Does anyone make or know where to have a crows nest/cobia tower made for a boat with an existing hard top? I would want it to be easily removable for trailering and storage. Any help is greatly appreciated. Also what price range should these be in?
A Crows nest without controls is, well just BS. It means that you have someone at the lower station that you are hollering at all the time. It also means that they can not see what you see and thus have a more difficult time maneuvering the boat into position. Remember this is all done sometimes in 20secounds when a fish pop's up.
It also means that you have 2 less eyes on the Crows Nest scouting for them, as they are at the lower station driving.
There are fold down models that work really well.
I do NOT like the models that fold aft or forward into the cockpit. They are always in the way when doing anything at the house.
It needs to be strong,yet light weight and very simple to setup. It doesn't get any better than this one. It hinges up and 2 nuts get installed on studs at the aft legs.
About fasteners on these units. All the builders will install stainless Allen head bolts that go thru a clevis type fixture. One side is a little larger so the bolt slips thru and the other side is threaded for the bolt to screw into.
Those fasteners need to be changed to longer bolts. The threaded part should protrude out the other side of the threaded section of the clevis. then a nylon washer is slipped on as well as a stainless flat washer and a stainless nylon lock nut is then installed.
To not do this you will have the bolts loosening up and falling out. The nylon flat washer protects the stainless from the alum.
This is what I have done to mine and it has cured the problem. Yes it's not quite as clean looking ,but would you rather have the unit flopping around up there? I think not, as a bunch of damage can be caused.
I have been around a few shop's that build these units. One in particular [no names] uses a 1in closed cell foam for the padding. The theory is that no rain water will be absorbed into the foam when the boat is sitting out. While that part may be true, the 1in closed cell foam is just as HARD as the alum pipe.
This makes me believe that the particular manufacture has never rode in a Crows Nest. Because if they had, they would know you need at least 2in of padding to protect your body. It can get bumpy Cobia fishing. If your getting the crap beat out of you and you will sometimes. You need protection.
Pix's taken before the Fly-By-Wire controls were installed by me.
If Tim,s used crows nest fits then usually that will be the cheapest route. We have built them from $700 for a bare bones frame to $2000 with a custome fiberglass standing platform,large seat with a saftey style backrest with grab bars on the side. Cushions priceing will fluctuate with all plastic backing and stainless fastners,closed cell foam(no wet but) actual marine rated viny outside covering being the most expensive to automotive grade foam,vinyl,with plywood which will deteriorate,and starboard(plastic)standing platforms.:mmmbeer If you need information call me on my cell anytime 554 6172. Tim Scallan Thanksl