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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through November 17, 2003 » Tower Speaker Weight...Problems? « Previous Next »
By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 11:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm looking at getting some tower speakers. I have a zero-flex(gen. 1) tower on my MC(see profile picture). I am interested in the Skylon Deafcon III's, mainly due to their design and the easy quick release(security reasons). From what I hear though this speaker setup is pretty heavy, has anybody that has these or other similar heavy speakers on their tower had any problems with this much weight up there. I normally carry 4 boards on the tower as it is and there is very minimal flexing even with big chop. Anybody? THANKS
By andrew zarlengo (colorider) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 12:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Tom. I have the exact same tower on my mastercraft. I was running about 40# of speakers on my tower and the sway in the chop was TERRIBLE!!!! It was so bad it cracked the gelcoat on 2 of the tower mounting locations. While going over rollers you could see the tower swaying. It was actually scary. I went as far as taking the 400$ worth of speakers off and going with a differant setup. Do youself a huge favor and skip the heavy setup.
By Toe-Side (rtm) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 12:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Tower cracked and had to have it rewelded. Typical day includes 4 boards and tower speakers. Now I don't have the same tower speakers and can't remeber off hand what they are but they are heavy...well the backets are anyway (steel). The tower is great unless there is's the side to side sway that kills that tower. It's bound to happen agaim. That is one thing that I will replace on my boat if I keep it for the long term. These towers can't handle side to side sway and the extra weight just makes it worse. My boat is not fun to drive in even the slightest chop you spend the whole time holding the tower trying to prevent the side to side sway!!!!
Sorry 'bout the long post but towers are expensive and the new welds are not solutions.

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 12:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the info fellas, guess the deafcons are out(at least the deafcon III's or IV's), does anybody have an idea of what tower speakers are light and not ridiculously expensive.

Andrew i e-mailed you

By TY-one-on (typhoon) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 1:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
for sure and awesome billet cans...oustanding products. ask for rick and tell them ty sent you. i can send you pics if you want. email me.


By Chaun Keating (big_poppa_pump) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 2:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have the same tower on my 99 X-Star and a few of the welds cracked. I don't have a real heavy setup on there either. Just two sets of board racks (4 boards total) and two bose 151 speakers.

Its held up great since it was re-welded. Also, I found out that one of the tower attachment feet had stripped out, put in a heli-coil insert and made it sway less.

Then about 3 weeks ago, I found that the bolts that hold the rear foot to the hull on the other side were fairly loose, tightened those down and there is much less sway now.

I would still not call it "ZeroFlex" but it is much much better than before.

If your welds have not cracked yet and you add heavy tower speakers on this particular tower, I would keep an eye on the welds that are on the rear hoop.

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 5:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
First off, I don't think the side to side sway is the real culprit behind any gel cracks. Back in the early tower years, I'm told MC did not countersink the holes. Thus, any sudden movement of the screw against the glass can cause a crack. That will happen regardless of tower type or sway. I have a '00 X-Star with the stock Zero Flex. It looks different than Tom's. It's set up to hold eight boards (which I do all the time) and the Nvert Speakers. The side with the two eight inch woofers is super heavy. I have not noticed any increase in sway since installing them. I'm quite confident the tower will hold. I've routinely climbed on top of it and jumped off and I'm a fat guy. I have noticed one tiny crack but it's been there a long time and hasn't got any worse. Anyhow, sorry for the ramble. These are just my misc. thoughts about this thread. Just a side note, I'll take my tower over any of the new ones MC uses. Holds way more stuff.
By andrew zarlengo (colorider) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 8:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Matt. You are wrong about the cracks. I had no cracks, installed the speakers and went out the next day. No cracks the next day until I hit some chop and the cracks showed up. I did not pull a rider or anything that day. Had to be the speaker weight. No boards in the racks either. The sway from the speaker weight was very obnoxious. My wife and the others in the boat were telling me to hold off on going at speed because of the swaying. If you say yours does not, I think you have a differant tower. It is a matter of physics.
By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 8:31 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Andrew, I was told that the gel cracks around the tower mounts were caused by the srcew getting jarred and cracking the glass when it impacts. This could be totally wrong but it made sense to me. The extra weight may have casued the the screw to jar. Who knows. We may have different towers. Here is a picture of mine.

By andrew zarlengo (colorider) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 10:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yepper, your tower has rthe rienforced corners. Ours does not. Those bars in the corner look to add a ton of support. Now I see why the speakers do not effect your sway.
By Toe-Side (rtm) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 12:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I disagree,

I have the same tower as Matt...mine cracked on both sides were the bars referred to above above meet at the lower end of the verticle bar(just above were you can see the warning sticker on the right hand side of the picture). Now I'm no engineer...but an opinion recieved from welder who repaired the tower stated that those actual support bars are the main culprit for the craking. his thoughts were that they prevent the tower from wanting to sway side to side in a natural manner and put extra force on the rear main tower support causing a twisting motion which causes tower to put to much force on the smaller supports causing the welds to open. All my cracks and repairs and associated with that extra piece of alluminum on each side.
Just my thoughts...and saying that if your tower does not have these supports it may not havbe the same problems.

By Chaun Keating (big_poppa_pump) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 2:29 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yup, that's where mine cracked. Right on the rear hoop just above the sticker where the smaller gusset attachs to the main rear tube.

Also smaller ones on the next weld up on the rear tube/gusset attachment.

After having it rewelded, all of them are holding up well now.

Also, it didn't happen all at once. They are small hairline cracks and would grow over time (weeks to months). You wouldn't really notice them starting out unless you were really looking for them.

Also, the previous owner did have some gel-coat cracking near the rear support feet, but MC repaired and it has not resurfaced for the last 2.5-3 years.

I think you are right on the money Todd. Whereas the extra supports help make the tower more rigid, it also seemed to create some stress concentrations at the rear bar welds.


By andrew zarlengo (colorider) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 8:35 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
So I we agree that too much speaker weight is a bad idea

(Message edited by colorider on September 17, 2003)

By Matt Dettman (matt_dettman) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 9:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Gelcoat is brittle. Countersinking the holes is one way to minimize surface cracking. Side to side motion pulls up on the fiberglass where the bolts pass through the glass causing the glass to flex upward. This in turn causes surface cracks in the gelcoat. In most cases there is no structural failure, just cosmetic damage. It still pisses you off! This is a problem with all boats, (the gelcoat does not know which brand of boat it is on), especially if the tower foot is not mated flush with the deck.

Heavy speakers only serve to exacerbate the problem.

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