Effect of tower on boat

AndersonSkiTeamAndersonSkiTeam Posts: 51 Baller
So, I have a 2001 Response lx with walkover open bow, wedge, and tower. Often have family of 6 in the boat with a fair bit of gear. I in general really like my wake and think it is smaller than other Malibu Lxi's I have been in, and like it better at longer lengths than the pre 2014 prostars. We usually run 28-34mph for me and the kids and 15-28 off is where my experience on these boats. My friend just bought a 05 Nautique 196 and its wake is considerably nicer (smaller and non existent at 28off with no trough). Is the 196 just that much better or does my tower and extra weight make that much of a difference. I know water displacement makes a big difference as I know my wake is much nicer with 1/4 tank of gas, no kids, and no gear than loaded up. Does a tower make that much difference on boat wakes? I could take my tower off and compare but I am far to lazy for that, it is easer to just ask fellow ballers.


  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 562 Crazy Baller
    6 people will make a hell of a wake in some of these boats. A tower is the least of your contributing factors IMO.
  • pgmoorepgmoore Posts: 213 Solid Baller
    The fact is, ski boats make better wakes with less weight in the boat. So anything you can do to reduce weight is really useful. Leaving family members behind sounds like a bad plan. So if you aren't really using the tower, I would remove it for sure. Every little bit helps.
    Patrick Moore
  • bajabaja Posts: 250 Baller
    The weight of the tower is essentially the only measurable effect. I have one on a 1994 Prostar 205. The tower weight is no more than 100 pounds since I remember carrying it with my wife. The weight of a tower is distributed across gunnels of the boat and approximately centered over the pylon. Your extra crew members are the bigger variable. But Family fun time on the boat is worth the extra weight.
  • AndersonSkiTeamAndersonSkiTeam Posts: 51 Baller
    I think I am just bothered. The wake on the 196 was a thing of beauty. That being said with my Malibu I can fit all the kids and gear on public water, wakeboard and surf with the wedge down which I don't think is possible in the 196. But the wake was so nice. I think I just have a serious case of wake envy now. I am a big proponent that life is filled with trade-off's and you can't have everything. This is one of those trade offs.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,514 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Towers suck. Do the tower rails get in the way of the rope at -38 or shorter on the LX? We had an 03 LXI with a tower and it bent the rope at -38.
    Shut up and ski
  • AndersonSkiTeamAndersonSkiTeam Posts: 51 Baller
    For me 38 is a length I dream about so can't say for sure. That being said the Extreme Tower I have is much further forward than the Illusion tower they put on some. I have hit the side of an Illusion tower at lengths of 22 off.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 551 Crazy Baller
    My boat has a tower and the back feet are forward of the pylon a few inches, so I figure adding about 100 lbs forward of the pylon is not going to hurt my wake and may even help it. I could be wrong as I've never skied it without the tower. However, I have come to appreciate my tower for enabling us to get stuff off the floor by using ski and wakeboard racks attached to the tower. A lot of value in that when we spend a full day out on a public lake.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 612 Crazy Baller
    @AndersonSkiTeam The wake on your Malibu is a thing of beauty. I learned the course last year behind an 02 response lx 28 mph 15 off. It doesnt get much better. Even at slow speeds. We only have 2 in the boat and the skier. Back seat out and Wedge completely taken off. Also ski behind 03 Malibu LXI and the response wake is slightly smaller
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,392 Mega Baller
    @MS Tower didn't matter. You always had plenty of slack!! :smiley:
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,720
    I know this is a personal thing but i seriously dislike big towers on tournament boats. They have their place but not sitting on top of a 200 or TXi please.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Water Ski Equipment - KD Platinum

  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    I understand that perspective, that is also my preference and a whole lot easier to cover. But when you look at trying to make a tourney boat more versatile, it is a pleasant addition. Especially on a TXi that has a wedge.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • Bookm_danoBookm_dano Posts: 100 Baller
    Ok....Slalom definitely comes first and I don't want to give up any wake quality to make the boat more versatile. However, it had a tower on it when I bought it and I kinda sorta like it. As others mentioned, it provides some off deck storage; it also mounts a nice Bimini that's high enough to stand under...probably most significant is that my wife likes to have the secure hand holds it provided while climbing in and out of boat, particularly when docked in rough conditions. Next boat will likely have tower also....she gets to help choose the boat...and she gets up at 5:00 am to drive it for me.
  • ISP6ballISP6ball Posts: 244 Solid Baller
    @Texas6 that Responses is beautiful. I'm a CC guy usually, but that boat is sharp!
    If you're going to have a tower at least put some speakers on it so the skier can jam! :-)
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    I have an 02 LX and ski behind 196s with other people on our lake and find the wakes to not be substantially different. If you are comparing your boat with a tower and 6 people in it to the 196 with a driver and two passengers your wake is going to be much bigger.

    Recently I took my son out to show some people how the course is skied and we had 6 people in the boat. When my so was done he commented on how big the wake was. It is the people and the weight not the hull. The tower is probably worth a couple of passengers.
    Mark Shaffer
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 922 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I love the TSC hull as much as the next guy, but tower, wedge, and 6 passengers is not a fair comparison to the empty 196.

