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How often do you use your tower?

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  • How often do you use your tower?

    I am curious how often people use their tower's and any general thoughts.

    I spoke to someone and he told me that it's more of a hassle then it's worth since a lot of people don't use them but everyone has to clean it if they have one.

    work is something I do in between fishing trips

  • #2
    I just ordered a new 28 without a tower which provoked various negative comments from friends and folks I know. I have quite a lot of experience running larger boats with towers as well as center consoles of varying sizes and years ago a 25 Carolina Classic. So having just spent a lot of time on this same question, I can tell you how I approached it.

    I think the issue on a 35 is even less straightforward since you would really be swimming upstream on resale given that virtually everyone who buys a boat of that style thinks they want and need a tower. Of course buying a used boat that should work in your favor and allow you to get a real bargain.

    My own view is that for someone who runs the boat themselves and likes to be in the action while fishing, a tower is far from essential. Yes, there are times when it is a big help spotting bait, rips, weed lines, etc etc, and sometimes on a nice day it is a very pleasant perch for operating the boat. On the other hand, it adds windage and weight to the boat 100% of the time including when you are not using it. It can take anywhere up to a knot off your WOT speed depending upon conditions. On my own boat I don't want to be up in the tower while trolling, I want to be at the helm a couple of steps from the cockpit. I have a captain's license and have worked running big boats, which means being stuck in the tower hunting for fish. That can be fun, but my preference is to be down below. Not to sound immodest, but I am a whole lot better at spotting fish than virtually all of the people who go out with me. Even if I were comfortable with someone else up in the tower running the boat and could stay below, I would still end up doing the hunting most of the time so what's the point of having a tower if I don't expect to use it much?

    Certainly for solo operations you will want to be at the main helm. I have seen a few episodes of people getting sloppy and trying to climb or descend a tower while running alone with the boat underway. Slip and fall and you can have a very big problem.

    So my feeling was that since I might end up in the tower on perhaps 20-30% of my offshore trips if I had one, I decided to go without and have a boat that runs a little faster and is less tender not having the weight of a tower up high. In my case I had the further issue of keeping the boat on a mooring without easy access to running fresh water, so having to clean all that extra pipe would be a burden.

    On a 35 I might have come to a different conclusion given that it is a bigger boat and the tower is higher than a 28 and thus more of a benefit when you do use it. Looking at your other posts, I think the engines make the decision an easy one -- go with the 540s and get the tower assuming you can figure out how to transport the boat across the country. Have you looked into sending the boat on the deck of a ship? There are some services that go from Ft Lauderdale to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica (one that I know about in particular). Might cost more, but you would not have to mess with the tower removal and refitting and the oversize issues. Also might be fun for you to pick up the boat and fish your way up the coast.
    Last edited by Bluefin 32; 11-03-2007, 01:04 PM.


    • #3
      I don't think I use mine 10% of the time. But, most of my fishing is not trolling. It seems most of my trolling trips there are only two of us and I want to be at the helm in case we get a multiple hook up. I went with a tower because I bought a leftover boat and the cost difference was minimal so I figured I would get a better resale on the boat with the tower. I don't regret the choice since I paid little more to have the tower. I would regret the choice if I paid an extra 15-20k for the tower.

      Cleaning it is the worst part. For me, I have to hand wax it at least twice a year to keep it from pitting. That is in addition to using soap and water after each trip that produces salt spray. It is fun when seas are flat though....just doesn't seem to be that often.
      2002 28
      Volvo Kamd 44p's



      • #4
        Never or always

        I never use it inshore; casting, trolling or baitfishing for bass and blues.

        I always use it offshore; and would guess that there's someone up there 80% of the time we're trolling or hunting. I find it invaluable in increasing the playing field from a few hundred yards to a good 1/2 to 3/4 mile in terms of seeing subtle things like pushing fish and bait V's and dimples.

        i'm lucky in that I fish w/ 3-4 younger guys, 2 of whom harpooned commercial bluefin and who can see far more than I can. I'm usually up there perhaps 1/2 time and work the pit the other half time.

        I find the tower a great air conditioner on those 90 degree airless days and for the 3 fish/year that I really need to handle the boat well; its a lot easier to see the angle and respond and anticipate from up above than from at the helm.


        • #5
          Almost Always

          I use mine (28 Classic) every trip. I troll 95% of the time. Its biggest benefit to me is traveling before daylight. Very difficult to see from the helm in the dark, even with the spotlight.
          Sea Gypsy
          28 Carolina Classic


          • #6

            i dont use the tower on my 28 to much but when the conditions are good i like it up there. i would not have this boat without it..with that said here is my problem...where i fish ( shinnecock inlet) . when the inshore fish are running i like to fish peconic bay via shin.canal. you have to pass 3 bridges i think the lowest is 18-19 ft . many boats ours included raise the towers an extra level as the boats hit 30 ft..this makes me have clearance worries. i really need the extra cabin space on a 32-35 but all the used boats have towers . if i was buying a new 35 i would pass on the tower or try to get a tower where you stand on the hardtop not 3 feet above...just my 2 cents. Charlie


            • #7

              BiteMe - the marlin tower is still offered as an option. We have a customer here locally that wanted a marlin tower on a 32 since most of his fishing is around the Ches Bay Br and he wanted to be able to pass under it.

              I always use(d) our tower(s) on the 28 and 35 - but we primarily fish offshore and our fishing sytle dictates as much visibility as possible. In a different fishery or different application that did not require a tower I would not miss it or the additional maintenance a 35 tower requires to keep it pristine . . .



              • #8

                Use mine virtually 100% of the time and it is invaluable. From the helm below with 4-6 foot swells I see virtually nothing. It may be a bit extreme but I find muck more from that vantage although I agree it is much more dangerous. I non skid coated the top as I almost slipped throuh the tower on my first trip.
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