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Need recommendations on a 2-point tower


Nitrousbird

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Question in bold towards the bottom.  So this happened on a cold January morning:

20220115-072026.jpg

We all got out before there was even smoke in the house, so no issues there.  Currently in a rental house and will be building a new house on our property.  As you can see, the boat was in the garage (got my Vette out but couldn't pull the boat in time).  The garage was intact with only some drywall falling into the boat.  Unfortunately, we were not able to pull the boat that day and sometime during the next morning, a 2nd fire occurred almost as big as the first.  House after the 2nd fire:

20220116-141309.jpg

This caused the fire department to yank the boat out - and unfortunately, they did some damage in the process.  Some stuff that was damaged isn't too bad, such as the trashing the trailer jack, a chip in the gel coat where they dropped the tower (HARD), water damage to the sub box...but the tower is somehow tweaked.

Boat had a Skylon Swoop tower, which is no longer made.  
20190518-121925.jpg

Now, the tower bolts don't come close to lining up.  I messed with the heim joint but it made no difference.

20220314-105559.jpg

So I took it to the closest Malibu dealer for an estimate.  They also assessed that they couldn't adjust the tower and it needed to be replaced.  If I'm replacing the tower and gel work has to get done no matter what tower I select, I want a 2-point tower.  I had them quote a Roswell Aviator Pro with all of the accessories I own for my current tower as they won't transfer over:

https://www.roswellmarine.com/product/aviator-pro-wake-tower/

Unfortunately, the dealer likes to mark up their labor a LOT.  They wanted $556 to remove the existing tower and wiring (mind you, I already pulled the bimini, racks, and speakers).  It is maybe an hour job by myself with a beer to do it - access is easy and not a hard job at all.  They wanted $2942 to install the new tower, tower accessories, and wiring.  Then another freaking $7200 to fix a small gelcoat chip, a tiny gelcoat ding, 12 bolt holes for the tower, and the speaker and tower light passthrough holes.  Add in 10k for the tower and its accessories, plus a few other small repairs, and insurance is talking about totaling the boat (which I will buy back, of course).  Totaling it is not set in stone,  but likely.

NOW THE QUESTION - what tower should I go with if buying it myself?

  • Roswell Aviator Pro is a pricey choice.  They also sell a non-Pro version as well, but for a $400 difference, makes sense to go pro.  
  • SV23 hull is a 93" beam, and I've confirmed Malibu has not made any towers in that width.  And before someone suggests it, the Illusion tower was made by Metcraft, not Malibu, has been discontinued for years, and I don't want it.
  • Samson Blade is out since Samson has a 12 month backlog on all towers that I verified directly with them
  • The Monster MTK looks okay, priced right, but their black towers (they have two different blacks) are out of stock on their website and I'm not sure of the availability from retailers or their lead tim

What else is there for me to check out?  I don't want a junk tower.  I'm not interested in 4-point towers either.

  • Confused 1
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formulaben

I just helped @Wardcrew install an Aviator Pro weekend before last.  Hit either of us up if you have questions...we certainly will have input for you if you go that route.  It felt way stout and far more stable than my Swoop Classic by far.  Tilt was quite easy without the bungees attached (although no racks were yet installed.)  I was impressed with the quality and the strength.  Instructions on the other hand...

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Wow.  I'm glad you are all OK.  Sorry to see that.  I kind of hate to mention it, but that really is a great photo you took.  I'm sure it also helped with the insurance claim.

It might be worth a trip to a body shop to see if they think they can get the tower lined up again using a hydraulic press.  It would be a pain, but worth it if they can take it off and get a bend here or there to match the holes up again.

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Posted (edited)

If that picture is all that it is off, I would just use a 2 inch ratchet strap, pull it about an inch past the bolt hole and then see if it is straight.  That looks like 1/4 inch of misalignment.

For a 98 inch 2 point tower, find a G3 off a vtx ;)

 

Edited by oldjeep
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15 hours ago, formulaben said:

I just helped @Wardcrew install an Aviator Pro weekend before last.  Hit either of us up if you have questions...we certainly will have input for you if you go that route.  It felt way stout and far more stable than my Swoop Classic by far.  Tilt was quite easy without the bungees attached (although no racks were yet installed.)  I was impressed with the quality and the strength.  Instructions on the other hand...

