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Old 11-22-2023, 05:54 PM   #1
MIKE RGR
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Default Towing a sailboat

Evening All

Just a question about towing
What services do Sea Tow and BoatUS offer sailboats on Winni
I had towing insurance when I had my power boat but now that I have a small 14' sailboat Im not sure what services Seatow and BoatUS would offer

If anybody has had any experience with this please post

Thanks and take care
mike

PS I know they are not going to tow me if the wind quits
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Old 11-22-2023, 07:57 PM   #2
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Just call me and I'll come get you.

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Old 11-23-2023, 08:09 AM   #3
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Waving your arms or waving a paddle will almost always bring a passing motor boat to provide assistance like a tow back to your home dock or assistance with up-righting a roll over. For a 14' sailboat Lake Winnipesaukee is honestly one big happy helpful group of boaters who are quick to provide boater help without the need for a commercial tow boat.

You just wave a paddle at the motorboats and very quickly there will be two or three that stop to ask if you need any help ...... like, what's up here! .... you need some help?
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Old 11-24-2023, 02:28 PM   #4
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Hey 8gv and fatlazyless

Thanks for the responses
Makes me feel good about boating on Winni

Thanks again and take care
mike
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Old 11-24-2023, 08:33 PM   #5
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https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

This is what I used for my 14' Mistral, and have carried it over to my sunfish for "towing" on the Broads. Small to stay out of the way (on the sunfish I bungie it to the mast) but can expand to get the leverage I need.
My rule is always get back to shore before 6pm on a good sailing day or you will be stranded because the wind will die and then you have to paddle.
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Old 11-25-2023, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKE RGR View Post
Evening All

Just a question about towing
What services do Sea Tow and BoatUS offer sailboats on Winni
I had towing insurance when I had my power boat but now that I have a small 14' sailboat Im not sure what services Seatow and BoatUS would offer

If anybody has had any experience with this please post

Thanks and take care
mike

PS I know they are not going to tow me if the wind quits
I have a 19' sailboat with an electric Torqueedo motor for critical situations/convenience. I have not had a single critical situation since my first year with the boat (7 years ago?) when I was prone to noob errors. My guess is that 14' is too small for a motor. But as others have suggested, I think you are fine with a paddle and maybe someday a frantic wave to a power boat.

Always check the weather before you go out, stay out of the Broads as suggested above, and you're not going to be that far from home anyway
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Old 11-25-2023, 04:04 PM   #7
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Hey Flying Scot and Cam Guy

Thanks for the responses
I have an American Sail 14.6 . I do have a small collapsible paddle up in bow storage and a small Minkota trolling motor . I will be doing most of my sailing in the Winter Harbor area . So it sounds as if Im all set
My previous boats were a 4 Winns and a Robalo 160 . I had all the bases covered with those boats . Just was not sure if there was something I was missing with a sailboat
Thanks again for your advice and if you have any other ideas just shout

Thanks again
mike
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Old 11-25-2023, 04:57 PM   #8
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Hey Flying Scot and Cam Guy

Thanks for the responses
I have an American Sail 14.6 . I do have a small collapsible paddle up in bow storage and a small Minkota trolling motor
A great looking boat--enjoy
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:06 AM   #9
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Some years ago I towed a motorboat with my sailboat. Dropped sail and motored. There's help whenever you need it.
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Old 11-26-2023, 07:05 PM   #10
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Same here... spotted a few sailboats paddling in dead calm... happy to assist and tow them home.

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Old 11-26-2023, 07:39 PM   #11
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Hey Chase and Steve

Thanks for the responses . Makes me feel really comfortable about sailing on Winni

Take care
mike
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:35 AM   #12
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Waving a paddle is fine, but some days, even in a 14' boat you want to sail when the power boats don't want to bounce their bottoms off. A handheld VHF or at least a cell phone is good. For most boats like yours, not much can go wrong, but you could take on water for a variety of reasons, and still not sink. A rescue with a big pump is needed, not a passing motorboat. Breaking a stay might limit the amount of sail you want to use, so a friendly tow is good. Many years ago I was tasked to tow a 14' sailboat from Melvin Village to the Weirs. We thought that would be quicker/easier than trailer. Wrong. The centerboard cable broke so we could not raise the board. Towing was at less than headway speed because every time we moved forward the board grabbed and sent the boat skittering off in an unpredictable direction.
If you are member of Boat/US, you get some limited towing which can be upgraded (probably not needed) as well as other benefits and a pretty good magazine. Don't know the price--they have my credit card and it has been on auto renew for years.
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Old 11-30-2023, 03:06 PM   #13
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Waving a paddle is fine, but some days, even in a 14' boat you want to sail when the power boats don't want to bounce their bottoms off. A handheld VHF or at least a cell phone is good. For most boats like yours, not much can go wrong, but you could take on water for a variety of reasons, and still not sink. A rescue with a big pump is needed, not a passing motorboat. Breaking a stay might limit the amount of sail you want to use, so a friendly tow is good. Many years ago I was tasked to tow a 14' sailboat from Melvin Village to the Weirs. We thought that would be quicker/easier than trailer. Wrong. The centerboard cable broke so we could not raise the board. Towing was at less than headway speed because every time we moved forward the board grabbed and sent the boat skittering off in an unpredictable direction.
If you are member of Boat/US, you get some limited towing which can be upgraded (probably not needed) as well as other benefits and a pretty good magazine. Don't know the price--they have my credit card and it has been on auto renew for years.
I agree on the cell phone or at least an Apple Watch; and the hand pump and bailing scoop.

