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-   -   Anyone have experience installing towers?? (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=794947)

BobinIL 08-07-2012 2:52 PM

Anyone have experience installing towers??
 
I am thinking about putting a tower on my 97 Sport Nautique. I am still using the extended pole. The main thing that worries me with aftermarket towers is will the fiberglass hold up to the stress??? I would hate to put a tower on just to have the gelcoat start spiderweb cracking. Of course I would use a tower as close to OEM as I could get. New Dimension Towers seems to be the vendor for OEM FCT's.

saberworks 08-07-2012 3:33 PM

When the guys at Samson installed mine on my old prostar 190 they used large aluminum backing plates to help distribute the stress. They looked like they were epoxied to the inside of the hull and then obviously through-bolted. I never had any cracks around the tower mounts and we had that tower for ~6 years. The heaviest person I towed was about 250LBS.

08-07-2012 4:14 PM

Whatever you do...go with the New Dimensions tower!! Its the only tower that looks perfect on that boat in my eyes as well as alot of others. Hit up planet nautique forum if you have questions too, guys over there can help you out with that tower and the ss

johnny_jr 08-07-2012 4:31 PM

We've installed quite a few towers and usually make sure to add extra backing. Our method is locate the tower and pre-drill pilot holes. At this time you can gauge the thickness of the fiberglass in that area. Thin glass should be beefed up with additional layers of glass cloth and resin to strengthen that area up. We also tend to use larger backing plates then those provided by the tower companies. This helps distribute the weight properly.

Installs like this can go very smoothly or very, very wrong. Proceed with caution, I would leave work like this up to a reputable shop in your area. If not done right it can cost you thousands of dollars in glass repair, broken windows, torn seats, and even bodily injury.

mhunter 08-07-2012 5:18 PM

I installed a ND tower on my 89 Supra . I threw away the 1/8'' aluminum backing plates that came with it and made some 3/4 '' plywood backers as large as I could fit under the upper deck area where the tower legs were located. Each plywood backer was coated with 1 layer of fiberglass mat and let dry then they were epoxied to the under deck . I then made larger 1/4'' aluminum plates that go over the wood backers to support the screws that mount the tower. 4 years no cracks.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/n...Picture005.jpg

The OE backer plate and the new larger plates
http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/n...Picture021.jpg

Tape off the deck to prevent scratches and allows easy lay out marking
http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/n...Picture013.jpg

Make sure you chamfer the holes to prevent gel cracks
http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/n...Picture019.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/n...Picture009.jpg

alanp 08-07-2012 8:24 PM

installed a few towers no big deal go ahead and install it

johnny_gatsby 08-07-2012 11:52 PM

I installed an aerial tower on an old boat-measure plenty before drilling and use hefty backing plates to diffuse the stress. I actually put the tower together and used velcro strips to hold the tower in place before I drilled the holes--made sure everything looked good and straight before drilling holes. No problems with the tower.

johnny_gatsby 08-07-2012 11:56 PM

oh yeah and drill in reverse to reduce potential spiderweb cracks....


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