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DaleH

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Tues night and Fri night I towed in hapless boaters with E10 fuel problems. Today I was fishing the beach front rips in Ipswich, MA for bass (and catching NOTHING :( ) when I saw a Parker 2530 revving it's OB up on the beach. Funny, or not, but I saw him go way too far in on the outgoing tide and I took notice as it was another Parker model. Well sure enough , he went too far in and got stuck and was trying to goose his deep-V extra-long cabin off the beach.

The wind was honking 25+ from the West, which was where the tide was aimed too, so I floored it so I ended up further West of him and drifted back in the wind/tide not 20' off his bow. I picked up his anchor rode with a boat hook and took it fast to my stern cleat and had him pay out 50' extra of line. Sure enough, between the wind and tide together, plus a little goose from my rebuilt OB, I had him off the beach in a second or two as soon as his bow line went tight.

The owner couldn't thank me enough, ... so I just said "That's what Parker owners do for each other ...". He also stopped by my mooring area to thank me later in the day and he wanted to know what he could do ... so I said "Please join us and put a post onto ClassicParker.com ... me thinks I need to make up some CP business cards :) !
 

Megabyte

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DaleH":zgwy3abe said:
me thinks I need to make up some CP business cards :) !
I think this idea was brought up before in another thread. :D
Time to print a few up!

Nice work there Dale. :wink:
I towed a sailboat back into my boat yard 2 weeks ago.
It had nothing to do with E10 fuel though... he just plain ran out of gas. :lol:
 

cbigma

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DaleH":3r12ga3f said:
between the wind and tide together, plus a little goose
Where did you pick up the little goose? An Aflac commercial? I don't think the goose got proper credit for this un-grounding. :roll:

I got a call from TowBoat US, they said you're dippin' into their business up there, and they don't like it. 8)

Keep up the good work Dale.

...John
 

cbigma

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I think this would be an EXCELLENT spot to post a “How-To” on Towing with a Parker.

Unfortunately I have no clue as to the best approach. I respectfully defer to you seasoned Parker Captains to offer your advice to us fellow Parker Owners.

We of course understand that with the convenience and availability of TowBoat US and Sea Tow in almost all boating regions, we should only take this task upon ourselves in emergency situations.

This subject may have been covered nicely on THT, but I think it would be good to capture a thread that is Parker-specific on Classic Parker. Parkers may have some handling nuances or cleat-strength issues that need to be addressed that may not have been covered elsewhere.

I for one would like to have a towing bridle specific to my Parker rigged and ready to go ahead of time, instead of trying to fashion one quickly on a wet deck in a snot.

But if we absolutely –need- to hitch our Parkers into the harness and pull, what is the best way to rig a towing bridle on a PH, or CC, and under what conditions would you tow side-by-side vs. a single line astern? What say the wisdom of Classic Parker?
 

TomS

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I recently had to put together a quick towing bridle.. here is what I did.

I took two 15' dock lines, and attached them to the stern cleats. In the end of each line, I tied a bowline loop.

I then took a 20 or 25' line, and tied a bowline loop in the end of it that captured the other two bowline loops. When we got up to the boat being towed, we handed them the end of the 20/25' line and they simply attached the 'factory' loop onto their bow cleat.

Using two stern lines allowed me to spread the load across the stern cleats.

If was going to tie up a ready-made towing bridle, I would do something very similar, but I would use poly-propolene line because it floats and would be less likely to get caught in the outboard if there was slack in the towing line.

There is a lot of current where I usually boat, so I wouldn't typically choose to do a side-by-side tow. If current wasn't an issue, and I really had to maneuver in tight quarters, I would do a side-by-side.

The key to a good side-to-side tow is making sure that the engine of the boat under power is further aft than the transom of the boat being towed.

Depending on the relative sizes of the boats, I would try to get the boat being towed's transom slightly aft of midships, taking a line from my midship cleat to the boat being towed's transom cleat, and possibly another line from the outboard transom of the boat being towed diagonally aft to my stern cleat. In the bow I would make sure the line connecting the bows of both boats was very secure. Of course, you want to make sure there are plenty of fenders between the two hulls.

Keeping the boat under power furthest aft gives you a lot more leverage in turning, etc..

-- Tom
 

Megabyte

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Tom covered it all pretty darn well, so I'll just show what I use in case I need to make a tow...

The sailboat that I brought in was small (27 to 30'), and we were close to the boatyard in calm water. In that instance, I just used my 'quick and dirty' towline. It is a 1/2" three strand twist line of aprox 60' and I've attached a pair of heavy duty quick snaps for easy hookups.



