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Water Ski / Tubing Tow Harness


SteveWilson

Question

I have an 18' Lund Fisherman with 140HP Johnson and a 9.9HP Johnson kicker. I'm wondering what size of tow harness I should use. The tow harnesses are 8' and 12'. I've taken a piece of rope and tied it on the eyes and when I use an 8' rope the rope rides right in back of my main motor (about 1' back) and then is slides under the kicker when the kicker is tilted up. When a try a 12' rope, the rope hangs futher back of the main motor (good) but gets in the way of the kicker when the kicker is up. When the kicker is down (not all the way but definately in the water) then the rope doesn't interfere with the kicker. So, my delema is which tow harness to purchase, an 8' one or 12' one. My kids will thank you.

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My advice is to invest in a ski pylon for your boat. I used a harness for a couple years but got tired of crawling onto the back of the boat to hook up the harness, grab the rope to pull it in, unhook the harness, etc. For Father's Day I got a ski pylon. It is great! No more hanging on to the boat and reaching down to clip it on or off, just slip on the rope and go. It is a lot more fun for the boys and me. They claim it is easier to get up with the height of the pylon and they get more air when tubing. The rope clears the outboard and kicker with ease.

Drop a few hints, Father's Day is coming up and the rest of the family will enjoy it as much as you.

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I looked into pylon's and the only ones I readily found would require me to modify my boat in such a way that the rear livewell, rear seats and rear casting deck would be useless; permanantly. Not an option for a boat that is used for fishing most of the time. Do you have a specific Pylon system in mind?

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Can you just take the kicker off when you plan on skiing?

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Quote:

Can you just take the kicker off when you plan on skiing?


Sure, just disconnect the steering system, unwire the electrical system and remote control, then take off the motor; should only take an hour or so. I see where your going but that's not going to happen.

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I won't be a whole lot of help, but make sure your yoke goes over the top of your kicker. I have experience with a Skeeter with a kicker. Not sure how long the rope was, but we always had it over the kicker and never ran into problems. I wouldn't want it too short. Rubbing on the outboard wouldn't be good.

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I don't know how your boat is set up, but the pylon I bought is removeable. The pylon screws into a base (permenantly attached but low profile)and the support brackets have quick attach pins. The brackets have hefty stainless steel attachments that I put through the transom, although they may also attach to the side or rear platform.

If you are not in a hurry, I could scan the instructions and email them to you. (The instructions are at the lake) I could also send you a couple photos of my boat. I ordered mine through overton's for a couple hundred bucks. Check their website or stop at a dealer that has them in stock for some advice.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

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I have an 1800 and here is the picture of the mounting points. Never in the way of fishing.

See the two in the back by the splash well and the bar mount on the floor.

DCP05192.jpg

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Thanks for the photo. I see the floor mount but I don't see the others you're talking about. Thanks for the information on Overtons.

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Steve,

These are hard to see in this pic, but they are above the motor cable on one side.

I'll try to remember to take some more pics this weekend if you want me too.

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I see them now, thanks. I went down to Lake Elmo sports last night and they had a pylon unit from Swivel Ease - same mounting that you show here. The only issue was that they specifically mention not for tubing, just a single skier/wake boarder. Oh, well. After goofing around with my kicker motor, I figured a way of having it lift a bit higher which will make a tow harness rig work much better. After talking to the guy's at Lake Elmo sports they mentioned that they make custom harnesses. So on Saturday, I'll just bring my rig down (short drive) and have them measure one up that will work right. Then, if my kids actually want to water ski sometime then I can add in a pylon (a couple of years from now probably). Thanks.

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Quote:

they specifically mention not for tubing, just a single skier/wake boarder.


I wonder why, maybe there is to much slack rope from tubing and it can get caught on the side of the boat?

Sounds like the 12" harness would meet your needs.

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My guess that a tube has a lot more drag than a skier. The drag puts more force on the pylon and its mounts. I have been using mine for tubing a couple years with no problem. You have to use a little common sense when towing an inflatable. My son puts a lot of stress on the pylon while slalom skiing so I check it over every time we put it on. There have been reports of pylons coming loose and striking boat passengers, so I expect that they are concerned about liability.

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