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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through August 27, 2003 » Archive through September 24, 2004 » Advice for towing behind houseboat « Previous Next »
By Magnus M (magnusm) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 1:41 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Looked around and couldn't seem to find the info I was looking for.

I will be taking my Sanger V210 up to Shasta over labor day with a dozen friends for 4 days - motoring out of Jones Valley. I've never towed my boat behind a house boat before and looking for a little advice on towing and tying up to the house boat when we park.

I've gathered that you want to run at least 50 ft of line of the back off the boat, but what sort of rope is best for this? Also I figure I'll get plenty of bumpers to put down the side between the two boats when I tie up too. Is it better to use the dock lines with some stretch in it to allow a little movement or regular ropes and keep it tight?

Any tips or tricks anyone wants to share?

Thanks in advance.

By David Elliott (dwe) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 6:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

With an open bow you will want to tow with the bow cover in place. You can take on quite a bit of water over the bow from the wakes of passing boats. A friend of mine sank a Malibu towing behind a houseboat. She was napping and not paying attention. A couple of good sized wakes swamped the boat over the bow and then it filled up. Go longer than 50' for your tow line if you can. Boats with towers are tough to tie up to the houseboat, I just anchor mine seperately.

Hope this helps,

By S Dub (sdub) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:58 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have towed my V drive 2X behing HB and dont agree that you need a bow cover. Esp. with a V drive, the bow stays pretty high.

I dont know Shasta and if it gets windy there at night, but where I go it can get windy at night, so I would always anchor my boat away from the HB. That way if wind came up, and HB got blown off beach, it would not pinch my boat against the shore.

I use two 50ft. tube tow ropes that are rated 3,000lbs for towing my boat.

By Flack (flackpack) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I like to use a 50' tow line with a heavy duty clasp for hooking up to the bow eye on the wakeboat. At night you can tie up to the houseboat, if you move the leeward tie-off line forward on the houseboat to leave yourself some docking room. I also recommend a "hull hugr" fender to protect your ski boat. It folds small and flat and gives a lot of protection.
By Stewart McLean (gizel) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 11:39 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Magnus, We got to Shasta ever year and tow 2 boats with 2 jetskis behind them. Last year I went to West marine and got some really nice rope with some heavy duty caribeenres, they make a huge difference because when you stop the house boat you need to disconnect the ski boat so you can beach the house boat. if you go there Ask the guys to ty you a bull knot is what I think its called. it looks like it will come apart but it tightens up the more pressure you put on it. We let out the boats about 50 to 75 feet so they don't hit one another. Don't worry about water comming over the bow, In 10 years we have never had that happen. As far as parking it at night, go to Home Depot and get some peices of ReBar that are pretty long to use as Stakes. This is what you use to ty up the house boat. We ty one end off to the back of the houseboat and then drive a stake in the shore and ty the other end of the boat to that making sure that it is far away from the house boat. This way we do not nhave to worry about the waves rocking our ski boats into the house boat. I have pictures if you would like me to send them to you.
By Stephen Hiltscher (stephan) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 4:12 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I've been on trips where water was coming up over the bow. Leaving the cover on is a little excessive, if you have one of those snap bow covers that would be perfect. We just pulled the boat close & flipped on the bilge pump. Houseboating is serious business, you need to pay attention attention at all times. As for tying off, I too wouldn't tie it to the side of the HB. Just anchor it off to the side out side of the HB lines using an Anchor Buddy & be done with it. Last note - Bring Duct Tape.
By jordan (shortyz) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
stew that knot is called a bowline, not a bullknot. best knot ever invented.

By cdm (cdm) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 5:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here you go - you must learn the bowline!


Have Fun!!

By Magnus M (magnusm) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the tips. I guess I'll just put my snap on bow cover on when I'm towing it - don't want to be the next guy to sink his boat behind a houseboat and these Sangers have a pretty low freeboard - better to be safe than sorry I guess.

Looks like I'll also go with the anchor and anchor buddy unless it is very calm (which I think it might be there) in which case I might try a hull hugr.

Any other thoughts to make my first houseboat trip uneventful from a docking and towing stand point keep them coming.

Thanks, Magnus

By David Elliott (dwe) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

My experience houseboating is on Lake Powell. There are some big boats on that lake, tour boats and others that throw a big wake. You may not have that issue on Shasta, but covering the bow is cheap insurance. Just remember when beaching and docking the houseboat that slow and steady work best. Keep an eye on the wind and consider how far you may drift on your approach. Most of all relax and have a good time.


By Jeff (duramax_dually) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Magnus,
Don't tow it, DRIVE it....... Let some one else skipper the mothership.

By Scott (oshensurfer) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
This is how we tied up this year. Picture is from atop the house boat.

By Dave Wiley (malibuskier2003) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 2:32 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
A word of caution with regard to the Jones Vally/Sugar Loaf boats: they have no catwalks down the side. This makes tie up very difficult. As far as towing your boat I have towed my Malibu VLX for 9 years now and have not had a problem. Pay attention, stop slowly and have a good partner on the back deck and you will be fine. Watch out for trees in the pit....


By Bobby Mucic (bobbymucic) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 3:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Anchor buddy rules!
Drop your anchor with anchor buddy and a buoy about 35 feet away from the back of your houseboat.
Use a 50 foot line from the anchor buddy buoy to the stern of the house boat. This line should be rope that sinks (nylon).

