How-to Safely Drive a Boat When Pulling Tubes
TurboSwing® is the only tube-rated™ tow bar on the market. The pulley system makes pulling tubes a dream, since it rotates to always tow a tube from the center turning point. Even though TurboSwing® is the perfect tool for tubers, there are lots of ways the captain can enhance the rider’s experience.
- Safety Precautions
Maintaining the proper tubing equipment is the first step to safely pull water tubes. The captain will need to make sure there are plenty of brightly colored life jackets for each rider. Since the captain looks forward, designate another passenger to watch the riders. A good captain will have a way to communicate with their riders, so teach the designated watcher signals for when riders are ready to start, stop, or adjust speed.
A tube-rated™ tow bar (like TurboSwing®!) and tow rope are the safest way to pull tubers, so make sure your tow rope is weighted for the amount of riders. Tow ropes ordinarily have the weight maximum clearly printed on the labels. Not all tow ropes are created equally; the amount of weight the rope can pull depends on the rope construction. Do not assume you can pull multiple riders with a rope clearly rated for one. A tow rope that can only pull 2K LBS will not work for a 4 person tube. A 2K rope would be rated for 1 or 2 Person Tubes.
- Getting Started
After everyone is loaded in the tube with life jackets and the designated watcher is appointed, you can get started! Wait for your riders to say they are ready to go and slide the throttle in a steady motion forward. Stop when you are about 75% forward. While adjusting speed, take note that there is a delay when a boat accelerates – they aren’t like a car. This should get the riders gliding along, so the captain can assess whether to speed up or slow down. Make sure to avoid overly crowded waters, especially when pulling a tube for the first time. Turn your motor off while loading and unloading riders.
- During the Ride
Choosing the right speed depends on the number of riders, their weight, size, and experience. Take these into consideration when riders are telling you to speed up; the captain is in charge of the vessel. Most captains do not exceed 29MPH when pulling tubes, but you can go a bit slower than that. Be consistent with speeds so your riders can get comfortable and find their groove. It is inevitable for speed to fluctuate due to turns or wind conditions, but it is important to be mindful when changing speed. Turning the boat into an S-shape is fun and safe for riders. Sharp and fast turns can cause riders to fall off, which may be the goal, but do not ever do this by banks or when boats are near.
Following proper safety precautions is essential to boating life. Learning to properly pull towable tubes means more fun for the driver and riders!