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***WARNING*** 2015-18 YAMAHA “AR” BOAT OWNERS WITH FORWARD SWEPT WAKEBOARD TOWERS

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by swatski, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. swatski

    swatski Jetboaters Fleet Admiral

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    I hear you guys, but in this case I followed specific instructions by Yamaha, which left even my dealer out of the loop.

    --
     
  2. Bill D

    Bill D Jetboaters Captain

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    I hope that #yamaha has been watching how this thread and it's other social media counterparts is quickly taking hold. Nobody wants a tower to fall on their head...
     
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  3. McMark

    McMark Jetboaters Commander

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    I have an idea on a fix for these towers. I need to fold mine this weekend and draw up a couple of things first though. I've only folded mine once back in 2015 and that was just to check it out. I don't ever have a need to fold. I remember it being difficult to not cross thread when putting it back up but mine was not cross threaded and I know for sure it's not cross threaded now. I'll keep you posted.
     
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  4. ROGUE111

    ROGUE111 Active Member

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    I’ve had my eye out for a used 2016 AR192 for a while and loved the look of the forward swept tower design but this is pretty disconcerting of both the bad design and response from Yamaha. I think we all can agree whether the bolt was cross threaded or not, it’s still a pretty crappy design for tower securement. A boat is a luxury for most and the last thing you want is for any concern or anxiety that a design flaw could potentially produce severe injury/death.

    This got me thinking if there are any safeguards that can be made to prevent catastrophic tower collapse? A good number of great options have been offered of cross bolts/pins in the base of the tower. Haknslash has a great post of an extension he made to the rear tower cable of his AR192 to allow for the tower to sit lower to get into a 7’ garage. What if that extension could have some sort of hook or carabiner at the end of it to attach to a cable secured on the deck flooring? With this, if the bolt did back out, the connection of the cables to the deck flooring would prevent the unintentional tower collapse. I would think the cable connection would have to be relatively taught to prevent the tower from dropping a distance with enough kinetic energy to break the line or mount.

    I did quickly read the entire thread but apologize if this what already brought up.
     
  5. swatski

    swatski Jetboaters Fleet Admiral

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    I agree. After my own hands-on review of those mechanisms, it is rather obvious actually.
    I must admit to a fair amount of ignorance on my part when looking at this initially.

    This issue of a cross thread did not seem very plausible. But, with all the facts out on the table (due to Yamaha expert analysis) I think it is entirely possible that me or someone else working on my boat cross threaded the lock bolt.

    --
     
  6. jsimanskey

    jsimanskey Member

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    I've had a similar thought - rigging it up like a sailboat until a better solution is found. I was thinking simpler though - tied off to the mooring points at the stern. In the case of catastrophic failure, it's the moving tower that has the potential to do damage - witness the damage to the safety cables. It's heavy for sure but it's not like it's spring loaded - a decent rope should be enough to keep it from moving.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. GTBRMC

    GTBRMC Jetboaters Captain

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    This may well be true. However, having been through a couple of business-related product liability issues, the product designer(s), and/or manufactuer(s), and/or distributor(s)/seller(s) have certain responsibilities for the safety of their products. If the design is easily and unintentionally misused by a competent user creating a hazard, and there exist one or more alternative designs without such hazard, there may be significant liability.

    Certainly @swatski is a very experienced user who is well-qualified to use his Yamaha boat. If someone of his abilities and experience can unintentionally misuse the product (ie: cross-thread the tower lock), a strong argument can be made that there is a product liability issue.

    I am confident Yamaha is aware of this. Their response so far is, frankly, disappointing.

    @Mother Yamaha, please take note: many of these comments and "agrees" are coming from long-time, loyal Yamaha owners that have helped drive sales for Yamaha boats for years. This should be a wake-up call.

    How to resolve cleanly without creating huge liability problems and/or recall costs for Yamaha?

    1) Acknowledge the problem... it is a done thing. It is much better to get ahead of it at this point vs try to hide/deny/delay.

    2) Address directly & fix those that have had problems already like @swatski

    3) Expedite a retrofit kit for dealers to install a more positive lock method (there are a number of proven designs) on a no-cost-to-the-owner, but voluntary, basis

    Whatever the cost to do this, it will pay back in spades supporting the great brand you have spent decades building. It is not too late to make lemonade here and turn this into a net positive. Let this fester at your peril.
     
