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Sasquatch

Installing a Skylon Swoop Classic Tower

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Sasquatch

Just bought a Skylon Swoop Classic Tower and wonder if anyone out there has experience with it's installation? It will be going on a 2001 Sunsetter VLX.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

I'm new to the 'crew and have read many posts. You guys are too cool. Crazy.gif

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aneal000
Just bought a Skylon Swoop Classic Tower and wonder if anyone out there has experience with it's installation? It will be going on a 2001 Sunsetter VLX.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

I'm new to the 'crew and have read many posts. You guys are too cool. Crazy.gif

Oh man...

Your not going to like to hear this...

Is it to late to return the tower?

I've had some experience with an 01 VLX and skylon towers. I've got two words for you: Stress cracks!

Seriously, they go on ok, I've installed a few, but due to the way they mount - a very poor execution of a decent idea they are extremely prone to causing stress cracks in the gel coat, even when proper precautions are taken, like countersinking the holes and using big backing plates. Also be careful when you tighten everything up cause their is a tendency to pull the alignment of the two base pieces off, causing you to have to get into interesting body positions to raise the tower singlehanded.

I'd send that thing back if it's not too late. Their is a good reason Malibu doesn't offer it anymore! Sorry, I know it's not what you wanted to hear.

oh, and welcome to the site. Biggrin.gif

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MIKEGOUGH1

That is a shame. I think the look of the classic swoop is great. I have the classic swoop by ProFlight and I love it. I took all the precautions, counter sink, fiberglass reinforcement and large backing plates. I've had mine 2 seasons now and I don't have any stress cracks, but I also don't stress it that much, I don't have any ballast to mention and none of us are really good enough to really pull hard on it by doing radical tricks.

Good luck with your decision.

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saburkhart

I've had the classic on my 01 vlx for 3 summers now and haven't had any problems. I didn't install it myself so I don't have any tips, but so far so good. I have put mine through a lot of stress. I usually don't run a lot of ballast, but have a full boat and some pretty good riders with us from time to time.

Good luck

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SacRiverRat

I like mine too...

You tellin' me that Malibu doesn't offer it becuase of stress cracks? If that were the case, how come they don't offer the Titan any longer either..? Tease2.gif

Wasn't there instructions on the old MBO site (now wakeside rides)?

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Brad B

I've got that tower on my '03 WS LSV.

No stress cracks - and we are the ones that regularly hang 250 pounders off the side in the sling.

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aneal000

By all means, slap it up there and report back in a year. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you have as good of luck as the rest of the guys who have responded. I just know of MANY boats that had similar problems with the swoop tower.

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Sasquatch
By all means, slap it up there and report back in a year. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you have as good of luck as the rest of the guys who have responded. I just know of MANY boats that had similar problems with the swoop tower.

I can't take the tower back. I bought it on e-bay from Jacob and it's on it's way. I was really stoked about buying it 'til the post.

I've wanted this tower since the first day I bought the boat on 8/01. I just really think the tower looks bitchin.

I think with all your input and taking caution to have real smooth holes/chamfers with adequite backer plates I should be okay.

My brother in law has a 2002 Sundowner VLX w/Swoop and no probelms to date. I'm taking a real close look at how his was installed and try to dup it.

Wish me luck.. Shocking.gif

SAS

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WakeGirl

One other word of caution:

One of the reasons for the stress cracking is that the contour of the feet don't always match the contour of the hull. So when you go to tighten it down, be very careful not to over tighten, because that will crack your gel coat instantly. Good backing plates are a must. We did some work to the Swoop on our last boat & added plywood backer plates attached with Bondo. The Bondo filled in all of the gaps & created a really strong filler between the hull & plate. After we were done the tower was noticeably less squeaky & less flexible.

Using a Unibit to drill the holes will make that part easier.

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John I.

Not your specific tower, but here's a recent thread regarding tower installation that includes some good tips. tower installation You can probably locate many more using the search function.

Welcome to the site and good luck with the install.

