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MystiikVLX

Towing a stranded boat- how

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MystiikVLX

What is the best way to tow another boat in the water? Let's say another wakeboard boat is stranded and needs a tow to the dock. What is the best way to tow that boat using your boat?

Do you tie lines to the transom or to the cleats of the tow boat?

Where is best place to tie lines on the boat that is being towed?

thanks,

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mgb1974

Ive tied to both cleats and also the lower ski rope hook. Eveytime I towed someone it was a smaller boat so wasn’t to worried about it.

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Gavin17

I tow from my tramsom rings to their bow ring. 

The first summer we had the bu we towed 5 boats including one on my wedding day. We went out for a morning set then were headed to the ramp when a teen on a jet ski waved us down. 

After all that I bought some towing straps on Amazon for not too much. I got a short one to go between my transom eyes and a long one to go from strap 1 to the other boat.  I've never used them. 

 

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Infinitysurf

I would only tow from my back lifting rings....to their bow eye. IMO, anything else is a risk to put that much force on it, would never use the cleat, towing a boat thru water can create a lot of drag/force.

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robbennett

Best way is to throw them a handle and have them hold it. In some chop a rope can break and whip someone. 

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Cole2001

Use a thicker tow line dedicated for this purpose and hook to rear and front trailer hooks.

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henrik

Have a knife handy to cut the rope if something goes wrong...

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formulaben
3 hours ago, Infinitysurf said:

I would only tow from my back lifting rings....to their bow eye. IMO, anything else is a risk to put that much force on it, would never use the cleat, towing a boat thru water can create a lot of drag/force.

I agree that towing can create a LOT of force (which is why I only tow at just above idle speeds) but go take a look at your lifting rings and then your cleats from the backside without the carpet.  You may be surprised at what you see...

Anyway, to answer the OP's question, I tow from the ski pylon to their bow eye and at slow speed, just above idle.  No way are you going to get both boats up on plane, so there's no point in burning a ton more gas just to put a lot of stress on your hardware and tow rope for very little time gain. 

Additionally, @henrikhas a good point in that you need to be prepared for the worst.  Of the times I've towed people, more than half the time it gets "exciting" at the destination for lack of a better word.  I use the ski pylon because I can just place the rope loop around it and can quickly remove it if things go south...either way, don't count on them to know what they are doing when you get to the dock or wherever you're going unless you take the time to brief them on what you'll do before you get there, even if it means stopping and having a chat prior to marina/dock entry.  Make sure they have an oar(s) handy for arrival; if not loan them yours.

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937footer1

I was on Norris lake one year and a house boat was being pulled by a old malibu from the pylon, no issues and they towed it several miles . That year we went to the factory in Louden Tn. and I asked the guys working on them setting the pylon about how strong structurally they were . It was amazing the stories they had of people pulling from the pylon and never a failure . That was back in "99" , not sure about now , but I was proud I bought a malibu back then. 

Ropes snapping pulling from the pylon would be my concern and someone getting hit in the boat. I have towed small boats short distances from the pylon at a little above idle , and anything faster or longer distance I tow from the back . 

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Monkeybutt
11 hours ago, robbennett said:

Best way is to throw them a handle and have them hold it. In some chop a rope can break and whip someone. 

exactly that.  I never tow anyone with a rope attached to their boat … surf rope works best and they can toss it when necessary

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Falko

Years ago I had to tow someone with my cruiser. It had big cleats aft and midship. I attached each end of the line to the midship cleats, then wrapped around the rear cleats and gave the boat in tow the back loop which they attached to their bow cleats. 

If I were to tow with the 'Bu, I'd probably use the trailer cleats as they are *supposed* to be very strongly mounted. Also, hang a vest on the line in the middle. That notifies those around you that boat is in tow, and keeps yahoos from cutting between the two and hanging themselves. It also adds a level of protection should the line break, the vest will kill it. And one more thing, move all but one person from the towed boat to your boat to reduce drag on the line.

While I've seen it done, I've never done it, but when approaching a dock, you can tie off the towed boat to your side and maneuver them in. You will have VERY limited control, so might not be the best solution to save the towed boat from rowing that last bit.

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spikew919
15 hours ago, formulaben said:

I agree that towing can create a LOT of force (which is why I only tow at just above idle speeds) but go take a look at your lifting rings and then your cleats from the backside without the carpet.  You may be surprised at what you see...

Anyway, to answer the OP's question, I tow from the ski pylon to their bow eye and at slow speed, just above idle.  No way are you going to get both boats up on plane, so there's no point in burning a ton more gas just to put a lot of stress on your hardware and tow rope for very little time gain. 

