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Thread: TOWING

  1. #1
    bowsniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Lets dicuss towing. I had my slt towed 3 miles in by a couple on a boat. the ski was broken so no biggie there. I never realized you had to actually Do something to prevent water injestion. Are all skis like this? what do you do? what happens if your out in the middle of the lake with no tools to clamp whatever? How would you get it back in? Take a hose off? or what? which hose? The water intake?

    Does everyone have a tow line to use if that happens? I use a triple braided nylone rope about 50 ft. its super super strong. I have pulled my double trailer with the slt on the trailer up n over a very nasty rocky launch ramp at an angle of like 40 degrees over the rocks up n out. that rope is amazing! its small too. like 5/16ths thick. No room for a big line, glad it didn't snap on me! lol Ka-pow! duck! The slt weighs 530 lbs and the trailer is big. probably 500lbs too. At an angle of 40 degrees, thats a lot of stress on a little rope!.

    Last year my buddies 94 tigershark wouldnt get on plane and a nasty storm was brewing on pontiac lake and I towed him across the lake in the slt and had him on plane going back to the dock! He was ducking from the jetwash from my ski.!!! All the way back. He just slide the ski over to one side of the wake I was making and all was good, but we didn't clamp anything. I guess it was ok. Never really gave it any thought. We just barely made it back, then a huge rainstorm kicked in. We just got them out of the water and watch out! Heres comes the storm.

    So theres my experience towing skis or getting towed. Whats' wrong with these scenarios. any Comments? Ideas? Experiences? I know I was going too fast towing but... had to get in like now! I bent the tow hook on the back a little too.

  2. #2
    Plrs X45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Joliet, Il
    I have a tow line and channel locks to stop the water from going back in the motor or engine area. I keep these on my boats each time I go out.

  3. #3
    johnsonmtz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Mt. Zion Illinois
    Quote Originally Posted by bowsniper View Post
    Lets dicuss towing. I had my slt towed 3 miles in by a couple on a boat. the ski was broken so no biggie there. I never realized you had to actually Do something to prevent water injestion. Are all skis like this? what do you do? what happens if your out in the middle of the lake with no tools to clamp whatever? How would you get it back in? Take a hose off? or what? which hose? The water intake?
    I've had to tow my SLT into the dock once. This was long before I knew about water ingestion and I just hooked it to the boat and pulled it in. I don't know if there was or was not ingestion due to this, much like your buddy's TS.

    The correct hose to clamp off is the 3/4" ID inlet hose coming from the tunnel. I've considered putting a ball valve in this hose so that if I do have to get towed I can shut off the line and not have to worry about clamps, pliers, etc.

    I believe if you just remove the hose you'd sink the ski pretty quickly.


  4. #4
    bowsniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    A ball valve is an EXCELLENT IDEA!! Awesome john!. like a plumbers ball valve made of brass or you could use a gas turn off valve too. I think I have something like that around here like that. Thanks so much for the idea!!!! Thats just a great IDEA!

    Just pop the seat off, hit the valve and your ready to get towed in!.! sweet! I'm Gonna do it!. That will work out perfect. what does everyone think about that as a way to shut the water off?

    Just remember to turn it back on again when you get it back in the water or else you'll blow the motor up in 3 mins like my >>now thats hot thread! lol opps.

  5. #5
    2001 virage tx bossdog67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    saskatchewan , canada
    i have 50 ft of rope in each of my machines , they do not take up to much room . i keep them in the front storage along with 2 spring clamps just for the purpose of blocking off the water . if you put snap rings on the tow rope you have no worries about knots ! they also double as tow ropes for the tube !

    i like the idea of a ball valve , but then your cutting hoses and putting on clamps ,but i would be worried about some kind of restiction on water flow . would love to hear others thoughts on this .

    i have had my machine towed once , and at that time knew nothing about water being sucked in .......lucky for me it didn't happen .

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow Why you should clamp the water inlet hose before being towed - hose pinch pliers

    Normal engine cooling works from water pressure provided by the jet pump. Just inside the tapered pump exit nozzle (not the steering nozzle), there is a water diverter that feeds forward into the engine compartment.

