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over the Xmas / January break I took  few weeks off to chill sailing around some of the tropical islands in my area covering a few hundred miles back and forth in conditions from gentle breezes to near gales.. all the while towing my newly launched rowing boat.. It was a good opportunity to see how well it towed and how towing a 16' f/glass boat effected the performance of my tangaroa mkIV.

Im pleased to say that the effects were negligible, however towing did lead me to consider wearing ship instead of tacking particularly as most of the sailing was done single handed. Mau is ketch rigged with a roller genoa , fore staysail and tiller steered. Having missed the occasional tack before in 2/3 meter seas and having to back her through I wasn't keen to end up in irons and have to worry about what the dinghy was going to do whilst backing up.. so it was helm up and cleated ,hand the headsails as the stern came through the wind ,center the tiller at the beam reach and sheet on as she approached close hauled .... so easy  no flogging sails or tangled sheets and the extra distance covered was less than a hundred meters by the time we recrossed our previous layline and success every time no matter what the sea state..and best of all no problems with the tow.

So now instead of "get ready to tack......lee oh "  it is definitely   "all hands.. wear ship" 

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That's a really useful reminder Steve!  "Wearing ship" is one of those manoeuvres we often forget about, and it can make life easier and in some circumstances safer.  The same can be said of knowing how to "heave to" properly, which can give you a chance to fix something or put a brew on even in heavy weather.

When towing our dingy in a seaway, we had it on a 150' painter. To insure that the painter stays below any hull snags, we put 15' of chain on each end. We never worried about what the dingy was doing after hundreds of miles of towing under sail.

I missed a lot of tacks through towing. Dinghy had a nasty habit of giving a tug on the painter at just the wrong moment. I used a short tow. As you say sail handling  is the key to a short gybe.

Definitely part of the reporatoire...

Even on a racing trimaran between races with the jib dropped(waiting for the monohulls to finish) it never liked to tack so we sailed a lazy figure 8 with a gybe instead of a tack at each windward point.   very easy and safe especially in a crowded finish/start line.

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