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Old 07-22-2015, 12:08 PM
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Endurance Endurance is offline
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Aftermarket wakesurf - wake gate vs gen 2

I am considering the addition of some type of surf gate or gen 2 type trim tab to my '98 Maristar. I realize that I am kind of late to this party but hope to learn from the early adopters.

One choice is some kind of sideways trim tab. That could be to just buy a wakshaper or create my own ghetto gate that I would operate with trim tab actuators once I got my shape and angles dialed in. I see the plus of the vertical tab is that they are pretty consistent from hull to hull and therefore require less trial and error. It seems to me that the down side of this type of device is that it makes steering at low speed a challenge. I rely on my wife as a driver and would prefer to keep her driving for me.

A second choice is to look at enough gen 2 tabs to come up with a design that would work well with my hull. It looks to me like MasterCraft looked at its gen 1 failures and decided that the best way to delay wake convergence without having Malibu sue them would be to add enough bends a horizontal trim tab to generate some sideways force. If the horizontal tab going down adds a little list to the boat, so much the better. This might take more trial and error. I don't know how these steer at low speeds.

Do any of you that know more than me have any help to offer?
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:22 PM
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el Dax el Dax is offline
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Both have been done, and it's really up to you as to how you go about it. I haven't made one for my new boat, but on my old boat I made a very simple "surf gate" that simply strapped to the rear eye and swim deck. Just keep in mind the goal when designing...all you want to do is delay the convergence. Simply put, make one side of your hull longer than the other. If you can get it to stick out 15-20 degrees, that also helps.

It wan't anything pleasant to look at, but it works very well.

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Personally, I plan to make another one of these for my new boat. And I'll keep modifying it until I think it's perfect...then and only then will I opt for a more permanent solution. I don't like drilling anything into the hull on a whim.

The overall point of my post is to experiment first, unless you have seen a functional prototype on your boat already. For instance, when I took my ghetto gate out for it's first run it was perfect, but I wasn't running the ballast I normally do for surfing. Once I sacked up, the aft section of the boat dipped in the water so much that my gate was buried and non effective as the water went over the top too much. I lifted it a few inches that night and then it was perfect. These are the kinds of reasons I suggest building a ghetto gate, non permanent solution, until you know you have it right.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:23 PM
Theomedic Theomedic is offline
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There are several of us X9 / 209 owners who are considering making one. I haven't been on a boat that has one yet and would love to see the difference. Good Luck. Hopefully someone makes one for my boat too and will share their designs. I keep thinking about making one but just never get around to it.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:00 AM
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Logan91077 Logan91077 is offline
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Im in the same "boat" so to speak haha. I have been debating between a "flapper bu"type setup or a " giant 3 trim tab setup on my 08 xstar. I made a ghetto gate for the port side this week and am hopping to test it on sunday. But the weather is supposed to suck, so may not get a chance. In my opinion the Gen........ I mean giant 3 tab set up will be more complicated and more expensive than the Bu flappers. But may give better results. I know our hulls are completely different but I'll try to give you as much input as i can. R&D as it were. Or as i like to call it.....Redneck development 😎


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Old 07-28-2015, 01:41 PM
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Endurance Endurance is offline
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The majority of us choosing a vertical tab like the one that Malibu patented is leading me to a conclusion that I would rather not reach -- That Malibu's vertical tab is superior to a horizontal tab and that MasterCraft's design has more to do with fear of a patent infringement lawsuit than with a better product.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:35 PM
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Logan91077 Logan91077 is offline
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Makes me wonder how any of these manufactures can get away with patenting this stuff. Not a law expert but why is Bennett not firing off lawsuit after lawsuit. Do they not have a patent on the trim tab. Thats what all these " surf systems " are anyway.


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Old 07-28-2015, 11:41 PM
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clrussell clrussell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurance View Post
The majority of us choosing a vertical tab like the one that Malibu patented is leading me to a conclusion that I would rather not reach -- That Malibu's vertical tab is superior to a horizontal tab and that MasterCraft's design has more to do with fear of a patent infringement lawsuit than with a better product.

