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DIY Pylon Project
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject: DIY Pylon Project Reply with quote

I've seen a lot of tower/pylon inqueries and DIY projects lately and figured I would share mine. This is a BUDGET pylon buildup and all parts were bought from menards for around 60 bucks. Keep in mind I did buy all quality hardware which costs a bit more. It's not the prettiest, but it looks a lot better than the boat on our lake using a stop sign pole for his.

Here's my shopping list...

1 floor jack - used to support 5th wheels
20 ft of vinyl insulated cable for the front
2 10 ft. ratchet straps to go to back to each side
Base plate - kinda stumbled upon this one....it fit the inner diameter of the pylon perfectly and had a nut welded on to secure it. It came with one pre-drilled hole so I needed to add 3 more to secure it to the chunk of wood. (see next)
1'X2' chunk of wood to screw the base plate to - won't slip around on the floor of the boat.
Eye bolts (for lack of a better name) These will be bolted to the top of the pylon. 2 on each side. 3 for straps and one for the mainline. Eye bolts came with 1 nut each.
1/2 inch nuts Securing the eye bolts to the pylon.
2 snap hooks Clamped to each end of the cable
6 3/16 clamps for the cable...3 on each side(I tend to have a bit of overkill)
4 crimp clamps for the cable 2 on each side(overkill, overkill!)
appropriate washers so the bolts don't slip through the hole.
appropriate lock washers so the bolts don't come loose.
4 heavy duty screws to screw the baseplate to the wood board.

**Edit: The floor jack already has pre-drilled hole in it to adjust the height. It can be adjusted from aroud 4 feet to over 7 feet....It came with a couple lag bolts to secure the height. I just needed to drill holes for the base plate, and for the eye bolts.**


I think that's it, bring on the pics...


Last edited by dirtysparks on Sep 05, 2004 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next...
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

more...
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a great DIY pylon! How long did it take you to put everything together and put it on your boat?
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the complements....it took about 2-3 hours to put everything together. It was wondering around Menards that took up most of my day. Wink

It takes us a couple minutes to put it up in the boat, it worked out pretty well to start filling the sac and then on to setting up the pylon.
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danbrett
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! That pylons awsome. How much did it cost to make, if you don't mind my asking? Also, why didn't you just attach the front cable to the cleat in the front of the boat? is it not strong enough to hold it?
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks

The whole thing cost under 60 bucks.

20$ for the floor jack
5-8$ for the base
8$ for the cable
10$ for the ratchet straps
1$ each for eye bolts
10$ for misc clamps,bolts,washers,etc...

Quote:

Also, why didn't you just attach the front cable to the cleat in the front of the boat?


hmmmmm.....good point....you could definetly use the front cleat, it should be plenty strong. Those pictures don't show it but the last time I hooked it up I wrapped the cable once around the front cleat and down to the winch hook. It offsets the cable from the navigation light on the bow so the light doesn't break from the stress on it...that's pretty much it.
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Sick_Air_Crash
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks good! On my Pylon when I built it I welded a chome 2 in trailer ball on top for the pull point. Should only add about 12 bucks but makes it look killer, although you do have to have awelder for that. Pretty killer no weld pylon!!
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... Maybe dad will let me try on this one. Does it move at all when you are pulling someone?
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sick_Air_Crash,
Great idea... did you bolt the trailer ball onto another piece of metal and then weld that piece of metal to the pole?

Wakeboarddrumma,
Doesn't move at all front to back due to the cable. Side to side movement is almost non-existant if you tighten the ratchets down well ....no squeaks or noise either.
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colefooter
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should screw in another eye near the center of the pylon if anyone likes to waterski or anything in your family that might be useful for them, just a idea
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No the pipe I used was 2 in. od pipe so the ball fit right in top! You may need to if the ball fits inside the pipe see if you can use a short piese of pipe to fit into the other pipe. I amgoing to Try to make my own tower this winter. When I do I'm going to use a Stainless ball and bolt it so it can be changed if needed, though I doubt it would ever wear out.
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks pretty good. One question though: Doesn't the cable move around and tear up the front of your boat? I'd suggest getting some strong spectra webbing, as used for rock climbing, looping that through the bow eye, and hooking the cable to that, using the hook you already have.
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2004 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprisingly it doesn't move around at all in the front. Those pics show the cable not wrapped around the front cleat which is how I attach it now. Good idea with the webbing....I'm guessing I could get it at any sports store? I am using cable to eliminate stretch and movement, so would the webbing you speak of reduce the stability by creating some give?

