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What is the correct / best way to hook up a ski rope for tubeing?  The dealer told me the factory ski bar would bend if used for tubing and recommended hooking to the eyehooks on the back of each pontoons.  I have read other posts on other forums that recommend not to do this due to the stress it will cause to the welds and the inevitable leaks.
Just curious what the rest of you are doing with your Sweetwater's.  I have a new 2080 BF with a 90hp Yamaha.  
The wife, kids and long lost friends are anxious to start tubing!


  • The most safest and most secure way to pull people on tubes is with a ski harness that is attached to the lifting eyes on the aft end of both pontoon tubes. The harness forms a V and allows for the attachment of your ski rope. Your dealer or any marine retail aftermarket shop should be able to assist you with acquiring a ski harness.
  • TKtoonTKtoon Posts: 1Member
    I was told the same thing when I bought my Sweetwater in March.  But I did pull tubes for endless hours attached to the eye hooks on the back of the toons on my last pontoon without any issues.  I plan on doing the same thing with the new pontoon.  The only downside is the rope drags in the water and whoever is on the tube get a lot of water splashed in their faces. 
  • three919499three919499 Posts: 3Member
    I have been using a ski tow bar since I bought my boat I had it intsalled at the marina and haven't had any problems it's a 24' with a 90hp Mercury.
  • Capt_SteveCapt_Steve Posts: 164Member admin
    Really depends on how much weight, how hard you cut turns, etc. Multiple small kids or one adult at a slower speed might be okay on the tow bar, but really a ski rope harness is only about $20, simple to use, and helps to safely distribute the weight.
  • baloo28baloo28 Posts: 9Member
    Ok, major confused. If you shouldn't use the tow bar, then why the heck do I spend a bunch of extra money to have "tow" bar? Is it just a shiny piece of chrome the dealer installs just to get money??
  • RickFisherRickFisher Posts: 14Member ✭✭
    I ordered the towbar on my Aqua Patio.  Was given no warning about weight capacity.  I call BS if you can't use it for tubing or skiing.  
  • Capt_SteveCapt_Steve Posts: 164Member admin
    Hey guys...I've asked one of our pontoon engineers to weigh in on this subject.
  • Capt_SteveCapt_Steve Posts: 164Member admin
    @baloo28 & @RickFisher ... guys...this is a SKI tow bar that can handle up to 500 lbs. The problem with tubing is that you can quickly exceed the limit due to drag in the water. The recommendation is that you purchase a "Y" harness and attach to the pontoon tube eyes for tubing. You CAN use the existing tow bar for skiing.
  • GJTGJT Posts: 1Member
    Is there a beefier tow bar for tubing then?I find it hard to believe we are being directed to use a Y-Harness based on what we paid for a boat with a stainless steel tow bar. We should be able to pull our guests on a tube behind our boat worry free on the equipment we paid for.I'm thinking the "engineers" should have been consulted way before now.
  • DdancersDdancers Posts: 134Member ✭✭
    You are totally justified to be upset!
    There are upgrades offered on this sites options. The thing I was disappointed about is that only after the purchase you find out that the tow bar you purchased isn't recommended for pulling tubes.
    Way isn't this mentioned at the time of purchase. Most pontoon owners will have tubing in mind not skiing and the manufacture know this, yet no pre-notice to this fact is stated when ordering.
    I was disappointed with my dealer for not bringing it up, I shouldn't have to find this out from a sticker on the bar or a forum on the Internet.
    My dealer later stated if I don't exceed 300lb of tow weight I would be fine.
    Many owner do use the standard tow bar, and have stated they've had no problems, but then again they don't state the weight they are tubing.
    I just recently email my dealer to see if they offer any upgrade options. My concern is after purchase upgrades tend to be more costly.
    This is a common complaint by buyer so I hope that all manufactures including Sweetwater become more upfront with this information.
  • DdancersDdancers Posts: 134Member ✭✭

    Here's what my dealer had to say.

    I will look into whether or not there is an upgrade that is reasonable, they do make a thing called a "turbo swing" that is supposed to have a bigger capacity but we haven't ever used one. 

    In our experience the factory tow bar is very under-rated compared to what it can hold, and we haven't ever had an issue of a tow bar breaking or bending due to too much weight.  The standard tube ropes typically break before anything else. 

  • bbower64bbower64 Posts: 10Member
    Our first boat was a 2086 and we used the ski bar for tubing because the dealer didn't say we ccouldn't. We didn't have any issues.  When we bought our next sweetwater 24 foot the dealler said no tubing with the ski bar. I agree, most people think the ski bar can be used for tubing so if you don't ski it is a waste of money.
  • BoomerBoomer USAPosts: 312Member ✭✭
    Just ordered this from Overton's after reading these post says the 16' is better for pontoons
    Dale Hollow Lake Byrdstown Tennessee
  • DdancersDdancers Posts: 134Member ✭✭

    You will also likely want a power ball too if you use a "Y" harness otherwise your spray could be heavy and the tube will have a tendency of diving because the rope will be under water.

    There are others cheaper but this one is rated well.

  • mreddyspagmreddyspag Posts: 14Member ✭✭
    I was always told not to hook anything to the eyes on the rear of the pontoons.  My friend hooked to them just tying up with another boat and cracked the weld on one. This would probably void the pontoon warrenty?  Aren't the eyes for lifting only?
    Happy Boating!

    Brian Edwards
  • BoomerBoomer USAPosts: 312Member ✭✭
    Never heard that before
    Dale Hollow Lake Byrdstown Tennessee
  • DdancersDdancers Posts: 134Member ✭✭

    Think about it tying up with another boat could exert thousands of pounds, were as tubing is only hundreds of pounds.

  • CRFCRF Posts: 229Member ✭✭✭
    the eyes are also for fastening the rear of the boat to the trailer

    18 ft. Sweetwater Sunrise (F) Pontoon  "Slice of Life" ; 40hp. Yamaha

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