TOWABLE 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
    One                                        170 Lbs.                                        1500 Lbs.
    Two                                        340 Lbs.                                        2375 Lbs.
    Three                                     510 Lbs.                                        3350 Lbs.
    Four                                        680 Lbs.                                        4100 Lbs.

> 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 tow rope 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 the propeller.


WARNING:  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 basis with no warranty regarding its accuracy, use or suitability for a specific purpose.


Note:  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  pictures may take extra time to download, especially with a dial-up internet connection.

Tube Tow Line Picture - Copyrighted
  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.


Ski Tube Towline - Copyrighted
  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 connection.
  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.


Ski Tube Harness Picture - Copyrighted
  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.


Harness Hook Picture - Copyrighted
  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 the 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.


Ski Tube Connector Picture - Copyrighted
  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.



Towable Tube Handles Picture - Copyrighted
  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.


NEXT:
How To Inflate A Water Ski Tube



Return To The Ski Tube Tips Home Page

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WATER SKI TUBE PICTURES
   This site features nearly two dozen instructive pictures of ski tube equipment and use.  Click the links below to see these original photos:

    Ski Tube Tow Ropes And Tow Harnesses

    Ski Tube Valves & Inflation Tips

    Ski Tube Action Pictures:  How To Tow Inflatable Water Toys


    Ski Tube Tips:  Comprehensive Tips & Advice On Purchasing, Using and Maintaining A Towable


WARNING:  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 its accuracy, use or suitability for a specific purpose.



Thank you for visiting Ski Tube Pictures: How To Tow An Inflatable Tube.



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