Overflow from our readers postbag which we didnt have room to publish in the magazine
Towed by a warship
I read your Expert on board article about towing (July issue) with interest.
Some years ago I was sailing from Gibraltar to Turkey when a gear was stripped in the outleg of my 32ft Catfisher catamaran when motoring with no wind. Some of the crew had to get home urgently, so I requested a tow on the VHF radio and a ship 75 miles away agreed.
In due course, an 8,000-ton Belgian frigate appeared. She sent over a boat, whose crew efficiently wrapped a rope right round my catamaran, taking a turn on each cleat. Padding prevented chafing and they fitted a bridle and 200m of towline.
The frigate then towed us through the night at 8 knots. The tow worked very well, with the strain distributed evenly via the stern and the deck cleats.