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Watersports Fun


One of the many benefits of owning a Grady-White is that you can treat family and friends to a wide range of entertaining activities. From fishing in the morning, to an afternoon of skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding, you can easily do it all on any of our center console, dual console, coastal explorer, walkaround, or cabin boat models.


Before everyone is at the dock raring to go, be sure you're prepared. Review this information about equipment and watersport towing, then sit back and look forward to the laughter as everyone recalls their favorite moment of the day.


Life Jackets


Any time you are boating, there should be a life jacket on board for every person on the boat. Children must have a life jacket on at all times when on the water, and each state has its own age requirements. Find out the rules for your state here.


To provide the intended protection, a life jacket must fit properly. This U.S. Coast Guard brochure will tell you what you need to know about choosing the right life jacket for the person it is protecting.


Skis, Tubes, and Wakeboards


Before starting, inspect the equipment to make sure no parts are frayed or broken. Check the manufacturers' recommendations for specifics on the use of the product such as weight limits and speed. Only use equipment designed specifically for towing a person behind a boat.


Communicating with the Person in the Water


Before the person you'll be towing gets into the water, be sure that they know how to communicate using hand signals. Here are a few basic hand signals to review.


  • Thumb Up - Go faster.
  • Thumb Down - Slow down.
  • Pat Top of Head - Indicates the person is ready to stop.
  • Hands Together Over Head - If the rider falls, this signal indicates they are alright.


Starting and Stopping


  • Before you start, identify a spotter. This person is responsible for watching and communicating the needs of the person in the water to the boat captain. As the captain of the boat, you should always be looking ahead. 
  • Always turn off the boat engine before a person enters the water and before a person in the water approaches the boat to climb aboard.
  • Before starting the engine, check the location of the tow rope to be sure it is not in a position to get caught in the propeller. Also, be sure it will not get wrapped around the person in the water.
  • Make sure that everyone in the boat is securely seated and that no one is blocking your view of the waterway ahead. Don't make sudden starts or stops without first alerting the riders in the boat.


While Towing


  • Steer clear of the shoreline, obstacles in the water, and other boats.
  • When returning to the person in the water after they have finished their activity, keep them on the right side of the boat where you can more easily maintain visual contact.