When you want to tie up, bow in to the anchor buoy, clip the anchor buddy on to the bow or side cleat, then pull on nylon stern line and walk it back to the stern of the skiboat. You can pull enough to get swim platform right next to the houseboat. Have a couple of loop knots in the stern line; one for getting in/out and one for mooring.

Towing should be no problem, keep and eye on it, and don't use full throttle on the won't go much faster and you'll burn a lot more gas..

By Magnus M (magnusm) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Bobby - sounds like a good idea. I had been turned onto the idea of the anchor buoy and the anchor buddy, now this idea seems to work.

Just to clarify are you saying that you'd leave the 50 foot rope attached between the mothership and the buoy all the time (hence why the sinking line is important), then motor back in after some boarding, clip to the mooring buoy, grab the nylon line attached to the anchor buoy and reel back into the houseboat (while anchor buddy stretches)load or unload and then let the boat get pulled back out again?

Not too up on my loop knots, but I think I can see what you are saying.

Will just the anchor buddy be long enough? Seems like maybe 35 feet out from the back of the houseboat might be a little deep for the anchor buddy - doesn't it only stretch to maybe 50 feet total length? Maybe Shasta won't be that deep, but figuring 20 feet deep and 35 feet from the houseboat, just my math makes me think that it wouldn't reach. Am I missing something?

By Bryan Locke (gwnkids) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
No worries

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:36 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I've never had a problem towing behind a houseboat. We use clips on the end of our ropes.

By Bobby Mucic (bobbymucic) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 1:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Yes, you get the idea. Here is as simple drawing of the setup, and a loop knot. The loop is good beacause you can untie and tie it wihtout needing one end of the rope free. It makes it easy to adjust, and you can have a loop for the boat far away, and one for when the boat is at the back of the houseboat.

The anchor buddy only needs to make up the stretch distance between the skiboat and housboat, so you can use another rope between the anchor buddy and anchor. If you want to be extra safe, have a rope longer than the anchor buddy attach to the buoy and anchor (the anchor buddy instructions talk about this I believe, and you can use loop knots here too)

By Paul (psudy) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 1:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have always run two lines through pvc pipe at about 15ft connecting to the boat eye and veeing up to the house boat. This will keep the boat from hitting when you stop. Unhook one side to pull the boat up to you.
By Magnus M (magnusm) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:36 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Bobby - thanks for the diagrams - that helps.
By John Strain (jmanjohn) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 4:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I think These were around 70 feet back and apart. Stopping and turning took time and planning.

By Bobby Mucic (bobbymucic) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 4:27 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

thanks again for the help at BV last week...

By Tom Barnard (tlb) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 7:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey bobby, I houseboated at oroville this weekend and anchored my boat like your diagram. It worked great, thanks for the cool input.
this thread is great!

By Scott (oshensurfer) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 10:00 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That anchor buddy works as long as the lake isn't too deep. Believe it or not that pic above that I posted, the water is about 80-100' deep at the end of the house boat. That's another reason why we didn't tie up directly to the houseboat. Occassionally we'd get some traffic that snuck back into the cove and did a power turn at the end of it where we were and send in rollers. The Anchor buddy system and tying off to the end of the houseboat will keep any bouncing off the side of the boat from happening.
By Magnus M (magnusm) on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:30 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Just got back from the weekend at Shasta and wanted to report back on the set-up. Bobby's description and diagram worked like a charm. My boat sat quietly 25 feet behind the houseboat anchored in the cove. When it was time to go riding, just reel in the stern line - anchor buddy stretches, people climb straight from the back platform of the HB onto the skiboat, unclip and attach the line to the morring buoy and off you go.

For anyone else's benefit this is exactly what I needed to get for this to work in my situation.
100 ft nylon anchor line; 50ft nylon anchor line; anchor buddy; anchor; anchor chain (6 ft nylon coated); 11 inch mooring bouy; handful of anchor shakles and clips and a couple pieces of marine carpet to put between the clips and the boat to protect from scratches (optional as it didn't look like they ever hit anyway).

To set it up, I took the 100ft line and tied off a loop 45 feet from the end that would attach to the anchor chain (as described on the anchor buddy packaging), then attached a clip to the other end (had to make it about 10-15 feet shorter due to the depth of the water, by just tying another loop in the 100ft anchor line). This clip would attach to the front of the skiboat. The 50 foot line I put a loop approximately in the middle and clipped one end to the front of the skiboat, middle part of the line to the back of the skiboat and other end to the back corner of the house boat. When you want to leave just unclip the clips from the front of the ski boat and attach to the mooring buoy (stored in the boat when the boat was parked). Detach the clip from the back of the skiboat and throw it in the water - this all sinks out of the way so you won't run over the line. You leave and you are basically left with one end of the 50ft line attached to the mooring buoy, one attached to the HB and the 100 ft anchor line attached to the mooring buoy. When you return, just motor up to the mooring buoy, attach the lines back to the front of the boat, pull the other part of the 50 foot line out of the water attach to the back of the skiboat and pull back into the HB, once everyone's off let go and the anchor buddy will pull the boat back out to a safe distance again. Works like a charm.

Didn't end up towing with the HB as I just went ahead to scout out locations to park for the night and we didn't actually cruise around much in the HB.

Thanks again for everyone's help on this.

By David baker (bakerds) on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 7:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
you have to check this out..swamped Tige behind houseboat...good advise from experience on what not to do,%20200

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