Towing For Two

June 2016 Web Exclusive

Do you have runabouts or PWCs that you tow behind your houseboat? One forum member recently had a question about how best to tow their arsenal:

AMYWV: Good day everyone, my husband and I have remodeled a 72 Drifter houseboat and when I say remodeled it has been top to bottom, inside and out- we have had our struggles and she has been a challenge but we are just about ready to enjoy it. I know many say not to get a steel hull but the hull was recently totally re-done/welded and pressure tested and we were able to get insurance. So it works for us. 
Anyway, my question is how to tow a 20-foot bass boat and a 3 seater Jet Ski behind it. There is not a swim platform so I don't think PWC rails will work. I thought of having a swim platform installed with the rails but that is going to get costly. The engine compartment lids take up most of the back deck so installing a lift will not work and still allow for access. I know they make the Towdster and we would need two V's towing one behind the other. But I have read mixed reviews on those. My husband was asking about towing the ski maybe with Mooring Whips on the side? 
Any other ideas or thoughts? We are on a river and will be going slow.

easttnboater: I have always towed my "little" boats and jet skis behind my houseboat with a simple rope. I use one of the multi-person towable ropes rated at 5,000. It floats, so unless you do something extreme, it will not get caught in your prop. Tie one off each corner and you will be fine. Don't make it more complicated than it is.

Endurance: I tow at least one ski boat every trip. For a lot of those trips, I have done it just like East TN described with a tube rope. Mine looks like this:

A tube rope works well because they are strong enough but they float. If you tow with a nylon rope, it it a question of when, not if, you will suck it into a prop. The tubing rope also has a little bit of elasticity. That is nice when you get to the end of the rope and it snaps tight.

When I tow two boats on ropes, I attach one rope to each corner of my houseboat and use different length ropes to make sure the boats can't bump into each other. More recently, I have switched to this kind of tow device: the BoatHitch. I love everything about it except the price tag. It might be overkill for your situation unless you do a lot of towing.

Top image credited to BoatHitch

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