Tubing with a dinghy

Discussion in 'Dinghies' started by Luis, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. Luis

    Luis New Member

    20
    Nov 2, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    1996 330 Sundance
    Twin mercruiser
    Hi everyone
    We recently purchased a Sundancer, and it came with a 10 foot zodiac and a 15hp motor.
    The kids really enjoy tubing, and I wonder if anyone has any experience using a similar dinghy for tubing.
    If so, how would one connect the towing rope to the dinghy?

    Thanks!
     
  2. superwa

    superwa Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    321
    Jul 27, 2013
    Rhode Island
    2001 Sea Ray Sundancer 380
    Mercruiser horizon 8.1S
    Yup, I installed these two D rings on the transom for tubing and knee boarding on my zodiac. Get a harness that floats, as well as a line that floats to make it easier. Works great with the kids.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  3. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    Yep. Being doing this for years with a 9.5 foot RIB with 15 hp motor.

    I added a set of u-bolts to the transom. I use a y-shaped harness to connect the tow rope to the u-bolts. Like this one.

    upload_2021-1-9_20-46-56.png

    One problem is the rope stays low in the water. During a turn it will often dip into the water and cause drag. I also found that a soft bottom dinghy works poorly for towing a tube.
     

    Attached Files:

    Luis likes this.
  4. Luis

    Luis New Member

    20
    Nov 2, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    1996 330 Sundance
    Twin mercruiser
    Amazing!
    How long of a rope do you use? And how heavy of a tow? 1
    Kid? 2? 3?
    Thanks so much!
     
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Luis likes this.
  6. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    What kind of dinghy are we talking about here... my 260 Sundeck couldn’t flip my kids off unless I was about to hurt them....and mom would never let that happen :)
     
  7. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
  8. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    I think my tow rope is 50’. I got a standard length tube tow rope from West Marine.

    It really worked best with 1 kid on a tube. I used to go with just me and the kid being towed until I got yelled at by LEO. Take a spotter kid now. My kids are 14 /170lb and 11/110lbs. Honestly it a bit of a struggle to
    pull them with much vigor at this point.

    For the tube I tried a flat tube but it tended to submarine a lot. The one they like and work the best is a sit-in Airhead Viper 1 person. It got it when the kids were small and they still like it. It’s not super exciting but worked pretty well for us.
     

    Attached Files:

    Luis likes this.
  9. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    My dinghy is a AB Ventus 9vl with a 15hp motor. Not much chance of flipping anyone off - not enough speed and the rope dipped in the water.

    Now, I could do it on my 270 AJ if using a flat tube and tried hard. It’s all about the steering. You have to make a series of s-turns then hold in a turn to get the tuber outside the wake. Turn shaft the other way to cross the wake for some bumps.

    I did try to pull them with my Back Cove 34 last year. With the diesel torque and a big prop that boat really pulled hard and shot up on plane. They were not used to the larger wake and kinda chickened out on me. :(
     
    Luis likes this.
  10. Luis

    Luis New Member

    20
    Nov 2, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    1996 330 Sundance
    Twin mercruiser
    Excellent. Thanks everyone for the responses...you have been very helpful and extremely informative.
     
  11. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I hear 'ya, Brad. It's almost the price of a regular tube. But it does work as advertised - it replaces the existing tow rope - and the ball keeps it's own rope hovering above the wake so it doesn't get caught and slow down.

    Kid's often lay too far forward on the flat tubes which of course causes that submarine action. The low tow angle behind a dinghy doesn't help, either. The Viper is a nice tube, though.
     
    b_arrington likes this.

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