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Technique for Getting Home with No Wind

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    Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 3:52pm

 Power boats are nice be in sometimes

 

http://www.gaznjax.co.uk/Albitowing.mpg

 

.....not quite 20kts though.



Edited by GK.LaserII
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 2:17pm

Its some years ago now but we towed our rescue boat home to Sheppey after a breakdown off Liegh-on-Sea.  The recue boat was a dory with about 3 people on board and a 40 horse motor on the back.  We used the most powerfull boat we had available - a 5o5 and learn't a few tricks.

It was obvious that we couldn't tow from the stern as one snatch of the rope would have pulled the transom off, also we realised you must tow from approximately the centre of the boat or you can't luff or bear away because of the tow pulling the stern around.  You also can't go to windward because you go so slowly the centreboard doesn't bite.

However it was a light to medium day and a reach and it took us about 3 hours for the 7 miles.  We used a rope bridle in the middle of the boat and towed from a position of in front and to windward of the dory.  We had 3 in the 5o and 2 in the rescue boat.  Fortunately the Thames was flat or it might have been another story.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 11:01am

or: Tie/bungee the tiller in the middle, both grab a trap handle, and get out on the wings. Stand out, dangling one handed from the handle, and alternately bend your legs to get the boat rocking. Do this well, and you won't stall or spin.

 

As for towing powerboats with sailing boats- been there, done that (using a wayfarer with towing anchor points on the transom)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 9:13am

As you know the 4000 is a tippy boat so in no wind you don't have the stabilising pressure of the wind on sails.  Therefore leave the board right down to at least dampen any rocking motion and make sure the rudder is central (somebody's leg on the tiller extension will hold it that way).   Both move outwards to the racks and lay face down.  You can either paddle with an arm over the side of the rack or better still through the gap between rack and deck.

The boom can be released from the mainsail at the aft end but then the boom is on the deck and in the way of the tiller.  The mainsail being fully battened powers up in the slightest breeze - even without the boom so if there is even the slightest waft of air one of the crew will have to abandon paddling and balance the boat and steer.  But then if there is even a waft of air you are probably going to go as fast by sailing.

One tip when sailing high performance boat in force 1 is don't ever try and point.  Close reach everywhere.  The sails are too stiff to read and the boat is inclined to go into irons and is almost impossible to get out of irons without paddling.  Sail on a reach and tack through 120 degrees believe me you'll get there faster.  Don't try pumping this sort of boat the big roach high up and skinny centreboard just turns the boat head-to-wind and you're stuffed.

On a river like the Medway (strong tides) tie a 6mm x 6m rope to the base of the mast and hold the end up to any passing boat with power - someone will get the message.  Or wait an hour or so.  A calm is an equalibrium of all the forces in the atmosphere - such a balance will never last long.  If you paddle you'll be lucky to make a mile in an hour, wait an hour and a breeze will probably arise and give you enough to cover that mile and another in the next hour.

In my next post I'm going to share my experience of towing a power boat from a dinghy.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mossman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 8:36am

It seems like it is going to be worthwhile investing in a paddle and a tow rope (just need to think where I can stow the paddle in the Vareo).

I am very interested in the technique from Laser4000. Would you mind clarifying a few things for me:
- what do you do with the daggerboard (as it was against the tide I was trying to keep it raised as much as possible)?
- how much should you have the mainsail sheeted in?
- is it an even rolling action or do you go slower when rolling it to the side the sail is hanging?

If anyone can find a youtube link showing someone using Laser4000's technique that would be fantastic (I'm a bit rubbish on the internet and never seem to choose good search words).

RS Vareo 541 "Troika"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser4000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 08 at 11:46pm
depends a bit on the type of boat. on a laser 1 the Standing on the foredeck technique, rolling the boat by holidng the mast works really well (just remember to lift the rudder 1st). I won a 'cheating' race by a mile once with that one..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lukepiewalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 08 at 5:47pm
An anchor on a long warp? Or sail to the nearest shore and walk, if the ground allows.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender 541 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 08 at 4:30pm

Your own tow rope is (in theory) an absolute must

Think salvage laws

When you find a big kettle of crazy it's probably best not to stir it - Pointy Haired Boss

Crew on 505 8780

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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 08 at 4:10pm

On tidal waters you've got a problem because even a good paddle will make for hard work against the tide.  Two paddles are much better but I sail a Laser4000 and there is virtually no storage space.  For short distances we can lie along the deck on opposite sides and get quite a good speed for a couple of hundred metres by using our arms as paddles.  But a tow rope on board is the answer for longer distances - or wait for the tide to turn.

When your top speed is only 3K and the adverse tide is 2K you will soon see the advantage of getting into the shallows - its quite easy to double your speed but even then its going to take hours to cover the sort of distance you could sail in 15 minutes.

On the other hand a calm is rarely going to last more than an hour or so and even in a few Knots of wind you'll get up to 2 or 3 knots of speed - so be patient and you'll get there.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stefan Lloyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 08 at 3:38pm

Stick your thumb out and get a tow? It helps if you have your own tow rope.

Otherwise "against the tide but really hard work and took ages" - yes it will.

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