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TrickyNicky

*The DIY Surf Gate Thread*

168 posts in this topic

So I've read a bunch of DIY surf gate threads and I think we need one place to just throw all the more generic questions and links to surf gate threads. It will also be a great place to discuss methods people have chosen and compare.

1. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/39941-poormans-gate/

2. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40613-teakgate/

3. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/41952-2011-wakesetter-vlx-surfgate/?hl=%2Bsurf+%2Bgate#entry583929

4. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40349-will-aftermarket-surfgates-outperform-stock-surfgate/

5. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/41877-just-hanging-there-nate-gate-v6/?hl=%2Bnate+%2Bgate

6. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40335-2003-23-lsv-surf-gate-so-far/#entry557998

7. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/41952-2011-wakesetter-vlx-surfgate/

8. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44205-2003-surf-gate-v2/?hl=%2Bsurf+%2Bgate

9. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44098-tempprototype-surfgate-on-a-fiberglass-swim-platform/?hl=%2Bsurf+%2Bgate#entry614136

Other Sites:

A: http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=50562

B: http://www.centurioncrew.com/index.php/topic/6767-finally-surfgate-on-my-enzo-sv230/?hl=surfgate

C: http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=796060

D: http://www.supraboats.com/bbs/showthread.php?15031-Surf-Gate-Build/page3&s=0316f10c75fec1d2e77756ff65fda63e

Apparently there are some one the centurioncrew but I can't find the search button. If you know of anymore please post the links and I will add them to the original post. (PM me if I'm slacking)

Edited by TrickyNicky
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Now for my question. I was interested in doing a custom manual surfgate but after looking at Delco trim tabs, It seems SO easy to use them and change out the plate for something larger and be left with a fully automated (not speed sensitive) system. I'm sure I saw something where someone used them. Anyone recall if it worked?

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Not sure what you mean by automated without speed sensitivity? You mean hold a rocker down until the actuator fully deploys the gate? Then hold the rocker in the opposite position to retract so you can turn around and get a rider? You could do it, I just think operation would be 10x as bad as turning the stereo up and down when you start and stop since you have to keep a rocker held for around 6-7 seconds to allow the gate to retract or extend.

For the handful of guys that are waiting on my gate/plate control system, I'm pumped to get my control system done to help you guys do your own gate designs and installs with actuators. I ordered connectors yesterday. :yahoo:

By automated I literally mean "not manual", nothing more. I was originally thinking of a manual system (setup by hand) and than after looking at the lenco trim tabs I just thought it looked so "simple". I haven't experienced the effects of turning the boat around with a gate, but I can't imagine it being worse than turning the boat listed with 2000 lbs!

Now when your control system is available that may change the whole thing. I'm assuming it should work fine with the lenco trim tabs as they are controlled the same way a Lenco actuator is. Am I correct?

I'm still interested in opinions on the feasibility of using the Lenco trim tabs (http://www.lencomarine.com/index.php/products/trim-tabs/standard-mount) and just adding or switching the trim plate itself to something larger. I'm thinking this could be done for around 1k. One of my concerns are the range of motion of the tabs to tuck in just under the platform and extend far enough out for surfing. I'm also hoping to install this on a plate connected to the vertical section of my platform brackets and if necessary run a support member from the ends of the support bracket back to the plate. This way surf gate is completely suspended by the platform with the exception of the wiring for the actuators. All thoughts and comments are welcome. If it's not clear let me know.

Edited by TrickyNicky

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Cool. That's what I figured.

As far as my boat goes, it is MUCH easier for me to turn around with well over 1000lbs in the boat that it is with a manual gate bolted on the boat. That is the single biggest reason I wanted to automate my gates and allow them to deploy automatically under speed.

That said, I know with smaller gates and bigger boats (23 footers) others didn't have as much trouble turning around. It seems with a bigger boat it's less of an issue, but even with a 247 I think it will be a pain if the gates are decent size.

I'm not familiar with the Delco system, but as long as they are +/-12V and retract under reverse polarity, and draw less than ~15 amps a piece you should be fine running them with a switch or my board.

As far as the trim tab kits, I think that would be a great place to start and would be an easy way to get something to work with that you could bolt a gate onto. I think the issue you will run into is the hinge line and the tab being square are going to not work well with the compound angle of the corner of your boat. You would essentially need to order tabs that are smaller than your final gate size so you can cut them and have them match your hull angles.

Good luck keep us posted!! :thumbup:

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I'll probably start working on mine in about a month (other projects need completed first).

