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waterskiing/tubing with a Montauk
|Author||Topic: waterskiing/tubing with a Montauk|
posted 01-13-2001 05:31 AM ET (US)
I am new at this. What are my options and what is the best configuration for a tow rope on a Montauk? What products do you recommend? Thanks.
posted 01-13-2001 07:54 AM ET (US)
I have pulled our kids, their friends and our friends on both tubes and skiis extensively behind two different Montauks; one with a 90hp OMC and one with a 100hp Merc.
For both skiis and tubes I usrd a towing harness that I found in Overtons, or bought at a local Marina, don't remember which, but I know it was made by Stearns or O'brien or another well known skiing/tubing accessory supplier. It is a basically "Y" shaped harness of heavy-duty poly ski-rope that has a clever and simple clasp device on each leg of the "Y" that allows a quick and secure connection, one "Y" leg to each of the two towing eyes on the aft side of the transom. The third leg or base of the "Y" has a float and a typical ski-rope connection to attach the tow rope for skiis or tube(s). So you are pulling from the towing eyes, but the two ropes come together into a single line right behind the lower unit and the float helps keep rope from fouling in the prop. Same thing can be done manually from stock heavy-duty or doubled poly line as long as you use knots that can be undone after having been tightened excessively, like bowlines (or you have a permanent harness, but maybe that's ok).
There are other higher-tech solutions,(pylons, etc.), but the harness works fine for us.
posted 01-13-2001 08:01 AM ET (US)
Keith, in my Montauk owner's manual they have a page, "Rigging for Skiing". It depicts a bridle rig that attaches to the ski-tow eyes on the transom. If you email me your mailing address I'll make a copy and snail mail to you. Don
posted 01-13-2001 08:32 AM ET (US)
I always used a bridle on my Montauk also.I had a 70 Evinrude on it and I could pull a skier from deep water.I really miss that boat,That was the first boat I ever owned and now my father-in-law ownes it.
posted 01-13-2001 11:14 AM ET (US)
I use a similar bridle on my Montauk, West
Marine p/n 466592. It's OK, but could be
better. When turning, the outside eye does
all the pulling, which maximizes the
skier's resistance to the turning of the
boat. This makes it darn hard (impossible
for me) to make tight turns with a skier on.
West used to sell (but I can't find it in
This effect, BTW, is at least part of the
Also, West sells a Runnabout Ski Pylon,
posted 01-13-2001 02:32 PM ET (US)
I made a homemade bridle cheaply after not being satisfied with the ones you can buy. I had an Overton's with a pulley, but the float wore out, and the cable could droop down near the prop. Since we have a 15' Striper, narrower than an 17', the pulley is even more critical to balance the loads.
My main hobby is wildwater racing, so I am on whitewater rivers a lot and the parts are common in that sport. I had them all laying around except for the main rope.
1. Aluminum rescue pulley - ~ $8 - very light, strong, rust resistant - I used the small blue one - rated for 0.5" rope, but holds the 5/8 rope I used.
2. A hunk of minicell. This is true closed cell foam (will not absorb water). I just took a hunk I had - it is 3" square by about 10" long (it would look better if I rounded the sides, but it works fine). You need to make a hole through the center of this for #3 to fit through. A long screwdriver works well for this - since the foam gives, you can push it through a very small hole.
3. 1" tubular webbing - about 2' or 3'. Tie it into a loop - a water knot works well. Should be just longer than your foam when looped.
4. Two carabiners - one for each end of the webbing. One goes through the pulley, the other attaches to the ski rope.
5. 5/8" poly rope - I got the blue/white stuff at home depot
6. Two clips to hold the 5/8" rope to the boat. I used the ones from the broken Overton's harness.
This harness has worked very well. Everything floats except the pulley and the carabiners, and these are quite light. Thus, everything stays high up in the water, away from the prop even if you back up. It folds up small, is quick to swap ski ropes of different lengths, and is quickly removed.
posted 01-13-2001 04:35 PM ET (US)
Where would one get such a pully?
posted 01-14-2001 03:53 PM ET (US)
There are several places that probably have it, such as Colorado Kayak Supply, Sierra South (Kernville CA - the only shop I'm familiar with in California), Nantahala Outdoor Center.
I found it online at Northwest River Supply.
I used the cheap one, called the Micro Pulley, $8.50. Partly cause it is cheap, mainly because it is light. It has held up well to two years of usage. A picture is at
It says it only holds 1/2 inch rope, but 5/8 braided poly works fine.
posted 01-14-2001 04:05 PM ET (US)
BoatUS has a pulley/float ski bridle, item 447092, $14.95 in their catalog pg 124. Don
posted 09-17-2001 10:39 PM ET (US)
A much belated thanks, dgp. I ordered one
back in January, and finally got to try it
this weekend. Hey, I'd rather go diving
than watersking. Anyway, it's a LOT better
than a non-pulley bridle (NPB) With the NPB,
I was having to turn then wheel nearly a full
turn when the skier changed sides. With the
new bridle, I don't have to change the wheel
at all. And I can turn a reasonable radius
Net: don't get anything but a pulley bridle.
posted 09-17-2001 11:19 PM ET (US)
How well do you think this would work on a 13? Based on your experience, would any modifications have to be made due to the more narrow beam?
posted 09-18-2001 03:56 AM ET (US)
Looks like no one has ever install a ski pole. Can this be done?
posted 09-18-2001 08:50 AM ET (US)
Dr T, I have used an inexpensive bridle on my 13' sports in the past and it works fine. Both had 40 HP engines. Regards, Jay
posted 09-18-2001 09:00 AM ET (US)
I checked with Boston Whaler and they do NOT recommend a tow bar. The Montauk does not have the support built in at the crucial support points.
posted 09-18-2001 12:31 PM ET (US)
A friend of mine had a ski pylon in his Montauk and it worked great. I plan on putting one in mine. He used the style that has a vertical pylon post just behind the helm seat with two supports running back to the transom. I don't see where the hull wouldn't support this style. Most of the skier load is supported by the transom. If the supports are attached near the tow/lift eyes, all of the load is exactly where BW designed the boat to tow and be lifted.
posted 09-18-2001 03:58 PM ET (US)
We have had a 1971 Nauset since new. WE use it 90% of the time for skiing and tubing. We have had a pylon in it as described above for the entire 30 years (we are almost finished the second motor-1st 100 johnson, now a 1986 115 yamaha) Pylon works great and have never had structural damage. I recommend this install. By the way it removes with pins in about 30 seconds.
posted 09-18-2001 10:09 PM ET (US)
I suspect it would work fine on a 13'.
BTW, my Montauk had no trouble getting my
posted 09-19-2001 01:33 AM ET (US)
Some of the cheaper harnesses attach to the boat with two sheet metal hooks that are supposed to pivot and lock on the tow eyes. These barely fit in the eyes on my 13 Sport. During towing they get bent slightly, and are a bear to get off. I suggest a harness made with carabiners or some kind of the heavy duty snaps. I will have to try a harness with a roller. The others don't seem much better than simply tying to one of the tow eyes. Dave
posted 09-19-2001 05:16 AM ET (US)
If possible could some of you guys with ski poles installed send me some pictures?
posted 09-19-2001 07:48 PM ET (US)
AZdave, the pulley bridle I have has real
(though small) carabiners. It's the one
from BoatUS that dgp posted the part number
for on 1/14.
Something just sank in: I don't remember the
posted 09-19-2001 08:30 PM ET (US)
I purchased a 1979 Montauk with a 1972 Johnson 65 this summer and have been skiing with the kids. I was told when I bought the tow rope that 75 foot was the appropriate length for skiing but that 60 foot was to be used for tubing. Not having any tubing experience I wonder why this is the recommendation.
posted 09-20-2001 12:12 AM ET (US)
I saw the same advisory on the Sevylor Vertigo tube I pull behind the 13. The warning says essentially that you can turn sharply enough to get the tube in front of the boat.
In practice, I have noticed that the additional surface area of the tube will cause it to decellerate sharply and you can put a significant amount of slack in the line. When you reach the end of the slack line, all of the weight of the tube and rider will be put on the outside ski eye until you get the tube back behind the boat. Hence the interest in the pully to equalize the loading.
Hope this makes since. It is easier to show with a picture than with words...
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