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 Post subject: Tow Job
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
It was sunny and 82 deg. F here yesterday, so we decided to try our hand at conch diving from the new TI. Found out that keeping the tramps rolled up makes it a much easier platform for diving. And then I found out that La Gringa was happy to tow me around on the anchor line, looking for conch with my face plate and snorkel. She pulled me for most of an hour.

Image

I had to route the anchor line back to the stern of course. The line we are using was only about 25 ft. long, so it was too short to be ideal. My drag right on the stern limited her ability to navigate. But with a longer rope, say 100 ft. attached to the back of the boat, This is going to work out to be a great way for us to check out fishing and diving spots by covering a lot of territory by eyeball.

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Your problem probably isn't with how short the line was, but attaching it close to the rudder. We've towed other kayaks and AI's, and unless we attach (or hold) the line more mid-ship, it drastically effects steering.

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:50 pm 
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yep, that makes sense, now that I think about it. She was able to sail forward, but that was in the direction we wanted to go. She would not have been able to turn with my drag down the centerline.

The natural pivot point would be just behind the centerboard, wouldn't it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:50 am 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
Its only a guess it will work, but; If you create a wide Y rope, you can then anchor your rope's one on each side of the aka's. It will reduce any side pull and will also give you a far more solid anchor point. You may find you will need to add a small weight at the junction of the Y so the rope sinks away from fins and rudder etc that are poking rear of of the aka's.

If you have two people diving on the other end of the rope, add another Y but reversed so you have a line each rather than work off the same line, Its how we scallop dive behind the boats and if I have anyone come out with me on the AI to dive, it's how we do it. Can guarantee that it works :wink:.


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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Thats good to know. That was what I was thinking, tying a tow point in the middle of the rear cross beam. I just haven't worked out how to keep it leading over the top cleanly so it doesn't foul the rudder, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Super photo! Oh ... did I mention how jealous I am? :mrgreen: It is minus 26 degrees celcius (-15 F) here today. I won't even talk about the wind chill factor! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
It's 80 here right now, at 6:00 PM. But it's been cloudy all day, and pretty windy. 20 kts out of the NE.

I did manage to pick up a couple conch on that trip, and tried out a prototype net I made to use on the akas instead of the trampolines when we are diving.

Image

We also got a chance to use the little folding anchor Hobie offers.

Image

The underwater shots were all messed up that day. I was having issues with the inside of the u/w housing fogging up.

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
I would think that attaching a single tow line to inner half of the rear windward Aka would improve your sailing and help clear the rudder (just as placing your rump on this area will).

However, if you attach to the rear center crossbar, have the swimmer try to stay on the windward side. See if this helps.

Mmmmm.,,,It occurs to me that you and La Prima Gringa are in a perfect spot to continue our TI "man-overboard" tests.

Dooley the Defender should love that. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:09 pm 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
NOHUHU wrote:
Dooley the Defender should love that. :wink:



Funny you should mention the little blighter. He's ALREADY been overboard twice. And we've only had the boat a little over a month.

Image

Thats about two or so miles off the nearest dry land..

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
Hi Gringo, not sure if you got what I mean as you will have two tie points on the kayak (one each side off the akas) not a single tie point. The Y in the rope will be at the top and if made long/wide enough and with a small weight at the junction of the Y, the whole lot should be well clear of any rudder or fins to foul on. I myself would probably attach each rope out on the ends of each aka with the ropes suspended under the kayak, of course you could only do this easily by getting into the water first, but I think it would solve your problem

When scalloping, I clip my scallop catch bag onto the end of the rope and hang onto it rather than the rope, its a lot more comfortable to hold and it also allows me to control which way the bag is facing. Mind you I am doing scuba not snorkel.
Image

Which ever way you get them, those Conch (I think you called them that) look delicious.

PS; try not to pull anchors over reefs and target the sand where ever possible. Sadly anchors destroy reef habitat. Your anchor will also hold in sand a lot better if you have about 1 yard of chain leading off it. Tie your rope/chain to a D ring off the bottom, not the top like you have it, then attach the rope to the top of the anchor with 20lb fishing line or a small ziptie (emphasis on small). That way, if you snag, if you pull hard enough on the rope, the line/ziptie will brake and then all the pulling force will be from the bottom of the anchor, not the top. Pulling form the bottom may, and in most circumstances, will, pull the anchor out backwards away from its actual anchor point and against the actual way it is designed to hold. Once you have brought your anchor to the surface (not left behind wedged in a reef somewhere along with 20 yards of anchor line), just attach some new line or ziptie and you are ready to go again. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:31 pm 
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ELM wrote:


