Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

I'm building my first CLC Passagemaker which I hope to tow behind my Catalina 34 sailboat and say goodbye to the ugly inflatable.  I haven't seen any photos of the dinghy being towed although it is frequently stated that it tows well.  I was thinking of reinforcing the forward deck floor under the forward bench with several more layers of fiberglass and then installing a padeye as the towing point from the mothership.  I suspect this should be strong enough, allow the bow to be elevated more than if attached at the much higher bow "hand hold" and hopefully avoid the dreaded burying of the bow while being towed at high speed in possibly big seas (we might see 4-6' in New England occasionally).  I'm wonderning if anyone has done this and can report on  the results or if anyone can suggest a better option.  I also will be keeping th boat on a mooring so this could be an easy attachment point.  Thanks. 

Brian McPhillips 

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RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

   I went as low as I could on the topside of the seat, cut back-up wooden backing plates from hole saw cut outs ( probably didn't add any strength,  but relieved the edge to fit over the filet) and used fender washers and nuts. I still had to cut a little of the fender washer away to clear the knee.

My boat was already built, and couldn't reach it from the might want to think about this if you ever need to access later

I'll see about getting some pics tomorrow

RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

   Qoute from correspondence with CLC:

If you are using the bow eye to tow the boat then yes, you want to place it about 1/3 the way up from the bottom of the forward transom and provide a good backing plate.


The Passagemaker tows nicely, especially with the bow already out of the water, so keep the angle pulling the bow up, not down.

RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

   Pictures #12 & # 13 in the Take-Apart main gallery show a Passagemaker being towed

RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

But neither has a padeye. The bearded sailor type is doing a good job replacing one but probably has higher maintenance costs while the kids, though cute, appear to be only acting as ballast. :-)




RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

Yeah, those are photos of my Passagemaker Winkle.  We did cogitate some about how we were going to handle this, given that we planned to use the boat both on her own and also towed behind our Menger 19 catboat.  We opted for what we felt was the most versatile, yet minimalist, approach, which was to bore out a hole in the forward transom knee so we could use that to attach whatever might be needed in the way of painters or docking lines without additional hardware.  We figured that, the way that piece tied in with other structural components at various angles, that it ought to hold up without additional reinforcements.  So far, the bow transom hasn't pulled out.  If I were going to do this for any length of time, I'd slip some split tubing chafing over the line where it came through the bow grip, of course.

The stern of the catboat seemed high enough that, even though the tow line was passed through the bow grip hole, it was still pulling "up" to where the tow line was made fast on the catboat.  Never had any problem with the bow digging in, which is what my son was trying to test in that one photo.  She tows pretty lightly, really, following along in a docile manner without fuss.  Of course, we weren't towing her in 4-6' seas....


RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

I gave this a lot of thought when I was building my PM.  While I may still install a hatch in my foredeck, I bought a large Wichard u-bolt with the intention of installing it horizontally as low as possible for access above deck.  This would possibly require modifying a small section of the fillets securing the forward knee.

RE: Padeye for towing Passagemaker Dinghy

   This is how and where I installed mine after the boat was built.

Figured out where to drill from outside and made a jig to drill straight.

I made some back-ups out of holesaw cut-outs, then ground to fit the filet on the knee and epoxyed in place.

Drill,fill, drill of course

I still had to trim the fender washers to fit, but now I had a nice flat bearing surface.

This way, I had the t-piece for backup blocking, any lower and it would have come up through the hull and would have had to cut an access