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Towing a DIW boat to dock

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I have a quick question for anyone who has any advice on the topic.

Today i towed my dads boat on Seneca from Long Point to the Montour Marina. I was wondering how people who are towing get the boats they are towing safely docked. We did it safely, but it was not smooth at all. i used my kicker motor to get slow enough to ease him into the dock and then we made it work. The conditions were basically perfect but i was curious as to how other people go about this? I am a boater and i am sure i will encounter this situation again so any advice is appreciated.

 

 

 

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Well there are two ways boats are towed, astern and alongside. When out in open water subject to waves the astern tow is best. Once protected waters are reached then an alongside tow may be established. There are well documented procedures on the net on how to do both. That said I don’t recommend doing it without training and considering all the risks. I do it but Ive also been trained how. One thing everyone on both boats need pfds on and there are many considerations to think about before you do it. I would consult a seamanship manual for all of them, I don’t have the energy to put them all here. Failure to do things right can easily get people hurt or killed and sink boats. However, that said there is not too many more hopeless feelings than stuck on a boat with no help in sight. Just learn the dangers study and if in doubt call for assistance.


Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

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Towed a few  and  found the best way for me is to approach a dock with enough speed were the towed boat can just steer alongside dock after I turn off at the last second .

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7 hours ago, Down Deep said:

Towed a few  and  found the best way for me is to approach a dock with enough speed were the towed boat can just steer alongside dock after I turn off at the last second .

That takes some experience to pull off and while I too have done that,  it is not the preferred or recommended method in close quarters.  If you have someone that can tend the tow line and you keep speed very slow and the boat isn’t too large it can work fine...I’ve also seen boats slam into docks doing that.... people trying to dive off the boat into the dock to prevent impact and get hurt...all kinds of silliness close quarters and docking alongside tow is the best way

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10 hours ago, Down Deep said:

Towed a few  and  found the best way for me is to approach a dock with enough speed were the towed boat can just steer alongside dock after I turn off at the last second .

I tow quite a few every year and this is basically how I do it.  There is plenty of room on our launch dock so this works for me.  Basically I drift the boat using our momentum or the wind and set them gently on the dock. Like Lewis mentioned you need some experience...if you EVER struggle docking your own boat this method isn't going to work well.  I wouldn't do it towing a big heavy boat either.

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Every boat should have an oar aboard which helps with the final docking. 

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1 minute ago, Gill-T said:

Every boat should have an oar aboard which helps with the final docking. 

That all depends on the size of the boat you could try an oar with my boat but it won’t move 10,000 pounds of boat, and larger sail boats no way.  Throw a little wind in the equation and oars are totally useless for anything bigger than a small ski boat

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use your boat and motor just like you was going to the dock. just before you get to the dock make a sharp 90 degree turn and stop. and release the boat being towed. it should coast right to the dock. good luck.

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Docking often described as crashing very slowly...  Be aware of wind and any current and just go as slow as you are comfortable, and if you are going slow enough, then you can pretty much recover manually.

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For a vary reasonable price you can either go through your car insurance company or though Boatus to get towing on the water. I had to use it last year when i was out with the family on Ontario. Absolutely worth the price, even if you don't use it just for peace of mind. They came quick and expertly towed me in astern right to the launch ramp. I can't really think of a good reason not to have it. This way you won't be ruining someone else's fishing trip by having to be towed in, or worse, someone getting injured.I think the only drawback is they can't come out and get you on every lake.

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7 hours ago, Ric66 said:

For a vary reasonable price you can either go through your car insurance company or though Boatus to get towing on the water. I had to use it last year when i was out with the family on Ontario. Absolutely worth the price, even if you don't use it just for peace of mind. They came quick and expertly towed me in astern right to the launch ramp. I can't really think of a good reason not to have it. This way you won't be ruining someone else's fishing trip by having to be towed in, or worse, someone getting injured.I think the only drawback is they can't come out and get you on every lake.

Unfortunately Boat Us has no operations on the finger lakes...something they fail to admit prior to taking your money...

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