Towing Kayak behind sailboat (29')

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gak
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:57 am
Location: Melrose, MA

Towing Kayak behind sailboat (29')

Post by gak » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:00 am

Have a Straitedge 2 kayak. emailed AE about towing, they thought it would be fine at a moderate pace, but to be aware of choppy water filling up the kayak and increasing weight to the point where there was a risk of damage. So far I have towed the kayak over 120 miles with very little water getting in. Have towed it up to a maximum of 7.5 knots. It tows extremely easily, rides over the top of waves without any problems, does not feel like there is any real drag from the kayak. Out of sight of land/other boats I drop in a basic abandon ship bag, water bottle and paddle without affecting the towing. I am very suprised at how well the velcro holds the handles on. The kayak makes a definite sound through the water when towed, is easy to tell it is still there without having to look at it all the time.
Be careful when leaving kayak right alongside boat when at anchor; the plastic valves on the main inflation tubes definitely scratch the hell out of the gelcoat on the boat hull, so need to make sure those valves are away from the hull.

RichardB
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:33 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Post by RichardB » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:47 pm

I intend to use my convertible as a yacht tender as well. Where did you attache the towing line (I don't see an obvious place for this). A nice stainless ring on the bow would be nice, but how would I attach this. I presume a sailmaker could sew it on, but the area might have to be reinforced. Ideas?

gak
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:57 am
Location: Melrose, MA

Post by gak » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:29 am

The Straitedge2 has the carry handles in just the right spot for towing, and they have certainly proven strong enough (check out my reviews on paddle.net for details of towing). I see your point with the convertible carry handles so far back from the bow. I don't know what would happen to the integrity of the bow on the convertible if you were to slip a tow ring ('nose' ring...??!!??) through the bow. I emailed the AE company before I towed the kayak- they were very helpful, and every bit of advice they gave me turned out to be right on the money, so I recommend emailing them directly (they are very professional and will offer advice, they won't chastise you for wanting to mess with their baby....).
I would recommend avoiding using the optional single/double deck on the convertible when using it for getting on and off the sailboat. The reason I chose the straitedge2 as a tender is that getting in and out of a a sit-inside kayak from a sailboat can be daunting (been there, done that....), and a balancing act at the best of times, where as the open space of the sit-on-top straitedge makes it a breeze no matter what the sea conditions (no awkawrd shuffling/ positioning and it is safer) again, you can check my reviews at paddling.net. You do have the advantage with the convertible of not using the decks and this opens up most of the kayak effectively making it a sit-on top, so getting on and off it will be much easier, and in colder waters, safer. If you have two people on the kayak I would recommend the front seat person unclipping the back of their seat before they get into/out of the kayak from the boat, so they to can slide back and take advantage of the open area of the kayak.
These are very stable kayaks and I have found mine to be an excellent tender, although as with any kayak, not as dry as a dinghy- but on nice days I have on occasion been able to get passengers from dock to boat without getting them wet (adequate inflation is key....), although they are always nervous when I tell them to go ahead and stand up to get onto the sailboat.....(I'm a nice guy, I only get hem to stand when the weather is nice, otherwise I get them to step on the swim ladder, which means, horror of horrors, they get their feet wet for a second.......).
If hauling gasoline (or any fuel) triple, or at the very minimum double bag it- these liquids will destroy the very fabric of your kayak if they come in contact with it (I double checked with the company).
Only once I have had problems getting out to the sailboat with the kayak (I was paddling solo) - small craft advisory was in effect, winds 25 to 30+knots with very frequent and sustained gusts of 40+knots (according to VHF channel 4), whitecaps as far as the eye could see. Yep I was the only idiot out there trying to get to my boat, and I probably will not do it again in those conditions. The kayak actually handled it fine, was very stable throughout in the very choppy/whitecapped waves, and I had no concerns about tipping out but the struggle against the wind was exhausting (I am out of shape). If I had a second paddler it would have helped considerably.
These kayaks are an appropriate choice as tenders- the stability is outstanding and if you can find out from th AE guys how to tow it without damage you will be very satisfied with your choice. The kayaks cause no obvious drag and tend to skip over the surface when towed.

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