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Old 01-02-2013, 17:27   #1
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Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

Hi all,

I am getting ready for a trip to Mexico, and then further to the South Pacific. Anyway, I am looking at getting an arch to support my solar panels, maybe wind, and to also act as a davit for my dink.

I've read some posts regarding this issue, namely cost and what materials to use. I stumbled upon a company called Atlantic Towers that makes all kinds of tower and arch setups. They have something called a "Tower in a Box" that allows you to custom fit it to your boat.

The height of one of these arches is 80", and they sell davit arms that mount above that, so I could get my dink high and dry when at anchor. I'm wondering if any of you have used this company? I bought a similar product (wakeboard tower) for my ski boat and it went on easily and has held up well, even pulling me around from time to time.

So the tower costs about $2K, other add ons are $400-700, leaving the total cost well below $3K. They use schedule 40 aluminum in their arches.

BTW, I have no commercial interest in this company

Thoughts?

Cheers, Bill
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Old 01-02-2013, 17:54   #2
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pirate Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

Not sure I'd trust aluminium for that on the ocean.. dinghy's a fair weight when your being thrown about in a blow..
I had this tailor made and fitted in St Martin in '07 for $3000... superb job in stainless steel..
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Old 01-02-2013, 18:01   #3
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pirate Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

thats better
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Old 01-02-2013, 19:58   #4
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We got one last fall, for a quarter of the cost for the OEM version of a custom one. We installed it ourselves -- it was really very simple. The technical support and customer service from Atlantic Towers has been fantastic. We have two 240-watt solar panels and a wind generator mounted to it. We also have davits to support or 10-foot dinghy with 15 hp 4-stroke engine. Both my husband and I are architects and understand the engineering that went into this arch and have no reservations with the design or the material (aluminum). We did get the davits in the bigger, schedule 80 pipe. Everything is working quite well and we are very pleased. There was a bit of a learning curve to figuring out the best way to secure the dinghy (once suspended) to minimize movement -- I think we have finally have figured that out by trial and error. For any long passage, we are planning to haul the dinghy on deck. The same would go for a short passage if we were going to make it in rough weather. PM me if you want to see pictures or want details.

Robyn
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:48   #5
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We got one last fall, for a quarter of the cost for the OEM version of a custom one. We installed it ourselves -- it was really very simple. The technical support and customer service from Atlantic Towers has been fantastic. We have two 240-watt solar panels and a wind generator mounted to it. We also have davits to support or 10-foot dinghy with 15 hp 4-stroke engine. Both my husband and I are architects and understand the engineering that went into this arch and have no reservations with the design or the material (aluminum). We did get the davits in the bigger, schedule 80 pipe. Everything is working quite well and we are very pleased. There was a bit of a learning curve to figuring out the best way to secure the dinghy (once suspended) to minimize movement -- I think we have finally have figured that out by trial and error. For any long passage, we are planning to haul the dinghy on deck. The same would go for a short passage if we were going to make it in rough weather. PM me if you want to see pictures or want details.

Robyn
I am also looking at arches. I saw an Atlantic Towers arch install and pushing on the the arch side ways I was able to make it sway an inch or two. It would seem with the weight of a tender suspended on the arch this lateral sway would cause some problems. I saw a Kato stainless steel arch install and there was no sway. It was rock solid. The only problem with the Kato arch is it is about 4x the cost. Was your difficulty in securing your tender due to removing any side ways motion in the arch? Is this why you would haul the dinghy on deck for a long or rough passage?
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:21   #6
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Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

The only way I would bother with an arch is if I could mount my mainsheet traveler up there. That would call for a pretty sturdy arch and more importantly, pretty sturdy reinforcements for it. If I could to that, maybe even move my backstays up there, it would be a dealmaker. Then I would think about dink davits, radar and antler mounts, etc.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:51   #7
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I am also looking at arches. I saw an Atlantic Towers arch install and pushing on the the arch side ways I was able to make it sway an inch or two. It would seem with the weight of a tender suspended on the arch this lateral sway would cause some problems. I saw a Kato stainless steel arch install and there was no sway. It was rock solid. The only problem with the Kato arch is it is about 4x the cost. Was your difficulty in securing your tender due to removing any side ways motion in the arch? Is this why you would haul the dinghy on deck for a long or rough passage?
No, the arch is rock solid -- there is no movement in it at all. It would be interesting to compare that install with ours and see what was different. We also looked at the Kato, Wells, and Beneteau archs. In addition, we talked to two fabricators here in Puerto Rico. As you noted, the cost for all but the Beneteau was about 4x more. The Beneteau was 3x.

The movement I was referring to was from the suspended dinghy -- securing it to keep in place (centered under the arch). The reason for putting the dinghy on the deck for a crossing or in rough weather for us is a safety precaution, if (heaven forbid) we had to deploy a life raft it would be easier and safer to have no obstructions at the back of the boat.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:16   #8
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pirate Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

The Dinghy was/is my Liferaft....
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:35   #9
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Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

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The Dinghy was/is my Liferaft....
We have a lot less experience than you and felt we needed a back up!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:41   #10
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We have a lot less experience than you and felt we needed a back up!
Naah.... just more money... and a bigger boat...
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:51   #11
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Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

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Naah.... just more money... and a bigger boat...
Not anymore, we spent it all on the boat!
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:07   #12
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Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

Maybe a little OT, but my Seawind has a SS arch that is solid as a rock with two solar panels, davits, dink, and a space to store jerry cans above the cross member. All in all I am very happy with it.

But the PO indicated he had removed the wind generator because of noise/vibration. Currently the boat is on a ball at Boot Key Harbor and when the wind whips up I always notice several boats have wind generators that really make annoying noise. Not to say there are some that are quite, just that mounting a wind generator may require more than just a rock solid platform.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:35   #13
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Maybe a little OT, but my Seawind has a SS arch that is solid as a rock with two solar panels, davits, dink, and a space to store jerry cans above the cross member. All in all I am very happy with it.

But the PO indicated he had removed the wind generator because of noise/vibration. Currently the boat is on a ball at Boot Key Harbor and when the wind whips up I always notice several boats have wind generators that really make annoying noise. Not to say there are some that are quite, just that mounting a wind generator may require more than just a rock solid platform.
Ours is really quiet, that was one of the reasons we chose it. It has developed a vibration that we are currently troubleshooting.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:46   #14
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pirate Re: Atlantic Towers - Arch in a Box?

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Ours is really quiet, that was one of the reasons we chose it. It has developed a vibration that we are currently troubleshooting.
Check if one of the blades has drifted slightly off...
I had an Aerogen on my SS arch... quiet and vibration free... and the arch was great for chin ups and hanging the hammock...
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Old 02-02-2013, 17:50   #15
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Check if one of the blades has drifted slightly off...
I had an Aerogen on my SS arch... quiet and vibration free... and the arch was great for chin ups and hanging the hammock...
That is my best guess for the source of the vibration. I will climb up there tomorrow and pull off the nose cone and take a look at things, if the blade has drifted will be obvious?

I like the hammock idea ... chin ups, not so much!
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