Additionally, @henrikhas a good point in that you need to be prepared for the worst.  Of the times I've towed people, more than half the time it gets "exciting" at the destination for lack of a better word.  I use the ski pylon because I can just place the rope loop around it and can quickly remove it if things go south...either way, don't count on them to know what they are doing when you get to the dock or wherever you're going unless you take the time to brief them on what you'll do before you get there, even if it means stopping and having a chat prior to marina/dock entry.  Make sure they have an oar(s) handy for arrival; if not loan them yours.

Yeah but measure the thickness of fiberglass where lift rings are compared to where cleats are.  May be surprised at what the difference is....

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Cole2001

I wouldn’t take the risk driving them into the dock. Get them close and have them paddle in the rest. 

I paddled in on the first week of April a couple years back and it was just under a km. 

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solorex

I've always towed using the centre rear tow ring on my boat to the bow ring.  Always just above idle.  No issues.  Use my mooring ropes (which are long).

I've even pulled my 24'x10' dock off the beach with the centre rear ring?  No issues... should I be worried?  Seems really strong.

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asnowman

Though not recomended, we have towed moorings back into place after big storms with boats not nearly as well built as our malibus. Usually use bow or stern eyes for that.

Towing boats has never been an issue, we usually tow with the pylon and put rope on the towed boat through bow eye, and tie off in to any cleat.

And yes always keep a knife at the ready to ditch the towed whatever it is.

Have towed loads of docks, big cruisers, house boats and a barge, never an issue.

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formulaben
8 hours ago, spikew919 said:

Yeah but measure the thickness of fiberglass where lift rings are compared to where cleats are.  May be surprised at what the difference is....

I have.

Like I said, remove the carpet and see what you see...your newer boat may not apply, but on my boat the "backing plate" of the lifting rings is for sure smaller than the cleats.  Also, the thickness of the surrounding hull is the same, except for a small square plate surrounding the lifting rings.  Other than that, they are no different.

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spikew919
7 hours ago, formulaben said:

I have.

Like I said, remove the carpet and see what you see...your newer boat may not apply, but on my boat the "backing plate" of the lifting rings is for sure smaller than the cleats.  Also, the thickness of the surrounding hull is the same, except for a small square plate surrounding the lifting rings.  Other than that, they are no different.

Mine is way thicker, as it should be on all boats. When you turn  boat if it was not thicker at the rear it would tear apart at both corners under load turning, simple physics. If your boat is not thicker at the transom then that’s the first I have ever heard of. 

 

E9AABA0B-31E1-4D1E-9C67-6BA4340DA378.jpeg

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Cole2001

Aren’t they called lifting rings for a reason? 

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Bill_AirJunky

I've always towed from the tow pylon. Lifting rings are for lifting vertically, which is applying shear force across the fiberglass. Towing is pulling the rings horizontally.

Besides smaller boats, I've towed a 38' cruiser, all the way in to the dock. Just went slow, wasn't a problem. Also towed an 80' dock loaded with fireworks a few times. Had to rescue it once too.....someone else was towing it with a pontoon that only had a 40 hp engine. They were having problems with the wind blowing them in to the shore. We hooked up quickly and hauled the dock & pontoon out into the main part of the lake.

I've also towed a 75', triple deck houseboat off the rocks & into the main part of the lake (Shasta), using their own anchor line tied off on our pylon. The pylon has FAR more support than the lifting rings.

And last, I've used the pylon to pull a piling out of the bottom of the lake, pull docks off the beach & into the water, or pull 1600 lb ecology block anchors across the muddy lake bottom into position for dock placement.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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DWhynot

I always tow from the pylon;  Boats (clipped to the bow-eye), docks, rafts, logs, trees... these are tow boats after all!

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robertstone9

As far as docking i always have one of my crew that  i will dump at dock with the tow line and then return for them after they get the towed boat tied up    nothing worse then having a dead boat floating around a dock with people not sure what to do  only takes a extra minute to make sure they are   Good  

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tvano
5 hours ago, isellacuras said:

I tow from pylon to bow eye.  I ALWAYS have a knife on the boat. Funny, true story I'll try to keep it as short as possible. ..I will always have a knife on board and handy. 

knife or a wine cooler in a glass :)

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isellacuras
9 hours ago, tvano said:

knife or a wine cooler in a glass :)

No glass on my boat.  Another experience on dads boat.  Broken bottle (may have been a wine cooler glass) in the carpet= a summers worth of cuts in foot from leftovers.  I carry a knife.:biggrin:

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Michigan boarder
On 5/5/2018 at 1:55 PM, Bill_AirJunky said:

And last, I've used the pylon to pull a piling out of the bottom of the lake, pull docks off the beach & into the water, or pull 1600 lb ecology block anchors across the muddy lake bottom into position for dock placement.

That all sounds like a seriously good time!

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