PS; try not to pull anchors over reefs and target the sand where ever possible. Sadly anchors destroy reef habitat. Your anchor will also hold in sand a lot better if you have about 1 yard of chain leading off it. Tie your rope/chain to a D ring off the bottom, not the top like you have it, then attach the rope to the top of the anchor with 20lb fishing line or a small ziptie (emphasis on small). That way, if you snag, if you pull hard enough on the rope, the line/ziptie will brake and then all the pulling force will be from the bottom of the anchor, not the top. Pulling form the bottom may, and in most circumstances, will, pull the anchor out backwards away from its actual anchor point and against the actual way it is designed to hold. Once you have brought your anchor to the surface (not left behind wedged in a reef somewhere along with 20 yards of anchor line), just attach some new line or ziptie and you are ready to go again. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:16 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Gringo, love the photo of your dog.

Very clear waters where you are. Unlike you. I'd love to go snorkeling and/or diving using my TI as the platform. But I'm too worried to leave it unatended on the surface where I sail. It can get crowded and potentially becomes a shipping hazard. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:45 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Hey Gringo is your anchor plastic or metal? and is it a Hobie extra? Great photos and locations guys. This is one great world I am sure you would agree...Pirate

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:42 am 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Thanks for the tips. And don't worry about the anchor. The first thing I do when we get to an area where we want to dive is to swim down and secure the anchor. Since we are almost ALWAYS near live coral here, I always move the anchor to a spot where it won't damage anything live. I took that photo on the way down to grab the little anchor and move it. That's just where it initially landed. There are always a bunch of rocks laying around and I always jam the anchor flukes under one. If it's a sandy area I make sure it's well set.

In my 40 years working on and under the ocean, this is the first one of these little folding grapple anchors I have ever played with. All our other anchors are way too big for this little kayak. (Our other boat is presently a 25 ft. Contender with a 300 horse outboard.) But I do know a fair bit about anchors. I like Danforths, Fortress, and Bruce myself. And I do know about the trip lines. This little folding one we got from Hobie is kinda neat. I found out I can kinda "customize" it to fit into rock crevices. I folded up two of the flukes, and the other two fit perfectly into a crack between two rocks that kept it jammed right where I wanted it. Once I realized that I didn't have to depend upon the sand holding power of it, I saw all kinds of possibilities. You can fold up three of the flukes, and with one out it becomes an "L" shaped anchor and this can be braced between rocks, too.

We don't use SCUBA or our Hookah here when diving for conch. It's against the rules to use breathing apparatus when conch diving. And spears are prohibited ( with two exceptions allowing Hawaiian slings). This is probably why we have so many fish and conch here. So we are always diving in less than 20 ft. of water. I have been diving for 48 years. We use a Brownie's Third Lung hookah setup when we want to dive someplace deeper than 20 ft, or if we need to stay on the bottom. It supplies three divers to 60 ft, and will run almost four hours on a half gallon of gasoline. I love not having to deal with handling, filling, storing, inspecting tanks. And 95% of the stuff we want to look at underwater is shallower than 50 ft.

The last thing I do when we are done diving is to free up the anchor so we can pull it. But this little folding one is so light I just picked it up and carried it with me. In fact, when I pulled it free from the rock I had jammed it under, I noticed how fast I was drifting tied to the boat. So I stayed in the water, and this is what started the whole "Tow Job" thing in the first place. I carried the anchor, and when I saw something I wanted to check out I just dropped it, which stopped the boat. It was working well. I am still not clear on the tow point idea. I am thinking now maybe a slip link, like a carabiner, on a loop from one aka to the other. That would let the tow point slide along the rope as the boat turned.

If you are interested in conch, I have a bunch of posts on the blog that deal with them. Here's one http://2gringos.blogspot.com/search/lab ... results=20
but there are a bunch more. Once you get on the blog just click on the 'conch' heading over on the right side.

Gringo under tow:
Image

wow, am I anal about that anchor knot or what?

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 Post subject: Re: Tow Job
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
The "sliding carabiner" tow point is just what I had in mind (using and Eye Hook or Swivel Eye Bolt Snaps). Quick and easy to flip from side to side. The only thing to look out for, if there is a sudden drag on the line while under sail, would be busting an Aka brace bolt. Keeping the line on the inside half of the Aka tube will help prevent this.

I am talking full-on towing stresses here (we tend to use TI's as the tow-truck for our local club sails).

That 5KG anchor looks like a good size for the TI, but I would still add a shackle and length of coated chain for better bite in the sand, or for times you don't want to get wet.

I have not done ELMs puller tab modification to my anchor yet, but plan to. I like the zip tie method. My only concern is it breaking free (in the case of rogue wave) while I'm diving.

Image

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