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View Full Version : Buying a Wakeboard Tower -- Need Advice


jamica joe
02-22-2011, 01:19 PM
I'm going to bite the bullet and get a wake board tower... I have a 2000 205V. I also have 2 sons over 6'3" and 230 lbs, so durability and being strong is important. I would appreciate your opinions on the following towers (if you have other tower mfg. suggestions, please post):

Pro X Series Cross Bar Wake Tower (photo #1) approx. $1900 Billed as strongest tower on market rated to pull tubes -- 2 stainless steel all stainless parts, has integrated board rack

http://www.boardstop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1567


Airborne Towers (photo # 2) approx. $1400 includes LED Nav. Light, 2speakers with integrated lights, 1 wakeboard rack and wiring kit
http://www.h2osportswarehouse.com/v/vspfiles/wakeboard-towers/aerial-wakeboarding-airborne-pa.asp

Assault Towers (photo # 3) approx. $1340 includes LED Nav. Light, 2 racks
http://www.h2osportswarehouse.com/v/vspfiles/wakeboard-towers/aerial-wakeboarding-assault-pa.asp

I know that a lot of you will say go with the OEM, but just don't have the money yet.

Thanks for the opinions,

Joe

CantRepeat
02-22-2011, 02:03 PM
Don't forget New Dimesion.

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/galleries/mastercraft/images/1999-2000_Prostar_205.jpg

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/galleries/mastercraft/1999-2000_Prostar_205.html

You can also order a mini tower from them.

scott023
02-22-2011, 02:19 PM
Have you looked at Roswell towers?


http://www.roswellwakeair.com/

jrbishop4
02-22-2011, 02:25 PM
Monster towers are good. Check out onlyinboards.com there are a few others on there and there is package deals there too.

Thrall
02-22-2011, 02:28 PM
A new New Dimension tower, OEM style, will set you back almost $2500 + accessories.
So, like you said out of your budget. Styles 2 & 3 look way better than #1, that thing is fugly.

bturner2
02-22-2011, 03:28 PM
For resale I'd wait and save up for the New Dimension tower. OEM always bring back more cash. You only get to do this once and you still have a couple months before summer starts.

X2 with Thrall on #1. 2 and 3 look closer to OEM and IMO better.

ttu
02-22-2011, 04:13 PM
#2 or #3. i have never liked the looks of the pro "x" tower

captain planet
02-22-2011, 04:16 PM
Don't forget New Dimesion.

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/galleries/mastercraft/images/1999-2000_Prostar_205.jpg

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/galleries/mastercraft/1999-2000_Prostar_205.html

You can also order a mini tower from them.

I'll second that!

MIskier
02-22-2011, 04:50 PM
If you dont have the cash for the OEM style tower from New Dimension, they do offer a universal tower for 1,799

icedog-10
02-22-2011, 06:09 PM
I have both the Fly High Tower that looks just like the Pro X Tower and the New Dimension Tower on my two 205s. The New Dimension is hands down the better of the two. Do not believe the claim that the Pro X is the strongest tower. I have to take the wake boards off the tower on rough days because that will even make the tower sway. I have some spider cracks in the gel coat because of the tower and have even considered removing the tower. The New Dimension has had no problems and is solid as a rock.

mattdda
02-22-2011, 08:25 PM
I bought a New Dimension Tower for my old boat, a '90 Supra TS6m Comp - and it looked nothing but fabulous. Extremely easy to install, came with ALL of the components I needed including the bits and countersink/chamfer bit.

Worth the money - made that old thing look pretty good and was exteremely sturdy. I second icedog - solid as a rock. Was so easy to fold also - could do it by myself. Friends of mine with monster require more than one person - and some of the cheaper ones don't fold at all.

jamica joe
02-22-2011, 09:34 PM
If you dont have the cash for the OEM style tower from New Dimension, they do offer a universal tower for 1,799

I appreciate all of the input / ideas. How does the ND universal tower compare to the OEM style.

Not many have addressed the stress that my kids (6'3" - 230lbs) will put on the tower. Is that not really an issue?? It's not all about looks... Is it??

Joe

mccobmd
02-22-2011, 09:40 PM
The stress from water sports isn't a real big deal. If you look at the dispersion through 4 legs and the vector of force it's really hard to generate enough to be a problem. The reason tubes are a problem is if the submerge and catcha lot of water in a nose dive that force will equal 2 or 3 of your kids at one time and at speed.

carlsonwa
02-23-2011, 09:39 AM
I'll second that!

