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First time towing skiers

Old 07-25-2016, 07:10 PM
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Default First time towing skiers

Quick question for THT...
Heading out this weekend to teach the kids to ski for the first time. I have a Seaswirl Striper 1851 DC with Yamaha 115 OB. Only option for hooking up tow rope is low transom hooks. Will this work for new skiers? Any insight is appreciated...
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:28 PM
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Sure will. Did it that way for many skiers on my old scout 175 with a 100 hp.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:42 PM
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Good deal...Thanks for the reply!
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:54 AM
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Get yourself a tow harness.
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Old 07-26-2016, 04:02 AM
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Quick tips.

Don't try to ease up.
1. Gun it. Easier to get up quickly than plow thru water.
2. Tell kids to lean back and squat. Butts on skis or board then stand up when ready.
3. Wide turns at first. Don't want to sling shot the kids. Water is hard at speeds.
4. A good comfy life vest.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:39 AM
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If you've never towed skiers before be careful. You are responsible for how far out they swing, stay away from docks.
Like stated above, don't ease into it. I like to put it in gear and get the rope tight, let the person get set, then gun it. Pops them right up. All they have to do is sit back. If they are first timers, I'll usually jump in the water and hold them in the right position until the boat takes off.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by trimnyc View Post
Quick tips.

Don't try to ease up.
1. Gun it. Easier to get up quickly than plow thru water.
2. Tell kids to lean back and squat. Butts on skis or board then stand up when ready.
3. Wide turns at first. Don't want to sling shot the kids. Water is hard at speeds.
4. A good comfy life vest.
5. go over hand signals (faster, slower, turn around, I'm finished, etc.)
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:43 AM
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All of the above, PLUS.... know when to quit. Once a kid gets tired, and it won't take long, let them get in the boat for a rest period.....
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jhackl View Post
Get yourself a tow harness.
This for sure...sorry, assumed the OP knew that.

Get anything past the first one on that link. Must have....the ones with flotation are better. Decrease your risk of rope in the prop.

All other advice spot on as well...
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by WhistleBlower View Post
5. go over hand signals (faster, slower, turn around, I'm finished, etc.)
You can read their face expressions. They will say it all.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:43 AM
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Be careful if in salt water....


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Old 07-26-2016, 11:36 AM
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Depending on age of the kids, try to match the kids with size of skis. Too big, they will have trouble handling them. Too small and they will have trouble getting on top of the water.


Make sure you have an observer on board watching the skier at all times and will notify you when/if the person falls. They must keep an eye on the skier in the water.


If the person falls .... tell them to LET GO. Then signal (wave) to let you know they are OK and so others boaters will be able to see him in the water.


If they need to get into the boat, circle around them with the rope and as they get near it, be sure to shut off the motor. Even though not in gear, never attempt to get in with the motors running. Don't mean to insult your intelligence, but it's worth the risk to prevent possible injury.


Some states require special flags on boats letting others know you have a person in tow.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:36 AM
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trim the motor all the way down. will help push the hull and transom up on top of the water and get up to speed quicker. and yes, gun it!

if you plan to tow a lot, you can get a lower pitched prop for more hole shot.

def need a harness or a ski pylon to get your rope up over the motor.

agree with ^^.

have they tried wakeboarding? super fun and probably easier to board behind your boat than ski.

have fun!! grab a pic or 2 for us
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:33 AM
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There is a lot of good info above.

Definitely go over hand signals, check boating laws, turn motor off when boarding.

We skied anywhere from 25 to 34 mph depending on skier. We wakeboarded from 16 to 18 mph. The water is a lot softer at lower speeds.

One tip not mentioned is that we liked to circle to pickup the fallen skier so the skier was on the driver's side of the boat. That served two purposes. The driver could see the person in the water better and he could talk to the person... You normally have the boat pretty close to them so you need a good view. You can pass instructions both ways as well. Use Neutral to slow the boat and let them catch the rope. Light tension until they are ready, and then pop them up.

I would spring for some good fitting, sport specific vests as well. Much easier on the kids and they will look better in the photos. Bring a lot of towels too.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:16 PM
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We ALWAYS shut off engine when near a person in the water.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CruiseToFish View Post
We ALWAYS shut off engine when near a person in the water.
Yessir. Keeps fumes out of everyones face too
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:59 AM
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When I was a kid, my father taught me how to ski by running down the beach (of a nearby lake) pulling the ski rope. That beach is now private and lined by high-end homes including one owned by Shaquille O'Neal.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:08 AM
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I started water skiing in about 1958. The sport has evolved a lot, but it is still hard on the body. I had a Ski Centurion for many years and made the switch to wake boards. All of that surface area means that 18 mph or 20 is a great speed compared to 33 mph with a slalom ski.

With a a wake board you can ease people out of the water which is easy on the boat and easy on the guy with the rope. When peoplle get tired they are often ready to go again by the time you pick them up. The bigger the wake the more fun it is. Some people like high tight boots like a ski boot. When you start doing jumps and flips it can lead to some injuries. I really like the looser bungee type bindings which are safer and easier to get into.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:57 AM
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Also, tell them to resist the urge to pull on the rope when they're getting up, and just let the boat pull them up. All they need to do is lean back enough to keep from falling forward. Pulling the rope will make the skis go faster than the boat is pulling, and they'll fall backwards every time. I taught a bunch of people to ski when I was in high school, and that was one of the hardest things to break people of. Have them repeat "Knees bent, arms straight" in their heads, and they'll get the hang of it pretty quick. Another tip to help them get the feel for letting the boat pull them is to have them sit on the ground with their knees bent in front of them, and their feet flat on the ground, and then have someone pull them to a standing position. The key is to convince them to let the boat do the work.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:07 AM
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We were newbies last year (and still are, of course), but let me reiterate what's been said, because I know someone killed by the tow boat while skiing:

- make sure to have a good spotter that pays attention to other boat traffic, and your skier
- shut off engine when skier approaches boat to get out of the water, and put in gear when engine shuts down to keep prop from spinning
- driver must use a kill switch lanyard. No exceptions.

Also - other passengers on the boat should distribute some weight forward to get on plane quicker. We had a bunch of us loaded aft, and it's harder to get on plane that way.
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