I am liking the bracket design from the one on the Centurion thread as it seems easy to build/install/use with no contraptions needing to stay installed on the boat.

I think I'm going to make my gate out of either regualr HDPE or King Starboard, but I'm wondering how thick I should go on it. I did 1/2" King Starboard on my amp rack and it has a bit of flex. That said, it is also longer and taller than the gate will be; I am guessing 3/4" should be thick enough.

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Quick question, on a newer boat (our 2007) What is the transom made of? Also any idea of thickness? And does anyone know how the wim platform brackets are secured? Are they bolted or lag-bolts?

Edited by TrickyNicky

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Swim platform brackets are through bolted on every Bu I've seen. They have a backing plate inside the hull.

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I am liking the bracket design from the one on the Centurion thread as it seems easy to build/install/use with no contraptions needing to stay installed on the boat.

That's my thread on the Centurion Crew site. If you make it like mine, with wood hooking around the swim platform, make certain to build it with about a 1/8" gap to account for the wood swelling. My gate didn't slide on or off easily after the first test. Shims are the quick fix, though.

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Hey MA,

When you ordered the 102's they came with the "feet' mounts for both ends, right? Also would you mind letting me know where you got them or how much? I'm looking at about $200 ea. before shipping to the great white north. Also does it matter what switch I get for the 102's if a speed controlled system suddenly becomes available? :innocent: I currently have rockers, so I figured sticking with the rockers would be easy to integrate into my current dash.

As for my progress, well it's still all in brainstorming. But I need to order the actuators in order to get them in time to complete this at all before summer. Some ideas I've been playing with:

1- Plates made out of aluminum sheet and anodized to match the boat, may change this to a plastic to prevent scratches depending on my tolerances lining it up with the boat. and or platform.

2- My original hope was to have it all hidden underneath the swim platform. This is looking less likely. My platform is 4.5" short on each side to the corner of the boat. This leaves me with the option to hinge from the corner of the boat and butt up to the platform (approx 20" long gate). Hinge from the corner of the boat and hide the gate under the platform to butt up to the platform brackets (up to 28" length - more than needed). Or I've considered a hockey stick shape (Ya I'm Canadian).This would be hinged at the end of the "blade" section. The blade would be 4.5" long to extend the hinge from the outer corner of the boat to the corner of the platform. The "shaft" of the stick would be the actual gate itself, The blade would be parallel with the transom when active. At an angle of 30 degrees I am able to completely hide the whole system when stowed with a gate length of max 13". I like the idea of having it hidden when stored but have no testing to say whether 13" will have a significant difference over 20". Also tucking under the platform in 2 of the options limits the height of my gate.

3- When considering the height of the gate as discussed in many of the other threads, I've considered having a second section to the gate which hinges upwards. The gates would extend out with the main gate being unchanged and an upper portion lying horizontal on top. This can be accomplished with stop hinges, if the hinge is mounted on the outside of the gate, or just on contact between the two sections with inside (the gate) mounted hinges. Once the gate is extended, the water would push the upper section up into a vertical position. (This could actually be any angle using chamfered edges of the main gate). this would result in a taller gate and more push or less spray (as people have noticed in the other threads). When the gate closes the upper section would contact the swim platform and get pushed over back into the horizontal position. This would allow the gates to be hidden under the platform. This is definitly not going to be on my original setup. First off because it needs to be thought out better and second because any stop hinges or auto close/open hinges in stainless are not cheap. But it's something I've been considereing. In the case of a teak platform the folded top section could actually butt up to the platform and "increase" the size of your platform marginally. Granted you'd want to check the rigidity of your hinges.

For anyone who's had the opportunity to test, I'm very curious on what you guys think of a gate 13" long vs 20-28" . Same goes for height if I am able to tuck it under the swim platform.

Thanks :cheers:

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TrickyNicky -- for what it's worth...

1) I know my Lencos did NOT come with mounts. I actually bought the mounts last summer, but used manual extending poles in place of the lencos. The thought was this summer I'd swap the poles out for the Lencos and it would be ready to go. (I'm finding that's not the case, but I'll make it work anyway).

