View Full Version : Tow Rope stuck in Prop

05-12-2008, 06:46 PM
Took the kids out for some tubing yesterday on our new tube (Great big Mable 4 seats). The day was fun until the rope wrapped around the prop! I spent over 2 hours in the water trying to hold my breath and cut the rope with some razor blades. The only goggles I had were little pink ones made for a 10 year old. Had a friend motor over to the marina to pick up a filet knife but that didn't do much since I'm not very good at holding my breath. Ended up getting a tow back to the ramp and put the boat on the trailer. Took be another hour to cut that darn thing off. I never know I could melt the rope into a ball of plastic around the shaft. Good news is every last fiber is gone.

Lesson learned: Look for the rope before you put the boat in gear!

05-12-2008, 07:11 PM
That lesson can take more than one incident to fully learn.

Those Mables are huge. I had one for a year. A buddies I/O could not pull it so I used it.

Then he got a Supra :(

05-12-2008, 08:08 PM
I need to get me one of those tool kits for the boat. I am afraid that one of these days, I will also be a victom of the rope thing and no one around to help.

05-12-2008, 08:54 PM
Cut a 5 or 6 foot piece of garden hose and keep it in the boat, then you won't have to hold your breath.

Brent Burtrum
2004 Mobius LSV Sunset Orange

05-12-2008, 09:01 PM
yep! Knife, goggles, even a snorkel does not hurt!
I found it easier on my rope wrap, to remove the platform to have closer access... also, pulled back end of boat near sandbar so it was not as deep...
UGGH $100 rope cut! FUN!

05-12-2008, 10:06 PM
My family has lived on the lake since I was around 10 years old. It took 30 years but 2 seasons ago I spun a rope around the prop. Worse yet, it was during a ski show! To make matters even worse, I was driving my brothers new Supra Launch.

We affectionately call our show spotters "ropers". It describes their job better than spotter since they spend so much time handling multiple ropes during a show. After some fast talking I convinced my "roper" that it was his "duty" to cut the rope free since anything rope related was technically his responsibility.

Luckily I carry goggles and a sharp knife in my tool kit. 2 minutes and one wet "roper" later.......we were back to skiing.

05-13-2008, 09:20 AM
I have a kit like you wouldn't believe with everything from snake bite meds to tools to ambulance/hospital tel. #'s and directions. But, I don't have a good sharp fillet knife. This is good advice. You learn something every day on here. Been around boats my whole life and I've seen the rope trick happen but never done it myself. There's bound to be a time though. Thanks, guys.

05-13-2008, 10:36 AM
Morning Moombers!!

Spliff happens.....I suggest those without a knife to buy a Gerber multi-tool. They have a serrated blade that can make quick work of cutting anything, plus the pilers can be very helpful for all kinds of things. Then find a small loop of string to make a wrist strap so you don't accidently drop it while ya'll are trying to drown yourself's. HA

You CANNOT adaqutely breath with a garden hose at that depth because the pressure as you decend exceeds your lungs strenght to suck air in. Try it , you'll quickly realize that the energy spent trying is far greater than holding ones breath. 3/4 of not being able to holding your breath is fear. Fear of being under the boat, fear of whats happening in the boat, fear of what you don't want to see swim near/far/under you.

The best defense to avoid the rope is first: to return to the downed swimmer on the drivers side always. That way you never lose sight of them. Second the spotter pulls in the slack. Its the wind and boat drift while the boat loads and unloads people in and out of the water that causes most rope to brass relationships.

Aqua out!

05-13-2008, 11:25 AM
Morning Moombers!!

The best defense to avoid the rope is first: to return to the downed swimmer on the drivers side always. That way you never lose sight of them. Second the spotter pulls in the slack. Its the wind and boat drift while the boat loads and unloads people in and out of the water that causes most rope to brass relationships.

Aqua out!

I agree with Aqua here. My boaters always get annoyed when I tell them to pull in the rope when changing out riders. Or someone whines when I hang the wet rope over the tower and it drips on them - god forbid they get wet on a freaking boat. But then when I hand them the handle as they jump in and they don't have to drown themselves swimming to the rope, they like it.

05-13-2008, 12:47 PM
been lucky so far with my ski ropes--not other peeps. as i was pulling into the dock to load the boat on the trailer another ski boat was sitting at the end of the dock-i drive the boat past them and here this screaming behind me and then my boat stops--still in gear--there ski rope was under water and it wrapped in my prop and gave the guy in the water a nasty rope burn. they did not even say hey wait a second let me get my rope in or anything--put the boat on the trailer and untankled it.

aquaholic, the fear for us down in the south is legit---as zgem calls them-"large green swimming lizzards"

need to get that tether on the knife now---im now destined to wrap the rope


05-13-2008, 05:00 PM
I always take the key out of the ignition too, it helps with my fear

05-14-2008, 04:36 PM
This is great! I now have a new knife both a filet and a seraded saw like. Along with Goggles, Snorkle and Fins. Good idea to remove the platform 04OUTBACK! Next trip out I'm going to bring some garden hose and test the long snorkle theory. I remember as a kid trying to go deep with snorkle and about collapsed a lung. My co-worker suggested I put a bucket on my head take the tube inflator hook it to a garden hose and fill the bucket with air as its propped under the boat, give me a few beers and I may try that one.

Now that I have all the tools it should assure it will never happen again!

05-14-2008, 06:49 PM
All good stuff, there. My regular crew are boaters and know that we are all "in it". Nother werds, they keep their head in the game. No worries then.
Where I have to be careful is when the peeps show up at the dock and are all amazed like they've never seen water before. That's when we ratchet up the awareness meter.

05-14-2008, 11:48 PM
My riders all know that if we get the "I'm done" signal from a downed skier that the rope comes back in as we are heading back to pick up the skier. That is the spotters job in our boat. This job is less stressful if people realize that coiling the rope is bad. All they need to do is pull it in hand over hand as fast as they can and let if fall on the floor. Just make sure you place the handle away from the pile on the floor.

Always pick up the skier on the driver side and always bring the boat to a stop downwind of the skier with all parts of the skier and the ski in complete sight of the driver. This avoids drifting over the skier when you are stopped. This also allows the boat to drift away from the rope if it is left out, since the boat always drifts faster than the rope.

And avoid using reverse when the rope is out.