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Towing 18.5 thunderjet fishing boat

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    Towing 18.5 thunderjet fishing boat

    Hello was looking for some advise for towing our fishing boat that weighs 1300 pounds with 115 outboard behind our 1997 bayliner 4788 with 330s ,we have been looking at tow lines as well the former owner used 7/8 manilla line but it sinks, a new line called dyneema its super strong a 3/8 line has a 20,000.pound breaking strength but it has zero stretch so im leary of it has anyone tryed it ? Thanks for any reply

    #2
    I also use synthetic rope. I use a nylon bridle to give it some stretch.
    Started boating 1955
    Number of boats owned 32
    Bayliners
    2655
    2755
    2850
    3870 presently owned
    Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

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      #3


      We towed many RIBS with one being just about that size with a 155 hp from our 4788.
      Each one towed well at up to 17-18 knot range when they were located on the back side of the second stern wave - about 85' back.
      The largest we towed seasonally about 800+ miles was 14' and near 3X your estimated weight.
      We used amsteel (dyneema) with a "V" made of 3 strand nylon at the towing boat side for stretch.
      Using two points of tow on either side , chafe guard on all areas , and a quick disconnect to connect and disconnect made it pretty easy.
      Please make sure that your 4788 engines can easily reach rated rpm +3-5% even when towing.
      I will try and find a few pictures to post.
      Northport NY

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        #4
        Towing 24' Nautica RIB...


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        Northport NY

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          #5
          I have a tow line from this outfit and I'm very pleased with it: https://mooringlines.com/mooring-lin...s-tow-bridles/
          1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
          2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
          Anacortes, WA

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            #6

            We make our tow bridles for the boats...
            https://photos.shutterfly.com/album/...ll/73149378868

            https://photos.shutterfly.com/album/...ll/73149370626

            https://photos.shutterfly.com/album/...ll/73149368096
            Northport NY

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              #7
              Wants me to have to sign in to see the phots
              Future 4788 Owner
              Charleston, S.C.

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                #8
                Click image for larger version

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                Originally posted by Sportscar View Post
                Wants me to have to sign in to see the phots
                Click image for larger version  Name:	Bridle 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	76.0 KB ID:	476696
                Northport NY

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                  #9
                  Towing your Thunder Jet is quite doable...Just make a bridle out of 1/2 Poly long enough to go from port to starboard cleats with a bowline in center,use 3/8 poly with float and snap shackle at each end of tow line....I used this setup for years on our 13.5 Coho...i know not as heavy as your tow however I towed our 24' Scout just changed out tow line to
                  "Amstel" might give that a thought...I don't like towing anymore because of STUPID Boaters who will leave you wakes while your trying to tie your tow along side to get into port.
                  if at all possible have someone operate the Thunderjet while you dock..Never had a problem w/coho,but the Scout seemed to attract the idiots....Good luck...Brad
                  Brad & Sharon
                  Lady Jake
                  1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
                  LaConner,Wa. (summer)
                  2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
                  kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

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                    #10
                    Thanks to everyone who replied much appreciated !!

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                      #11
                      As the OP commented, the problem with Manila (or nylon) lines that stretch is that they sink which leaves them open to getting caught in a prop. Poly or synthetic lines float but they also don't stretch nearly as much either to help absorb shocks.

                      Is some type if snubber or spring recommended with a towing setup using floating poly line or similar?
                      1998 3587 Bayliner, Port Orchard, WA

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by baylineguy View Post
                        As the OP commented, the problem with Manila (or nylon) lines that stretch is that they sink which leaves them open to getting caught in a prop. Poly or synthetic lines float but they also don't stretch nearly as much either to help absorb shocks.

                        Is some type if snubber or spring recommended with a towing setup using floating poly line or similar?
                        The problem with manila and poly line in practical use is handling.
                        It is not easy to dispatch or retrieve and coil these larger heavier lines when you have 85"+ paid out.
                        For those of you who have 5/8" dock lines at 50'+ you will know what I mean.
                        When deploying and retrieving the tow you have the most work and the most likelihood of problems.
                        The dyneema (Amsteel or other trade names) is easy to handle. light, coils easy and is very durable - both with UV and mildew, dries very quick as well.

                        "Is some type if snubber or spring recommended"
                        Lack of stretch is the problem you are left with - although longer lengths tend to lessen that as well.
                        If you look in the above picture you will see that we have a large "V" made out of 3 strand twist to handle the shock loads.
                        But it is only on the towing boat side, its not really in the water, its limited in length, and its easy to board since it is all readily within reach.

                        This has/had worked for us for over 25 years towing RIBS and other boats from 10.5' to 27' in length over long cruises.
                        That same bridle was also often used to tow other boats much larger to safety utilizing one of the dinghies as the towing boat - very short distances.
                        Hope this helps
                        Northport NY

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