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Thread: Modify boat for towing

  1. #1
    Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Modify boat for towing

    There was some talk about towing so I thought about starting this thread.

    I have owned and operated private boats for a long time. I used to fish and video off shore for tuna in Calif. and Baja I have been towed and towed other boats in the past.

    I have seen what can happen if a boat is not set up to tow.

    Here are a couple of upgrades I have made to my boat in case I have to be towed or tow someone.

    I reinforced the backing on my stern cleats. I cut -inch marine plywood to fit for backing and then cut -inch aluminum plate to fit also. I bought the widest stainless bolts that would fit the cleats and used stainless nylock nuts I also used lock tight.

    I reinforced my bow eye by cutting a hole in the floor board of my boat to access the bow eye nuts. I reinforced the bow eye with marine plywood and aluminum plate and use lock tight and stainless nylock nuts.

    After the marine plywood was cut to shape and the holes drilled I applied 2 coats of fiberglass resin.

    I will never tow any boat by attaching the rope to one stern cleat. I carry a -inch nylon rope bridle to attach to both stern cleats. I tie the tow rope to the middle of that bridle.

    I stow 100-ft of -inch nylon rope on my boat just in case it is needed.


  2. #2

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    What do you do for a barricade if rope breaks and comes back at you? Most tow boats have protection, just a thought.

  3. #3

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    Nice, did a something like that, maybe not a succum, added a strong SS U-bolt to the center of my stern also, not for towing per say. I have a bridle set up with net floats so it floats if it fall in water. 50' Anchor line ready to go and also used for shallow anchoring up.
    Way better to be ready than wish you where when things go bad in bad stuff.

  4. #4

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    Yup. Float on the bridle. I've added a pelican quick release to mine for attaching the tow line. If I ever need to get free quick, I don't want to be looking for a knife or scrambling with knots. No additions to the hull because I have two cleats. I like them for not having to stand on my head to attach the bridle (spliced loop at each end). Additional virtue of using the cleats is I can grab and control the bridle easier than if it's down on pad eyes or whatever on the stern.

  5. #5
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yup. Float on the bridle. I've added a pelican quick release to mine for attaching the tow line. If I ever need to get free quick, I don't want to be looking for a knife or scrambling with knots. No additions to the hull because I have two cleats. I like them for not having to stand on my head to attach the bridle (spliced loop at each end). Additional virtue of using the cleats is I can grab and control the bridle easier than if it's down on pad eyes or whatever on the stern.
    What happens when the strain comes off the towline and the hook comes undone?

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    What happens when the strain comes off the towline and the hook comes undone?
    Never been an issue. As the strain comes off the pelican drops and gravity takes care of the ring.

  7. #7
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    Whitesboro, Texas
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    I bought a Plate Alloy boat with welded in cleats [6] . The only thing I have worried about is the tow line [ yoke ] hitting my motor. I wish I had a bracket around the motor.

  8. #8
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    I have had the rope break once and it just fell into the water.

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