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Five Tips for Towing Riders

Girl riding tube behind JetskiChances are that if you own any type of watercraft, you have friends and family begging you for a ride. Not just any ride, mind you, they want to be pulled behind your boat on a raft, skis, or board. You may be wary of towing a living and breathing human behind a powerful boat; however, when you follow these great tips, you can tow a rider like a pro.

  1. Talk Before the Ride

Talk to the person you will be towing. Ask them the speed they feel comfortable going and, because it will be difficult to hear, set up hand signals for “speed up” and “slow down.” If the person has been towed before, ask them about their preferred rope length and ballast setting.

  1. Adjust the Cockpit

You are going to be driving the boat, and your cockpit should be adjusted accordingly. Move the seat, adjust the mirrors, tune the radio…do anything that will make you more comfortable in the captain’s seat. Do all of this before you pull away from the dock.

  1. Down Flags

Down flags are not mandatory in all states, but they are still a great safety item. Be sure the rider is wearing a down flag and knows how to use it. Have a passenger in the boat with you who can keep an eye on the rider.

  1. Avoid Circles

If you are required to drive a circle while pulling a rider, this one cannot be avoided. If you are not required to do so, do not drive in a continuous circle. Your wake will spread in every direction, causing your rider to have a choppy time of it.

  1. Fallen Rider

As you circle back for a fallen rider, turn your music down. Make sure you keep your speed slow, and keep both eyes on where the rider is located. Doing these things can help you prevent hitting the rider that you are trying to save.

Towing a rider is not a difficult thing to do, but it is something that must be done safely. This is especially true if you are sharing the water with other boaters. Use the tips above whether you are towing someone for the first time or the hundredth.

If you have been hurt in a boating accident, our compassionate team of attorneys is here to assist you. Contact us at your convenience to discuss your case. Your first consultation is always free. Call now so we can begin to help you as soon as possible.

Posted In: Boating Accident, Safety Tips
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