Friday, April 27, 2018

Just say NO to inflatables on your tower

A question we hear literally every single day, "is this tower okay to pull a tube with?" As a fellow water enthusiast I could say yes, but the truthful answer is no. Now, let me be a little more specific on that. We carry a lot of different towers and the towers are capable of pulling a tube, but it's not good for them. Let me tell you why.

Did you know that each rope has a breaking strength?
These strengths differ from rope to rope, but one thing that doesn't change: a tube rope is a lot stronger than a ski or wake rope. A couple examples are that a 2 person tube rope is a little over 2,000 pounds and this 4 person tube rope is over 4,000 pounds! That is a lot of weight to be transferring to the tower AND the hull of the boat!

A couple things we have noticed on some of the boats we have installed on is that even the ski eye on the back of the boat has a pull rating. Most are generally about 2,000 pounds. This area is to be used for all towables, including inflatables. 

In some cases the you have a tower that is strong enough to pull inflatables. At this point the question becomes is the hull of you boat strong enough to take the excessive amount of force. If it is not you could see some spider cracking in the gel coat, hull or worse. Most manufacturers tell you not to pull a tube from the tower. There are so many factors in pulling a tube its hard to ensure you are not going to run into issues. I know its the boring thing to do but we recommend playing it safe and continue pulling inflatables from the back of the boat. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Wiring a Wakeboard Tower

Wiring a wakeboard tower for speakers or lights can seem daunting. Do you go with a wiring harness or run your own wires? Do you need a quick disconnect? Choosing to go with normal wire or a wiring harness is a choice you need to make.

 If you are just wiring one thing running a normal wire is not a bad option and may be the most cost effective. However, if you are running wire for multiple things a wiring harness is generally the way to go. A great feature to have in a wiring harness is a quick connect/disconnect, especially if you are collapsing or removing your tower. Not to mention this provides a much cleaner look.

If you decide to go with a wiring harness we have a few options listed below that available on out website.

Tower with Big Air 4 pin Wiring Harness 
Most towers do not have an entrance or exit hole for your wiring, so your going to have to drill one. Before you do this step I recommend determining what size hole you are going to need. If you are using a wiring harness most manufacturers tell you what size hole to drill. If you choose to run your own wiring I recommend determining how many wires you will be using and then choosing a drill bit that is a little larger that the wire would be around. This allows the wire to slide in fairly easy.

Once you have made the decisions above its fairly simple. You will determine which side of the boat your head unit/ power source is on. In most cases you will want to run your wiring to this side. Decide where you want your speakers/light bar ect. to mount and drill your entrance hole.

Now in my opinion it is easiest to run the wire through the tower as you are assembling it. This can allow you to fish it thought each piece with ease. If you have your tower installed already you can normally run a pull string with a nut on the ends through the tower. This allows you to pull your wire through with ease. (Note with some towers you may have to jump a connection to continue running your wire.)  Then you mount the quick connect/disconnect if you have it. Connect the wire to your speakers/lights ect. and to the head unit/power source.

If you have any questions you can always contact us  and the tower manufacturer may have tip and tricks for their tower.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Pylon Vs. Tower

You may have noticed a Pylon was the original way to get your rope higher, later came towers. Which one is better? Which one is more beneficial? This is definitely a tough question to answer as both options have their pros and cons. 

Pylons came out first. Some are made into the boat and others are aftermarket or extended and have cables that run from the pylon around the bow of the boat to hold it in place when under a load. These lines can get in the way especially if you have a crowd with you or an open bow boat. When you store an aftermarket pylon you have to remove if from the base and remove the cables. This generally leaves the base in the floor and personally prefer the floor to be clear. However, this allows it not to be permanent.  

If you have a pylon you may notice an uncomfortable amount of flex when pulling a larger person especially when they edge out. Some people say this is because all of the force of that weight is applied to one place and the flex can be reduced with a tower because you have the weight dispersed over 4 mount locations. 

Towers are a little more expensive than pylons. A tower allows you keep your seating room and there are no cables to run to the bow. You can mount board racks, speakers and lights on it. Plus with most towers you can run your wiring through the tubing. Now some towers are not very tall so if you are above average height you may hit your head especially if you have hanging accessories. On the bright side there are some manufacturers like Big Air and Vulcan that make their towers about 5 feet tall. This means with an average gunnel (2ft) your at about 7 feet, so most people don't have to worry about hitting their head.

To be honest a lot of this argument has to do with personal preference. Some people say "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and prefer the slightly less expensive and less permanent pylon. While others prefer the more permanent and clean approach of a tower. Below is a list of forums that have discussed this topic. Keep in mind the forums are a little dated so the prices are a little off.