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Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-26-2007, 11:32 AM Reply   
What is the best way to tow an inboard with a houseboat? Specifically, an older VLX with a 72x16 Sumerset.

(Message edited by trace on September 26, 2007)
Old     (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-26-2007, 12:07 PM Reply   
60 ft of rope, tie it to the bow eye and the back of the housboat. When the houseboat stops, the 60 ft of rope is long enogh to keep the towed boat from bumping into the back. That's how I've always towed mine.

Old     (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-26-2007, 12:13 PM Reply   
From my experience and what I have seen at Powell, pull with a shorter instead of a longer rope. It seems that you will be protected better in closer. Further out it gets hits by more wakes and rough water.
cloer = 25 to 40'
further out = 50 to 100'+
Keep any extra weight out of the bow. Also, I have a canvas snap on bow cover that helps a lot in protecting from waves that break over the bow. And assign someone to sit in the back and keep a constant eye on your boat. That's probably the best insurance. Good luck.
Old     (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-26-2007, 12:17 PM Reply   
Paul, I bet Powel gets fun with those tour boat rollers (ha ha). I've never been there, but I will remember your advice... where we go, I've never had to deal with any rollers that might jump the bow.

Old     (nasty530)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-26-2007, 12:22 PM Reply   
talking about rollers reminds me of our last trip there. We rented a 50'ish houseboat and were cruising in open water to our next camping spot. Nobody was really driving as there was nothing to hit and out of nowhere a HUGE roller came over the bow. The front sliding glass door was open, and I was sitting about 15' from the door. No joke, a 2' wave rolled through the entire inside of the houseboat. Luckly the back door was open too and most of the water cruised right on out... LOL good times at Powell
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-26-2007, 12:24 PM Reply   
Good ideas, thanks. Keep em comin. I do have a snap-on bow cover, hadn't thought of that but I'll definitely put it on.
Old     (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-26-2007, 12:34 PM Reply   
At Powell the area called the "narrows", a few miles on each side of Antelope Marina, is real bad when traffic is heavy. A couple of years ago there were about 20 boats sunk during one period of the summer. Education has gotten better, but there are still a few lost each year. On my previous direct drive 5 years ago, it took two straight rollers over the front and then the windshield. I saw the auto-bilge start, so we stopped and untied it. The water was almost up to the floor. I drove it the rest of the way at 14mph with the nose in the air. If I had waited any longer it would have been too late. Just keep an eye on it.

I have seen a few people try to tie to a higher point on the houseboat to try to keep the nose up.
Old     (vlxray)      Join Date: Mar 2005       09-26-2007, 12:57 PM Reply   
Check the bonus material in "The Truth" video.

They sink the team VLX while pulling it behind a houseboat on Lake Powell. Pretty crazy seeing a new top of the line wake boat submerged like that.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       09-26-2007, 1:39 PM Reply   
we always used two 15' ropes strung through PVC. one ties to each side of the back connecting to the front of the boat. THe PVC kept the boat from coming forward, and you could untie one side and pull the boat along side of the house boat for loading. This was NOT AT POWELL though. The water was never that ruff.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-26-2007, 2:05 PM Reply   
This is on Lake Travis, which gets rough in the main body (~4') but nothing like Powell I'm sure.

I was thinking of putting the rope through PVC as well. What length / dia / schedule PVC did you use?

Those big screws create a hell of a churn too - it seems like it might be better to have it further back, but long pipes wouldn't work very well.
Old    stillstandin            09-26-2007, 2:32 PM Reply   
X2 on the shorter rope, and just pay attention with the big rollers.
Old     (mbsteez)      Join Date: May 2005       09-26-2007, 2:48 PM Reply   
i thought in the truth it was sunk while it was beached? how did they get it to shore if they sunk it while towing?
Old     (milehighrider)      Join Date: Feb 2004       09-26-2007, 3:13 PM Reply   
both times we've been to powell we've used the same set up with no problems. i bought a rope for pulling tubes, i think it is about 60'. the closer the safer but do keep a person out back if it starts to get rough. i guess we've been lucky no major problems yet
Old     (gobigorgohome)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-26-2007, 4:09 PM Reply   
The tour boats at Powell are owned by the same people that own the rental houseboats so they were slowing down for us when we were there last week (especially in the narrows). Lines were about 60' to stop the boat following on and hitting the HB.

Quote: And assign someone to sit in the back and keep a constant eye on your boat.

