In an effort to reduce accidents and injuries on Lake McQueeney, FOLM has developed a safety guide. It is being distributed in printed form at several locations around the Lake. Check at the Ski Lodge, real estate offices, marina, or or download with the link below. Below is important information on pulling inflatables, which have lately been associated with several serious accidents on the lake.
Safety Guide New River Safety Plan
Pulling tubers may seem easier than pulling skiers, but there are safety considerations unique to tubing that must be considered. First, due to a tuber's lack of control, the boat driver is completely responsible for the safety of the tubers. The biggest hazard on Lake McQueeney is that most areas are too narrow to make U-turns and large zig-zags. A tube speed can double when swung around, sliding way to the side toward nearby bulkheads and piers.
Before you start to tow anyone in an inflatable, be sure to read the warning indicators on the tube, and follow the manufacturer's limits and specifications regarding the number of riders, maximum size/weight, and top towing speed. Tubers should also know how to position themselves and hold on correctly for a safe ride. Both the driver of the boat and the tube riders should be aware of the rules and conditions on the particular body of water on which they are tubing. Remember, your tube riders may have differing levels of skill, physical strength and swimming ability. Always keep this mind, and make any necessary speed or driving adjustments accordingly.
Tubes should NOT usually be pulled as fast as skiers. A safe towing speed will depend upon several variables, including: the age, size, weight and physical ability of the riders; and overall water conditions. If you are towing young children, (most tubes are not designed for use by children under six (6) years of age), maintaining a slower speed becomes all the more important. As a general guideline, keep your speed under 10 mph when towing those 12 years of age and younger; under 20 mph for younger teenagers (13 to 16); and under 25 mph for older teens and adults. Keep the nose of the tube up until the tube is "on plane". Also avoid sharp turns that could cause the tube to flip over and cause possible injury to the riders. It is also important to slow your speed when driving over boat wakes to avoid back injury, especially if the rider is lying in a stomach-down position on the tube. If riding a sitting position, as speed increases, so does the chance of the tubers knees bouncing into their head. Kids will always say "faster, faster", but it is the driver's responsibility to maintain a safe speed.
Entanglements and tubes crashing into each other can cause serious injuries. Pulling three or more tubes is just plain stupid. Multiple riders on a single tube require a few extra safety precautions. Making sure that the weight in the tube is distributed and balanced properly becomes even more important when it comes to safety and performance. Multiple riders in a tube also means additional arms, legs and hands, making it more challenging to ensure that tubers are not entangled with the tow rope. Riders in multi-person tubes should remember to communicate with each other at all times out on the water. Working together to reposition and shift weight while underway is especially important when making turns or crossing over wakes. Never load a tube with more riders than intended.
Don't overlook the important connection between the tube and your boat: your tow rope. Before getting out on the water, check the tow rope carefully (as well as the connectors and tow tongues on the tube) for wear, cuts or fraying. Replace the rope at the first sign of damage. Also make sure the rope you are using is made specifically for towing inflatable tow tubes. Before you start towing any tubers, check to see that the tow rope isn't wrapped around anyone's hands, arms, legs, or any other body parts. Care should also be taken to prevent the tow rope from becoming entangled with the boat's propeller. In the event this does occur, turn off the engine immediately and take the key out of the ignition before trying to remove the rope from the prop.
Tubing can be fun and exciting for kids and adults alike, but safety should always be the primary concern. Don't attempt to do any extreme tricks or stunts out there that require dangerous activity or improper use of your tube. Also, never operate or use a tube while under the influence of alcohol. You'll need to be able to act quickly and decisively if anything unexpected occurs. Follow the rules, use common sense, and you'll have a great tubing experience without any mishaps or injuries.
There seems to be wide spread lack of knowledge regarding a relatively new boating law. It reads as follows: "Sec. 31.123. REQUIRED RESPONSE TO POLICE WATER SAFETY VESSEL. The operator of a vessel underway, on sighting a rotating or flashing blue beacon light, shall reduce power immediately and bring the vessel to a no-wake speed and subsequent stop until the intention of the water safety vessel is understood."
It the same as slowing down on the highway when a Trooper has a vehicle stopped.This protects the safety of the officers and the occupants of the stopped boat, plus the potential for damage to the vessels. When a boat is stopped and another boat comes by causing even a small wake, boats bounce together with a potential for injury and/or damage.
This is common courtesy. Please note and adhere to this statute. You or your children may be the ones involved. Please protect all personnel and watercraft involved..
There are currently NO public ramps or private, fee based boat ramps on Lake McQueeney. While the Lake is a public waterway, the State or County has not provided public ramp access. Existing boat ramps are either those that are maintained by various subdivisions for their residents use or other ramps on private property. FOLM is not a governmental agency and has no authority regarding the opening or maintaining of boat ramps. But we will post an update if there is a change in the situation.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has established rules and regulations to enhance water safety regarding the equipment and operation of towed or pulled recreation devices. These Rules were drafted and reviewed with the cooperation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake-Wide Associations and apply to Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Nolte (Meadow Lake), Lake H-4 (Lake Gonzales) and Lake H-5 (Lake Wood) in Comal, Guadalupe and Gonzales counties.”
GBRA has also established “traffic lanes” under the Treasure Island Bridge. Click the link below to see the map that shows the “lanes” for boats and PWCs passing under the bridge. Any jet ski (PWC) passing under the bridge will be at a no wake speed. Signage will also be posted on the bridge to designate lanes. Fishing, stopping or anchoring within 100 feet of the bridge is prohibited. The towing of tubes or other inflatables is prohibited under the bridge.
The installation of fixed ramps, rails, or other devices for the use of riding or sliding with a wake-board is prohibited.
A motor powered boat or PWC towing or pulling of an inflatable device, or other devise known as a “water-toy” herein referred to as “inflatable” that is attached by rope or other method to a motor powered boat or PWC must be operated so that the motor powered boat or PWC AND the “inflatable” maintain a minimum distance of 50 feet from another vessel, the shoreline, or a fixed structure at all times, except when operating at head-way speed. This regulation does not apply to an operator or individual pulling or towing a skier or wake-boarder utilizing a hand-held rope or lanyard.
Violations of these regulations is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of $25 to $500.
Recognizing the limited size and narrow features of many areas of Lake McQueeney, wake surfing and large wakes can destroy bulkheads and create dangerous conditions for other boaters. So please be respectful of other boaters and homeowners when engaging in this activity.