If I got that route, I will.  Did he go with the risers?

14 hours ago, justgary said:

Wow.  I'm glad you are all OK.  Sorry to see that.  I kind of hate to mention it, but that really is a great photo you took.  I'm sure it also helped with the insurance claim.

It might be worth a trip to a body shop to see if they think they can get the tower lined up again using a hydraulic press.  It would be a pain, but worth it if they can take it off and get a bend here or there to match the holes up again.

Samsung Note 20 Ultra takes great pictures.  A lot of pics were taken plus some video.  It's a bit brutal watching your house burn down.

14 hours ago, oldjeep said:

If that picture is all that it is off, I would just use a 2 inch ratchet strap, pull it about an inch past the bolt hole and then see if it is straight.  That looks like 1/4 inch of misalignment.

For a 98 inch 2 point tower, find a G3 off a vtx ;)

93" beam, not 98".  Only the '10 LXi and the first TXi were ever sold in that beam during the Malibu made tower years...and it seems they never offered the G3 on them.  I did try some pulling on the tower with no give at all.  It is more than 1/4 inch; what you see pictured is the ratchet strap on the other side pulled pretty tight making it as close as it would go.

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1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

 

93" beam, not 98".  Only the '10 LXi and the first TXi were ever sold in that beam during the Malibu made tower years...and it seems they never offered the G3 on them.  I did try some pulling on the tower with no give at all.  It is more than 1/4 inch; what you see pictured is the ratchet strap on the other side pulled pretty tight making it as close as it would go.

The 2012 TXi is 93" beam.  My parents have one and it has a G3 tower on it.  

Boat Pictures 008.jpg

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Just now, wedge88 said:

The 2012 TXi is 93" beam.  My parents have one and it has a G3 tower on it.  

Boat Pictures 008.jpg

Interesting - dealer claimed it was never a thing.  I'll be sending that picture to them right away.

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@Nitrousbird If you end up going with a G3, make sure to get it with the garage hoop if you plan on putting it in a 7' garage again. I had the standard hoop (G3 VTX), and had to take it off to get it in the garage.

Good luck with what you have in front of you. Glad everyone is safe.

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Posted (edited)

I would talk to a fabrication shop and see what they can do. May be cheaper to sandblast, fix and re-powder the tower.

 

Glad everyone is ok. 

 

WIDE- PN: 6163501-XXXX (S base) - fits '08 - current 23, '06 - current 247 PN: 6163601-XXXX (K base) - fits '09 - current 21 VLX/LSV

MEDIUM PN: 6163201-XXXX (S base) Fits '09 - current 21 & 23 Rides, '05-'08 VLX, and '04-'07 23 LSV

NARROW PN: 6163101-XXXX (S base) Fits '08 - current 20 VTX/LSV and '09 - Response FXi

EXTRA NARROW PN: 6163301-XXXX (S base) Fits '08 - current Response LXi

Edited by 06malibu
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ahopkinsVTX

Sorry to hear about the house, but glad everyone got out just fine. 
 

G3 was definitely an option for the 2012 generation txi. I do think they stopped offering it in 2014/5ish but you could for sure in 12/13. It will be like finding a needle in a haystack though. I seem to remember Peter from the former smooth water sports having one for sale. Not sure if he still has it though. 

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1 hour ago, 06malibu said:

I would talk to a fabrication shop and see what they can do. May be cheaper to sandblast, fix and re-powder the tower.

 

I would agree that properly jigged up someone should be able to bend it back.  We used to fix tweaked roll cages with straps and comealongs, but the difference there is having something a lot more solid than a fiberglass boat to pull against.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Sorry to hear about the house, but glad everyone got out just fine. 
 

G3 was definitely an option for the 2012 generation txi. I do think they stopped offering it in 2014/5ish but you could for sure in 12/13. It will be like finding a needle in a haystack though. I seem to remember Peter from the former smooth water sports having one for sale. Not sure if he still has it though. 

