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10 Must-Haves for Yacht Tender Towing

 

The MacGregor Yachts team has comprised the following suggestions for safe and efficient tender towing. Bringing along high-end outboard boats on excursions can be both economically sound and tremendously resourceful. Tenders will open up your activity options and bring you to areas where your mother ship cannot adventure. Here are 10 suggestions for proper and safe tender towing:

1. Install Multiple High Capacity Bilge Pumps with Ultra Pump Float Switches

This will give the tender bilge pumps redundancy and create reliability. The ultra switches eliminate the possibility of the pump getting stuck in the

“on” position and draining the tender’s batteries.

2. Wire the Spot Light or Visible Forward Spreader Light to the Ultra Auto Bilge Pump Switches (Important to Be Daylight Visible)

This will indicate to the crew that the pumps are active day and night.

3. Install a Solar Charger for the House Batteries/Pump Batteries

This will efficiently keep the charge on all batteries being used to run the bilge pumps. Important: the charger output should exceed the pump

amperage draw.

4. Install additional deck drain/scuppers.

This is only necessary if the tender is being towed in extreme sea conditions. The additional drains will remove excess water in the vessel that adds

additional weight and could cause the vessel to capsize.

5. Install Steering Locking System or Tie Bar.

This will prevent the motors from turning while undertow. This will help prevent a broaching condition and will keep the tender tracking straight. 

6. Install Heavy Duty (Double Point) Towing Bracket

The bracket needs to consist of an internal over sized mounting plate with a reinforced fiberglass bow section and a through bolted stainless steal

d-ring for an additional tagline for backup towing capabilities.

With the double point attachment system, the boat will have a back-up security in the event of a line detaching from the brackets.

7. Use a Spectra Tow Line with Double Braid Bridle

The Spectra main towline is extremely strong and lightweight for ease of storage, retrieval, and use. The double braid bridle allows the line to

stretch for smooth and flexible towing.

8. Equip the Tender and Mother Ship with Proper Chafing Gear for All Necessary Areas

This is a must in any area where the towline could possibly rub or chafe. Some recommended supplies include carpet, fire

hose material, and rubber hose material.

9. Install an AIS System / GOST Tracking System

These units transmit the position of the tender in event that the boat is lost. If possible, install a separate battery source to run the system that will

power the equipment for 7+ days of operation.

10.Install a Radar Reflector and a Solar White Light

A radar reflector is important on small boats to allow the tender to be visible by all passing marine traffic.

In the event of total battery failure or drain, a solar white all round light can be used as a backup for the vessel to be seen at night. We recommend

the very reliable and waterproof Sea Lite SL60.

 

Towing can be extremely challenging, especially in rough sea conditions. Always consider the sea conditions through the eyes of the tender, not the mother ship. Eight-foot seas may not be an issue for a 100’ vessel, but may be very challenging and dangerous for a 25’ tender. Always be educated on the current and future marine forecast during your voyage. Weather can be extremely unpredictable and can change in a matter of minutes or miles.

            Always consider the manpower needed to handle both the mother ship and tender in the event of an emergency. NEVER put a crewmember at risk for the safety of a tender or piece of equipment.

Happy Adventures and Safe Towing!

 

Written and Edited by Tom Ewer and Traci Ewer

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