One of the best attributes of pontoon boats is that they’re incredibly versatile. From cruising with your friends and family to fishing, pontoon boats offer universal use.
Moreover, they are spacious and have the perfect deck. Thus, they’re probably the best type of boat you can own if you’re fond of water activities.
But can your pontoon boat pull a tube? Various factors determine whether your pontoon boat can pull a tube. These include the pontoon’s horsepower, the number of people tubing, and whether your pontoon boat has an attaching point.
Pontoon Boat’s Size and Horsepower
The pontoon boat’s size and horsepower play a vital role in determining whether it can pull a tube or not. A pontoon boat isn’t suitable as a fast water vessel because you can only ride it at 15 to 25 mph. If this speed range is ideal for tube pulling, you need to determine your boat’s horsepower.
For example, if your pontoon has a motor of 70 horsepower, you can ride it up to 15 mph, which is only suitable for children tubing.
However, if your pontoon has a 90 horsepower motor, it can reach the maximum speed of 20 mph, which is suitable for adult tubing.
Pontoon boats with above 150 horsepower engines can travel above 25 mph and efficiently pull a tube. In such pontoons, you won’t have to worry about the number of passengers aboard.
Besides horsepower, the size of the pontoon also plays a crucial role in determining whether the boat is suitable for dragging its weight. For example, a 90 horsepower motor on your 18-foot pontoon will pull your boat faster than the same horsepower engine on a 22-foot-long pontoon.
Number of People Tubing
Besides horsepower, the number of tube riders is critical in determining whether your pontoon can pull a tube.
If your boat has to drag one person on a tube, the engine won’t have to use a significant dragging force, so the boat can reach a suitable speed, offering an excellent tubing experience.
However, if the pontoon has to drag more tube riders, such as two adults, the boat won’t go as fast-paced because the engine will have to perform more work to produce a more significant forward thrust.
Besides this, the number of people riding the pontoon also plays a key role as they add more weight. Therefore, if you want to have an excellent tubing experience with a pontoon, you must only have a maximum of two people on board as they add more weight to the boat.
Towing Bar or Attaching Point
A pontoon boat can pull a tube if it supports towing. If your pontoon boat does not have a towing bar, you will need to invest in appropriate equipment to have an attaching point.
Most pontoon boats have a tow bar for attaching ropes for tubing and skiing. But if your pontoon boat lacks an attaching point, you can install one by yourself or have it installed by a professional.
Once you have a towing bar, make sure it is strong enough to pull the tube. Some of the towbars cannot withstand the strain. If the tow bar is not sturdy, you can use U bolts for attaching ropes.
Deeply drill the bolts to secure them as they have to endure tube pulling stress. Double-check the bolts and attach heavy ropes. Then, have a test ride to ensure that they can handle the pressure of pulling tubes.
You can also have a professional install a tow bar for you. It is safer and more reliable. Thus it will prevent tubing accidents.
Safety Precautions for Tubing
Before your pontoon pulls a tube, make sure to follow the precautions.
- Keep a first aid kit on your boat.
- Do not go over the speed limit.
- Do not go fast or make sharp turns if the water isn’t calm.
- Have someone lookout for warning signs.
- Ensure that the people tubing wear a floatation device.
- Make sure that the riders are at the center of the tube.
You must be overjoyed that your versatile pontoon can pull a tube. First, however, you must look into the details of your boat before you go tubing.
Before having passengers aboard, look into your boat’s towing capacity, weight, size, and horsepower.
Most importantly, you must ensure that the towing rope is securely tied to the pontoon and the tube to avoid accidents. If you are unsure about the tow bar and bolt strength, you must contact a professional to check if your pontoon is suitable for pulling a tube.