My Atlantic Tower Arch 2¢
Partially based on
recommendations from other owners, I installed the arch on
Cream Puff in August 2016. As others expressed to me, I too am
very pleased with the product and would highly recommend it.
As with any new equipment added to a vessel, there are a couple of installation nuances that a prospective installer should pay attention to:
1. The arch needs to be tensioned using ratchet straps. This is an important step to minimize any side to side sway. The "how to" is stated in the instructions, but better explained in the online installation video on Atlantic Towers' website.
2. Because of the
core balsa decks on Amels, care should be used drilling holes
and mounting any equipment on the deck. Bill has provided a
safe way of doing this. In addition, there are many commercial
sealants if used correctly that can make a sound permanent
waterproof seal. Care needs to be taken due to the deck groves
to ensure these do not channel water to the bolts. When
installing the arch, I used oversized backing plates rather
than the ones in the kit. These can easily be fabricated at
any metal shop. This probably wasn't necessary, but it made me
3. I installed a
padeye on the transom. When underway, I have two wire cables
that attach to this padeye using pelican hooks. The other end
of these tightly tensioned cables goes to the top corners of
the arch to alleviate any movement. Because they attach with a
pelican hook, the starboard side cable (or both sides) can be
easily removed when the stern boarding steps need to be used.
4. I do not sail blue-water with the dinghy lifted under the arch. Although the specs say this is possible, I am just not comfortable with any set up like this when offshore on any boat with any arch. Our dinghy is stowed and lashed upside down on the aft cabin top. On the few occasions we do sail in protected waters with the dinghy on the arch, the motor is removed. If on anchor, I find it easier to lift and lock the dinghy using the spare mizzen halyard and electric winch. The dinghy is lifted on the starboard side. If you lift it on the port side, this increases the already apparent Amel port list and in my case my air-conditioning drains do not work well. The main reason I installed the arch was for solar panels and wind generator mounting. I see the occasional dinghy storage is an incremental benefit.
5. Access to the
lower side of the deck above the propane locker is needed to
install the arch. This requires cutting a hole in the top of
the propane locker. I used a 6" deck plate and mounted the
frame using silicone sealant. The removable part of the deck
plate has an o-ring, so the integrity of the propane locker is
not compromised. In addition, I have a propane sniffer mounted
in the lazarette just under the locker as part of the propane
sniffer safety device.
Hope this helps.
With best regards,
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - French Polynesia