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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    200

    Default Which tower do I choose?

    So a couple of years ago I bought a 98 outback, the family and I have had great time but now I think its time to put a tower on it! I have narrowed it down to the Aerial Airborne http://www.h2osportswarehouse.com/v/...irborne-pa.asp or the Big Air Vapor http://www.bigairwaketowers.com/towers/vapor/. I was wanting to know if anyone has any experience or input on either of them? These towers are almost the same design and the Big air Vapor seems to be a couple hundred cheaper. Any input on durability, shakiness, or whatever would help me make my decision. Also whats the "install it yourself" skill level 1-10?

    I appreciate the help!
    1998 Outback

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,025

    Default Re: Which tower do I choose?

    I installed the assault tower on my old seadoo, pretty easy just need helpers and watch the install videos.

    What sucks is if it's chromed you need to keep it cleaned and polished, I'd look at the powdered coated one..



    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    2002 Moomba Mobius LSV - Sold
    2006 Moomba Mobius LSV

  3. #3

    Default

    I had the basic big air wake tower, hardest part was anchoring the base plates to the boat, depending on what type of access you have to get a wrench on the nut on the inside of the fiber glass will make it easier/more difficult. Also after you have it up make sure you tighten the bolts before every use and don't pull tubes with it.
    2008 Mobius LSV

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Which tower do I choose?

    I've installed all of them, including a Hydrowake. All three seem to be practically identical, minor differences in hardware. Personally I had the Aerial. Two friends had the other two. We bought the one that was cheapest at time of purchase. Mine was black the other two were anodized all seemed to hold up fine. The first summer I had to crank the Allen set screws on the billet slugs almost every use, after that they weren't touched for years. For the money I was completely happy and had no issues, pulled plenty of big guys too.


    Top pic from the guys craigslist ad last September (the guy I sold it to sold it)
    Bottom pic is from 7 or so years ago when the tower was 2 years old (when I still owned it)
    -Jake

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    s.e. washington state
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    You should have good access for the install but you will need to glas in some reinforcement at the mounts.
    1998 Mobius
    310 HP PCM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    273

    Default

    2005 Moomba XLV, Polk db651 cabin speakers, 12" Kicker Comp, Bullet 6.5" hollow points in Arial Double cans, fosgate amps.

    B reak
    O ut
    A nother
    T housand

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    200

    Default Which tower do I choose?

    I appreciate the replies. Henri, What would be the reason to not pull a tube with the tower?

    Beat Taco, did you pull tubes, any problems?

    Stretch, I like that tower but have seen a couple pictures of it on my boat and I think it looks to big. It looks awesome on the new boats that are bigger, wider.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1998 Outback

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Naperville, IL || North Scott Lake, MI
    Posts
    643

    Default

    Most of the towers (especially after-market) say not to pull tubes. Don't recall if I ever saw a reason, but I'm guessing its the extreme torque they create. Probably a CYA thing for them to keep their lawyers happy too...

    Of course I had to try it a few times to see if there was really an issue......second (and last time) time I tried it I noticed some squeaking in the tower on a particular tight turn where the tube swung very wide. I don't know if I did any damage to the tower but it did freak me out a bit and I had nightmares about ripping the tower right off the boat!! My kids loved it when riding the tubes because the higher attach point made them get quite a bit more air when they crossed the wake. I guess I would say if you weren't doing extreme tubing where you are really swinging the tube back and forth with a lot of force it probably would be fine, but probably not a great idea for the long term "health" of the tower AND boat.

    As for the install, I did it myself with a bit of help from my son when placing the tower on the boat. I would say that is was probably only about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. It was mostly just cumbersome, not too difficult as long as you can handle a drill and a wrench / screwdriver. I recall doing most of the install on the ground and then attaching it to the boat before making the final adjustments. I would say the most important thing is to do your homework on the placement such that you are sure you have ample room to access the connection points from the underside of the deck.

    As for the purchase, I did a lot of research on many of those same models and actually found one very similar on ebay for quite a bit less. I think I paid just under $1000 (including shipping) about 5-6 yrs ago. Many of those same websites also sell the same products thru ebay and sometimes you can find them with a discount. Years of service without any issues -- but like someone else mentioned, just make sure you tighten the screws at least a few times a season. I found it funny, but I didn't really see or feel any sway at all when using the tower on lake, but I did see a bit of sway during trailering due to the wind, bumps in the road, etc. Another good reason to check those screws frequently.

    So I would say anyone with at least minimal DIY skills could accomplish the install. Do your homework before, read the instructions carefully, get help and take your time and you should be fine.

    Good luck and you will love the new tower!!!
    2013 Outback V
    2003 SeaRay 182 -- gone but not forgotten...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Naperville, IL || North Scott Lake, MI
    Posts
    643

    Default

    One more thing I almost forgot............I used liberal amounts of painters tape to mask off the areas where I was going to put the mounts. Because the tower is cumbersome to handle, the tape saved me a couple of times from making some big scratches in the gelcoat while moving the tower into position and marking the drilling points.
    2013 Outback V
    2003 SeaRay 182 -- gone but not forgotten...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,207

    Default

    Great advice on the tape. I put a tower on my Outback a few years back. One of my albums has pics of it going together in the living room. I went with a cheapo one for about $495 off of ebay. I thought it looked pretty good. Figure out where your mounting points are and make sure you can get up behind there. Use a good backer behind the fiberglass. It'll work great.

    tower.jpg
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



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