The standard I tow is the most used tow. Clip your tow line to the toggle or deck line. It works if the conditions are easy and you only need to go under a couple of miles. The I tow has the least amount of problems.
Double I Tow
If you have to tow for a longer distance or in harder conditions then get into a double I tow or a Y tow. The double I tow usually works better that the Y tow. We have seen the bow of the boat being towed pull from side to side with the Y tow.
When using a double I tow the stronger paddler should be in the front, if you have the option. Speed of the second paddler is important. The second paddler must keep up or the front paddler will be towing both. If the second paddler is going faster then the front paddler is not towing. A problem with the double I is that the middle boat is committed and hard to replace without replacing both towers.
The advantage of the V tow is that different paddlers can switch off tow to take turns. Just clip on and tow for a while then unclip after another person clips on. The key to making the switch over is being ready and acting quick. Open the tow bag and have the carabiners in your hand as you paddle up to the boat.
A problem with this tow is it is much harder to go around turns as the outer kayak has a longer distance to paddle. The kayak on the inside of the turn must know to slow down and let the outside paddle keep up.
The W Tow
The W tow is always included in information about towing, but we have never seen it work well. Too many boats and tow lines are involved. All paddlers must paddle at the same speed and in a tight formation. The drawing looks good, but in practice it doesn't work.
If more then two towers are needed you can start with a V Tow and then add another tower in front of each as in a double I Tow.
Drift Stopping Tow
The drift stopping tow like all tows will get you out of trouble. If a person capsizes and is being pushed into a dangerous area (i.e.. bulkhead, cliff, boat channel etc.) a short tow line is hooked up to the stern of the rescuer's kayak and the tower paddles in place or slowly forwards as the rescuer performs the rescue.
The person towing usually can't make much forward progress since they are pulling the rescuer's boat, the capsized boat and the person in the water. If you must move the rescuer out of the dangerous place then a double I might be needed. Over and over this rescue proves it's worth. In easier conditions a short tow line is better.