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Old     (dgk30)      Join Date: Jan 2014       06-26-2014, 10:27 AM Reply   
Hey all I wanted to share my project and get some opinions from some of you that might have more experience. I wanted an insanity pylon until I saw the price so for now I am going to go with a home made pylon that I've put together from 1-1/4 galvanized pipe and 1/2" eye bolts. The pipe is cut to 7-1/2 feet tall and I've put a cap on the top and drilled a hole to mount a trailer hitch ball. From everyone's experiences do you feel the cap and ball will be able to handle the forces from a wakeboarder? I also have an Eye bolt location for a tow point as well in case the ball doesn't work. I will post more pics once completed but I am an engineer so I worry about forces and moments on this thing as I have never used a pylon like this before. Take a look at the pic and let me know if you would trust the ball mounted to the cap.
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Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-26-2014, 10:33 AM Reply   
Ball mounted to cap is fine, but no way to tell how forces are handled without seeing a diagram of the mounting and support. Chop that bolt off before someone gets impaled.
Old     (sppeders)      Join Date: Jul 2011       06-26-2014, 10:47 AM Reply   
is this going to be dropping over an existing ski pylon?
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-26-2014, 11:19 AM Reply   
Depending on the height and the thickness of the pole itself you may want to consider a strap from the top to the bow. That would help with relieving the pressure on the pole itself.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-26-2014, 11:28 AM Reply   
If it drops over the pylon you need a cable to the bow. Doesn't look like it would fit on a pylon, so.... I'm guessing you will have triangular mounted supports poles? Use a wall flange to mount pole to deck? What kind of boat?
Old     (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       06-26-2014, 1:34 PM Reply   
I had never heard of an "insanity" pylon, so looked it up. It's a free-standing three-strap extended pylon where 2 straps go to the rear and one to the bow-eye for i/o's and such. I'm guessing he's just recreating that with galvanized, so assume he'd be strapping it fore and aft, and that he's constructed some sort of base or a flange on the floor as John suggests. As long as that's the case, I think you'll be fine, and the trailer ball should hold up fine. Some dry pulls on it in the driveway may give you a good idea of the amount of flex.
Old     (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004 Location: Minnesnowda       06-27-2014, 6:36 AM Reply   
Hahaha, this is great! I made one just like that in the Mid 90's, same specs. What I learned is that it the galvanized pipe will flex like crazy. And is really not that safe, my main concern what the amount of kinetic energy it was storing if something went wrong, (okay so I wasnt that smart back then, but that was my dads concern). We quickly bought a actual pylon, great investment and much safer. There is a lot of liability in the amount of force a wakeboard cutting at the wake has on that pole, I would shy away from a homemade pipe if you can at all coster.

We did make a bridal out of a tow strap to go over the bow of the boat and used a ratchet strap on that to tighten it, we also used industrial pipe clamps to attach the pylon to the existing ski pylon.
Old     (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004 Location: Minnesnowda       06-27-2014, 6:37 AM Reply   
Just Buy this, you wont be sorry. For $400.00 you cant go wrong, nor will this kill anyone.
Old     (jhartt3)      Join Date: Jan 2012       06-27-2014, 7:15 AM Reply   
yeah man i'd go with the 400 dollar one. I learned behind a 2001 with an extended pylon.... and we put so much pressure on the exiting pylon it actually started to bend.
Old     (williamburell)      Join Date: Sep 2011       06-27-2014, 7:53 AM Reply   
search online. You can find them used for 150 bucks or so all day.
Old     (dgk30)      Join Date: Jan 2014       06-27-2014, 8:01 AM Reply   
It will have a strap running to the bow and two to the rear cleats of the boat. I had some pipe and a few thigns layig around so I thought I would give it a try but the more I got Into it the more worried I became about it so that's why I thought I would ask of anyone has done this before, I know you can generate a ton of force cutting hard on a board. I had read some other forum posts where a lot of people made their own pylons but it's pretty risky in my opinion, maybe I will just buy one, I hated to since for what it is it's pricey. Oh well I got to have fun I the shop for a couple hours on this one.
Old     (dgk30)      Join Date: Jan 2014       06-27-2014, 8:05 AM Reply   
It will also have a flange base bolted to a piece of wood that the pipe will thread into
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-27-2014, 8:59 PM Reply   
We made one of these that stood about 6' tall from the floor for our I/O after a few seasons of wakeboarding. It was a transom mounted one instead of a center mounted one like on direct drives. I can definitely tell you that the straps are a must. Without them, it did hold, but there was a ton of sway backwards when pulling, especially when cutting in and out or doing jumps. We only used two, but they were mounted forward into some eyes we mounted at about a 45 degree angle on either side about 4 feet away.
Also the ball should work, that's actually a pretty good idea. What we did was have two rings the same diameter of the pylon tig welded to the top , one on the top, one about 1/2" lower for the rope to go around. It works very well and has held up for years. Yours seems to be a lot simpler construction and for that it should hold up quite well.
I would definitely say at a bare minimum to cut the bolt off flush with that nut to avoid any injuries, and definitely do a strap to the bow, if not two to the eye hooks on the transom as well for stability.

Good job on it, I'm sure it will serve you well.
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       06-30-2014, 9:57 AM Reply   
I have one, I just haven't gotten around to put it up for sale yet. It's a Skylon & I have the board rack to go with it. If you are interested, we can figure out the details.
Old     (skuhleman)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-03-2014, 7:06 AM Reply   
I have built 2 of these a few years ago, the first was with 1.5" galvanized pipe, the other with 2". I would be very worried about the 1.25" pipe. The one with 1.5" would bend and sway a little bit, but the 2" pylon was very solid and didn't sway at all. We are still using the 2" on our old I/O. I used 3 eye bolts on the top, 2 facing the rear and 1 facing forward. the forward eye bolt had a 2000 lbs working limit strap that ran to the front. we fit a bicycle lock cable through the U bolt the winch hooks to and ran each side to the hook on the strap going to the pole. Then we had 2 1000 lbs working limit straps running from the lower rear eye bolt on the pole to each rear corner of the boat where a cleat was. Make sure you use more than just a standard tie down strap for the front. A buddy of mine had a 1000 lbs strap on the front and it broke.

Our setup has been going strong for 4 years now without any issues. I just wanted to help some as it sounds like your current setup might break.


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