Well, I picked up a Barefoot International/ Fly High Pro X series tower the other day and am in the process of installing it. The tower is really heavy- like 140 pounds and is stainless steel. I have several questions while I install this tower. Most of the questions pertain to the prevention of gel coat cracking.
I guess the first question pertains to the weight of the tower. I was surprised by how much it weighs. Does this heavier tower lead to more potential for gel coat cracking as compared to a lighter aluminum tower (for example the monster tower)? Or is it just the opposite- the heavier construction of my fly high tower leads to more rigidity- less movement at the mounting bases- and therefore less tendency to crack?
Also the mounting bases are designed to mount directly to the hull- metal to gel coat. I have seen other towers use a grommet of some sort between the metal tower base and the gel coat. Is this something I should consider using? Or will the grommet allow more movement at the bases and therefore more tendency for cracking?
Finally, what's the general opinion on whether the mounts should be installed on the top of the hull or on the sides at an angle? My rear mounts will fit perfectly on the top of the hull behind the windshield, so there is no problem there. The front mounts would work that way too, but then I would not be able to fully open the windshield. If I mount the front mounts on the sides, then I can open my windshield. The manual states that the top mount is preferred over the side mount and doesn't really elaborate much further.
let me know what you all think. thanks.