Few water sports excite children more than being sped around the water on a tube.
If you own a pontoon boat and enjoy tubing, you may want to learn how to tow a tube behind a pontoon boat for an afternoon of action-packed adventure your friends and family will never forget!
How to pull a tube behind a pontoon boat
This guide will show you how to pull a tube with a pontoon, as well as pontoon tubing safety basics, so you can keep your family safe and happy this summer.
To pull a tube, how much horsepower does a pontoon need?
Although you can tow a tube with almost any size pontoon, a 90hp engine (or higher) is highly recommended for safety and an out-of-this-world experience.
Don’t get me wrong: while most small engines will suffice, a more capable engine is the way to go if you want your family to have the most fun.
Tow a tube behind a pontoon boat, you’ll need these accessories
Let’s go over the equipment basics before we get into the deep end of tube pulling with a pontoon…
To properly and safely pull the tube with your buoyant riders onboard, you’ll need the following basic items.
Rope for towing
To pull your tube, you’ll need a good rope, just like any other power boat.
When towing inflatables, towropes are subjected to a great deal of stress at various points of connection, so look for one that is built to last.
I should point out that ropes aren’t prohibitively expensive.
Towing the tube with a tow bar or a pylon?
Pylons are a popular choice for many watersports enthusiasts, and they hold up well to towing – a high-quality ski pylon is very strong and heavy.
Another advantage is that a ski pylon is extremely simple to operate.
The tow bar also serves this purpose admirably, allowing the rope to move smoothly from side to side, reducing stress on the boat and increasing thrill for those in tow.
If your pontoon lacks a pylon or the original tow bar is damaged, I recommend investing in a proven aftermarket tow bar like the TurboSwing Ski Tow Bar.
Tip: A wakeboard tower is not an option here because the tube’s design allows it to easily become airborne.
Tow Harness is an alternative.
Many manufacturers recommend using a high-quality tow harness with pontoons that lack a pylon or tow bar.
The accessory creates a sturdy tow attachment point behind the outboard/stern drive – in the center of the pontoon – and is ideal for the job.
Take a look at the Airhead Watersports Self-Centering Tow Harness, which is designed specifically for towing tubes behind a Pontoon boat.
Step-by-step instructions on how to tow a tube behind a pontoon boat.
Now that you know what you’ll need, let’s move on to the most crucial part of our guide: how to tow a tube behind a pontoon boat (the specific procedure).
I must say that connecting the tube to your pontoon is fairly simple—there isn’t much of a learning curve if you have all of the necessary equipment.
Simply tie the towrope to your boat’s cleats, grommets, or eyes, or to your ski tow bar (if you have one) or a ski pylon.
Depending on your preference, follow these steps:
Using various options, how to set up tubing on a boat
Option 1: Using a tow bar on the back of the vehicle
The tow bar in the back would suffice. It also gives you better control over your tube and ensures a better pull for tube riders.
All you have to do now is connect the tow rope to the tow bar, and you’re done!
You’ll attach the tow rope to the pulley if you’ve installed the TurboSwing tow bar (that wraps around motor cowlings in pontoon boats).
To get it right, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Using a ski pylon as a second option
Another simple method is to attach your tow rope to the round eye (at the top).
In general, the pylon allows you to get your tube “on plane” faster, and the rope produces significantly less splash.
Option 3: Using a pontoon tow harness
As previously mentioned, using a harness with an easy attachment mechanism, such as the Airhead Watersports Heavy-Duty Tow Harness, is the best option.
Simply secure your tube rope to the sturdy Kwik-Connect attachment mechanism after clipping it onto the pontoon with the high tensile strength hooks.
Safety Tips for Tubing Behind a Pontoon
Have all of the necessary safety equipment
Everyone onboard must have a personal flotation device as a minimum requirement (PFD).
I can’t stress this enough: a life jacket can save your life in the event of an accident, so make sure everyone is wearing one at all times.
Don’t forget to apply (and reapply) enough waterproof sunscreen as you chase the fun; there will be more sun than your skin can handle.
Tow ropes should be avoided at all costs.
Ropes are designed to pull various sized tubes.
As a result, using the incorrect tow rope can easily damage it and put the riders in danger.
Towing a four-person tube with a tow rope designed for a two-rider tube, for example, can be disastrous because the rope may break.
Before each use, inspect your rope for frays or sun damage.
Keep a close eye on your passengers.
As a general rule, have a second person in the pontoon keep an eye on the kids or whoever else is on board.
Throughout, exercise caution and make sound decisions.
Avoiding over-speeding, especially if you’re towing children or riders whose ability you’re unsure of, can also help you avoid disaster.
A summer water tubing adventure while being towed behind a pontoon boat is extremely enchanting, whether it’s for your kids or you’re still a kid (at heart).
Go ahead and haul out your tube now that you know how to pull a tube behind a pontoon boat.
Without a doubt, this simple but extremely exciting water activity will provide everyone with wonderful vacation memories.