**heres how I attach the front cable now.

Spose I should crop the pic... Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2004 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to get the webbing anywhere that sells rock climbing gear. Spectra webbing shouldn't stretch much at all.

I would make a large loop with the webbing using a water knot. Then I'd put the loop through the bow eye, bring the two ends together above the bow, and then place the hook through each end.

Just make sure you make the webbing long enough so that the angle created by the webbing at the hook is less than...say...90-degrees. The larger the angle, the weaker it will be. I'd probably aim for 45-degrees.

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molypod
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2004 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awsome job!.. Floor Jack for the pole Smart Idea

I havent built mine yet but it will be my winter project and I love all the great ideas
I have seen on here and on DIY
I also found where to get a vertical ski Tow for the lower section for tubers or skiers..
one might find it elsewhere but I found it here:
http://www.marinehardware.com/skitows.html
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Fishmaster
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice! Just posted it to diyTower.com
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molypod
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtysparks,
what brand is your floor jack? Akron?
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wkbrdr
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i did the same thing but got a nylon strap, around the fround, so no metel is touching the fiber glass, i will post pictures, ours is a one peice...2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square tubeing...

its very solid
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

look good for a good $ Smile
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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

molypod,
It's actually a Tapco C-79 floor jack. It's rated for 15,000 compression at 6 feet...different kind of pressure for how I'm using it, but plenty strong none the less.

wkbrdr,
Good idea for the nylon straps. My cable is insulated also so it does no damage to the fiberglass. We'd all appreciate some pics if you can get some up. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtysparks,

thanks,
I was looking at a site that had akron floor jacks
and now after a search of TAPCO I see they are same ones.
http://www.akronproducts.com/
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molypod
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2004 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtysparks,

thanks,
I was looking at a site that had akron floor jacks
and now after a search of TAPCO I see they are same ones.
http://www.akronproducts.com/
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HyPeDwAkE
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2004 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like the dog in the background of the one pic...
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HyPeDwAkE
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2004 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh yeah... that pylon is pretty nice too...
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Curt82
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2004 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made one at the beggining of the season aswell. Made of aluminum, it also cost about $60 bucks. I did cut 2 foot off the pole, its just not pictured.
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bluefish86
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2004 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are both awsome pylons, but I would have made the back two cables just straight cable, and only put a winch on the front. That way there's less to tighten, and you only have to make sure it's even once.
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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2004 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluefish, I think the straight caable would be alot stronger. And just have the back ones there so it doesn't go side to side.
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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool pics guys!

must be a bayliner thing!!!!


peace
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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2004 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluefish86 wrote:
Those are both awsome pylons, but I would have made the back two cables just straight cable, and only put a winch on the front. That way there's less to tighten, and you only have to make sure it's even once.


I'm always tightening the rear cables, id hate for that thing to come loose when i have someone on it. It could tear up the boat and or hurt someone in it. I really dont like to have many people in the boat when i use it for that reason.
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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2004 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtysparks, someone had the same avatar as you do now in another forum and some guy combined another avatar with it to make a joke..just thought I would share this with you

Laughing Laugh Laughing Laugh Laughing Laugh Twisted Evil


some of them boys are actually on here to...don't worry guys I am not stealing your glory Wink

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dirtysparks
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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2004 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's friggin funny....

Ok, here's my new one... Very Happy
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PostPosted: May 02, 2005 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really need some help with this guys! Where can i find that floor jack and the base! Ive looked at Home Depot and Lowes and asked for a floor Jack that supports a 5th wheel. I even called camping world and they had no idea!! I need some help. What should I ask for when I go there. Thanks!
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wakessories
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PostPosted: May 02, 2005 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just make sure your cable u-clamps are secured tightly and don't over tighten them. Also, put 2-6 on the cable in case one slips. My very first pylon came off ebay (2ndwake.com) pylon and I cranked down the u-clamps super tight. A buddy of mine cuts super hard, um yeah it pulled the cable right out of the u-clamps and the pole went flying outside of the boat, luckily the two rear clamps held and no one was sitting in the back of the boat. Just a tip, put more u-clamps on then you think you need and make sure the u-clamps face in the same direction.

Good job
Quote:

dirtysparks
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