I wouldn't recommend anyone riding at the back of the HB, ours seemed pretty fumey back there.
Old     (actiondcpd)      Join Date: Apr 2003       09-26-2007, 4:15 PM Reply   
I use a rope about 40' long and tie it to the back of the houseboat. I keep all of the weight out of the front and keep a semi-paranoid eye on it the entire time. If traffic is high in the area we are towing I just drive the boat to the destination and hang out... of course we never really travel that far.
Old     (fuller313)      Join Date: Oct 2006       09-26-2007, 5:21 PM Reply   
WE would always leave at the butt crack of dawn so we never had any problems at powell.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-26-2007, 5:59 PM Reply   
Oh hell yeah, we don't cruise between 10a and 4p. It's scary enough to drive anyway.
Old     (gary_in_ia)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-26-2007, 6:05 PM Reply   
Don't forget to use your rear straps.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-26-2007, 7:38 PM Reply   
Oh yeah, duh! Put a receiver hitch on the back of the HB, and use the trailer!
Old     (want2ridealot)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-26-2007, 8:12 PM Reply   
I have no experience with this but would it help by filling rear ballast only? Do you think that would help keeping the nose up.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       09-27-2007, 7:53 AM Reply   
We used 1" PVC. The house boats we always rented were jet drive, so I don't know how much of a difference that makes. The one nice thing about the pvc, is once you get to were you are going, you can hook the boat up and not worry about it rubbing up against the HB.
Old     (mr_nuggieborn)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-27-2007, 2:42 PM Reply   
Watch The wakeboard video " The Truth " watch the malibu that sank and Powell!
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-27-2007, 6:57 PM Reply   
I'm curious. Anyone have a picture of a PVC set up? How do you keep the end of the PVC from scraping against the inboard?
Old     (hixsonaz)      Join Date: May 2007       09-27-2007, 9:02 PM Reply   
Maybe im wrong, but i heard that too short of a rope restricts the boats free movement, and may cause the bow to stay low in rollers, while a longer rope like 75+ ft will allow the boat to float naturally and not plow the nose through waves.
Always keep an eye regardless! ----Observer
Old     (mesamc)      Join Date: May 2002       09-27-2007, 9:09 PM Reply   
Here is a picture from Powell a couple of weeks ago that Peter was talking about. We had no problems. Upload
Old     (tmobe)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-28-2007, 12:41 AM Reply   

Nahhhh This is how you do it. jk However this is a pic from my Memorial Day houseboat trip at Shasta
Old     (summerobsession)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-28-2007, 6:48 AM Reply   
Nice pic Todds!!
Kickin back w/a Corona!!

We rented this big ol pig of a houseboat at Table Rock and towed our 24V with it. The thing was so slow I don't think it mattered how long the rope was. I was tons of people towing, and it seems the faster the boat, the longer the rope.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-28-2007, 7:31 AM Reply   
This brings up another point. Wouldn't it be better to tie it off to one side, so the thrust from the houseboat isn't directly hitting the towed boat? Seems like it would be more efficient tied off to one side.
Old     (tmobe)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-28-2007, 4:08 PM Reply   
Thanks! I think that if there is more than one boat you tie to both sides. Middle is fine for one, but if you make a fast stop you more likely to ram the house boat.
Old     (mo_scrilla)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-28-2007, 6:57 PM Reply   
Upload 2 weeks ago at Lake Powell.
Old     (mcwakerider)      Join Date: Dec 2006       09-28-2007, 7:59 PM Reply   
difference is that in that liquid force wakesetter they probably had three thousand pounds of ballast... so it was probably sitting a little bit lower than most boats. if you watch when they get it floating again there are ballast bags floating all over the place.
Old     (gobigorgohome)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-28-2007, 8:34 PM Reply   
Quote: This brings up another point. Wouldn't it be better to tie it off to one side, so the thrust from the houseboat isn't directly hitting the towed boat? Seems like it would be more efficient tied off to one side.

Most houseboats have twin engines so the thrust is at the sides (not that the thrust really makes much difference at 60' out). I am lead to believe (by Mesamc no less) that if you have boats hanging off both sides they will hit when turning corners and/or slowing. When we slowed with the rig shown above (2 boats in line) they skewed around a bit but didn't carry on and slacken the ropes.
Old     (nasty530)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-29-2007, 5:22 PM Reply   
Who has the most reasonable house boat rentals out of Page?
Old     (mo_scrilla)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-29-2007, 5:44 PM Reply   
We rented from Antelope Point via Costco(10% off the advertised price) ...It was not cheep. But, we wouldn't think twice about renting from them again. The Houseboat was outstanding, we were the 5th group to take it out , Antelope Point was a very class act.
Old     (market_open)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-30-2007, 12:32 PM Reply   
Nautique in tow, with New Malones Dam in the Background.


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