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  8. Ancient canoe

    Ancient canoe Jet Boat Addict

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    So lets say you've screw in bolt and it starts off cross threaded. Does the knob give you enough leverage to hand screw it in all the way destroying the female threads?
     
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  9. MrMoose

    MrMoose Jetboaters Captain

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    Maybe it cross-threads for a bit, but not all the way, but it feels like it's tight and you don't notice the gap, but you assume that it's all the way in? Then you get the slide hammer effect that rips out the bolt when the tower slams forward.
     
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  10. NewBoater

    NewBoater Jet Boat Addict

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    Can this happen on 242 Limited se tower? The tower with the solar panels.
     
  11. Bill D

    Bill D Jetboaters Captain

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    The bolt stripping, no. It's a different design. The lack of customer support if something does happen... seems likely these days.
     
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  12. swatski

    swatski Jetboaters Fleet Admiral

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    No concerns there. Those towers appear to be robust.
    It is a completely different design - the hull mounts, the hinge, and the locking mechanism.

    --
     
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  13. swatski

    swatski Jetboaters Fleet Admiral

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    I think you hit the nail on the head, @MrMoose, this sounds very probable.

    I think this particular scenario is also entirely consistent with the Yamaha technical ruling I was offered.
    (just before I was told to go jump in the lake).

    Now, some guys smarter than myself will go and figure out if this design is, or is not, creating any hazards.

    --
     
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  14. Floyd

    Floyd Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the design is, wouldn't you think that any single-side failure would not be enough to rip out the remaining fastener? Dual engine airplanes are designed to fly with one engine out, so the canopy should be able to hold up with one bolt.
    Is there enough mount area to re-tap the fastener hole and move up to the next larger size fastener?, or maybe install a higher tensile steel insert?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
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  15. Bruce

    Bruce Jetboaters Fleet Admiral Staff Member Administrator

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    I believe this is the best solution. Perhaps use a steel bushing that is threaded inside and out of sufficient diameter to provide a five times safety factor on the design load. Drill a hole to the outside diameter of the bushing, tap, install bushing and everything should be fine.

    If the threads were harder than the bolt then when cross threaded the inexpensive and easy to replace bolt would be the part damaged. Currently it is the other way around.
     
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  16. jcyamaharider

    jcyamaharider Event Sponsor Event Sponsor

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    Something like this:
    91731A054p1-b01-digital@1x_635913693906832279.png

    I would still want another lock, like a cross pin for the tower and base.
     
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  17. Betik

    Betik Jetboaters Captain

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    I was rereading swatki's post from the beginning and I think that Yamaha nonchalant response is more appropriate for this type of cross-threading, not the life threatening ones.
     

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  18. Neutron

    Neutron Jetboaters Lieutenant

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    I lowered my tower today and inspected the female threads. Everything actually looked great. I was surprised they didnt look gross.
    I dont like the bolt has that lock nut that if it was unscrewed some it wouldnt allow the male threads of the knob to go in far enough into the female threads.
    Mine seemed to thread in well past the last of the base threads.
    After examining the components I do feel that it is an "ok" setup but far from ideal.
    I can see that it can be easily crossthreaded especially if you are trying to attempt to screw in without someone holding the tower completely up in place.

    There is enough space on the base to make a backup pin through the entire tower and base to ensure that if the threads did fail it wouldt fall.
     
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  19. MrMoose

    MrMoose Jetboaters Captain

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    @Betik, you better fix that fast, cuz you wouldn't want your weeds to die. ;)
     
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  20. swatski

    swatski Jetboaters Fleet Admiral

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    @Neutron Thanks for sharing.
    Given the complete absence of Yamaha warnings on this WHAT-SO-EVER, I believe your survey may inform others what to look for. It could save a lot of owners A LOT OF GRIEF! Thank you, sir.
    Too late for me, unfortunately.

    As an aside, I do not know if I actually did anything wrong. I would describe my boat maintenance schedule as "diligent" (and "very diligent" while prepping the boat for the cross country trek and Bimini crossing). As an operator of a Yamaha jet boat, I would consider myself reasonably competent.
    Did I miss a big cross threaded bolt sticking out? were if obvious? IDK.

    --
     
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