Water tubing is one of the most popular activities you can try with your pontoon boat. Tugging a tube behind your boat via a tow rope, this fun and often safe water sport is perfect for youngsters who want the thrill without the danger. But of course, it’s only going to be as safe as you make it to be.
There will always be potential danger if you aren’t careful to make the right preparations. So we’re teaching you how to attach a tow rope to a pontoon boat to dial down the risks.
What NOT to Do
If you check the rear of your pontoon boat, you’ll find cleats which are used for hanging bumpers or fenders. These might look like a suitable place to tie a tow rope for tube, but it’s important that you avoid using these at all costs for the purpose of tubing.
Those things aren’t designed to withstand significant pulling force. In fact, the bumpers and fenders that hang from these points hardly even weigh a thing. Considering the weight of the towable tube plus its passenger/s, and the force of resistance and drag, it’s not impossible for a cleat to pull through.
If this happens, the cleat could whip back at the tube and cause serious injury - or even death. So it’s really not recommended that you use these cleats to tie your tow rope.
Another common piece of hardware that people use to tie their ropes would be the grommets on the tubes. While these seem a lot more stable, you could cause stress cracks to show around the grommets, and that could lead to further damage down the line.
How to Tie a Tow Rope to Your Pontoon
Now that the don’ts are out of the way, it’s time to get to the nitty gritty. Here’s how to tie a tow rope to your pontoon while keeping safety in mind:
Get the Right Rope
See to it that you have a proper rope for the job, since any old rope won’t do. There are ropes that are specifically designed for the purpose of towing a tube behind your boat, so these would be the safest choice. And while you’re at it, you might want to get a Y-rope harness attachment to keep your tow line just that much more secure.
Tie to Your Tie Down Points
Remember that your boat is going to be travelling at top speed with the added weight behind it. Use the right knot for the job to make sure it doesn’t come undone while you’re underway. Most boaters use the bowline since it tightens the more you pull.
If you don’t have tie down points available, you can install a tow bar to the rear of your boat. These can be purchased online or through your dealer, and serve the exact purpose of securing a tow line.
If you weren’t exactly sure how to attach a tow rope to a pontoon boat, you know now. It’s definitely not worth risking your safety just to have a little fun. So before you get started on an afternoon of tubing fun, make sure you’ve got the basics down and your tow rope safely and securely tied to your boat.