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Canal advice needed

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭ welder

    Hi all, I'm looking for advice.

    A friend has obtained a non-running barge and wants it towed to Lowtown marina. I'm told its about 3 miles away from there.I have a 4.8m rib with a 50hp Honda engine and he's asked me to tow it. My only experience is sea based.

    Now I'm reluctant on a few levels:

    Will the rib be able to tow it - I doubt the eyes on the transom would be up to it and I certainly don't want to kill my lovely engine !

    What are the legal requirements to use my rib on the canal, wasn't planning on using it this year at all so didn't renew the insurance.

    Where is the nearest slip to Lowtown and would there be space there to leave a tow car and trailer safely for a few hours.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.


  • 50hp will be plenty power to pull her you really just need to get her moving and then there will be very little strain on your boat and engine as you will only be ticking over and moving no more than 5 MPH, 1 horse power used to do it back in the day :) You have every right to use your rib on the canal just keep your speed down and I'm sure you wont be the only boat without insurance but you better not hit someones shinny white pride and joy with the barge ;) Your biggest problem may be weed or getting something caught on your prop but a least with an outboard you can tilt it up.
    I believe that Robertstown has a slipway not sure of others maybe someone else will know.

    If you feel unsure or uncomfortable about doing it then don't leave it to someone that knows the highs and lows of that stretch of water and can read the wind direction and it's affect on the barge.


  • Getting the barge moving with the RIB will be easy... just go nice and steady.

    ...stopping the barge, now that'll be the tricky bit, so make sure to slow down well in advance of any stopping points.

  • Thanks for the replies Folks, much appreciated.

    Yes the stopping was worrying me, usually I would have towed from alongside, rafting ?, so speed could be controlled
    easily, but looking at the canal I think that would have each of us in the weeds !

    I took a spin down last night, found the slip in Robertstown, it was blocked by a family of ducks....
    Eventually found Lowtown marina, its a marina Jim but not as we know it....kinda where boats go
    to die !

    As ever Fergal you're right on the money, if you're unsure or uncomfortable - don't do it !
    I'm almost tempted to throw them my little inflatable and 2.5hp Suzuki and let them at it.

  • Does the barge have a tiller and rudder? Towing long boats like this at slow speed needs control maintained at the stern. You might want to think about hooking the little rib on the back to control the swing.

  • Get the engine fixed and you won't have to tow it. To many things can go wrong.

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