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Preparing to Tow and Towing a Drascombe

You will know that you are not allowed in the third lane of a motorway whilst towing. Ten to one the bozo hogging the middle lane in front of you will not! Stay cool. Don't be tempted to take to the third lane. Blue, flashing, quick will result!

Do keep your trailer board lights working & in good order - they have a hard life. Carry some spare bulbs. You will rely on your lights & indicators even more when you are trailing.

Use a short line to tie the jockey wheel to the trailer chassis. The jockey wheel clamps have been known to vibrate loose, dropping the jockey onto the road!

When hitching the trailer onto the tow vehicle, look carefully at the small button on the ball hitch. It has a red top. When the hitch is successfully on the tow ball, that button will lift to show a green band. Green is go. Red is don’t go! When loaded, the essential nose weight has been known to avoid the true penalty of outrageous sin! There is also a wire strop to put over the tow ball as a back up in case the ball hitch ever fails (extremely unlikely other than a result of operator error!). On a braked trailer, this cable will pull the brakes on if the trailer becomes unhitched.

When leaving parked for any length of time, chock the wheels & release the brakes. There is always a chance of the shoe sticking to the drum. This can be resolved by using the tow vehicle to jerk the trailer backwards & forwards. This may seem quite brutal but it does the trick! Best to avoid the situation arising.

PREPARING FOR TOWING

The objective is to organize all the various bits so that they are still with you at the end of your journey, don’t damage each other on route & do not require you to stop every so often & tighten things up.

With the Lugger & Longboat, mainmast, mizzenmast & gaff lie along the centreline of the boat with gaff jaws & mast band (top of mast) astern over the outboard well. Your primary Spanset can be used to support the gaff & mizzen mast which do not reach far enough forward to reach the mast thwart.

If you are towing with an engine in place, the mast will have to lay alongside it but do pad out the mastband so that it doesn't dig into your decks.

Store your oars & bumkin on the floorboards one side & your rudder on the other.

Lash the mainmast, mizzenmast & gaff to the sheethorse. Incorporate the traveller ring into your lashing & keep it quiet on the journey.

At the other end, lash the spars to the mast thwart using the downhaul & belaying pins.

Secure the aft locker lid(s) with a tie through the staple.

Finally, tension the mainmast by sitting on it amidships &, using the centreplate uphaul, lash the mast & the centreplate arm together. You will be amazed how secure this makes the whole rig but do not leave this lashing in place after journeys end - you do not want a permanent banana mast!