I cannot imagine towing a 14' boat across the Broads.

One other thing to consider is preparing for a capsize. I have not flipped mine, and I do not intend to practice, but I've run through it in my head many times. I also bought a stern ladder so that I will be able to get back into boat if I do go over
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Old 11-30-2023, 10:13 PM   #14
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Default Trolling Motor

Hey Descant and Flyingscot

Enjoyed your responses
I do have a Minkota 30# trolling motor and plan on buying a 50 AH LiFepo4 Lithium battery that should give me about 3.5 hrs run time at speed 2 +or- . The boat weighs about 360# the battery only weighs about 13 so I should be able to cover a lot of distance if I get in trouble
Just a thought
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Old 12-01-2023, 05:22 AM   #15
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Please do not talk to me about battery powered anything right now. i bought a weird name garden tool-Earthwise- and now cannot get a battery for it. I hope I never ever have to have a battery car or boat.
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Old 12-01-2023, 06:54 AM   #16
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Cool ..... do I help this sailboat?

Some 14' sailboats that have a thinner waist than the wide six foot beam on the American Sail 14.6 come equipped with two oarlocks and can be rowed pretty good by one rower. Rowing a 6'x14'6" sailboat weighing 360-lbs with one rower will not go too good except for very short rows. Probably, it could get rowed pretty well by two rowers, one on each oar, or by four rowers on four oars.

So, a very small outboard, either gas or propane or battery is very useful or you can always just wave down some passing motorboat for a tow back home when there's no wind. Most all motorboats automatically become very helpful when they see a sailboat waving for help, and if they ain't got the time to help, they just motor on by. You know there's always another motorboat, out there, looking for something to do.
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Old 12-02-2023, 11:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by MIKE RGR View Post
Hey Descant and Flyingscot

Enjoyed your responses
I do have a Minkota 30# trolling motor and plan on buying a 50 AH LiFepo4 Lithium battery that should give me about 3.5 hrs run time at speed 2 +or- . The boat weighs about 360# the battery only weighs about 13 so I should be able to cover a lot of distance if I get in trouble
Just a thought
I do not know the Minkota, but my Torqueedo gives huge peace of mind. So if the Monkota can get you home from 2-3 miles away at a reasonable speed, that's great. Even more important is to get to someone else's dock ASAP when you realize you forgot to check the weather and a storm is coming fast.(As I posted above, I don't think these things will actually happen, at least not after the first season, haha)

FLL's basic point about oars as a substitute for a motor on certain boats is also good--much more effective than a paddle.

Other motor uses--

Your direction of launching and landing from/to a dock may vary based on wind direction--you want to be downwind from the dock. Depending on your dock configuration, etc, you may find in convenient to be able to motor from one side to the other

While learning, you may find it intimidating to land in certain conditions. When you're a noob, it's always easier to drop sail and motor in.

Going to and from the boat ramp
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Old 12-02-2023, 04:00 PM   #18
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Default Towing a sailboat

FlyingScot makes an excellent point about getting to a dock (even someone else's) in event of bad weather. For years and years, I lived on Winter Harbor, and numerous times people pulled into my dock for safety-sake, and for directions. I think the boating community is particularly helpful when the circumstances turn bad. If you are boating, and you need help, just get to shore somewhere, and I am sure there will be help available.
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Old 12-04-2023, 06:07 PM   #19
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Hey FS and Campy

When I had my 4 Winns and Robalo I came out of Back Bay . I covered this end of the lake a lot Wolfeboro , Alton , Winter Harbor , Carey Beach , etc so I feel comfortable at this end of the lake . I dont foresee being out on the lake in bad weather , there are just too many apps and weather reports you can follow so you can stay out of trouble
The app Im using presently is windy:app. ,, its on the phone to check wind and wave conditions on the lake.

