View Full Version : Where to mount new Wakeboard tower from DIY?
11-09-2007, 06:38 PM
Thanks to everyone who has posted all the information on wakeboard towers. I thought I would start a new thread on where to mount this particular type of tower.
Although I yearned for a New Dimension, since I have an older boat (99), and I primarily wakesurf (i.e. am going to use it as a rack 99% of the time - not to pull someone) - I couldn't justify the cash. The ND has GREAT prices right now - totally worth it if you can afford it.
That being said, DIY Wake, which seems to get glowing reviews for product and service - sent me a tower, mirror, one wakeboard rack, one wakesurf rack, shipping, tax for roughly $1k. I received it, and the tower looks bomb-proof. Here is the one in case anyone is interested:
So... this thing mounts to the side of the hull somewhere, not flat on top like Monster. Wondering if anyone has any recommendations where to put it? Tips? Tricks? Anything to watch out for? I have a 99 Maristar 230VRS.
Thanks. I'm also putting in a ballast system based on those that have been published on these boards - will post photos when completed in Jan. Tower goes up next Thursday.
The racks look great as well.
11-09-2007, 07:52 PM
Have you already received it and did it come with instructions?
I would think they would give you some type of basics to start from, I dunno!
11-09-2007, 08:12 PM
Before you start drilling, look inside your boat, under the gunnels, for wiring & speedo tubes, usually guided in PVC tubes layed into the glass. I had to cut some of the PVC away to make room for the tower hardware. And just move it away while your working, then secure it all with zip ties.
Use good quality drill bits thru the glass. And grind the edges of the gelcoat back a bit from the bolt holes.
Also, regardless of what DIY sends you, you can't have too big a backing plates (especailly in the front legs). This will spead the load out over a larger area & hopefully keep the glass from cracking. I even considered top plates, maybe made from carbon fiber or billet alluminum, to not only help spread the load (especially in the back legs) but to help support the glass when/if it ever did crack.
And you know what they say, measure twice, cut once! I hung my tower over the boat using a forklift, measured a LOT, eyeballed how it looked in various positions, measured some more, check for things you might hit underneath, measure some MORE, then finally drilled. Oh, and sit inside the boat & see how tower placement changes your line of sight, mirror position, board racks, etc.
11-09-2007, 11:13 PM
Make sure your windshield can open and close okay before you drill. A buddy of mine put his monster tower on and THEN found out he can't open the windshield all the way. (not on a MC boat)
11-09-2007, 11:44 PM
airjunky pretty much covered it. a few things to add.
make sure the backing plates have no sharp edges and fit the contour on the inside of the boat.
don't use drill bits, use rotabroach bits or similar. use a large counter sink bit to chamfer the holes to prevent stress cracks from the holes. drill small pilot holes first.
get some help, towers don't weigh that much but 2 people make the job a lot easier.
11-10-2007, 12:52 AM
I watched Wayne Hartford from New Dimension Towers drill my boat up.
In fact after he drilled the pilot hole, I told him I changed my mind and didn't want the tower.....
Wayne has a pretty good sense of humor....
Anyway he started the pilot hole with a 1/4" drill bit
Then count sunk the hole with a huge chamfered bit
then took the hole up to the final size with a 5/8
The chamfered bit was probably 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch this is what prevents the spider webs from migrating from the hole
11-10-2007, 08:43 AM
I have a 96 Maristar and here is where I mounted mine. I have the same tower!
11-10-2007, 08:50 AM
Its close enough in the front to be able to get at the bolts on the inside and the the rear has an opening for storage there so you can reach up to the top and put on the brackets easily. The backing brackets supplied are just 1 1/4 by 4 inch 1/4 in thick aluminum. I used the brackets they sent and used the tower a bunch of times before winter hit, but after reading some comments here I'm going to get longer ones made and put them on. I have more pictures if you need, just let me know. Hope this helps!
11-12-2007, 01:42 PM
First of all - let me say this - this forum and all you guys rock. Thanks for taking the time to post this stuff - it has been incredibly helpful. I had also posted a while back on ballast systems and got similar great help. I'm going to try and mount it Thursday afternoon, and basically going to copy what Ron has done.
Ron - your boat looks awesome. Basically same boat/color/everything that we have. I'll keep my eyes on email for some more pics.
11-16-2007, 11:57 AM
So I put it on - really not a bad project. I'd rate our quality a solid B, but I've learned a few things in doing it. Here goes...
1) The rack is well built, well thought-out. Particularly the way the top piece is designed and bolted together. It forms quite a rigid structure on top - more-so than I thought it would.
2) The instructions were pretty darn clear, although after talking to DIY last night, they could be made more clear - more on that later.
3) The backing plates are small - which is good and bad - good in that they can fit into the somewhat tight space. Bad - for obvious reasons.
4) We had quite a lot of trouble with the positioning and opted to put it a little farther back than Rwoznock did. This is why I give us a B on the project - I think it looks much better positioned forward.
5) We put it back where we did for a couple reasons. First - the instructions say never put farther forward than six inches in front of the back of the side window. We didn't know why, and we had no cellphone reception at the spot, so we couldn't clarify with DIY. Second - inside the hull where a number of fiberglassed-in wire mounts. Had we decided to put it farther forward, it would have had to go roughly a foot farther forward to avoid the harness on one side. That would have placed it 18" in front of the back piece of the windshield which seemed to be pretty risky. So we decided to put it back. Functionally it will be fine - cosmetically I think it looks a little goofy. After talking to DIY last night, the only reason you need to have it far back on the boat is so that the feet do not hit the windshield when you have it folded. They thought that we could have probably gotten away with putting it farther forward based on the slope of the windshield. Oh well - live and learn.
6) The other thing that stumped us was positioning vertically on the boat. You'll see in the photo we mounted it right in the green stripe. We wanted to go above it, but at the stripe there is an inflection in the hull - so you either go high, or low. Problem was that if we went high, it was fine in the back, but on the front it was too curved and too small to fit the foot. The foot would not be flush on the hull, and in fact it would have made mounting it almost impossible. Not to mention the backer plates would be positioned on a piece of the hull that was not true. So we had to place it lower than we wanted - particularly in the front.
7) The spread on the feet - they recommend between 39-44. We choose 42 based on how it aligned with hull. No great science here. We didn't feel the angle changed that much in terms of the look of the swoop.
So there you have it! Do I wish I had an ND tower on there? Sure do... but I'm happier to have the extra $1200 in my pocket right now, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
The only other issue I am having is with the wakeboard racks - they are fixed positioned, so in order to get the wakeboard to be flat, they have to be REALLY low on the boat - so low that it obstructs view and getting in and out of the boat - and that is impractical. So DIY is sending me some brackets that might help adjust the angle. Any advice on this one would be appreciated!
11-21-2007, 12:40 PM
Nice Job! Glad to see you made it with no problems. Looks great! And the savings are even better!
11-26-2007, 06:58 PM
I received the rotating mounts for the racks last week and am going to head over and install here this week. Will update photos. Can't wait to use it - but 40 degrees in TX is a little chilly. Should be back up around 70 this week and we'll get out.