Thanks for the kudos, but I can't claim credit for basic seamanship. I learned most of that from reading my copy of Chapman's Seamanship & Small Boat Handling, (aka The Sailor's Bible) over 35 years ago. Read it cover to cover several times when I was a kid. Wish I had that kind of time these days.
Anyway, I'll also make no claims to be an artist, but I managed to bang this out in PowerPoint. I left off the amas to simplify the diagram.
Good thinking on the knots, Pirate. I'd forgotten that technique. Just to clarify a couple points,,,
1. Do not tie the tow line to the bow or stern shackle. Run it through the shackle so that the tension in the line keeps the bow and stern lined up with the direction of travel.
2. Rudder up so that it doesn't try to steer the boat around.
3. The line between the towing vessel and the first tow should be long enough so that the tow is riding at, or just behind the crest of the first or second wave created by the wake of the towing vessel. Too short and the tow will want to fall forward off the wave, possibly getting swamped by the wake wave, or even hitting the stern of the towing vessel. Too long and you are always pulling the tow up or into the backside of that wave.
4. Don't necessarily tie the short line to the mast. Take several wraps around the base of the mast and then tie the line to something convenient, such as the aka crossbar. That way the mast takes the load of the towing, but the knot is out where it's easy to access and untie.
Do a google search on towing a dinghy. There are a number of useful articles out there on the subject.
- Jim L