How to Make a Ski Pylon

How to Make a Ski Pylon
Ski pylons convert a regular motorboat into a vessel fit for towing water skiers and wake boarders. However, you might have a problem installing a store-bought pylon kit onto your boat for any number of reasons. If this is your problem, remember that the first water skiing pylons were improvised in small shops and custom-fitted. You can do this too, although you need to already have some basic welding skills to make your own ski pylon.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hacksaw
  • 2-inch stainless steel pipe
  • 1-inch stainless steel pipe
  • Carpenter's angling tool
  • Power grinder
  • Welder's safety gear (mask, apron, gloves)
  • Gas welder
  • Filler bar
  • Marine brackets
  • Ski pylon rope bracket
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Anchors (if possible)
  • Marine epoxy (if possible)
Step 1
Examine the back of your boat, determine what the highest obstruction is and measure the distance from that to the center line position where you will install the pylon. Add at least eight inches to that height, which will give you a pylon that leaves the rope free of obstruction. For example, if your outboard motor is 24 inches from the boat deck, your pylon needs to be a minimum of 32 inches long.
Step 2
Set a pole, such as a paint roller handle, where your ski pylon will be installed. Mark the pole for the length of the pylon (32 inches in our example), and then six inches beneath that point (26 inches). Use a carpenter's angling tool to establish a 45-degree line to the right or left, and measure the distance to the boat wall. For our example, we will say that is 24 inches.
Step 3
Cut steel pipe with a hacksaw to create your pylon parts. In this example, you need one 32-inch long section of two-inch pipe for the pylon, and two 24-inch sections of one-inch pipe for support rods.
Step 4
Measure and mark a 45-degree angle using your carpenter's angling tool on both ends of each support rod. Grind the ends down to the 45-degree angle.
Step 5
Mark the point on the pylon that is six inches below the top, and clamp the first support rod there. Put on your welder's mask, gloves and apron. Weld the support rod on with a gas welder and a filler bar. Repeat the process to put on the other support rod.
Step 6
Clamp and weld marine brackets to the bottom of the ski pylon and the support rods. Then clamp and weld a ski rope bracket to the top of the pylon.
Step 7
Set up the pylon at its center line position on the boat. Mark the mounting holes from the brackets, drill holes in the boat walls and drive in marine screws and washers. It may be necessary to install anchors that are glued into place with marine epoxy before driving the screws if the boat wall proves too thin or of an unsatisfactory material for driving screws.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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