Does anybody have any good info on LifePo4 lithium batteries . As mentioned above I am looking for a 50 AH. Amazon has a rather large selection from $110 to $170 . Not sure about what brand . The nice thing about them is they only weigh 12# + or -
FS hope to see you on the lake , looked up your boat , nice .
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Old 12-05-2023, 12:23 PM   #20
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Hey FS and Campy

When I had my 4 Winns and Robalo I came out of Back Bay . I covered this end of the lake a lot Wolfeboro , Alton , Winter Harbor , Carey Beach , etc so I feel comfortable at this end of the lake . I dont foresee being out on the lake in bad weather , there are just too many apps and weather reports you can follow so you can stay out of trouble
The app Im using presently is windy:app. ,, its on the phone to check wind and wave conditions on the lake.
I have not been happy with any of the weather apps wrt wind speed, perhaps because they are so variable and I ask too much. I just downloaded Windy, will try this summer, thanks!
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Old 12-23-2023, 04:42 PM   #21
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Default Capt Pete Boatus

Good Evening All
Had a great conversation with Capt Pete of BOATUS the other day. He mentioned that if my sailboat did indeed get becalmed by no wind he would tow me in. Thats a nice benefit of membership . Of course I pick my sailing days with wind , have my Minkota trolling motor as a back up , but things happen .
With that said Im signing up in the spring . BOATUS
See ya all on the lake
mike
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Old 12-23-2023, 05:43 PM   #22
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Sign up now and get three more months of benefits, maybe save on insurance, discount on some Boat Show tickets. Maybe you'll rent a boat this winter? (I have no stake in this, but I think it's a good deal.
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Old 12-23-2023, 06:25 PM   #23
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Good Evening All
Had a great conversation with Capt Pete of BOATUS the other day. He mentioned that if my sailboat did indeed get becalmed by no wind he would tow me in. Thats a nice benefit of membership . Of course I pick my sailing days with wind , have my Minkota trolling motor as a back up , but things happen .
With that said Im signing up in the spring . BOATUS
See ya all on the lake
mike
If you need advice on how to sail with practically no wind at all, speak to APS. I have been amazed seeing how little wind he needs to sail.
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Old 01-06-2024, 03:38 AM   #24
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Red face My Story of A "Cell" on Winnipesaukee...

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If you need advice on how to sail with practically no wind at all, speak to ApS. I have been amazed seeing how little wind he needs to sail.
With no wind or ripples showing on the lake, I have a photograph showing my sailboat's wake!

If you have to get going, just pull out this handy-dandy gizmo:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256801973618946.html

In gray skies, I ventured to Middle Ground Shoals. Far in the distance, the lake's surface had taken-on a very dark line. I wheeled around, and headed for home base. Speed picked up, and I was on an unaccustomed plane, with the sail straining, and the bow threatening to "stuff".

I sailed close to the shoreline to cut down some of the wind. Finally, not able to control the boat any longer, I got to my neighbor's dock and turned for the shallows. So here I am, crouching in two feet of water--with my own dock 100-feet too far!

Gripping the bow handle firmly, I awaited the end of this mayhem before me. After a few minutes, the sail ripped from end-to-end, but there was nothing to be done. When the sail shortly turned into rags, the aluminum mast folded in half, and I had to let the boat go.


I climbed out of Lake Winnipesaukee to watch Winter Harbor turn entirely white. . Not a wave in sight--the surface was a frothy maelstrom. (My second "cell" experience in six decades of sailing). Probably fewer than ten minutes had elapsed from my 180 turn at Middle Ground Shoals.

My boat had fortunately been blown parallel to my dock--with the mast, sail, and spars making an improvised cushion between boat and dock. Just the sail and mast required repair--which was improvised--and a story for another time.

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Old 01-06-2024, 05:20 AM   #25
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Yes but I have seen you sail in almost no wind without that "gizmo". That was quite a storm, you never know when you venture far from home especially on a sailboat. I remember that storm a few year ago that damaged Clearwater Lodges. We were in Moultonborough in the boat and I don't think i have ever seen the sky any blacker. We sort of followed it home.
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Old 01-06-2024, 09:45 AM   #26
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Default Towing a sailboat

Between 1909 and 1975, my family operated Camp Wyanoke for Boys in Winter Harbor. Sailing in Winter Harbor was one of our most popular, and frequent (daily) activities, and weather was always a concern. Wyanoke was very fortunate to have excellent neighbors in Winter Harbor, and my Dad used to visit these neighbors to make sure the relationship stayed friendly. On more than one occasion, the weather changed almost instantly, and our sailors were forced to see refuge at a neighbor's dock for safety sake. Neighbors who are boaters make great neighbors. One of my Dad's favorite sayings was "Be alert for a weather change". How true.
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Old 01-06-2024, 02:35 PM   #27
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Between 1909 and 1975, my family operated Camp Wyanoke for Boys in Winter Harbor. Sailing in Winter Harbor was one of our most popular, and frequent (daily) activities, and weather was always a concern. Wyanoke was very fortunate to have excellent neighbors in Winter Harbor, and my Dad used to visit these neighbors to make sure the relationship stayed friendly. On more than one occasion, the weather changed almost instantly, and our sailors were forced to see refuge at a neighbor's dock for safety sake. Neighbors who are boaters make great neighbors. One of my Dad's favorite sayings was "Be alert for a weather change". How true.
I remember when the kids went to Libby in the canoes.
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