Save up the money for a New Dimension Tower, you will be happy that you did! Their fit and finish is Mastercraft quality, since they use to make towers for MC.

You made a smart decision for a top of the line brand boat, install the matching tower. The tower will be custom made for your hull with step by step instructions and the materials to properly re-inforce the hull where you mount to.

Plus its only going to help your re-sale in the long run. Ask them about getting a custom engraved plate on the side where the board racks attach, I had them put "Mastercraft" on mine.

jamica joe
02-23-2011, 10:02 AM
Save up the money for a New Dimension Tower, you will be happy that you did! Their fit and finish is Mastercraft quality, since they use to make towers for MC.

You made a smart decision for a top of the line brand boat, install the matching tower. The tower will be custom made for your hull with step by step instructions and the materials to properly re-inforce the hull where you mount to.

Plus its only going to help your re-sale in the long run. Ask them about getting a custom engraved plate on the side where the board racks attach, I had them put "Mastercraft" on mine.

So as a compromise, how would ya'll feel about the universal tower by ND. It's still approx. $1800 with no racks, lights... etc.

I am not concerned with re-sell (not planning on selling any time soon), I just want a good tower that will hold up.

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/universal_towers.html

Joe

MIskier
02-23-2011, 10:38 AM
The Universal tower is only different from the custom one in that it is adjustable for the beam of different models...same materials and construction as the custom towers

carlsonwa
02-23-2011, 10:58 AM
So as a compromise, how would ya'll feel about the universal tower by ND. It's still approx. $1800 with no racks, lights... etc.

I am not concerned with re-sell (not planning on selling any time soon), I just want a good tower that will hold up.

http://www.newdimensiontowers.com/universal_towers.html

Joe

Yea that would save you about $500. They should be good quality, just doesn't follow the windshield lines like the custom fit ones so nicely do.

Sorry I am bias towards that "oem look".

Put your savings towards gas this summer, looking like its going to be expensive for premium this year.......

TayMC197
02-23-2011, 01:02 PM
I'll second that!

I vote ND!

bturner2
02-23-2011, 01:14 PM
Anything worth doing it worth doing right. Anything worth having is worth saving and waiting for. Keep saving and buy the right tower. Have those two big boys go cut some lawns or flip some burgers to pitch in. $30/week each (6 hour/week at $5/HR doesn't sound like too much to ask) and in 2 months you have the cash you need for the right tower.

mattdda
02-23-2011, 07:03 PM
I concur with doing it right. You won't regret it in the long run. Much easier to install in any case. Much less measuring and fitting, etc...

I'm also a fan of the tower light - coast guard requires a light at the highest point - and that's much better than dealing with that insertable pole every time you're out and the sun starts to go down. Of course - if you don't plan on being out late - don't worry about it.

CantRepeat
02-23-2011, 07:37 PM
I concur with doing it right. You won't regret it in the long run. Much easier to install in any case. Much less measuring and fitting, etc...

I'm also a fan of the tower light - coast guard requires a light at the highest point - and that's much better than dealing with that insertable pole every time you're out and the sun starts to go down. Of course - if you don't plan on being out late - don't worry about it.

The tower light is very nice. No more putting the pole in the hole so to speak. Flip a switch and she comes on, everytime. :D

grimsweeper
02-23-2011, 09:42 PM
I purchased full size New Dimension tower in November of 2009,they had off season special-10% off, I really like the design,very well built,(youngest son is 6'2",220 lbs). Also recommend Tower Biminis (a necessity in Texas). I didn't get light,wondering how difficult is retrofit?

JohnE
02-24-2011, 09:26 AM
I'd wait and save for the OEM ND. You won't regret it. Looks better, strong, and will definitely be better for resale. #2 and #3 look much better than #1 though if you do go that route. Can't speak to the quality.

Shooter McKevin
02-24-2011, 10:46 AM
I purchased full size New Dimension tower in November of 2009,they had off season special-10% off, I really like the design,very well built,(youngest son is 6'2",220 lbs). Also recommend Tower Biminis (a necessity in Texas). I didn't get light,wondering how difficult is retrofit?

Sweet Boat Grim!!

What year?

grimsweeper
02-24-2011, 09:14 PM
Thanks,it's a 2004,purchased in 2009 with 150 hrs. I have added tower,bimini,perfect pass and am in process of up grading rudder.

