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How to Tow the boat behind a houseboat?

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Heading to Powell in July. I have houseboated many times but never towed my boat behind one. What are the best practices for doing so? I have a new tube rope and a heavy duty Climbing Carabiner. Do I need to do anything to the engine?


-Praying the water rises

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Had a 2002 VLX that I towed behind houseboats at Lake Powell numerous times. I never did anything special, except making sure the boat was a decent distance back (60 - 75 feet). Keep a spotter on the boat when slowing down in coves. We would get 3/4 of the way, to the area we were going, then use the boat to scout out the coves. Lake Powell has very narrow waterways, and you don’t want to go in and find you can’t beach. The towing to the general area you’re going is the easy part. Watch out for the storms in July, they can be scary and dangerous.





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Sounds like you have the basics covered.  Make sure the rope is of the floating variety so it doesn't get caught up in the houseboat prop if/when you stop.  The longer the rope (within reason) the better.  Slow down when you come across a large wave from a cruiser/houseboat.  Take the tour boat wake at 45*.

I've seen some posts about wrapping a rope around the prop to keep it from spinning, but that is something I have never done.

I'm sure you know the lake is very low this year.  Lots of whales that are not marked, even in the main channel.  We've been twice this year already, and will be back July 1.

In this photo, my Malibu is a little closer to the houseboat than I would like.  It is good to get it out of the prop wash.


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Learn to tie a bowline knot, it doesn’t cinch down on itself and makes for easy un-tying 

if it is a fairly windy day you may want to forgo the tow behind, I had some puckered up moments as the tow line keeps the bow from rising up under tension.

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The houseboat will have more resistance and will stop faster than the Malibu.  Slow down gradually to avoid the Malibu hitting the back of the houseboat. 

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On 5/22/2021 at 8:20 PM, Stevo said:

Learn to tie a bowline knot, it doesn’t cinch down on itself and makes for easy un-tying

Indeed!  Ask any Boy Scout (now Scouts BSA because girls can join also) to show you.

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Posted (edited)

OK I'll bite. This is over kill but I didn't know how much load would be exerted on the line. 

I ended up using  3/4" Yellow polypropylene, you could use 5/8" also. Weaved a loop with a  4" eye hook ( Kind of like the one on the boat winch).

You can watch how on You tube. 

I bought 75' and tied the Boat off at about 50'  

I installed a "Rope Float" near the hook so the weight of the hook won't drop the end of the line. 

This was quick and easy. Find a marine store that sells rope by the foot. HD doesn't have this option. Lots of them in Ventura /Oxnard

I bought 75 feet, cost was about thirty bucks, rope float was Five bucks, snap hook was twelve bucks. (Make sure the rope float has a 3/4" hole)

Seeing as we live near each other, I would have let you barrow this for your trip, but realized it was with the boat out of state. sorry.

You can tell from the photo that this was a feeew years ago.  I have used this many times at lake Shasta. 

Note when not used for towing you can use it to tie up the house boat to shore, this came in handy. 

HAVE FUN  Let us know how it was.



Edited by Rack
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