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Old    Robert Mann (BobinIL)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-07-2012, 1:52 PM Reply   
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.
Old     (saberworks)      Join Date: Sep 2010       08-07-2012, 2:33 PM Reply   
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.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            08-07-2012, 3:14 PM Reply   
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
Old    Johnny Neves (johnny_jr)      Join Date: Mar 2006       08-07-2012, 3:31 PM Reply   
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.
Old    Michael Hunter (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-07-2012, 4:18 PM Reply   
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.



The OE backer plate and the new larger plates


Tape off the deck to prevent scratches and allows easy lay out marking


Make sure you chamfer the holes to prevent gel cracks


Old    alan plotz (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       08-07-2012, 7:24 PM Reply   
installed a few towers no big deal go ahead and install it
Old    j. gatsby (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       08-07-2012, 10:52 PM Reply   
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.
Old    j. gatsby (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       08-07-2012, 10:56 PM Reply   
oh yeah and drill in reverse to reduce potential spiderweb cracks....

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