Tow tether suggestions.

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Tow tether suggestions.

Post by skrag » Thu May 08, 2014 4:22 pm

What do you all use for tow tethers on Type V vests? I'm getting ready for a swiftwater rescue course and it occurs to me that maybe the standard 4' cowtails are less than ideal when you paddle a longer boat. Most of the time I'm in an Option, but it'd be good to have a tether that works well in my long boat as well.

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Shep
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by Shep » Thu May 08, 2014 5:15 pm

I had a long tether (Astral Webtoe), and flipped every time I tried to tow a boat full of water with it. I sold it and bought a short NRS tether. The other reason I didn't like the Astral tether is because it put the carabiner out of my reach, With the shorter tether, I can reach back and manipulate the carabiner if I choose to. When I want to tow a boat, if I am in a boat with straps, I take the painter and throw it over the thwart in front of me and stick it under my knee so I can let it go just by picking up my knee.

YMMV,
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by Walsh » Thu May 08, 2014 7:25 pm

I really dislike bungee-type tethers. I'm pretty skeptical about attaching myself to gear in general.

I have gone to using 10 feet of half-inch tubular webbing, tied to the ring and carabiner with water knots. That gives me ~8 feet of tether that can be used for towing, for self-belaying to a fixed object, or clipped directly to a rope for live bait scenarios.

I wrap the webbing around the biner, and tuck it into the elasticized pocket on my PFD.
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by andrewjacobblease » Thu May 08, 2014 8:36 pm

I also use a 10 ft section of 1" tubular webbing. I clip the carabiner to the mini quick release on the front of my Stohlquist Descent, and daisy chain the rest starting as close to the ring as I can reach. The daisy then gets stuffed in the side or under the chest of the pfd. It keeps the package compact, while still being easy to deploy. I use an auto-lock carabiner (the only one I own) so I don't have to worry about working the screw gate while moving down river.

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by Larry Horne » Fri May 09, 2014 2:17 am

A canoe or c1 trying to tow is entertaining at least.
I never do it. I like to bulldoze. Way safer and more fun too. If a kayaker wants to clip on, i just get out of the way.
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by Einar » Fri May 09, 2014 4:00 am

I've kinda gone off having a tether at the moment. I shift back and forth as the rivers around here can be woody and continuous and I am all into self preservation. Loose bits bother me.
For my own canoe self reucse I have an inexpensive throw rope bungied onto the bow and clipped onto the grab loop, thereby swim in and take care of my own business.
(I try and keep my roll current but who am I kidding, it comes and goes. For some reason it is best when I am desperate and worst when it's slack water ??)

I find rescue bumping the wall of a canoe easy, whether I am in a canoe or a kayak (new to me) and rarely use a tether. Locally canoeists are trained early on at quickly mid river flipping a canoe dry. Then it tows, tethers or bumps with greater ease.

Tethers are really great though for walk towing canoes and kayaks across slimy gravel bars and down trails at the put ins and take outs.
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by sbroam » Fri May 09, 2014 6:59 pm

I made my own tow rig but would be hesitant to try to tow anything in any current - especially in C-1 (too slow). I'm with Larry - I mainly bulldoze. 99% of my towing is towing a tired kid on mild water...

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by JimW » Fri May 09, 2014 10:26 pm

Gave up towing in kayaks years ago, would never even consider it in OC1, bulldoze using vectors to get a boat to an eddy ASAP, much safer in my experience.
Try to chase in pairs, when one of you gets the boat almost into an eddy the other has to go ahead and get out to grab it - so often I see a boat lost again because no-one could be bothered to get out and get a hold of it until the swimmer turns up to deal with it.

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by TonyB » Sat May 10, 2014 11:31 am

I removed my tether after it got fouled up on my paddle while trying to roll. I keep 6' tubular webbing in my pouch with two carabiners. ( quick attach Both sides) and keep away from towing in anything but flat. As you'll learn at your class, the rescue Vest is not primarily for towing, but is a safety tool. I wear one as an insurance to aid in extraction .
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My rescue

Post by Einar » Sun May 11, 2014 3:35 pm

I agree, the tether is for my rescue. I'm looking around for a vest or system that contains the tether with only the 'biner exposed.