With this line, all I do is to snap one hook to one of my stern eyes, and pass the other end to the other boat to attach to something substantial. On a power boat, it could be a bow eye. On a sailboat, it could be to a bow cleat.

For longer, or heavier tows, I use a bridle/hawser arrangement very much like what Tom described.



I used four docklines I had in my 'stash', and made a bridle with two of them. One place where mine is different... instead of using a bowline to make a loop in the rope, I tie a figure-eight-on-a-bight. You get the same result, but with a little less stress on the line due to the knot.

On my boat, the bridle line goes down through the hawse pipes to the stern cleats. In order to maneuver, the towline needs to be forward, closer to the center of the boat in order to be able to maneuver. That is why you always see the Samson post on tow vessels forward, towards their pivot point.



At the juncture of the bridle and the tow hawser, I clipped a crab-pot float, painted flourescent orange to keep the tow line out of my prop.

The tow hawser is simply a pair of docklines again connected with a figure-eight knot. If conditions are bad, and you need more catenary, simply dig into your dockline bag and add as many as you need. If you need to fashion a tow bridle for the boat in distress, you can do the same. Make up lines as needed.

But... for an emergency towline, this one fits well in an old canvas tote bag.



Tom gave a great example of towing on-the-hip, and his advice is spot on.

If you must get another boat into a slip, or have to maneuver in very tight quarters, proper setup is required... and is beyond the scope of most Good Samaritan tows. The two vessels need to be joined in such a way that they act as one... and the towing vessel must be able to maneuver.

If you'd like to read more about towing, read Primer of Towing by George H Reid. It's a great book on the subject.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087033 ... e&n=283155



Remember... If you can keep someone out of danger, or perform a simple Good Sam tow, go with your heart and your abilities. Otherwise, offer to call a professional tow service for them.

After all... That is why the pros are out there. :wink:

 

rangerdog

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I had to tow a guy after only having had my boat a month or so. I had much angst but I knew I couldn't leave him stranded. I used a single line from my stern port cleat to his bow eye and took it really slow!
 

DaleH

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To be brutally honest ... with the litigious society we have nowadays, I really watch what I'll agree to tow or not. If I know the person, no problem, unless seas conditions require the Pro as Kevin stated. Otherwise I'll call Sea Tow or Boat/US for them. Less the Parker I pulled off the beach, the others were small skiffs that I could have towed up on plane ... and they weren't a mile or so from the harbor.

I also run a similar towing rig to Kevin in that it is a Y-bridle with floating ball, that goes through each stern corner "U" ring and then up & over the poopdeck and down through the hawse pipes to the stern cleats. This gives 2 points of leverage per side.

Use nylon for the towing line and I tie a heavy towel at the mid point between towed boat boat and tow boat in case the tow line snaps. All passengers are transferred to the tow boat, less the Capt of the boat being towed, who has a knife on hand and stays away from the bow deck.
 

cbigma

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Great Stuff Here all… Thanks.

Tom’s hip-tow description is exactly the kind of detail I was looking for.

Somehow I just –knew- Kevin had to have a ready-bag with a bridle all rigged and set to go… I actually expected nothing less from him. :D

The fluorescent crab pot buoy is an excellent touch. Peace of mind.

So based on what you guys have told me so far, for maneuverability on a single-line tow we would be better off rigging the bridle between the two mid-ships cleats which would put the actual towing point slightly aft of midships. However, those of us with OB Parkers would obviously have issues with the OB sticking up.

And we should use the stern cleats instead of the transom eyes…..because? ….because it would be better to rip off a cleat than your transom? :shock:

One thing I’ve always wondered about is….what about using the bow eye on the disabled craft as a towing point instead of a bow deck cleat? I know it is easier to release the towing line from a deck cleat when the tow is over, but during the tow wouldn’t a bow eye give you better handling characteristics? The bow of the disabled craft would have a better attitude with a tow on the bow eye, since our Parker gunnels are pretty low and the tow rope is at elevation 2.0 ft when it leaves the Parker. With the stern cleat tow, we are pulling the disabled craft “down”. Or is that what we want to do?

Thanks for all your input guys, I hope others with Parker-specific towing experience with continue to post their experiences to this thread, adding to the Classic Parker Knowledgebase.

John
 

Megabyte

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cbigma":107t75ki said:
So based on what you guys have told me so far, for maneuverability on a single-line tow we would be better off rigging the bridle between the two mid-ships cleats which would put the actual towing point slightly aft of midships. However, those of us with OB Parkers would obviously have issues with the OB sticking up.
If you were towing commercially, you'd have a Samson post mounted in your cockpit, ideally at your pivot point.
You can see the post in this shot of the Towboat Reliant.