    However, your tower is probably about 150 pounds, so it's probably only worth one person. For all the advantages it brings, I would be keeping it around if you are on open water with lots of people. Just start inviting fewer friends if you want good wakes ;)
  • inlandinland Posts: 94 Baller
    I have a tower on my '06 LXi and one of my ski buds has an '05 LXi. You can notice the difference in the wake with just the tower. I'm taking mine off next season and will only use it if we take the boat to a large public lake in the northern part of the state with the family. For our normal usage, it's not necessary.
    2006 Response LXI
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    @ISP6ball, unfortunately not my boat but I agree it's pretty. That one is promo out of Mississippi that I had inquired about buying. It happened to be up on my desktop when this thread started so I used it as an example:). Never heard back so he's either at Nationals or somebody else got her
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,514 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Not much shade protection with the bimini that high.
    Were they using any towered boats at Nats this year?
    Shut up and ski
  • DWDW Posts: 2,409 Mega Baller
    @AndersonSkiTeam: the simple answer is yes, the added weight on that hull does make a difference. I have same hull & removing weight at the CG did improve the wake, 100# is noticeable. On that hull, weight at the transom is much more significant on a #/effect criteria, and probably pretty consistent among other brand hulls also.
  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    I had a tower with speakers/racks and the wedge on my 05 lxi. I had complaints that my wake was hard and bump at 22 was bad. Took both off and it was much better.
  • Tom351Tom351 Posts: 145 Solid Baller
    Theory: the aero drag effect of a tower may be worse for the wake than the weight of the tower ...the drag force at the top of the tower has a lot of leverage on the hull- leverage that loads the stern of the hull.. I would bet that adding a tower is similar in effect to not only adding weight, but adding weight at the stern. This would be similar (on a smaller scale) to how a wakeboarder can make the wake slightly bigger while loading the line (if using a tower and speed control)...and the wake shrinks back to normal when the line is unloaded.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 551 Crazy Baller
    I'm not an expert in physics or aerodynamics, but I would have guessed that the pull from a wakeboarder is going to put significantly more load on the tower (in terms of pulling up the bow of the boat and the stern down) than the tower will get from wind resistance.
  • Tom351Tom351 Posts: 145 Solid Baller
    Yes, I agree that a wakeboarder puts more load on the tower than wind at slalom speed..which is why I said "on a smaller scale"- but I bet that the wind resistance loading at 34mph acting at 8-10 feet above the propeller is not negligible.
  • WolfeieWolfeie Posts: 179 Baller
    Most of the tournament style boats were designed for skier, driver and 1-2 passengers. I had an Mastercraft X7 (197) with a tower. When ever I skied I would only let driver and one passenger
    (or ballast) in the boat. I considered the tower as one person. If I had more than two people in the boat when I was skiing I could tell the difference especially at 28 and 32 off.
    Brad Wolfe - Ski West Village, Arvin, Ca; Radar Pro Build, SN 200, I can see Ball of Spray headquarters from my lake house.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 583 Crazy Baller
    I notice some interesting statements in this thread. Even with the weight ranges given for a tower it's still in line with the weight of an adult male skier. I'm going to use what I consider a pretty reasonable example:

    Lest say you train for tournaments behind a boat with no tower, no wedge and just a driver. You may add in some weight to counter balance the driver (so equivalent to 1.5 to 2 people in mass over the base boat). Let's also assume you train behind a current approved boat. So it's a similar set up to what you would see at a tournament except no boat judge.

    Now you move to a tournament and they have 3 people in the boat. It's probably the same or more of an increase in mass compared to a tower. So why are we complaining about the wake of a boat with a tower versus one with out but there are no complaints about the wake because of the change in crew mass for a tournament wake versus your personal training boats wake?

    At 36 MPH I think the aerodynamic effects of the tower are minimal compared to the hydrodynamic effects of the hull on the water.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 862 Mega Baller
    edited August 2015
    Hmmm... could you squeak out a slightly more awesome wake by taking off the wedge and tower? Yes. But to what end? An LX with a tower and wedge is still an awesome slalom boat.
    If you're a course skier and getting meaningfully higher buoy counts behind a 196, I'm sorry, but there's something wrong with your skiing technique. The wakes aren't different enough that they should be significantly affecting you buoy count. If you're not a course skier, the same holds. If you find the 196 that much better that you're no longer enjoying your LX in open water, then something's wrong.
    If you're taking your family of 6 out, then you're already living the dream - a family who want to spend time together, in a boat, enjoying towed watersports (I'm assuming with 6 people, someone is eventually going to want to wakeboard or surf or tube). An LX with a tower and a wedge is an amazing boat for living that dream.

    Don't forget, it's one thing to say 'I can tell the difference between boat X and boat Y', and another to say 'I can no longer enjoy myself nor ski to my potential because boat Y is so much worse than boat X'.
  • PorkfightPorkfight Posts: 180 Baller
    edited August 2015
    Add an airfoil to the tower and create lift at speed.
  • Onside135Onside135 Posts: 447 Crazy Baller
    @Texas6 If that boat belongs to @smanski, I skied a tournament round behind it recently, so I think he still has it. Scott's boats are always pretty dialed in and meticulously kept. This one is no exception…probably worth calling him again!
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,514 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    So you plunk down 200 to ski in a record tourney (E/L/R) and you get a boat with a tower, driver, judge and a 3rd person working the camera. How many skiers are going to be happy with that?
    Shut up and ski
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