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Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

Oct 20, 2021

Episode 11:  Today, Molley and Chad are joined by their friends Nancy and Steve Bailey.  They are going to talk about pulling skiers, inner tubes and other items. 

Respect the No Wake Zone

It’s easy to simply leave the tubes and the kiddos out there while you’re going through the no wake zone, but there are other issues to consider.  What happens if someone falls off the tube and you need to get back there quickly – but without making waves.  Other boaters may not see your tow line and could snag it.  Chad mentions it’s best to just pull it in until you get through the zone, for everyone’s safety.

People often forget that the no wake zone is there for passage.  If you stop to take a potty break in the zone, it can really cause a traffic jam.  There’s also the safety issues involved in having people bobbing in the water while boaters are coming in and out of the zone.  It’s better to do this in a cove or open water, if you have to go.

Finally, slowdown in these areas.  The no wake zone protects other boaters, the boats, docks and even the shoreline.  Wait until you clear the zone before you throttle up and get on with your trip.

Towing Safety Tips

It’s a good idea to have a large, wide-angle mirror.  The Coast Guard recommends that you should have 2 people in the boat so one of you can drive the boat and the other person can watch the person or people being towed.  It’s important that the “spotter” understands the importance of what they’re doing.  It’s not time to be on the phone or dealing with other distractions.

Work out your hand signals so the person being towed can communicate with the spotter in the boat.  Steve explains some of the signals he uses:

  • Tapping Your Head – means you’re done for now.
  • Thumbs Down – means you want to boat to slow down.
  • Thumbs Up – means you want the boat to speed up.
  • Cutting the Throat – used by the people in the boat to signal they are stopping.

Nancy recommends that if the person in the water is waiting, he/she should keep one or both hands up or raise up a piece of equipment (i.e. a ski) to make sure other boaters can see him/her.  

It’s important to be sure everyone is on the same page, before getting in the water.  Communication is an important aspect of safe boating.

Maintain a safe distance if you encounter another boat pulling someone.  It’s not uncommon to see another boater drive within 50 yards of a skier or people on a tube.  Jumping wakes are fun, but don’t do it so closely, when someone is pulling someone.  It’s not worth the dangerous risk.

Molley describes the brightly colored sleeves you can wear if you’re being pulled by a boat.  The day-glow colors make it very easy to be spotted when you’re in the water. 

If you’re the skier, remember to look before you decide to go outside of the wake.  You might have a jet ski or another boat coming up from behind you.  It’s the same as watching out for cars in your blind spot when you’re driving.

Finally, make sure you wear a properly fitting, Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PFD).  Not every floatation device is Coast Guard approved.  You can get a ticket if you’re stopped and you don’t have a Coast Guard approved PFD for everyone in the craft. 

Properly Fitting a Life Jacket

Check for any weight limits, which may be printed on the PDF.  For kids, you can have them put on a ski vest and tighten it as much as possible.  Then, have an adult pull up on the vest to make sure it doesn’t ride up.  The shoulders should not float at the top of the person’s head.  That’s an indication the vest is too big for that individual. 

Make sure any buckles are attached properly.  Don’t sacrifice safety for comfort.  The PFD is designed to be worn safely.

Don’t Use Damaged Tow Ropes

Finally, make sure to inspect the condition of your tow ropes.  If they’re aged or fraying, use a different rope or go buy a new one.


That’s a wrap for this episode.  We hope you found it helpful, insightful and maybe a little entertaining. 

Thanks for Listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider sharing it with your friends.  We hope to see you out there soon.  Until next time, here’s to warm weather and calm waters!

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