2) As for the taller/hinged gate, I have tried something like that. We put a hinge on the top of the mockup gates last summer. When in normal mode, it was folded down on itself doubling the thickness (not doing anything or effecting the regular height gates). But when you folded it up, it almost doubled the height. The edge was angled so it stayed up, and the water then pushed it onto the bottom gate. My thinking was to use the double height only when the boat was "super" weighted and the gates were really buried under water. The idea was it would delay more water. Thought I was smart, but all we learned was the wake "seemed" a little better but the boat was MUCH harder to steer. Oh... and the taller gate created more spray and twisted my hinge tab (gate to transom side) because of the force and there was no hinge at the top to secure it. I now have 3/16 hinges so maybe someday I'll try bolting on a taller gate. As for the spray issue, a shorter height gate (or more ballast) actually creates less spray.

3) As for the length of the gate I think you should try the 13"s. I would mock up the gates before you buy the lencos and make sure with a shorter gate you still need the longer throw (101 vs 102). I know it's a little different system, but look at Nautiques new system and how little it tabs out. Perhaps a longer gate makes it so you can have less angle when deployed? Shorter gate and you need to push the water out further? Think about how far from the boat the water is diverted. I dunno, but that's my guess.

Our problem last summer was that we'd find something that worked, and then surf instead of test. Let's keep these discussions going. I have no doubt this stuff is in its infancy and between this group and the designers we'll all end up with something better.

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Sorry man, missed your post. I got my Lenco's from anchorexpress.com for $350 a pair shipped.

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Sorry man, missed your post. I got my Lenco's from anchorexpress.com for $350 a pair shipped.

No sales to Canada from them! Damn. I can find reasonable prices on the 102's but the accessories (switch harness brackets etc) are killing me on other sites. I'm looking at around $600.

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3- When considering the height of the gate as discussed in many of the other threads, I've considered having a second section to the gate which hinges upwards. The gates would extend out with the main gate being unchanged and an upper portion lying horizontal on top. This can be accomplished with stop hinges, if the hinge is mounted on the outside of the gate, or just on contact between the two sections with inside (the gate) mounted hinges. Once the gate is extended, the water would push the upper section up into a vertical position. (This could actually be any angle using chamfered edges of the main gate). this would result in a taller gate and more push or less spray (as people have noticed in the other threads). When the gate closes the upper section would contact the swim platform and get pushed over back into the horizontal position. This would allow the gates to be hidden under the platform. This is definitly not going to be on my original setup. First off because it needs to be thought out better and second because any stop hinges or auto close/open hinges in stainless are not cheap. But it's something I've been considereing. In the case of a teak platform the folded top section could actually butt up to the platform and "increase" the size of your platform marginally. Granted you'd want to check the rigidity of your hinges.

2) As for the taller/hinged gate, I have tried something like that. We put a hinge on the top of the mockup gates last summer. When in normal mode, it was folded down on itself doubling the thickness (not doing anything or effecting the regular height gates). But when you folded it up, it almost doubled the height. The edge was angled so it stayed up, and the water then pushed it onto the bottom gate. My thinking was to use the double height only when the boat was "super" weighted and the gates were really buried under water. The idea was it would delay more water. Thought I was smart, but all we learned was the wake "seemed" a little better but the boat was MUCH harder to steer. Oh... and the taller gate created more spray and twisted my hinge tab (gate to transom side) because of the force and there was no hinge at the top to secure it. I now have 3/16 hinges so maybe someday I'll try bolting on a taller gate. As for the spray issue, a shorter height gate (or more ballast) actually creates less spray.

I was going to try this also because it seems the gates are under water and figured it had to help, plus I wanted the gate to retract under the swim platform, glad to see a few ideas about it. Surprised it made more spray?

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No sales to Canada from them! Damn. I can find reasonable prices on the 102's but the accessories (switch harness brackets etc) are killing me on other sites. I'm looking at around $600.

Bummer. I would call them and see if they would work with you. Couldn't hurt to try.

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I was going to try this also because it seems the gates are under water and figured it had to help, plus I wanted the gate to retract under the swim platform, glad to see a few ideas about it. Surprised it made more spray?

My gates are fairly tall and I noticed the horrible steering before automating them and also notice some spray. The spray IMO doesn't hurt or affect anything as far as the wave goes. I still have a nice clean wave to surf with a little spray on the non-surf side of the wave. I think the taller gate doesn't allow the water to roll smoothly over the top of the gate, but instead some of the pressure from the water being deflected is pushed up off the top edge of the gate causing a bit of spray which I believe is a good thing because you are diverting all the water and not loosing some over the top of the gate. I doubt a marginally shorter gate will make much difference, but it would be neat to see the same boat surf 3-4 different gate heights while maintaining the same gate length and see the differences.