    That cooling water doesn't just flow through the engine water jacket. Some water is also sprayed directly into the exhaust system through a special orifice fitting on the exhaust pipe. That water cools the exhaust gases before they flow into the rubber hoses and non-water jacketed portions of the exhaust.

    The exhaust water gets blown out along with the exhaust itself, when the engine is running.

    When you are being towed with the engine off, the forward motion forces water through the jet pump. At slow tow speeds, the pressure is low, and water will be injected into the exhaust at a low rate.

    At faster tow speeds, the water pressure from the force fed jet pump will be higher, and the exhaust system will be receiving injected water at a fair rate.

    After a little while, so much water will have accumulated inside the exhaust system (because the engine is not running) that the water will flow back into the engine itself, through the cylinder exhaust ports.

    How long it takes to flood the exhaust with water and push water into the engine, varies. Some exhaust systems can hold more water than others, some have a smaller water injection orifice which slows down the water flow.

    How fast you are being towed is a big factor. Go slow enough, and you can be towed a long way without trouble.

    At different times I have towed two different Polaris (SL650 and SL900). In both cases we knew the engine was internally damaged and had high running hours, so it would be replaced/rebuilt. The water line was not clamped off during the several mile long tow.

    In both cases, the engine and exhaust were completely full of water when we got them back to the trailer. In one of them, the carbs were full of water to above the choke plates, all from water that flooded in through the exhaust system The hull was still dry inside.

    You should always carry hose clamp pliers with you.

    You can either clamp off the large 3/4" hose where the water comes in from the jet pump, OR you can clamp off the smaller hose that feeds the actual exhaust water spray.

    Hose pinch pliers are sold in a number of places, including some Marine suppliers. Choose one with a latching clamp handle, made of plastic, that will fit your hose size.

    Some owners install a ball valve in the water line, so they can easily shut off the water. Of course, you need to be 100% sure the valve is open before you start the engine.

    Keep in mind that if you tow somebody else's PWC, then you can put your clamp on their cooling water inlet hose
    Many other PWC owners are unaware of this potential problem, even though it is mentioned in their owner's manual.

    Just be sure you put the clamp on the water intake hose, not the water exit hose

    It is a good idea to read up on what it takes to recover from a water flooded engine. If you deal with it right away, you can fully recover a flooded engine with no long term damage.

    More info;
    towing in the water

    I carry one of these in each PWC.

    This particular clamp is sold as a kitchen tool for holding dog food bags closed
    All plastic, works for me.

    You can buy genuine hose pinch pliers in marine and some automobile repair tool stores.

    Last edited by K447; 03-25-2010 at 07:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Cedar Rapids,Iowa
    Here's what I did on my MSX, it also doubles for being able to shut off the water and cleaning the screen on the filter which is also installed on the inlet line to keep crap out of the block.

    Starflight set up one on his ski so that the seat could not be latched down with the handle in the off position I think.
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  8. #8
    blegan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    water ingestion sucks

    It only took one time for my daughters to break down & got towed in , I had the boat on the trailer for an hour and a half trying to get it drauned & started! that week I went to Home Depot for the valve set up parts I spent under $ 20..00 for entire parts, very similar to the previous posts valve set up. A couple buddys clown me for using what they call sprinkler parts on a pwc. But as far as Im concerned you really need to adress this issue somehow, because sooner or later youll need to tow your boat, once I hate water ingestion.

  9. #9
    83Gator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    St. Amant, LA
    Just 2 more cents in regards to towing: When you're desperate enough anything will work, right? I came across these two teenagers this past summer. One of the guys ski wouldn't start (turned out to be a loose wire on the batter terminal). They didn't have a single rope between them but managed to improvise. They had gone about 12 miles before I found them and got them on their way...

    Yep, the nylon straps on life jackets are pretty strong...
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  10. #10
    I'D RATHER SWEAT THAN SHIVER hyoctane23's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I would think a Jetworks valve on the exhaust water inlet would suffice to keep the little bit of pressure that is built up by towing to allow water to enter into the exhaust.

    I can't quite remember how other skis are set up but both my Pros have the valve before the stinger water feeds so even when I'm running the boat on the hose, there isn't any water being injected into the stingers...all the water is going through the engine cylinders and out the exit or through the water jackets on the pipes and out the pissers, none actually INTO the exhaust.

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