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How to Attach a Tow Rope to a Boat Properly? – 3 Steps

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

how to attach a tow rope to a boat

Attaching the tow rope to your boat may sound simple, but there are many things to consider. You need to find the correct place to tie the rope.

Knowing how to attach a tow rope to a boat will ensure not only your safety but also the safety of your companions. Additionally, it ensures that you are not damaging your boat during your adventures.

This article will discuss the things you need to attach a tow rope to your boat and a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Guide to Attach a Tow Rope to a Boat


What you need to prepare:

To tie a tube to a boat, You will need a tow rope, tow rope connector, tow ring, and tow harness.

  • Tow Rope – Tubing tow ropes should be at least 50 feet. This length ensures the safety of the tube passengers. It avoids instances of the rope getting stuck in the propeller.

The rope tensile strength requirement varies depending on the number of passengers. It is highly recommended to use a tow rope with 6,100 lbs tensile strength.

  • Tow Rope Connector – It allows you to quickly attach or detach a tow rope to towables and attach tube rope to boat. These connectors are also referred to as “quick connect.”
  • Boat Tow Rope Harness – Tow harness for tubing is another thing that you need to provide additional safety. This accessory connects to a booster ball to keep the rope out of the water while towing.

Step 1: Locate the Boat’s Connection Points


Finding your boat’s connection points is among the first things you should do. The boat’s tie-down points or tow bars vary depending on your boat type.

Most boats have ski eyelets in the hull. There should be tow bars or tie-down points if they don’t have one.

Connecting a tow rope to a pontoon boat can be easy. Pontoon boats generally have tow bars on the rear.

Step 2: Choose which Knot to Use


Choosing the appropriate knot to use when you tie a tow rope for tubing or attach a ski rope to a boat is critical. Although, knot-tying may only be sometimes applicable. Most tie-down points and tow bars nowadays use wraps to secure the rope.

Below are the commonly used knots to attach a tow rope to a boat:

  • Bowline Knot – This not forms an adjustable loop (tightens or loosens) at the end of the tow rope.
  • Sliding Hitch Knot – The line’s working end passes through a ring or another rope and wraps the working end on one side, forming a loop.
  • Two-Half Hitches Knot – this is obtained by making a loop with one rope end and placing it over an object.
  • Slip Knot – This knot is easily achieved by making a loop that doubles the line back onto itself.

The slip knot is highly recommended because the more pressure it gets, the stronger it becomes.

Step 3: Connect the Ends of the Rope


This is the actual job to connect the tube to boat. This can be really easy or a bit difficult, depending on the situation. You can use a quick connect or a tow ring for this step.

  • Attaching the Tow Rope to the Tube

It is easy to hook a tube to a boat using a quick-connect tow rope. To add the quick connect, follow the steps below:

  • Cast the loop at the end of the tube’s webbing
  • Thread the plastic quick-connect through the eye
  • Ensure to tighten the quick-connect rope
  • Attach the tow rope to the quick connect
  • Attaching the Tow Rope to the Boat
  • You can easily attach a ski rope to the tow ring of the boat. This is usually attached to the rear of the boat and functions as a boat tow rope attachment point.
  • If your boat does not have a tow ring, you can knot the end of the tow rope to the boat’s tow bar.

How can you pull a tube without a tow bar? The boat should have cleats on the sides. You can tow your tube using the cleat method. However, you need to ensure that the weight of the tube you are towing will not damage your boat.

  • Towing tube from transom eyes is also standard in boating. Utilize your boat’s transom eyes if available because it allows easy connection of the tow rope.
  • Small boaters also commonly use a tow harness for tubing. A boat tow rope harnessis usually connected to a booster ball for a safer towing experience.

The steps to attach rope to airhead tube is also relatively simple. A quick connect component is attached to the airhead’s harness for easy connection.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions


Tip #1: Ensure that your tow rope can support the weight of your towable to avoid incidents of breaking. If your tow rope breaks, it would be dangerous for those riding the tube. To ensure safety, you must use the correct type and size of ropes.

Tip #2: Maintain a safe distance of the tube from the boat by using at least a 100 ft. length of the tow rope.

Tip #3: If you use knots to tie the tow rope, use a tie knot as it becomes stronger with pressure.

Why is it important to attach a tow rope to the appropriate spot on your boat?

Attaching the rope to the wrong connection points could damage your boat. Additionally, it increases the chance that the rope will come undone, causing danger to people.

What do you attach a rope to on a boat?

You should attach the tow rope to a bowline. This boat component allows you to tie the end of the tow rope or the rope’s loop conveniently and securely.


Tubing is a great water adventure. It is so much fun for your family and friends to experience. Learning how to attach a tow rope to a boat is essential for your water sporting activity to be safe.

A few important things to consider are to attach a tow rope to your boat securely. These include finding the correct connection points, using the appropriate knot, and evaluating if the rope or the boat can support the tow.

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