Shooter McKevin
02-24-2011, 09:34 PM
Thanks,it's a 2004,purchased in 2009 with 150 hrs. I have added tower,bimini,perfect pass and am in process of up grading rudder.

Nice:) New trailer in 09?

grimsweeper
02-24-2011, 09:55 PM
No, it came with boat, Ziemann is name of company, I added MC wheels.

mattdda
02-24-2011, 11:07 PM
Upgrading rudder?! Can you clarify? My x30 handles like a PIG unless its empty. DIY or dealer? This may be a call I put in to good 'ol Vince at skidim...

grimsweeper
02-25-2011, 10:06 PM
Won't know until water warms up, supposedly a big improvement.

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=39616&highlight=rudder

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=36741&highlight=rudder

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=24471&highlight=rudder

http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=8305

Joseph
02-26-2011, 09:55 AM
the tower and bimini were the biggest upgrades i made to my 99 maristar and it was well worth it. i agree with everyone here about saving up and getting the best tower you can.
IMHO I went with Samson towers. i think they really had a look that modernized the boat. Very strong tower, very easy to fold and unfold without the bulky or boxy look of some towers. There are some other posts with the tower folded and unfolded. Go for it, you'll love it. (get the bimini top too. didn't think id like it or the looks of one-got it primarily for my wife. totally made pulling everyone more pleasant and cuts down on the sunburn)

Jeff d
02-26-2011, 08:08 PM
I put an Aerial Airborne on my '00 230 VRS a couple of months ago.

I paid $1,319 shipped for the tower, 1 wake/wake rack, 1 wake/knee rack, a pair of Polk DB651 double speakers (4 speakers), the anchor/nav light and wiring.

Install was a bit of a chore and I'm pretty mechanically inclined but I did do the whole thing by myself where a helper would have made things go much faster. The two rear uprights were't 100% perfect mirrors of each other. There was maybe a 1 degree difference in the bends so it took quite a bit of playing with it to split the difference and make sure it folded properly before I started making irreversible changes. In the end I got it to line up and work well. Most people probably would have just mounted it and never noticed this little imperfection but I'm a bit of a stickler for details.

The quality met my expectations for what amounts to pretty much the cheapest tower on the market with any kind of "style". It is Chinese though so not perfect but I'd rate it as great quality compared to a lot of Chinese made stuff and "fair to good" compared to what I've seen made in the US. When you look closely (Within a foot or so) you can see minor blemishes and flaws in the polished finishes here and there.

My biggest gripe is the lack of anodizing. They do offer an anodized tower and if you call the order in to H2OSportsWarehouse they will upgrade you to anodized for free. The problem is that they have no anodized accessories. So your tower will look "milky" compared to the racks and speakers. I opted to go with the bare polished aluminum and it doesn't take long at all before it needs a good polishing with some Mother's Metal Polish even under my carport. It's noticeable after a couple of weeks and pretty bad by the 2 month mark. It's relatively easy to shine up with an old tshirt saturated in metal polish wrapped around it followed by a buffing with a terry cloth but I'd prefer maintenance free. That said I've heard pretty much everybody who got the black powder coated tower say that it looks like crap after a year. So, I wonder if the quality of their anodizing would be any better. Maybe sometime down the road I will have it anodized but for now I will just have to polish it 4-5 times a year. Next winter I will probably wrap it in cellophane to see if that keeps it shiny and gives me one less thing to do at the beginning of the season.

I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet because the water hasn't warmed up but it has a really good reputation on WakeWorld's forums so I don't forsee any issues. I can hang from it and it moves the whole boat on the trailer with no perceptible flex.

All that said it's hard to say whether I'd buy it again. In my mind it seems like it would be a lot easier and maintenance free to install a custom tower (i.e. New Dimension, Samson, etc.) because I'm envisioning them being perfect but maybe that's not how it would play out. It was definitely a killer deal for the Airborne package I got though. At the moment I'm able to afford to buy a Perfect Pass Stargazer (Should be here Monday) and still spent less than the New Dimension would cost me with no accessories. If we were talking about a <5 year old boat I'd be more inclined to get a really nice custom tower because I wouldn't be spending a large percentage of the boats value on the tower. In my case it's an imperfect 11 year old boat that I just couldn't talk myself into spending $2-3k on the tower and still need all of the other accessories to go with it.

Jeff d
02-26-2011, 08:29 PM
Here's a couple of phone camera pics of my boat/tower. I think it looks a little bit small on my boat but keep in mind that it's a 23' so it will look bigger on yours.