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Hman442

My wife & kids held the Swoop up while I marked everything & measured distances from the front, etc. I found out that the winshield is not even from side to side in relation to the distance from the front - Thanks Mailibu. Look underneith before you drill - the wireloom "guides" (they look like fiberglassed toilet paper rolls) might be in the way. Measure the distance from the front to the tower on your buddies VLX if it was factory installed, that way a cover might fit if it is ordered with tower holes precut. I chamfered the holes & this is its 4th season in use. Two of the legs do have a stress crack coming from under them. I did not do any reinforcement underneith. If I ever get around to fixing the cracks I probably will. As was stated, the angle of the base "foot" seems to be off compared to the hull - -it's as if Skylons template was off a bit when they made all these towers - that is the base is real close to the hull at the top & is hanging out a bit at the bottom. The rubber gaskets take up some of that, but it has to add stress (and stress cracks). You will enjoy the tower though. It is the best looking "classic" style tower out there, folds down nice, etc.

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aneal000
I can't take the tower back. I bought it on e-bay from Jacob and it's on it's way. I was really stoked about buying it 'til the post.

I've wanted this tower since the first day I bought the boat on 8/01. I just really think the tower looks bitchin.

I think with all your input and taking caution to have real smooth holes/chamfers with adequite backer plates I should be okay.

My brother in law has a 2002 Sundowner VLX w/Swoop and no probelms to date. I'm taking a real close look at how his was installed and try to dup it.

Wish me luck.. Shocking.gif

SAS

They do have a nice look to them, no arguement there. I had one on my 02 VLX.

Some good tips have already been posted, but key points to remember: double check all measurements and what's behind the spot you are drilling - don't want to drill into wires, etc. Unibits are a wonderful thing when working with fiberglass! Countersink all holes - a lot! This spreads out the stress on the gel coat when you place the rubber/tower up against it and minimizes the possibility of the bolt/threads from catching the hard edge and cracking around the holes. Make some nice backing plates, you are working with a curved surface so it will be more difficult, but as wakegirl found out it was worth it. They sent that tower out with washers - no backing plates.

The inherent design flaw I referred to in my previous post was the fact that the feet don't align with the curvature of the boat. Great idea, poor execution. As Hman442 explained, it does put extra stress on the hull around the mounting points which can and does cause stress cracks in the gel coat.

But it sounds like a lot of people don't have them, so you might just be fine, and they are purely cosemetic and don't beat yourself up about it unless you are one of those real anal type! :)

Good luck!

Edited by aneal000

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Sasquatch

I can't take the tower back. I bought it on e-bay from Jacob and it's on it's way. I was really stoked about buying it 'til the post.

I've wanted this tower since the first day I bought the boat on 8/01. I just really think the tower looks bitchin.

I think with all your input and taking caution to have real smooth holes/chamfers with adequite backer plates I should be okay.

My brother in law has a 2002 Sundowner VLX w/Swoop and no probelms to date. I'm taking a real close look at how his was installed and try to dup it.

Wish me luck.. Shocking.gif

SAS

They do have a nice look to them, no arguement there. I had one on my 02 VLX.

Some good tips have already been posted, but key points to remember: double check all measurements and what's behind the spot you are drilling - don't want to drill into wires, etc. Unibits are a wonderful thing when working with fiberglass! Countersink all holes - a lot! This spreads out the stress on the gel coat when you place the rubber/tower up against it and minimizes the possibility of the bolt/threads from catching the hard edge and cracking around the holes. Make some nice backing plates, you are working with a curved surface so it will be more difficult, but as wakegirl found out it was worth it. They sent that tower out with washers - no backing plates.

The inherent design flaw I referred to in my previous post was the fact that the feet don't align with the curvature of the boat. Great idea, poor execution. As Hman442 explained, it does put extra stress on the hull around the mounting points which can and does cause stress cracks in the gel coat.

But it sounds like a lot of people don't have them, so you might just be fine, and they are purely cosemetic and don't beat yourself up about it unless you are one of those real anal type! :)

Good luck!

Thanks a big honkin bunch to all who replied with helpful hints at getting the best fit possible. I will check the curve fit between the "foot" and the curve of the deck. I wonder if I could change the curve slightly by remachining or even sanding the surface with a belt sander? If the curve is close, I suppose this might be doable (word?) if I don't change the thickness of the foot too much? :(

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