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Anyone with home built gates, opinoins?


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I have been following most of the gate threads but am sure I have missed some. I would love to try an actual surfgate boat but just dont have the opportunity to. I have made a manual gate and put it on my boat. I was by myself the first time I put it on this spring just messing around with it making sure it was going to work. I was amazed at how it looked, I mean it just looked awesome and I couldn't wait to try it out. Then I stooped to turn, oh my god what a hassle. Couldn't turn against it, had to go full turn against it to go straight, I knew I wasn't going to be able to try surfing it because I couldn't trust anyone else to run the boat. (part of the reason for going with a gate, safer rite?) So I fiddled with the weight a little to try and make the wave look better. My girlfriend and I stuck it on next time just her and I were out and she too saw a big difference and thought it looked great. We finally get my son in the boat and tell hem we have a surprise,(he hadn't tried our new board or even seen the gate) we put the thing on and gave him the new board and he is excited as he can be, he gets up and is having a terrible time trying to stay in the pocket ropeless. He falls a few times and ask for the old board, gets on that and the same thing, so we take the gate off and he gets rite up and stays ropeless for a while, he falls and grabs the new board and loves it bragging about how much better it is. We throw the gate back on just to be sure because it was his first runs of the season, sure enough he just cant stay very long ropeless. I have messed with it a few times since with my girlfriend and there just seems to be no push with the gate. I know Nitrousbird has mentioned he had little success with his gate also, is it just this SV23 hull design? I know I really think the hull requires alot of weight up front and I had both rear bags full with the gate, maybe that's the issue, I dont really see the sense in not running rear ballast or no wedge with the gate to get a similar wave and put up with the handling issue, maybe my gate dimensions are just off. Am I really in left field, and not doing something rite, or are others seeing the same results? I want to give the gate a good chance but am not interested in wasting a bunch of time if others have seen the same effects as I have with the same hull?

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So many variables here... Any pics of your gate, on or off the boat, on or off the water?

Wave comparison with and without gate

Ballast set up? How much is in the rear bags, what MLS set up do you have?

In my 01 vix NO GATE we had center MLS full, 2 450 bags in rear(I would fill surf side,100% ,1/4- 1/2 full non surf side, and a 350 bag on surf side seat.

Wedge down,

With your gate I would say weight more evenly with a slight list to surf side.

A bit more info and I'm sure we can get you on the right track with a better wave

Edited by Stevo
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Listed wave seems to be pretty good, I have nothing to compare it to. We can go ropeless easily, has a 6-8ft (guessing) pocket. Setup is 10.5-10.7 for me and my son, less for lighter people/beginners, wedge down, rear 550lb full, off side empty, 325-350under rear observer seat, 325-350 under front observer seat, center 350-375 full, front 325-350 usually full, we have tried it half full because its an under seat wrap around but it seems better with it full. If we have a decent crew (3-4) we split the people front to rear, if we have a full crew(5-8) we just cant put anymore up front without dipping easily. We seem to get as good a wave or better with 2-3 people as we do with alot. Like I said the listed wave is pretty good I think (again nothing to compare to) we have room to pump up and try a trick then pump back into the "sweet" spot. I was more wondering about the gate wave, it just looked so good but performed badly. our gate is about 11in tall, about 22 long, about 2in above the platform, and I think we had it at 21-23deg out from the hull, I will try to get pictures of it.

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Just as a reference. We run the same weight set-up as listed but change the following and have gotten great results....

Take the port side (I assume that's your surf side) weight and cut it by ~25%.

Add 50% of the weight you were running on the surf side to the opposite side of the boat.

Leave the bow weight the same.

Of course that's a rough formula, but what it does for us is allow the boat to keep a little bit of a list to the regular side. The goofy wave if good or better with this setup. I just find that bit of list makes a huge difference to the size and quality of the wave.

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I think we tried it with the port side two observer seat bags empty but everything else filled with the gate first, then tried it with all port side full and starboard side also full and people sitting on the port side just like we would listed and it still seemed to lack push, from what my son said (I wasn't on the wave) that's when it confused me, I didn't try it without the starboard side bag full to be exactly like we are when listed, but with the people in the boat we were listed pretty good with the gate and it still was way worse then without it. We really didn't mess with the gate all that much as my son doesn't get out that often anymore and we didn't want to waste all our time with it. My thinking is that the gate is too long or out at too much angle, it almost looked like the water from the gate (which is on the starboard side) is coming into the port side wave too late? Like there not stacking up on each other but more just making a big roller? Not sure if I'm explaining what I'm thinking in my head well enough to understand? I need to try the gate without the wedge or without rear ballast and see what happens I think. I'm hoping a few guys with the same hull will chime in.

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I have some homemade gates, but I think my hull is different than yours since I have the Wakesetter. IIRC my gates are about 18-20" in length, and are out at an angle of around 19 degrees. I followed the contour of the hull, gate bottom flush with the bottom of the hull and flush with the edge of transom, and came up 12" along the angle of the hull/transom so my gate is not vertical but at an angle out along the top edge from the bottom with the hull, then angled out away from the side of the boat by about 19 degrees. I want to build one that is adjustable and easy to disassemble that can go out to about 21 degrees just to see how that performs. Mine has worked well and has a really long pocket, but I can see what Lance, Shawn, BS, etc says about not having a lip since I can't really find a point to lift off for any air.

Weight I am running is:

MLS Ski locker full

750 on each side of the motor, then empty out a little on non surf side so boat has a little lift - run about 1 - 2 minutes to empty (how's that for exact!)

400 in bow on front bow cushions running left to right

150 brick in front of bow (sitting right in front of 400 bag)

Sometimes when not enough people I will fill another couple 400 bags and place 1 on top of ski locker in the walk thru and 1 on the floor against the back seats.

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Your 2001 Sunsetter VLX is on the SV23D (diamond) hull. I don't think that should make a lot of difference, but you are right, that boat needs weight in the bow or it will porpoise.

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