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1998 Sportster - Plate, Tower, Super Fly Thoughts


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I bought a 1998 Sportster 310hp earlier this year mainly for barefooting. Skiied behind an old sanger yesterday with a braefoot plate, tower, and super fly...needless to say, for a someone that doesn't wake cross much, it made wake crossings pretty easy. I am thinking about getting the Sportster tricked out with everything listed above. Is it worth it? Any recommendations on which products? Will i have enough speed with a plate, tower and superfly or will i need to trick the engine out? I am getting about 45/46 with a barefooter on calm water, i am told i will lose 1 mph for each plate, tower, superfly. I am ok with 42/43 but wouldn't mind another few mph. Also, the boat has over 1,000 hrs, is it worth putting performance heads on it or eventually dropping a new engine? Any advice would help.

Thank you.

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Tower and possibly Super Fly high will be useful. No need for a plate on this boat. It's about as flat as they come, and a plate is only going to slow you down. What prop are you running?? If it still has the 3 blade CVP stainless on it make that one of your first changes. Go to an Acme 13X12. I don't remember the number to recommend but I'm sure someone will jump in and throw a part number at you. I would add tower and Super Fly high first , then prop accordingly. Choose a pitch to get your RPM at about 5,000 WOT.

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i have a performance prop on it, came with the boat. I also have the 4 blade original prop. The one thing i notice was how soft the bubbles were on the sanger. Would a plate help soften the bubble on the sportster?

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First, congrats on your acquisition. I use a pylon on my Echy and like that setup. Are you convinced the Sky High is something you really want? If not, I would consider a simple pylon rather than a tower as the tower will slow the boat down some. Not sure how much and since a Sporty is a lightweight boat it should get good speed for you either way, I would verify before adding the tower. As for getting more speed, the post 96 heads will give you good power, one change that helps would be a ZZ4 camshaft. If your compression / leak down numbers are good, 1100 well cared for hours should not be a concern. Prop selection will be very important to get what you want and a bit of a decision conflict based on your post. A good 4 blade will create the bubbly table you noticed except it will also cost you 1-2 mph on the top end. A three blade will be best for top end speed. As noted the latest CNC props from Acme or OJ offer very good performance compared to older cast stainless or Nibral props. More details (brand, blades, P/N, pitch, cup) on the performance prop you mention will allow members to comment more accurately on alternate prop potential.

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i have a performance prop on it, came with the boat. I also have the 4 blade original prop. The one thing i notice was how soft the bubbles were on the sanger. Would a plate help soften the bubble on the sportster?

You are going to be hard pressed to get the same as the Sanger. The plate doesn't really soften, it makes it more consistent and sometimes a little firmer, which is good.

  • Like 1
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i was also told that i could stack two 10ft fly high's by removing the cables from the first pole down, sliding the second pole on top to give myself a 15-17ft pole then securing both poles cables to the front of the boat,. Anyone ever seen this done?

I don't know the exact dimension of the prop but was told through the seller who was a referral and trusted source that he spent around $500 on the prop. However, like i said, i don't know the pitch.

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  • 2 months later...

additional question.

Anyone know what system is being used to jack up the boom so high? I am told i can turn the clamp upside down on the pylon and also get a boom extension but what else are people doing? Do i need to drill into the boat and build some type of shelf that the boom can rest on? Is there anything i can do without permanently putting holes in the boat? Are people mounting booms off of certain towers or should i buy a certain tower?

Any advice would help.

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I like the boom on the right so I can get a better view of my skier/footer. It also makes it easier for your passenger / spotters to walk around.

I use an OJ 13x13 prop and can get up to 47 with one passenger and 1/2 tank of gas. I also have a SS 13x13 which gets me a little more snap and top end but it is noisy. I like the feel of the NiBrAl OJ better.

Edited by TCdave
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  • 4 months later...

For boom height, people usually put the boom low on the pylon and then use padding on the gunnel or make wood 2x4 cradle.

I also put the boom on drivers side. Makes it a whole lot easier to teach, react and watch.

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I don't have a ton of advice to offer other then towers on small DD boats can really kill the way that they look.  I really dig the look of a DD with a extended pylon. 

  • Like 2
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My boom is off the passenger side as the drivers seat would not allow it.  I agree that on DD towers can look off.  My brother has a standard tower on his and I think it loos weird as the tower is too tall for the boat and it looks off.  I had mine custom made and had it designed after the MC mini tower.  I think it looks in proportion and would do it again (see link).  As far as getting the sportster to have the soft wake of the Sanger that is going to be a challenge and I doubt a plate will help.  I would paly with line length and get it where it is the best for your boat.  I will be very good still.


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