"Bahama Bruce" Hanshaw
This is a response to your request for comments on your wonderful Dinghy-Tow that I purchased at the Annapolis Show in 1995. We installed it soon thereafter and had a grand and easy time crossing the Gulf Stream (with the dinghy hooked up to your fine "machine") on the way back to Nassau in the Bahamas. After about a day's sail we were making the southerly turn at the top of the Berry Islands when the wind dropped so we elected to start the "Iron Genny". It started just fine, but, like all good sailors do, I looked over the stern for the exhaust water outflow; there was none so we shut the engine down and were about to check the obvious (the raw water pump) when a nasty big old squall blew up hard out of the west at 35-40 knots. Oh, I forgot to mention that we had already decided to head into the shelter of Great Harbor before the blow hit. So, there we were, above and beyond hull speed, heading for an unknown harbor on a lee shore, when I chanced to remember the Dinghy-Tow and my dinghy. With more than some concern, I glanced aft and looked with relief at my placid dinghy casually following me (with no concern whatsoever, unlike me). The squall blew out about a mile from the (hidden) harbor which we tried unsuccessfully to find; it turned out that we'd run a bit too north. If you've ever been there you'll know immediately that if it's your first and you're not dead on, you'll never see the entrance. Anyhow, we were fast running out of water and daylight so we dropped a hook in 5.5 feet of water (Sequoyah draws 5 feet). Thanks to your Dinghy-Tow, plus having the engine and tank already on the dink, we launched the dink in about 75 seconds and a crew member soon found a fisherman just around the corner. Said fisherman directed us back south a short distance where we found a the welcome entrance and ghosted into a slip just as darkness fell. Without that quick launch, things might have turned out a bit different. Oh, it was the raw water pump so we were on our way early the next day.

About two weeks later (Jan. 26, 1996) I was felled with a stroke so we rushed back to the US and a hospital. My recovery, while less than 100%, is good enough that I am still sailing (always with a co-captain). The reason I'd originally gotten your Dinghy-Tow is because I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1993, so I am always looking for easy ways to do things on board. My friends brought Sequoyah back up to the Chesapeake for me (they came up offshore from Nassau to Moorhead City) and reported no problems with your Dinghy-Tow.

After further refining my boat, I took a four week cruise from Dela, MD to southern New England and back (offshore coastal both ways) with my dinghy always cradled in the Dinghy-Tow. We even had a two day slog with the wind (at 25-35 knots) hard on the nose but with no towing problems whatsoever. Therefore, as you may already surmise, I am still extremely pleased with your beastie.

My boat is my much beloved Freedom 32, designed by Gary Hoyt, and built in late 1984. I am the first owner. She has been extensively and continuously modified; your Dinghy-Tow is one of my better additions. The dinghy is a 2.85m Avon Roll-up and the engine is a 9 H.P. Yamaha.

Wishing you fair winds, sincerely,

"Bahama Bruce" Hanshaw
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U.S. Patent No. 5018473. Canadian Patent No. 1310549.