Looks like he had one for sale with an 88.5 gunnel centerline. (says it was sold)  Never seen a beam expressed that way before - would that be for a 93" beam?

https://www.facebook.com/138858949516363/posts/malibu-boats-g3-tower-for-sale-fits-88-12-gunnel-width-centerline-message-with-q/3887158898019664/

Edited by oldjeep
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formulaben
4 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

If I got that route, I will.  Did he go with the risers?

No, he had a garage clearance issue, it's a 7 foot garage and the tower barely clears when folded down without the risers but we both agreed that the extra head clearance while boating would be nice to have.  His boat is a 2003 23 LSV and without the risers my 6' 1" skull would touch the center section if I didn't duck down slightly, about an inch.

Also, we gained a bit of fold-down clearance by filing the support where it rests after pivoting down.  Although mostly out of sight, the casting(?) was just slightly rough there and came to a point that was not completely parallel with the pad that it rests on.  A tiny bit of filing lowered the tower over an inch and reduced the pucker factor.  As his boat sits with a 3/4 full tank it was very tight getting into the garage.

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6 hours ago, rakr said:

@Nitrousbird If you end up going with a G3, make sure to get it with the garage hoop if you plan on putting it in a 7' garage again. I had the standard hoop (G3 VTX), and had to take it off to get it in the garage.

Good luck with what you have in front of you. Glad everyone is safe.

Boat never went in a 7' garage.  8' door on my burned down house.  New house will have 8' doors as well (with additional garage space), but we are also doing a dedicated building that will likely have a 14x14 door, so no worries about clearance or folding the tower ever again.

4 hours ago, formulaben said:

No, he had a garage clearance issue, it's a 7 foot garage and the tower barely clears when folded down without the risers but we both agreed that the extra head clearance while boating would be nice to have.  His boat is a 2003 23 LSV and without the risers my 6' 1" skull would touch the center section if I didn't duck down slightly, about an inch.

Also, we gained a bit of fold-down clearance by filing the support where it rests after pivoting down.  Although mostly out of sight, the casting(?) was just slightly rough there and came to a point that was not completely parallel with the pad that it rests on.  A tiny bit of filing lowered the tower over an inch and reduced the pucker factor.  As his boat sits with a 3/4 full tank it was very tight getting into the garage.

I'll have to consider the risers.  Clearance won't be an issue for me, but I'm going to do this under tower rack for my board, so I can stop using the reflective board bag on top of the bimini:

https://hyperryddesigns.com/shop/ols/products/xr1-overhead-surf-rack

I'm 6'3" and used to a low bimini, so I'm not sure if either way will make a difference for me.

5 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Looks like he had one for sale with an 88.5 gunnel centerline. (says it was sold)  Never seen a beam expressed that way before - would that be for a 93" beam?

https://www.facebook.com/138858949516363/posts/malibu-boats-g3-tower-for-sale-fits-88-12-gunnel-width-centerline-message-with-q/3887158898019664/

That probably would have fit - and I would have happily paid $3900 for it.  Hell, I'd take the drive to pick it up if I needed to but sold so I'm out of luck.

 

6 hours ago, 06malibu said:

EXTRA NARROW PN: 6163301-XXXX (S base) Fits '08 - current Response LXi

I'm going to share this P/N with the dealer as well.  I might also check with some other dealers to see if they can get it for me.  Dealer I'm working with has been super slow on responding to me.

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9 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

I'm going to share this P/N with the dealer as well.  I might also check with some other dealers to see if they can get it for me.  Dealer I'm working with has been super slow on responding to me.

That part number is for the hoop. But there is an extra narrow tower option.

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2 hours ago, 06malibu said:

That part number is for the hoop. But there is an extra narrow tower option.

Oh, okay.  Dealer responded that they contacted Malibu and they no longer have any of the narrow beam G3's, so looks like I am stuck with aftermarket.

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formulaben

If you go with the Roswell, DM me and I'll share some tips before you get going.

And apologies for not saying it earlier, but good Lord, I'm so sorry you had to go through this.  So horrible and very glad that everyone is safe.

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