TUBE PICTURES: TOW LINES & TOW HARNESSES How To Connect A Water Ski Tube To Your Boat
Before hitting the water you have to safely connect your
water ski tube to your boat. This page features several
photos of tow equipment designed for pulling inflatable water toys.
WATER SKI TUBE TOW ROPE SPECIFICATIONS &
GUIDELINES WARNING: Always check with the manufacturer of your specific
towable product for tow rope specifications. Offered here as
a GENERAL GUIDE ONLY these the WSIA (Water Sport Industry
Association) recommendations for
tow ropes as reported by one tube manufacturer:
Number of Riders Combined Weight of Riders
Rope Tensile Strength
> A standard tow rope should be at least 50 feet in length,
but not exceed 65 feet.
> The tow rope should be assembled in a manner appropriate
for the water craft and tow tube.
> Check all rope connections for frays, cuts, sharp edges, knots
and wear and tear before each use. Discard any ropes that
appear to be worn. It is recommended that you replace each
at the beginning of the boating season.
> Tow ropes are subject to stretching during use. Warn
riders and people in the boat of the danger of ropes recoiling.
> DO NOT place arms, legs or head in the handle section.
> Ensure that the tow rope is free from all body parts prior
to towing a rider.
> Do not use a tow rope made of bungee material.
> Ropes will deteriorate with direct exposure to sunlight.
Store tow ropes and tow harnesses away from direct sunlight.
Throw away any rope that is frayed, discolored or raveling.
> Do not add hardware to your ski tube that was not
supplied by the manufacturer.
> Avoid being in proximity of the boat's propeller at all times.
If your tow rope becomes tangled in the propeller, shut
off the engine and remove key from ignition before untangling rope from
Towing people behind boats is dangerous. There is risk of
drowning, collision, propeller contact and injury from snapped rope.
It is your responsibility to be aware of such risks and
communicate them everyone aboard your boat.
This site is for general information purposes only. You
must read the specific instructions provided with your towable, tow
lines and your boat. This information is provided on an as-is
with no warranty regarding its accuracy, use or suitability for a
This page contains several high resolution, large size
photographs. These pictures were taken to be instructive and give
you the best possible feel for tubing. As such this these
may take extra time to download, especially with a dial-up internet
Picture of a typical water ski tube tow rope. On
this rope the white loop connects to the boat tube. The
white loop is simply fed through the towable's connector, then
the entire length of tow rope is fed back through the loop.
This safely cinches the rope without having to rely upon a knot.
The blue loop connects to the tow harness or to your
boat's special water ski cleat. Note the black float.
It keeps the rope connections safely away from the propeller.
Both the tow line and tow harness are made of nylon, which
floats on top of the water.
This photo shows the junction of the tow rope and tow
harness. The purple harness loop is fed through the blue tow rope
loop. The entire length of the harness is then fed back through
the purple loop, cinching the connection without use of a knot.
Some tow harnesses come with a "Quick Connect" (not
pictured above.) The Quick Connect fitting is used in place
of the harness loop. To attach the towrope to the Quick
Connect: Insert the towrope loop up through the hole (starting on
the bottom side.) Then put the loop over the 2 knobs at the front
edge of the Quick Connect. Pull the towrope to tighten the
TIP: When choosing a tow harness, select a harness
with the Quick Connect hardware. The connector is very
convenient and worth the few extra dollars.
This picture shows the water ski tube harness and towrope
together. The harness is attached to the
boat with closed end hooks connected to the boat's transom
D-rings (tie down U-bolts.) This harness is 12 feet
long. It's "V" easily clears the boat's propeller area.
Note that floats have been included on both the harness
and towrope to
help support the connection.
TIP: Regardless of whether you have a single rider or
multi-rider towable, buy the heavy duty (multi-rider) tow harness
and tow rope. The cost difference between regular and heavy
duty products is just a couple of dollar. However, the heavy
duty lines may be twice to three times stronger than the standard
gear. Think of the heavy duty lines as cheap insurance against
deadly breaking rope whiplash.
This picture is a close-up
of the closed hook used on a water ski tube tow harness. Note
the spring loaded "finger" (hook bottom) that closes to prevent
hook from falling off the boat's transom D-Ring.
TIP: If tubing in salt water, always rinse your tow
harness and tow lines with fresh water after each use. If you
don't rinse, salt residue will permeate your lines. Salt acts
like sandpaper against the nylon fibers and will significantly degrade
line strength over time. Spray the hooks with WD-40 (or similar lubricant) after
each use to protect the spring loading mechanism from corrosion.
This picture shows the red tow rope connector on the water
ski tube. The connector is made of heavy duty reinforced
nylon material. As noted above, the towrope loop is simply fed
through the towable's connector, then the entire length of tow rope
is fed back through the towrope loop. This safely cinches
the rope without having to rely upon a knot.
Below the red
connector note the heavy duty stitching. This stitching reinforces
the tube cover at the tube's tow point. It helps your
inflatable withstand the incredible stresses of towing. Click
here if you would like to see ski tube tow rope products.
Picture of padded handles sewn into the boat tube cover.
Padded handles feel "squishy" and are comfortable to hold
with bare hands. Note the heavy duty stitching, which give the
handles good strength.
Now that we've explored tube connections, let's take a look at
the types of inflation valves used to fill up water ski tubes.
Click below to continue.
Tube Tips: Comprehensive Tips & Advice On Purchasing,
Using and Maintaining A Towable
Towing people behind boats is dangerous. There
is risk of drowning, collision, propeller contact and injury from
snapped rope. It is your responsibility to be aware of such risks
and communicate them everyone aboard your boat. This site is
for general information purposes only. You must read the specific
instructions provided with your towable and your boat. This
information is provided on an as-is basis with no warranty regarding
accuracy, use or suitability for a specific purpose.
you for visiting Ski Tube Pictures: How To Tow An Inflatable Tube.
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