(Edit)
So far I have come up with the Astral Green Jacket with a contained tow rope. Any other suggestions?
Paddling is easy, organizing shuttles is hard.
Not misplacing all your crap in somebody else's car seems to be even harder

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by KNeal » Mon May 12, 2014 12:38 pm

Listen, people. Leave the towing to the kyackers. This is why we keep them around and they think it is fun anyway.
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by yarnellboat » Mon May 12, 2014 8:00 pm

If you don't tow, why a tether??

If you just want to be clippable to be rescued or for live bait, all you need is the rescue belt. Why do so many seem to have tethers or carry tether-like things?

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by Larry Horne » Mon May 12, 2014 10:32 pm

i don't know many people that carry a tether anymore, but lots that with carry a piece of webbing that can have many many uses. I use a 10' or so length (not a loop, but a length with loops at each end) of webbing and it get's used as an anchor or for the short rope needs that come up way more often than you'd think.
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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by JimW » Tue May 13, 2014 12:00 am

yarnellboat wrote:If you don't tow, why a tether??

If you just want to be clippable to be rescued or for live bait, all you need is the rescue belt. Why do so many seem to have tethers or carry tether-like things?

Pat.
In the UK we call it a cowstail rather than tether. it has some possible uses:

- Being clipped to the front of the BA (PFD) the krab is easy to get to if you need to clip a line to a pinned or broached paddler to stabilize or extract them - especially a kayaker pinned to their rear deck so you can't get to the centre of the chest harness. I was once extracted from a pin using my cowstail for the connection for exactly this reason (Italy, 1994).
- Having a short cowstail already attached can sometimes be useful for setting up a personal belay, I used to use a telescopic type which I could wrap around a tree to secure myself, these days I use an elasticated type which probably isn't long enough for that, but only last week I wrapped a sling around a rock and then clipped my cowstail in to belay myself whilst taking photos (and providing 3rd line safety cover) at Chasm on the Allt a Chaorainn.
- I got mixed up in AWWSR course last week, at one point whilst practising setting up a livebait in minimum time (we were given 10 seconds, and generally failed to do it in 10) I realized that it can take a good few seconds to undo a screwgate and thread it around a tight chest harness - grabbing a snap krab on a cowstail and clipping it to a line would have been much faster - none of the candidates were wearing cowtails though - perhaps modern WWSR thinking is the same as yours?

It is not exactly quick release and I would never recommend towing with it, it takes quite a lot of force to pull the harness through all the straps to release it, by which time you are likely to have already tried rolling and got tangled up in it (did once successfully a roll a kayak whilst still attached to a separate quick release tow belt - fortunately I came up and was able to lean on the towed boat to unwrap the towline from around me).

It is also a potential snag hazard, but in 25 years or so of paddling with them I have never seen one snagged. I'll be honest, I do so much sea kayaking these days I normally forget to refit the harness to my BA at all before getting on a river, never mind the cowstail!

Useful, but in my opinion not essential.

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Re: Tow tether suggestions.

Post by jakke » Wed May 14, 2014 3:17 pm

Jim,

- I recognise the use of a tether for easy access to a broached paddler. On the other hand, if he's broached, would a carab on the shoulder strap be much worse? I know that's not releasable, but not releasable versus not able to breath?
- self belay, true again, but if you carry a pre-knotted sling, you could wrap that around a tree or so to anchor yourself. A tad slower yes, but again no exposure. Good positioning there btw, on the chasm ;-).
- exposed snapgate carabiners are a high risk on the river, especially to yourself. The risk of that snapping onto a non-releasable part of your pfd is real. Just don't expose snapgates on the river when there are people involved, ever.

The 10 seconds time was an ACE drill, and we had the advantage of having our anchor in place already. As long as your team is properly trained to work together, the attaching of the screwgate is not an issue I think. But part of the AWS&R training is make us think about what we do and why we do it, right?

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