Monday, February 25, 2013

How to Install a Wakeboard Tower: Part I

At WakeEssentials.com, our motto is ‘spend more time on the water, rather than on the web. With this essential wake tower installation guide you can get everything set up and ready so you’re good to go before the summer wakeboarding season kicks in high gear.

Tools you’ll need to Install a Wake Tower:

  • Reversible Drill
  • Set of Allen Wrenches (if not provided in tower kit)
  • Torque wrench
  • Lubricant or general purpose greaser
  • Tape Measurer
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • Protective Eyewear
  • At least one handy friend

Step 1: Read Manufacturer-Provided Installation Instructions

Your wake tower should come with an Owners Manual and installation instructions that are specific to your wake board tower – whether it’s a Big Air wake tower, Monster wakeboard tower or other. Note the following when reading:

  • List of parts – make sure you have everything and the correct quantity of each part
  • Parts diagram - this will give you a visual of everything on the parts list and how they interconnect.
  • Company contact – look for a phone number to call in case you have any issues during installation.

Step 2: Pre-Assemble the Wake Tower

Pre-assembling the tower before putting it up will allow you to better plan where the brackets should be placed and how the tower will sit. This is particularly important if you have a tower that folds down.

  • Keep protective wrapping on tower legs and top section as much as possible.
  • Use lubricant to grease the bolt threads to prevent hardware from locking up.
  • Attach the rear legs to the top section using provided hardware.
  • Screw the leg ends into each leg and attach the rear bases/brackets.
  • If you have a folding tower now is the time to decide where to locate the back brackets so that the tower folds down into the position you prefer.
    • Use a cloth or tape to protect the surface of your boat.
    • Put the pre-assembled tower in the folded position.
    • Try various locations until you find where you want the folded tower to sit.
    • Make sure there are no wires or other obstructions in your preferred location.
    • Make sure there is at least 3/8” fiberglass to drill through. If not additional support will need to be added.
    • Mark the spots where the back brackets should sit.
    • Measure from the spots to the back corner of the boat to ensure that the spots are positioned the same on each side.
  • Now attach the front legs to the top section along with each leg base/bracket.
  • Determine the approximate location of the front brackets by again putting the tower in place on the boat, making sure the back brackets sit in their pre-determined spots. You will need the help of a friend or two to hold the tower in place while you examine the placement of the bases.
  • Mark the spot for the front bases.
  • Measure from the front bases to a reference spot on the front of the boat and from the front bases to the rear bases to ensure that the front bases are evenly placed.

Step 3: Drill Holes for the Back Brackets

  • Remove the front and back bases/brackets from the legs.
  • Measure from your base points to a reference point again before you begin drilling.
  • Mark where to drill the two holes through the deck.
  • Center punch each mark to make the drilling go more smoothly.
  • To first get through the hard gelcoat outer layer, run the drill in reverse with a 1/8” drill bit to make the hole all the way through the fiberglass.
  • Next use a larger sized drill bit to widen the hole to the correct size, again drilling in reverse.
  • Use the base/bracket backing plate to double check the position for the second hole, then drill the second hole using the same steps listed above.
  • Repeat the process for the bracket on the other side of the boat.

Stay tuned for Part II: How to Install a Wakeboard Tower!

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