How Do You Tow A Boat Behind A Houseboat?

Houseboats or house boating are no longer a novelty for most people. They have become the perfect choice for a great vacation, be it with family or friends. 

There are also a lot of people buying houseboats these days – for both personal and commercial use. However, these people probably have hundreds of questions running through their mind about various different aspects of houseboats and how it all works. When it comes to houseboats, you are quite literally dealing with a house that floats on water. 

It would be surprising if you are not confused about a lot of procedures and steps that are taken for the proper maintenance, security, driving the boat etc.

A lot of people who buy a houseboat might own some other boat(s) too and they would of course want to tow their boats behind their houseboat. So how does that work? 

Towing a boat behind a houseboat can be as easy or as difficult as you make it depending on the type of boat and your houseboat setup. Most people just have a small fishing boat so towing that boat can be as simple as tying a rope from the boat to the houseboat. 

However although it is really easy to do with this kind of boat you still have to be careful that you don’t get the rope tangled in the propellers (if the motors are mounted on the rear) and also docking and beaching the houseboat will require you to disconnect that towed boat. 

Before we dive any deeper into the process of towing a boat with your houseboat first we need to make sure that you understand the towing process. 

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What is towing?

Towing basically means to pull something using a rope, chain etc. In the case of boats, one boat will be pulled along the body of water using a rope etc. attached to another boat. If a houseboat is said to be towing another boat, it means that the houseboat is either pulling or dragging the other boat along with it as it moves. This could be done by attaching the boat to the houseboat using a rope.

So now we know what towing means and what it means in general when one says to tow a boat, then the question still remains of what is the best way to tow a boat behind a houseboat? 

What are the steps that should be taken? 

What is the exact process and procedure?

Are there any precautions to be taken and if yes, what are they? 

What should be used to attach the boat to the houseboat? 

If it is a rope, what rope should it be and how long should the rope be? 

Are there any restrictions on what type of boat can be towed along behind a houseboat? 

Will the size of the boat matter?

These are just some of the questions that might enter into your mind when trying to tow a boat with your houseboat. There might be a lot more doubts related to towing a boat as well but let’s start by clearing up the basics.

What are some of the easiest methods used for towing boats behind a houseboat?

There are many different methods when it comes to towing a boat behind a houseboat. One of the easiest methods of doing this is by tying up the boat to the back of the houseboat using a tow line. This tow line can be attached to the bow eye of the houseboat.

This is a pretty basic method but as for most cases, it too has a disadvantage. If you follow this method, you might find it difficult and almost impossible to stop and drive the houseboat around something like a dock or anchor etc. In such cases, you might need an extra helping hand of someone who could go and individually dock the boat that was attached to the houseboat.

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You could also use a tube rope or even a dock line to tow the boat with a houseboat. Tie these to a corner behind the houseboat and there you have it- you have successfully towed a boat.

What are some of the precautions I need to take while towing a boat with a houseboat?

There are quite a few things that should be taken care of while towing a boat, like a list of do’s and don’ts.

One of the first mistakes that people easily make is that they tie the boat to the railing part of a houseboat. This is a rookie mistake. Do not ever tie the boat to the railing that is present on your houseboat as you will rip the railing off quite easily costing you thousands in damage. 

Another mistake that people tend to make is to tie the boat to the houseboat with not much distance between the two. Remember that a houseboat is usually larger than the boat and it creates a disturbance while travelling through the water. This disturbance caused due to the movement of the houseboat is called a wake. 

You have to make sure that the boat that is tied to the houseboat does not get too affected by the wake. So keep a good distance between the 2 boats.

Is it possible to tow the boat only with the back of a houseboat?

In case you are afraid of ramming the boat into the back of your houseboat during the cruise, feel free to tie it to the side of your houseboat if you choose. Traditionally it is done to the back but the side will work fine too. 

What materials can be used to tie up the boat to the houseboat?

There are many different materials that could be used to tow a boat with your houseboat.

  1. A rope of appropriate length and thickness. Make sure it is not the type of rope which would break easily.
  2. A tow rope is always a good choice. Tow ropes should be made of strong materials that do not break easily either.
  3. A tube rope is another thing that a lot of people prefer to use while towing a boat with another boat.
  4. Dock lines too are common choices used to tie up a boat and tow it along using a houseboat.
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When going on a trip with friends or family in a houseboat, there is always a chance of some people being left out due to the capacity factor of a houseboat. Towing along another boat is a great idea to choose at times like that as you can then use the boat to ferry people to shore and some can sleep there while others sleep on the houseboat. Camping out is great for older teens to have some independence while still only being a little ways away from the houseboat. 

Unfortunately like most things, towing a boat is not as easy as it sounds. There are many factors that play crucial roles in this process.

Hopefully we have managed to answer most of your questions and presented to you what towing a boat actually entails and what are the different ways to tow a boat with your houseboat.  

So next time you go for a vacation aboard a houseboat, you can make sure no one gets left behind by towing another boat along with your houseboat. Happy cruising!

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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