SAFE TOWING

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Tom Hale’s ar­ti­cle in the Fe­bru­ary is­sue was ac­com­pa­nied by an il­lus­tra­tion show­ing an in­flat­able used as a ten­der. Un­for­tu­nately, the il­lus­tra­tion shows us­ing a fab­ric hand­hold as a se­cur­ing lo­ca­tion on the in­flat­able. Do­ing so will likely re­sult in dam­ag­ing the in­flat­able.

Fab­ric hand holds like the ones il­lus­trated are meant for pas­sen­ger com­fort and safety. The lat­eral stress of a line with ten­sion such as is likely to hap­pen dur­ing a tow is more than is de­signed for these at­tach­ments. The weak­ness is likely to tear the fab­ric of the hand hold.

Tow rings and in­stalled “D-rings” are de­signed for the max­i­mum strength when the force pulls in the di­rec­tion of the in­stal­la­tion along the tube.

— Jeff Go­ing, Es­sex, CT

Hi Jeff, Thank you for your com­ments on the pic­ture in which the towing lines are tied to the fab­ric han­dles of the in­flat­able. While the ar­ti­cle it­self sug­gests ty­ing off to the D rings, I should also have been more spe­cific and said that only the U bolts, lift­ing rings and D rings are ap­pro­pri­ate points to se­cure the dinghy for an along­side tow.

Cheers, Tom

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