Good Samaritan towing thread; have you towed or been towed off the lake?

What have been your towing experiences?

  • I've been on the receiving end of a boat tow.

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • I've been on the towing end of a boat tow.

    Votes: 19 48.7%
  • I've been on both ends of a boat tow.

    Votes: 10 25.6%
  • I've not yet towed nor been towed (but I am knocking on wood)

    Votes: 7 17.9%

  • Total voters
    39

goldnrod24

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Our boating adventure yesterday ended with towing some folks off the lake as their older pontoon wouldn't start.

It was nearing sundown and they had a full boat, including a very fresh newborn. Our boat, too, was full, but fortunately, the kids on board our boat had been, and continued to be well behaved and we dropped them off at our landing before continuing the tow to their ramp.

As we were motoring along, I was able to recall at least 5 instances when I've been on the receiving end and a similar number of times I have been on the towing end since I began boating back in the late 1970s.

I strongly believe in boat KARMA and have never refused a request for a tow, nor have I accepted money for doing so.

What are your towing experiences, from both sides of the tow line?
 

goldnrod24

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P.S. Should you find yourself in the need to tow another boat and have a ski tow bar, please note that Bennington DOES NOT recommend its use for towing another boat.

I used a rear cleat, but the eyes on the end of the outside tubes would for for that purpose, too.
 

lakeliving

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When our boat had less than 10 hours on it someone at our old lake needed a tow. Tied up to the clear and idled them back to their canal. Wasn’t able to provide dock service but saved them a lot of paddling/oaring
 

Vikingstaff

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Our first year on Houghton Lake I towed in two different people that summer. None these past two years. I cannot imagine not helping someone else out who is in need on the water.

The first time was a calm and easy day, so they were perfectly safe, but stranded.

The second time was a couple of older fisherman on a very small row boat, no oars but a small motor, and it was rough and windy. They had already been blown about 3-3.5 miles across the lake, and frankly their boat was not up to the conditions that day.
 

Maynard G. Krebs

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The wife and I were headed back to the marina one afternoon and could see a couple of guys in an older ski boat trying to get our attention by waving their shirts. Turned towards them and tooted the horn to let them know we saw them. My wife took the helm and I started coiling some rope to toss once we got close enough. As we pulled up I could see they were young twenty-somethings with short hair. Maybe a couple guys from the local Navy base? Nope, among the many tattoos they wore one had a swastika on his chest and the other one had an image of Hitler's face on his leg. When my wife saw them she threw it in reverse and started to back up. We were less than 15 feet away so it would have been more than awkward to leave. Our town is pretty small and I didn't want to run into these guys at the grocery store sometime in the future so I told the Mrs. it would be ok and tossed them the rope.

I didn't want to be in a position to have them any closer though, so I kept a couple wraps on the cleat but held the rope in my hands as we motored in. The afternoon breeze was in our favor so we did a slow turn near the docks and told them the wind would carry them the rest of the way. They were very appreciative and offered to buy us beers in the marina café. Told them thanks but we were headed back out to do some more fishing. We motored away and waited until they were gone before returning to the docks. These guys were not threatening in any way but if I had seen them through the binoculars first I probably would have left them there.
 

goldnrod24

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The wife and I were headed back to the marina one afternoon and could see a couple of guys in an older ski boat trying to get our attention by waving their shirts.... (snipped for brevity) ...These guys were not threatening in any way but if I had seen them through the binoculars first I probably would have left them there.
Congratulations on your behavior, good sir. I'm not sure I would have been as gracious as you were.
 

BigKahuna

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2 summers ago when we had the fuel pump/fuse issue a Lake Norman water patrol deputy stopped to help us but he said he wasn't able to tow us. When he found out I was retired law enforcement he tied up side by side and towed me to a public dock. He said he preferred this method because he had total control and it was safer. My wife stayed with the boat and he took me home and dropped me off at our dock. When I arrived at the ramp with our trailer he was there with my wife and he helped us float the trailer on. He went way beyond the call of duty to help us and we appreciated it. I wrote a letter of commendation to his Chief and sent a gift card from a local restaurant. A couple weeks later after thinking the issue was resolved good old cwag911, Carl Wagner, towed us to the same ramp from our dock to put the boat back on the trailer. So that was the only 2 times we've ever been towed. We have helped many people over the years. Last summer we towed a pontoon boat full of people with a dead battery across a busy channel to a ramp. (For some reason we didn't have our jump box with us) We had help from a fireboat who escorted us across. When we got there they held up a wad of bills offering to pay us for the help. But we just unhooked the rope and told them to pay it forward. They also said that we were the 4th boat they had asked. We were taught if somebody needs help on the water you help! One more thing..... We used the base of where the ski pylon attaches to to tie the tow rope.......
 