Or the fact it's easier to build a vertical tab than one actually attached to the boat..


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Old 07-29-2015, 12:39 PM
Theomedic Theomedic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clrussell View Post
Or the fact it's easier to build a vertical tab than one actually attached to the boat..


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Do you have a pic of this design you speak of?
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2015, 01:17 PM
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Dylan Dylan is offline
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After having a surfgate style tab on my old boat, the new one will be getting a gosurfassist type tabs. I did not like how the boat handled with the vertical tab fixed out the whole time.

The reason people go with the vertical tab is undoubtedly COST.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:39 PM
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Endurance Endurance is offline
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Cost matters, but I can imagine a horizontal tab setup that would be cheaper than a vertical tab. Here are some rough costs for some of the available options from the cheapest to the most expensive:

Option 1: True ghetto-gate. This is the setup that you manually bungee or ratchet into place. Because the materials are cheap and easy to work with, you can fine tune the size and shape to your situation. Your boat will be difficult if not impossible to turn against the deployed gate. That complicates driving when picking up a fallen surfer. Even if you buy HDPE plastic, you come out under $200 with the plastic, some stainless hardware, and some ratchet straps.

Option 2: Buy a set of Bennett or Lemco 12" x 12" horizontal trim tabs. You can turn and maneuver your boat well enough with one horizontal tab down so handling is improved. While you can buy such a setup around $500, it will be about as effective (pronounced "worthless") as gen1 tabs. Like option 1, this has serious downsides but the price is right.

Option 3: Buy already made manual wakeshapers. You'll spend $550, and they're ready to go. Same downsides as option 1.

Option 4: This option uses Bennett or Lemco trim horizontal trim tabs, but you would work with a sheet metal shop to make replacement tabs that have some bends to them. You would bend the outside edge of the tabs up and the inside edge of the tab down. The bends would have some angle to them, which would push the boat sideways a little and thus delay convergence. To bend the tab, you could look to gen 2 tabs for inspiration. You could improve on this idea by welding or bolting additional angled channels in the middle surface of the tab. For the angled channels in the middle of the tab, you could look to gosurfassist tabs for inspiration. Your boat probably won't handle quite as well as option 2 horizontal tabs, but you are starting to delay convergence and improving the wake. I'd guess that you can add $250 worth of sheet metal work to the $500 cost of the tabs themselves which brings the total for this option to around $750.

Option 5: Add power actuators to vertical tabs or buy a set with actuators from wakeshapers. The wake is good, but your boat still handles like crap at low speeds with the vertical tab deployed. Thankfully, the power actuators allow you to un-deploy the tab while you're idling if you want. It complicates driving a bit, but it's sure better than a vertical tab that's out there all the time. You could buy one from wakeshapers. I heard they are selling these for $1,500. You could probably trial and error your own set with a sheet metal shop and Lemco actuators and for around $1,000.

Option 6: Automate vertical tabs. You can solve the high and low speed handling issues with vertical tabs by adding a wakelogic setup. For $1,250, you can buy a system that used a logic board with GPS speed inputs to automatically retract tabs below a speed you set like 7 mph and above a speed you set like 15 mph. Assuming you're not a moron doing power turns, your handling issues are solved. This setup at $1,250, plus a set of $1,500 wakeshaper tabs, would bring you to a total of $2,750.

Option 7: Buy a full gosurfassist setup. Like the wakeligic box, these have some computer inputs based on speed. Wakemakers doesn't seem to have full information on this setup, but from what I can tell they will have a launch mode that drops both tabs for a quicker take off when wakeboarding or maybe even skiing. If the setup has the ability to not deploy a tab until you reach a set speed like 7 mph, it will solve some of the handling issues that the more homegrown option 4 listed above. Wakemakers is now taking preorders for $4,000, so this is the most expensive option.

So while vertical tabs own the cheapest spot and horizontal tabs own the most expensive spot, that horizontal tabs are less detrimental to low speed handling than vertical tabs give horizontal tabs a price advantage in the middle options. All of this makes me wonder why we aren't seeing more homegrown horizontal tab wakesurf setups.
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