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Sailboat Rescue Tug

Old 11-12-2003, 07:38 PM
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Bill McW
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Default Sailboat Rescue Tug

Hello again.

This is a bit off-topic, but have you ever had a failure that renders your sailboat "dead in the water"?
I have....twice.
The Nirvana developed a short in it's battery pack and went dead 300' away in open water. Luckily, it drifted to shore and I was able to retrieve it.
The Seawind's entire rig went down as the product of my failure to use CA glue on my knots.
Luckily (again) it was a warm October day and swimming wasn't that bad.
I now have a Vac-U-Tug and I encourage all of you to check it out <http://www.vac-u-boat.com>.
It's easy to build and is a good looking and functional rescue tug.
The best part is it cost less than $80. My total cost after adding top quality servos, transmitter and speed control was $200.
My tug has the optional 4-blade propeller and larger 8.4V battery pack. It has a static pull of just under 6oz. Enough to easily rescue the Nirvana or Seawind. Some say it can even handle the IOM.

Bill
Old 11-17-2003, 04:43 PM
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ballgunner
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

Every pond should have a rescue boat. Fortunately ours is small enough that any disabled yacht will eventually drift ashore. If it sinks however it will be gone forever. We still have a rescue boat and it has come in handy more than once. The key word here is eventually which presupposes some kind of wind. That isn't always the case.
Old 11-17-2003, 09:17 PM
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tim1962
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

The tug looks nice. I just picked up one of the Horizon Hobby ZigZag boats. It not exactly a tug, but it comes with a pusher to play water soccer that looks like it will work in a pinch to push my Nirvana back if needed provided I am not fighting a good deal of wind. Has anyone tried the ZigZag for this purpose?
Old 11-23-2003, 10:21 PM
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tim1962
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

I ended up having to use the Hobby Zone Zig Zag to push my Nirvana and another sailor's boat today. The only problem was getting lined up behind the sailboat to start pushing and having someone to steer the sailboat. I let the other sailor push his own boat and not having run the Zig Zag before it took him a bit longer to bring it in. I did mount the ball pusher on the front of the ZZ, otherwise I don't think it would have worked.
Old 11-23-2003, 11:05 PM
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Bill McW
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

Tim.

I'm glad to hear your rescue ('s) were successful.
Pushing sounds interesting. Would it have worked had you been unable to steer the sailboat?
I'm set for towing (tennis ball and line). However, a few people have mentioned that looping the keel and rudder may cause damage.
But you wouldn't have to steer with the tow line. The only time my Nirvana failed was when the battery quit. I couldn't steer it at all-it was completely dead. One good thing that day is when the power died, the sail winch released tension allowing the boat to drift bow to weather. It would have been an easy snatch if I had my tug.
I tried to push a driftwood log in 3" chop and had my bow climb up on the log then slide off at an angle. My first experience with pushing failed. It may have worked if I was pushing something with a bit of freeboard and wasn't slick as snot.

Bill
Old 11-24-2003, 08:45 AM
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RobStagis
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

We've pushed 'em back with other sailboats, which is trouble-prone and chancy (a B-rigged Laser WILL push an EC12 around and rigs will hook up, etc., etc.). We've used tugs to push, loop lines, etc., but a Fairwind WILL capsize a 36" tug that isn't ballasted right. If a sailboat's caught in weeds, the tug's props have a better-than-average chance of entangling in the same weeds. The fishing pole/tennis ball is the least chancy of all these options. I DID see a cool retriever boat which was basically a slab of foam holding a car 12V battery and two steerable fans, but I don't remember where it was.....
Old 11-26-2003, 02:34 AM
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Kmot
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Default RE: Sailboat Rescue Tug

The ZZR works well as a rescue boat with the polo catcher on front. Here is a video of a capsized boat that had low freeboard being rescued by a ZZR:

http://www.rcpics.net/view_single.php?medid=9868

A boat that is upright with a lot of freeboard would be easy...........

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