For the type of towing we're talking about, it wouldn't be practical to tie to the springline cleats, mostly due to the outboard being in the way. We also don't have Samson posts installed. For us, the next best anchor points are the stern cleats.

Towboats that tow with outboard power generally employ a protective bar or cage over the motors like the one on this fireboat. Also notice the protective "Jesus screen", just in case the line parts... :shock:



Here is a C-Hawk operated by SeaTow Annapolis. Notice the protective bar over the motors, and the Samson post in the aft portion of the cockpit.



Here is another fireboat (Baltimore City FD) where you can see how they protect their motors. Also notice the protective screen ahead of the Samson post.



Here is a USCG 25' 'SafeBoat'. Notice that their towline drum is mounted high, on top of the pilothouse.
The CG Aux member is leaning on the Samson post.



Here is another fireboat with an even simpler arrangement.



Ever seen an I/O powered RHIB outfitted for towing?



And we should use the stern cleats instead of the transom eyes…..because? ….because it would be better to rip off a cleat than your transom? :shock:
I'd rather use the stern cleats because I believe they are stronger, and better suited for the task. Proceed slowly, don't snatch the towline, and you shouldn't damage any hardware. :)

One thing I’ve always wondered about is….what about using the bow eye on the disabled craft as a towing point instead of a bow deck cleat? I know it is easier to release the towing line from a deck cleat when the tow is over, but during the tow wouldn’t a bow eye give you better handling characteristics?
I've been towed twice. Once in my first year of ownership (bad O2 sensor), and once in my second year (fuel related).
In the photo above of Towboat Reliant, I was towed using my bow eye.
In my second tow by Towboat Recovery, I was towed using a bridle that attached to my two bow cleats.



So the answer to your question is... I believe it depends on the tow operator, his equipment, and his experience.
As you can see from the photos of the various towing setups above, there really isn't a 'standard tow setup', and we aren't commercial towers. :wink:
We're just enthusist boat owners looking for the safest and easiest way to get the job done should we be put in the position to have to make a tow. :)
 

cbigma

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Megabyte":3rktlham said:
We're just enthusist boat owners looking for the safest and easiest way to get the job done should we be put in the position to have to make a tow. :)
And that sums it all up best Kevin. :wink:

I'm not going out looking for trouble, I just want to make sure that when I absolutely need to tow from my Parker, I have the benefit of the collective wisdom of Classic Parker as a guide. :D

Nice collection of service boat photos there Kevin. Thanks for sharing these.

John
 

Megabyte

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Porkchunker":2dfxod6w said:
Um....Kevin...tell us again about that 2nd "fuel related" tow. :D :D :D
Here is the abbreviated version...

I have 3 fuel tanks on my boat, and a fuel tank selector.



I had always assumed that the fuel selector had 3 positions...
Turns out it has 4.
Port, Main, Stbd, and OFF. :cry:
 

DaleH

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Megabyte":1ab21oop said:
Here is the abbreviated version...

I had always assumed that the fuel selector had 3 positions ...
turns out it has 4.
Hmmmmmmm, does this imply you were towed in for being out of gas and you had fuel on board :oops: ?
 

Megabyte

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DaleH":23plnjy4 said:
Hmmmmmmm, does this imply you were towed in for being out of gas and you had fuel on board :oops: ?
Yep.

I knew I was going to run the Port tank dry at some point that day, but it ran out while on plane, in a busy channel, with a Grady 228 right directly on my tail. Good thing he was paying attention! :shock:

I ran back to the stern, twisted the handle, ran back to the helm and cranked... and cranked... and cranked...
I honestly thought I'd cooked the motor and was wondering how I was going to afford a new motor...

Got towed in, had the boat hauled and taken to the dealer... only to find out that in my haste, I'd turned the valve to off instead of to the main tank. :oops:

It only cost me $300 to learn that the valve has an OFF position. :cry:
 

rangerdog

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Talking about towing reminds me of a story my dad tells. He is a retired Navy officcer. He was the deck officer while towing a target ship for naval artillery practice. I guess they were towing an old frigate or something with a stranded steel cable. Anyway, one of the projectiles hit the cable which snapped and flew towards the tow ship like a rubber band. He said there was nothing to do but watch as the cable wrapped around the deckhouse and smacked the side of the hull. Unbelievably, no one was hurt but the ship was pretty messed up! :shock:
 

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