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Does the VTX incorporate a "stepped" hull? My design last year suffered from a few things and one of them I believe was due to the stepped hull. There was no great place to put the gate. If you went with the edge of the hull you didn't have enough suyrface area (lack of depth). If you went with the step, the flow was not quite right.

Also, I believe there is a point where you can have too much delayed convergenge and the whole wave just kinda falls apart. This IMHO is due to excessive angle of the gate in relation to the water flow and/or length of the gate. I used an 8x18 inch gate and it was too much combined with the angle created by my Lencos.

Because of my stepped hull I am going to try and use a NSS style setup this year. I have seen a recent video of a Super Air 210 with NSS (the 210 has a stepped hull) and I was impressed with the shape. -Marc

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Does the VTX incorporate a "stepped" hull? My design last year suffered from a few things and one of them I believe was due to the stepped hull. There was no great place to put the gate. If you went with the edge of the hull you didn't have enough suyrface area (lack of depth). If you went with the step, the flow was not quite right.

Also, I believe there is a point where you can have too much delayed convergenge and the whole wave just kinda falls apart. This IMHO is due to excessive angle of the gate in relation to the water flow and/or length of the gate. I used an 8x18 inch gate and it was too much combined with the angle created by my Lencos.

Because of my stepped hull I am going to try and use a NSS style setup this year. I have seen a recent video of a Super Air 210 with NSS (the 210 has a stepped hull) and I was impressed with the shape. -Marc

Please keep us posted on this, I also have a "stepped" hull. I like the idea of an NSS design as well but it seems in order to get started with any R&D you really have to commit to some semi/permanent hull modifications.

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I think I'm going to just try a wood plate that is heavily braced against my wooden rear platform. It should be super easy to build and I think that will give me a taste of whether or not this is a viable concept. If I don't see some signifigant improvement there, I might elect not to move any further. The NSS system does rely on a little more "comitment" in the design process because you really need to thru-hull bolt the thing onto the back of the boat once you are ready to try it out. When I attached my gates, I knew I could reverse the process fairly easy by making some small gelcoat repairs to the screw holes where the actuator and hinges were drilled.

Bottom line...I will keep everybody updated with my progess. I'm hoping to do some work in the next 2-3 weeks as my lake is unfrozen and we have had some REALLY nice days here in Colorado. (of course it will be snowing with a high of 22 on Tues, but that's the exception that proves the rule...maybe I will get a snow day!)

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As far as the stepped hull, check out link #6 in the first post of this thread. rugger did a killer job of designing a hinge that works as a solution to the step in the transom of some Bus. It works like a champ, it tough, and he's been throwing a really nice wave with it. :thumbup:

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As far as the stepped hull, check out link #6 in the first post of this thread. rugger did a killer job of designing a hinge that works as a solution to the step in the transom of some Bus. It works like a champ, it tough, and he's been throwing a really nice wave with it. :thumbup:

:plus1: He did a great job with his stepped hull. Luckily the VTX is not a stepped Hull, the only concern is the slight curve instead of a nice edge-edge corner. On another note I have all my actuator parts ordered. I need to order some hinges (any insight) and decide how I'm going to bolt to the transom. This part definitely has me the most concerned. I also think I'm going to mount everything on the boat and than play around with some wood gates so I can modify them as I'd like and than make the final ones out of a more appropriate material.

I;m also very curious to see more of the NSS stuff ads I've found it so hard to get any information or videos of it actually in use.

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As far as the stepped hull, check out link #6 in the first post of this thread. rugger did a killer job of designing a hinge that works as a solution to the step in the transom of some Bus. It works like a champ, it tough, and he's been throwing a really nice wave with it. :thumbup:

I guess I'm using the term step wrong...

fullkmt6_zpsa1f079f9.jpg

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I'll throw a pic of my boat up here in the next week or too, but the "step" is even more extreme than the one pictured above. The "stepped" hull in thread 6 is actually a cutout versus a step IMHO because the hull surface is basically just affected in the one little area. In the picture above the hull surface actually is different down the length of the hull. It's hard to put in words but fairly simple when looking at the two different hull shapes. Honestly, with this small cutout I don't think there will be a problem. I personally would mount the gate perpendiculiar to the first step from the side of the hull. Obviously this would sit at a pretty good angle from vertical but I don't think that would effect anything. Also, there is quite a bit of depth between the swim platform and the bottom of the hull so that is promising. -Marc

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on my '08 vlx, when i install an automatic system, will i need to have my swim platform modified to accept the retracted gate?

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