How to Drill Through Fiberglass

big-air-waketowers-how-to-drill-through-fiberglass
Drilling through fiberglass, scary, we know. There are so many thoughts that run through our minds before we even purchase the tower, let alone right before installation. Hopefully we can help ease your mind a little about making some holes in your fiberglass.

Measure twice, cut once
Many of us have heard this expression, and some of us on a regular basis. Truer words couldn’t be spoken in regards to tower installations. Before any drilling through your fiberglass hull has begun, be sure to measure, measure, measure. If you still aren’t sure, measure a couple more times. If not, this expression will quickly turn into measure once and cuss a lot.

Prepare the area
It is best to protect the area you are working on, we recommend painters tape. This will also give you something to write on without fear of writing on your boat. For instance, marking where you will be drilling. For some towers it could be 1, or 2 holes per mount. Older version towers could even be drilling 4 per mount. When preparing the area, be sure that there are no obstacles in the way and you have clear access internally.

Start your engines! Ok, drills don’t have engines but you get the point.
1.  Make a small indent in the surface of the fiberglass hull where you will be drilling the hole. Use a sharp scribe or ice pick. This will prevent the drill from wandering and damaging the surrounding surface.
2.  Drill a small pilot hole running the drill in reverse. Please refer to your installation instructions as to which size is best for your wakeboard tower.
3.  Drill the main hole, still running drill in reverse, in a high speed with medium pressure. Again referring to your instructions for final sizing. Let the drill bit do all the work.
4.  Lastly, dress up the hole. This can be done with a grinding ball/stone. This will reduce the sharp edge of the hole exterior to prevent cracks in your gel coat.

Need a little visual reassurance?
Check out this video we made to help!

If you have some tough areas to reach internally, we have another great video for you!
Interior Mounting Access Tutorial – Check it out!

Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum wake towers – Is one better?

Stainless steel versus aluminum wakeboard towers

Many customers are surprised by the fact that we offer both Stainless Steel and Aluminum wake towers here at Big Air.
The main question we get asked is, “is there a certain metal I should choose?”
Unfortunately, the answer to that isn’t so simple. There are many properties that we appreciate between both metals.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a strong metal. Due to that, we can use smaller tubing. Our stainless steel towers use 2 inch diameter tubing. The stronger metal also means a slightly tougher installation, except the Fusion tower which requires no drilling through the tower. Drilling through stainless steel requires you to use a low speed and steady pressure, or you’ll spend most of your installation time getting new drill bits. However, we provide helpful tips in our installation instructions, and even a couple bits. Once you understand the drilling process, the installation will go much smoother.big air waketowers fusion wakeboard tower - stainless steel - made in USA

Stainless steel is also very durable. For those in harsh elements such as salt-water, this is the metal to choose. While it can be polished up to a “chrome like” finish, we produce them with a brushed finish. This finish allows the tower to have a great sheen, but doesn’t require as much upkeep as the polished aluminum. Most of our stainless towers are also available to be powder coated for an additional fee.

Our current line-up of Stainless Steel towers are the following: H2O tower, the Fusion tower, and the Beast tower.

Aluminum

Aluminum has many advantages as well. The most popular feature of aluminum is the ease of drilling. With the softer metal you can drill right on through the tubing for your installation. Another popular feature would be the bright “chrome like” polished finish that we offer with the aluminum towers. The polished finish will create the bling that will get it noticed from across the water. You can also choose to have the aluminum towers in a gloss black powder coat finish, or the premium anodized finish.

Another added benefit with aluminum, for us as manufacturer’s, is design. We are able to add more “style” to our aluminum towers by using billet pieces. This brings one of a kind towers like the Storm, Torrent, and Wave towers to our line.

big air waketowers Cuda wakeboard tower - aluminum towerOur current line-up of Aluminum towers are the following: Ice tower, Storm tower, Predator tower, Torrent tower, Vapor tower, X tower, Haus tower, Wave tower, and Cuda tower.

The bottom line… no matter what tower you choose, if it’s installed correctly, you will have one solid ride.