Posted by Mitchell Bernardo on April 12, 2014
The larger center console dinghys are in big demand. They are comfortable, they offer lots of freedom on the water. In Catalina and around the harbor you can cruise in comfort. The challenge is how do you bring the center console dinghy with you to Catalina if you don't have a davit? The answer for many is to tow the dinghy behind the big boat. I have personally been towing my 13' center console dinghy for about 7 years behind a couple of different larger powerboats. I have towed it in a variety of conditions on the ocean. Towing is a safe way to bring your dinghy to Catalina provided you have the proper equipment. We will go over some techniques and equipment options for towing a larger dinghy at planning speeds. The first item is a tow line. It should be a floating line so as to reduce problems with the line getting caught up in your big boats propellers. It should be about 60 to 70 feet long to place your towed dinghy back far enough to be behind the second wave being generated by your big boat moving through the water. A bridle is my first choice for both the dinghy and the big boat. This allows you to hook up two lines your dinghy and two lines to the boat. A single line will work as well. When towing at faster speeds it's good to tow with the motor in the down position, with the motor in neutral and the steering wheel tied so it's can turn. This helps the dinghy to move through the water in a straight line. Once you are going about 16 mph you will be on plane and so will your dinghy. Once on plane you can bring your boat up to a max of 20 knots for cruising to Catalina. Around the harbor have the dinghy tied up close behind your big boat..say about 15' back, let out the line all the way just before you leave the harbor entrance. The same thing when picking up the mooring or returning to your slip keep the dinghy a little way's behind your big boat. That's it..have some one keep an eye on the dinghy when cruising to Catalina and enjoy.