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Ferdinando posted 07-09-2002 12:35 AM ET (US)   Profile for Ferdinando   Send Email to Ferdinando  
I will be heading out to the Virgin Islands next week for a fun week in St. Johns. I have a 17 Montauk which will be towed about
60-70 miles behind a Cabo 35. Question, whats the best way to tow a Montauk? dead center behind, just with the tow eye, etc, etc. Any help will be appreciated. Fred
jimh posted 07-09-2002 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Make a towing bridle with a long line. Start at the PORT stern cleat of the towing vessel, run line astern and through the bow eye of the Whaler, return line to STARBOARD stern cleat of towing vessel.

Adjust the length of the towing line to tune where the Whaler is riding in the towing boat's wake.

Don't foul towing line in towing boat props!

Ferdinando posted 07-09-2002 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

Thks for your tip, one more question, should I leave my engine in the up or down position??????

Thks again,


sklein posted 07-09-2002 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for sklein  Send Email to sklein     
I towed mine for the first time about a week ago behind a 36 footer. It pulled very well with the motor up, but we only went up to about 17-18mph. It is more efficient to pull with the motor up as long as it pulls well.

My previous experience pulling 13 Whalers were that they would begin to skate around side-to-side really bad by about 15-16 mph with the motor up and got worse the faster it went. Pulled much better with the motor down and straight.

My advice is to try it with the motor up first, and put it down if it doesn't track well at the cruising speed you want.


jimh posted 07-09-2002 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Pulling with the motor down will add tremendously to the drag and to the tension in the tow line.

Also see this article:

jimp posted 07-12-2002 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Ferdinando -

Trial and error. As sklein states, the 13-ft skids from side to side at higher speeds. We towed a 13-ft behind 32, 38, and 42 foot sportfisherman (1965-1981: Long Island to Maine several times) at 20-kts. At 20-kts the engine had to be down or the boat would skid back and forth between the wakes. We always towed with the engine down, and as JimH states, that adds more drag.

Rig the bridle as JimH says, and find the speed where the boat tows best. We used 100' of line for the 13. I'd recommend the largest line that will fit through the bow eye. Remember, the line is not secured to the bow eye, but is allowed to run free and slide, the boat will find the best place to sit. Wake configuration, etc will help you see what's best for you.

Please report back, I'd like to hear what you figured out.


whitefoot posted 07-17-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for whitefoot  Send Email to whitefoot     
I had to tow my Montauk about 300 yards to the ramp in the Vermillion River the other day. We were in a no wake zone so we were just at idle speed, but the boat starting swaying from side to side real bad with the motor up. I mean the boat was nearly getting sideways. So I lowered the moter and we immediately stabilized. The lower unit does not have to be very far in the water to act as a rudder. Try lowering it to where the prop is just a couple of inches below the surface. This should stabilize the boat in tow while minimizing drag.
sklein posted 07-26-2002 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for sklein  Send Email to sklein     

Can you share any results, experiences? What speeds did you tow? How did the Montuak react?

where2 posted 07-31-2002 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Reading about this, and thinking about all this, part of the problem is probably too much weight in the bow of the towed crafts. My dad used to own a boat that had a deep entry and a nearly flat bottom at the stern. The result was that the bow had alot of drag while the stern had no keel to help steerage at low speeds. As a result, no matter how much you tried to keep it running in a straight line at idle, it liked to wander like a drunk on the highway. On plane, the boat was interesting too. If you trimmed the engine all the way in, it liked to try to do a 180 turn because the bow was so much drag on the water. Trimming the engine up helped remedy this problem.

I would try moving some weight around in the towed boat. Since you don't have the luxury of mounting the tow rope higher on the craft under power, shift the weight on the boat in tow to reduce the bow drag. It should have an effect similar to trimming the engine up while underway in the boat.

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