So you have a regular boat, maybe
an outboard, or I/O, your wake is pretty good, and you loaded
it up with 12billion pounds of everything to get that extra
inch of height. You are only going so high, and want that
extra height, well then Einstein, we thinks you need a pole.
Yes a pole, long cylindrical thing the is hollow, trust us
it will help!!!
Below you will find a write up and pictures
of how I built the pole for my 20' Sea Ray bow rider. It is
not the greatest thing in the world, (no poking fun) but this
thing worked from 1996-2000. Got lots to talk about so let's
get to it!!!
The base plate is a marine fitting base plate for a 3"
aluminum pole. I attached the base to the floor of the boat
with stainless steel screws 3/4 of an inch, so that they didn't
go all the way through and puncture the gas tank. I then drilled
a hole through the pole and base plate to put a pin thru so
that it won't come out of the plate.
I my boat here, I was lucky enough to have a rear bench seat
that had two equal size cushions. I was able to separate those
cushions, install the pole, and place the cushions back in
their place, with only a 3" gap between them. Occupants
of the boat were still able to use every aspect of the seats,
and neither the Pole or support poles got in the way.
The pole is a 3" galvanized steel pole cut to 7 1/2 feet
high, putting the rope around 8 feet off the water. I used
1" support poles that attached about 5 feet up from the
bottom. This measurement is not exactly a measurement, I eyeballed
the angle of the poles, versus where they were going to be
mounted at the other end, and came up with this position for
mounting the support poles on the Pole. Again I used stainless
steel hardware for bimini tops, and SS screws. (ok ok I know
this may have sounded sketchy about the eye balling thing,
but all that I can say is that I am really good at Physics
and spatial relations and I'm fairly mechanically inclined.
(I did build this thing, and it works!)
Using more of that Bimini top hardware, I attached a set of
brackets to the top of the gunnel of the boat. Make sure to
get the Stainless Steel hardware, anything else will break.
Stainless Steel is super strong, so even though it might look
like these things wouldn't hold a carpenter ant, guess again.
I used 1" Galvanized steel poles, and got 1" Stainless
Steel bimini top connectors for the poles. As you can see
in the pictures, I drilled a 5/16 hole thru, to allow the
passing of a bolt. (DO NOT USE THE SET SCREW THAT YOU WOULD
NORMALLY USE IN THE BIMINI CONNECTOR)
It does not have the holding power, and I wouldn't trust it
anyway. Go with the bolts, they are a sure thing.
When I drilled thru the top of the gunnel, I was careful to
be sure that this was the EXACT position that I wanted, remember,
it is always easier to measure again. I cut a small piece
of foam to place between the connector and the hull. I also
drilled out a 2X3 inch, 1/4" thick aluminum plate that
helps support the hardware from underneath. Though it may
look like rust on the bolt, it is not. I used regular washers
on these bolts, and the flaked a little, btw, this photo was
taken in Jan 2001, 5 years after these were put in!
Strap System / Bow Sling
We used a 1"X 20 foot tie-down strap from the top of
the Pole down to the bow. I used a Cinch lock 1" tie-down
that got wrapped around the bow, down thru the tow eyelet
and back up. Cinch locked it in the bow area, and hooked it
to itself. I then hooked the ratchet to the cinch hook, pulled
tight. I was sure to get at least 2 wraps on the ratchet,
to ensure that it would not pull loose. Lastly I hung a towel
over all of the hardware up here for protection. Some things
to note, Adjustability, I can get things dialed in pretty
well and can adjust on the fly if needed. Most of the time
we tightened the ratchet down so hard that you could hang
off it, and it also came in handy when the water got choppy
and you needed to get your balance.
Special notes about this boat!
For connecting the rope, I used a 1.25" eye one with
a 4 inch thread, drilled thru the top of the pole, and bolted
it into place. I used another eye for the support strap that
goes to the bow, this one is 1" lower than the one that
the rope attaches to.
The Pole is dead center in the boat, and fits
between the rear seat cushions as mentioned earlier. I wrapped
a cloth around the pole for seat protection.
Difficult / Hard Parts
- Drilling the Stainless Steel hardware
I went thru like 8-9 bits. just keep them cool, and drilling
at the highest speed possible (I recommend a DeWalt corded
drill, and a small spray water bottle, filled with ice water)
- Aligning everything on the pole and
I had to stagger the support poles 1/2" to allow the
passing of bolts on the pole.
After the first season, I replaced the support poles, after
that I sanded everything, then painted it all in 3 coats
of rust-oleum silver color
paint. This is key, and has to be done if you are anywhere
water, which I am, but don't miss the connections of marine
the support poles interior, spray in there good, you will
Personal Notes about the pole!
I have had this setup for 5 years, and held at least 285lbs.
( we had a 250lbs dude on it, and it didn't even flex, we
were shocked) Take your time though, and MEASURE EVERYTHING,
then do it again, then one last time. Pass your ideas by your
friends and family for feedback. This was the final version
of about eight that I dreamed-up!
This type of setup does require maintenance,
please remember that in a salt environment, it will be two-fold.
Before you get started!
Think about your boat, study the interior, and get a feel
of what you are looking at and usable within the boat. I can
totally remove the pole so that you don't even know it was
there, except for the support pole hardware, but these connectors
are not even in the passenger area anyway.
- I spent about five hours and $110.00 in
total, four years ago, and I still put people in awe, they
can't believe it works, and to tell you the truth, this
pole setup site the rope higher than an Air Nautique tower!
(me 96" Nautique 84")
A BIG Thanks to Wakescene (www.wakescene.com)
for this article, make sure you check out there site!
Disclaimer: WakeScene.com and www.wake.co.nz
do not endorse the building of such devices. If such devices
are built, they are done without the knowledge of WakeScene.com
or www.wake.co.nz and are on a built and used on an "at
your own risk" basis. WakeScene.com and www.wake.co.nz
cannot not be held responsible for anyone who builds such
devices, and causes injury, and or death to themselves or
others due to malfunction of such device. WakeScene.com Inc,