and you have to keep your head on a swivel to avoid the boat getting caught in an oncoming ships wake and plowing underwater.

Side note: the old "Force" outboard in this pic bent a rod at 480 hours. Hence the name "Farce" or "May the Force be with you". It just couldn't handle the use and abuse of a waterfowler. :)




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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
Thanks - I'll post some pics once I start pulling the skiff
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
I've never towed a boat but have seen it done and i also have seen idiots try to drive between the two boats. Maybe something to keep in mind if in a busy area.
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Re: Towing a Skiff In reply to
We had a 40' house boat when I was in high school. During duck season we pulled a 16' v-boat with no problems with a 75' ski line to a place we'd make duck camp. We tried a 17' canoe one time but a storm rolled in and we lost the canoe while under way. We had to loose the canoe and tied out an anchor to the lead so we could retrieve the canoe when the storm was over. I'm sure lots of folks have pulled shallow water boats with no problems but I'd put that Ducker on the bow rather than pull it. Just saying.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
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If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford