Boat Towing Services Lake Tahoe California

Around of the Lake Tahoe California, It is a rare occurrence that one boater would see another in a jam offshore and not stop to help. But in some instances, the help you render could be the wrong kind. Let is take the subject of towing, for example. Most recreational powerboats are not designed to be tow boats, nor have their owners, in most cases, been educated on safe towing procedures.

Boat Towing Services Lake Tahoe California

Boat Towing Services Lake Tahoe California

Towing another boat is fraught with risks, including the potential for serious injury, damage to the boat needing help or to tow boat, to say nothing of the possibility of resulting litigation.  Here is our recommendation about how to do your duty and stay out of trouble at the same time.

Generally speaking, recreational boats are ill-equipped to safely handle the problems of other boaters in need on the water.

There are many potential dangers inherent in towing, like Tie a tow line to a stern cleat and it is likely to pull out the cleat, or if towing from a single quarter, to sink the tow boat. You could set up a bridle to tow from a centerline, however, depending on the size of the tow, it is possible to pull two cleats out instead of one. Then there is the danger of the sling-shot effect of cleat pulling out under stress and hitting someone, or a tow line parting and becoming a whip.

If a boat is aground at the Lake Tahoe or another and you try to tow the boat off, you could easily tear its running gear out, creating a hole in the bottom of the distressed boat. In that case, you might have turned a boat that was merely aground into a boat that is sinking.


The best and safest way to render towing assistance is to go over to the stricken vessel and ensure that everyone aboard is safe, unhurt and wearing life jackets. Lend them yours, if necessary. Ask if they have called the Coast Guard or a professional towing service or in this case a service of Lake Tahoe California.

If there are no life-threatening circumstances involved, then the Coast Guard will probably suggest that the distressed party calls a towing service. Once the distressed party has called a towing service (they are ready to you), find out when they plan to arrive on the scene. Then tell the occupants of the distressed boat that you will stand by until the rescue vessel arrives.

The fact that another boat and other people are just a few yards away keeping an eye on things will lend comfort, a sense of security and calm the party in distress. Also, you can maintain back-up communication with the responders.

For your safety, Professional towers in Lake Tahoe California also utilize safety gear like flashing lights to warn others that a boat is in tow, which can be essential in busy waters or when day fades to night. the boats are fitted with dedicated tow points that are mounted toward the center of the boat, which greatly improves an ability of captain to safely control both vessels.

Beyond that, it is important to point out that many services boats are stocked with emergency fuel supplies and jump packs that can be used to correct problems in the water, thus avoiding the need for a tow altogether. They are all items that the vast majority of recreational boaters just do not carry, especially not for other boaters.

The obligation to render assistance in Lake Tahoe California and many other lakes: It is a tradition as old as the Lake Tahoe. But when it comes to towing another boat, your desire of to help should be tempered by a healthy dose of common sense.

Boats might float and drift with seeming ease, but they are still heavy. On the lake, the forces of wind and waves can produce tremendous stress; something to think about before tossing a skimpy dock line, or attaching it to a diminutive deck cleat.

In addition to snapped lines and damaged hardware, towing can put undue strain on engines and props. A prop designed for planning speeds is not well-suited to delivering a lot of low-speed towing torque, and maintaining high rpm to move a heavy load slowly is a bit like spinning car tires for miles on end. Towing a smaller boat in the calm water is one thing, but pulling a boat the size of your own or larger when wind and waves are up is quite another.

Boat Towing Services Lake Tahoe California

Boat Towing Services Lake Tahoe California

Another thing that you should know if you want or need to help another boat is that the least favored line for towing is three-strand nylon; it will have excessive stretch and can break explosively under load, putting boat passengers in possible danger.

Double braided nylon is a better choice, but with this or any line that sinks, you run the risk of fouling your props if you get excess slack. The best option may be an anchor line as this is probably the longest and strongest line aboard.

Pulling Points

Before attaching any line, make sure the hardware is up to the task. Cheap hardware poorly installed can become a lethal projectile. The rig you assemble should allow you to maintain control (a single line attached to the transom will degrade your ability to steer). Instruct the skipper of the towed boat to steer.

Remember, you are now in command of his vessel. Your best bet is to rig a towing bridle that spreads the load to both sides of the boat. Ideally, each leg of the bridle should be at least twice your beam width, and positioned as low as possible to the water. Adjust the tow-line length so that your boat and the tow are in synch with the waves. You should both be on the crest or in the troughs at the same time.

Any knots used in towing will be subjected to strong forces, so avoid knots that cinch tight. Cleat hitches and bowline knots are ideal. No one should stand in a direct line with a taut tow line lest something would give. One option worth considering is a weak link; a piece of sacrificial line to join to rope and harness that will break before other components of the rig, and that can be cut away quickly if need be.

Wait It Out

If there is only one lesson learned here, it is to err on the side of caution. If you are not 100 percent comfortable with the prospect of towing, do not do it. Stand by while awaiting additional help, but leave the pulling to a professional towing service that has the proper equipment.