Michiman

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Thankfully, I've been the tower a handful of times and not the towee! Usually one or two a year is my experience but remarkably none so far in the three weeks we've had her in the water.

As we all know, holiday weekends bring everybody out on the water, whether their vessel is up to it or not. Counted six boats being towed over the long weekend.
 

w5pfg

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We have never towed or needed to tow anyone. I'm mentally prepared to do so should the need arise.

These guys were not threatening in any way but if I had seen them through the binoculars first I probably would have left them there.
I think it was all according to a master plan. Perhaps they learned a lesson in grace and humility. We may never know.
 

swiftm

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I’ve towed twice around 10 years or so ago. About a half mile each time - both with my old bow rider, before we had our Bennington. Haven’t run across anyone since needing help
 
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sunedog

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I've towed and been towed many times over my 30 years of boating. Keep in mind the line between the boats is under significant strain. If it breaks, it's going to release a lot of energy (especially a nylon line that stretches under load). So a tip is to wrap a towel or a life vest to the line about half way between the two boats. That will stop the line from flying back into one of the boats if the line breaks. As an added bonus, it will help other boaters see you are towing. A long line can be nearly invisible from a distance.
 

sunedog

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Two summers ago, my wife was out on our former Bennington, tied up with our group of friends. I was back at the house working on a project and planned to join them later. (A typical scenario for us.) She called me to advise the motor wouldn't start. I dropped what I was doing and hopped on the jet ski to go tow her home.

I made it about half way to where they had been when I saw the most amazing sight. One friend in a 27' center console was towing my wife with our boat home. Two other friends in 24' center consoles were escorting them, one on either side about 50 feet back. They were in a perfect V-formation. ALL 4 BOATS had their stereos synchronized, with dance music playing loudly. And on the bow of each of the 4 boats was a beautiful woman in a bikini dancing and enjoying the ride. I rolled my eyes, laughed out loud, gunned the jet ski and headed back to my dock to wait for them. We have a great group of friends and that was a tow to remember.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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“And on the bow of each of the 4 boats was a beautiful woman in a bikini dancing and enjoying the ride.”


Pics or it ain’t true ... :D:D:D:D
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Well this thread timing was just right. Pulled a guy in today in a small v-bottom. Wife saw him paddling into a head wind and getting nowhere. Boats passing right by him ... we fired up, cruised over, and said "looks like you could use a hand" .... hooked up and towed him about 20 minutes up the lake to his launch. He was so thankful. Said his buddy fixed the motor yesterday, I said "apparently not" .. LOL!!!!
He asked what he owed us, and I just said "pay it forward" .. shook his hand and off we went.
 

Vikingstaff

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Recent Recipient:

We just had a big storm blow over us. Dislodged our 9’ diameter trampoline tube from BOTH of its mooring lines. We had to sit and watch it get pushed about 2 miles out, while thunder, lightening and rain prevented any retrieval. Once the storm past by, and it was safe I got my boat around. Just as we were leaving our dock a neighbor about 8-10 cottages down was already flying out on his Jet ski. He had it tied up by the time we got there and said he’d just tow it back in for us.

With my recent VRBO neighbor concerns, this was a refreshing reminder of good neighbors.

Normal Situation: :)
F901ADD8-EB90-4C37-8D84-6A95565917F8.jpeg
Storm trying to steal it: :mad:
332784E2-512C-4252-B864-63328BF81F74.jpeg
Retrieved and dockside for the now: :cool:
CFFAEF69-F310-4176-8A6E-4D9B04DE4D3D.jpeg
 

lakeliving

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Water neighbors are the best. They are always looking for any excuse to get on the water and help!
 

Vikingstaff

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Talk about good Karma. I was already able to pay the help forward from this morning. A neighbor two cottages down from us called me on the phone. He was out of gas about 2 miles out on the lake. Got gas and got out to him. By then, the battery was too low to crank the motor. Towed him in, he swapped out his battery, put in some more gas, and his boat started right up.

The funny thing is he and I had just shared phone numbers last month because he is the one on the other side of our new VRBO neighbor. Having one another’s phone numbers has already paid off! :)
 
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