Also, I got my deal on eBay but it was from H2OSportsWarehouse. So, if you're gonna buy one check eBay because they could be selling the same thing there for less.

One more thing on the Assault vs the Airborne. The Assault has a little more "flair" but it's a single bar at the top where the rope attaches. The Airborne has an "H Section" at the top that's much stronger. So, for boys the size of yours I'd go Airborne because it's cheaper and stronger.

mattdda
02-27-2011, 01:43 PM
I don't think it looks small...I think it's a good size. And I like how it follows the windshield lines from the side.

Jeff d
02-27-2011, 03:04 PM
Maybe I was just used to looking at pictures of the same tower on 19-21' boats so when I finally saw it on a 23' it naturally looked smaller. I was pretty pleased with how the lower bars happened to line up with the windshield.

I really wanted a Samson Razor and, no doubt it would have been a nicer piece than the Airborne, but even with off season discounts it would have been $3,500 shipped for tower w/racks. For that I could get the Airborne, racks, speakers, Perfect Pass Stargazer Wakeboard, and 2,000+ lbs of ballast bags w/pumps.

Sure I want the best of everything but sometimes I have to make compromises to fit the budget or to work other stuff into the same budget. I guess get back to me after the season to see how this compromise worked out.

k2knapke
02-28-2011, 02:30 PM
Here are some pics from just finishing a NDT on a ProStar 205v. Easy to install, well built, looks top notch, large bimini, cant wait to put it to the test this summer!

jamica joe
03-02-2011, 02:47 PM
Here are some pics from just finishing a NDT on a ProStar 205v. Easy to install, well built, looks top notch, large bimini, cant wait to put it to the test this summer!

That's a good looking setup you have. Based on your and it seems most other opinions, I am now leaning towards the ND tower (still a lot of money) -- unless someone has a better / more cost effective alternative.

I noticed that the forward arch is mounted inside the air scoop and the wind shield... Was that a difficult area to access?

Joe

k2knapke
03-03-2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks Joe, It was more expensive than others, but i did a lot of research on other towers and nothing looked as good as NDT. I waited till last December to order one when they were 15% off so i saved a little bit. Mounting the front legs was not at all difficult. Port side was easiest of course being able to crawl all the way in the seating removed. Starboard side was a little more challenging, didn't want to remove false wall under dash board so we cut the carpet where the hole for the sub would go to reach with one arm since we were installing a sub any way. We ended up removing the board eventually any way to pull the wiring through the legs witch was tougher than mounting the tower. Over all assembly was very easy just takes time and some cold beer to keep your helpers occupied!

jamica joe
03-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks Joe, It was more expensive than others, but i did a lot of research on other towers and nothing looked as good as NDT. I waited till last December to order one when they were 15% off so i saved a little bit. Mounting the front legs was not at all difficult. Port side was easiest of course being able to crawl all the way in the seating removed. Starboard side was a little more challenging, didn't want to remove false wall under dash board so we cut the carpet where the hole for the sub would go to reach with one arm since we were installing a sub any way. We ended up removing the board eventually any way to pull the wiring through the legs witch was tougher than mounting the tower. Over all assembly was very easy just takes time and some cold beer to keep your helpers occupied!

Thanks for the encouragement. My kids say I'm too cheap... I say that I'm just frugal!!! If I do go with the NDT, I probably will have to wait on the accessories.

Any pix of the install. In particular where / how you cut the carpet under the dash. Could you not reach the area thru the front by taking the seat out??

Joe

P.S. That is a great looking garage!!!!

Jeff d
03-04-2011, 01:41 PM
If the weather cooperates (It's warm enough but it's pouring rain right now) I will be testing my Aerial tower this afternoon and can report back.

k2knapke
03-04-2011, 09:19 PM
Yeah i understand, kids will have to chip in! I didn't take any pics in the process of installing. Here are some pics after installing the legs on tower before mounting. Instructions were very thorough from start to finish. The false wall under the dash had the precut hole with the carpet covering the hole. Just cut carpet out with utility knife. I'm 6' 205lbs and i couldn't reach from the bow. Would of been easiest to remove wall, but lesson learned. Also i was lucky enough to have aluminum plates already fiberglassed in so i didn't have to mess with those.

Jeff d
03-04-2011, 10:58 PM
Well, the Aerial did just fine. Didn't hear a peep out of it and was pretty much "rock solid".

The Aerial tower speakers (powered by 200 watt amp) were loud enough to hear clearly at riding distance without deafening the people in the boat.