Homemade Ski Pylon

Man water-skiing

When you're water-skiing, one of the most important parts beyond the skis, the boat and the tow rope is the pylon, which enables just about any motorboat to become one that can tow water-skiers behind it. There are a number of ways to build a pylon yourself, instead of having to go out and buy one.

Find Proper Pylon Bar

The first thing you should do to install your ski pylon is to find the proper ski pylon bar, which you will attach to your boat. This is a heavy-duty piece of steel or metal that can pull the weight of a person riding on water skis at high speed behind a boat without bending or breaking, so take this into account when you gauge the strength of the metal pylon pole you will use. Steel or aluminum poles are usually sufficient for these purposes, and you can pick them up from a metal scrapyard or adapt one from a metal pole you may have lying around in storage or in a junk pile. You can also have a longer metal pole cut to length at a hardware store.

Proper Height, Distance and Support

The pylon bar needs to be at a proper height to run the tow rope for the water-skier from behind the boat, as well as certain distance behind the inboard or outboard motor. For example, if your motor is 24 inches from the boat deck, then your pylon must be at least 32 inches long. You also should set the pylon back into the boat away from the motor, so that the rope is free from any obstruction while it is being used. Mark the place where you want to install the pylon on the floor of the boat, and then cut other metal poles for pylon supports that match the distance between where you will install the pylon and the back of the boat, where the motor is located.

Attach the Pylon and Supports

Before attaching the pylon and the supports for it, make sure you can screw or spot weld onto the floor of your boat without causing any damage or a leak in the boat itself. If you can attach the pylon to the floor, use four to six heavy-duty steel screws or a spot welder, which can safely melt the metal on the pylon and help it to bond with the floor of the boat. Attach the supports in a similar way, by spot welding or screwing one end of each support in the pylon itself, and then attaching the other end to the floor or the back of the boat. Test the strength of the pylon once you've attached it by pulling against it as hard as you can. The metal bar should not give at all, so there is no chance it will snap off the boat while you are towing a water-skier.