Atlantic Tower Install - Port Fixing


Tony Elliott
 

Hi all,

I have recently purchased an Atlantic Towers - tower in a box for Grand Cru.

The install looks fairly simple except for one area - the port side where the propane gas locker is fitted in the rear locker.

It seems almost impossible to get the nuts onto the bolts that would be inserted through the deck on the port aft foot simply because the propane gas locker structure is in the way. Does anyone have any advise of acceptable methods of attaching this foot in this location? Can we drill a larger access hole in the propane locker structure? Is it better to have longer bolts that go through the propane locker structure with some for a support between the deck undersurface and the locker "ceiling" upper surface?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Tony
SM#443-GRAND CRU


Bill Kinney
 

Tony,

You can drill a larger access hole in the locker, as long as you make sure it is gas tight when you are complete.  You definitely do not want the propane locker communicating with the rest of the lazerette.

The exact details of this are going to be a bit of an engineering challenge. We installed an Atlantic Towers arch on Harmonie almost 6 years ago, but our propane locker had been significantly expanded from the original so we had a lot of room to get the bolts fitted.

When you install the arch, be sure that you "pre-load" it. They mention this in their instructions but do not emphasize it enough, in my opinion.  The more you have to pull the legs of the arch together  before bolting them down, the stiffer the whole structure will be.

Bill Kinney
Sm160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


Mark Erdos
 


 

Tony,

I installed the Altantic Towers arch on Cream Puff and ran into the same problem. I could not get a wrench on the bolts for that forward leg on the port side. There is just not enough room. My solution was to cut an access hole in the top of the propane locker directly under the arch fitting using a rotozip and I installed 6" deck plate. This also allows future access.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us


On 6/27/2022 4:13 PM, Tony Elliott wrote:
Hi all,

I have recently purchased an Atlantic Towers - tower in a box for Grand Cru.

The install looks fairly simple except for one area - the port side where the propane gas locker is fitted in the rear locker.

It seems almost impossible to get the nuts onto the bolts that would be inserted through the deck on the port aft foot simply because the propane gas locker structure is in the way. Does anyone have any advise of acceptable methods of attaching this foot in this location? Can we drill a larger access hole in the propane locker structure? Is it better to have longer bolts that go through the propane locker structure with some for a support between the deck undersurface and the locker "ceiling" upper surface?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Tony
SM#443-GRAND CRU


 

Tony, 

A word of caution and my opinion. 

The last two Atlantic Towers Arches I saw were installed wrong resulting in moisture penetration into the balsa core resulting in serious repair. I believe that one was aggravated by sailing in heavy seas with the dinghy on the arch. Be sure that the person penetrating the balsa core knows how to correctly do this. Also, I would check for moisture several months after the install.

Even if the deck is penetrated perfectly, I believe the deck and core are vulnerable when the legs are leveraged side to side by a dinghy loaded on the arch. You might consider adding something to the design to mitigate these side to side movements. 

I also believe there may be a number of decks already in need of repair because of the design and/or installation of this arch. 

Best,

CW Bill Rouse 
Amel Owners Yacht School
+1 832-380-4970 | brouse@...
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com 
Yacht School Calendar: www.preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html


   

On Mon, Jun 27, 2022, 21:55 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

 

Tony,

I installed the Altantic Towers arch on Cream Puff and ran into the same problem. I could not get a wrench on the bolts for that forward leg on the port side. There is just not enough room. My solution was to cut an access hole in the top of the propane locker directly under the arch fitting using a rotozip and I installed 6" deck plate. This also allows future access.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us


On 6/27/2022 4:13 PM, Tony Elliott wrote:
Hi all,

I have recently purchased an Atlantic Towers - tower in a box for Grand Cru.

The install looks fairly simple except for one area - the port side where the propane gas locker is fitted in the rear locker.

It seems almost impossible to get the nuts onto the bolts that would be inserted through the deck on the port aft foot simply because the propane gas locker structure is in the way. Does anyone have any advise of acceptable methods of attaching this foot in this location? Can we drill a larger access hole in the propane locker structure? Is it better to have longer bolts that go through the propane locker structure with some for a support between the deck undersurface and the locker "ceiling" upper surface?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Tony
SM#443-GRAND CRU


Ken Uber
 

Yes, whilst not an Atlantic Tower, rather an EMTEK Turkish install, the water ingress is real.  Waiting for summer to attend to the core. Is the result of poor workmanship. 

Ken Uber 
SY Eleuthera 
SM #007
Melbourne 
Australia


On Tue, 28 Jun 2022 at 13:24, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
Tony, 

A word of caution and my opinion. 

The last two Atlantic Towers Arches I saw were installed wrong resulting in moisture penetration into the balsa core resulting in serious repair. I believe that one was aggravated by sailing in heavy seas with the dinghy on the arch. Be sure that the person penetrating the balsa core knows how to correctly do this. Also, I would check for moisture several months after the install.

Even if the deck is penetrated perfectly, I believe the deck and core are vulnerable when the legs are leveraged side to side by a dinghy loaded on the arch. You might consider adding something to the design to mitigate these side to side movements. 

I also believe there may be a number of decks already in need of repair because of the design and/or installation of this arch. 

Best,

CW Bill Rouse 
Amel Owners Yacht School
+1 832-380-4970 | brouse@...
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com 
Yacht School Calendar: www.preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html


   

On Mon, Jun 27, 2022, 21:55 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

 

Tony,

I installed the Altantic Towers arch on Cream Puff and ran into the same problem. I could not get a wrench on the bolts for that forward leg on the port side. There is just not enough room. My solution was to cut an access hole in the top of the propane locker directly under the arch fitting using a rotozip and I installed 6" deck plate. This also allows future access.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us


On 6/27/2022 4:13 PM, Tony Elliott wrote:
Hi all,

I have recently purchased an Atlantic Towers - tower in a box for Grand Cru.

The install looks fairly simple except for one area - the port side where the propane gas locker is fitted in the rear locker.

It seems almost impossible to get the nuts onto the bolts that would be inserted through the deck on the port aft foot simply because the propane gas locker structure is in the way. Does anyone have any advise of acceptable methods of attaching this foot in this location? Can we drill a larger access hole in the propane locker structure? Is it better to have longer bolts that go through the propane locker structure with some for a support between the deck undersurface and the locker "ceiling" upper surface?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Tony
SM#443-GRAND CRU



--
Regards
 
Ken Uber
0411 096 804


Alan Leslie
 

Hi Ken,
I would have thought that your Emtek arch is the same as ours, in which case it's not deck mounted but rather bolted through the gunwale on the aft corners of the hull and standing on the hull stern gunwale edges of the stern.
There's no "core" there, it's solid fibreglass.....
COrrect me if I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


Tony Elliott
 

Thanks folks, I had a suspicion that the best option was a hole in the locker. A zip tool was not on my radar rather a hole saw. Thanks for the information.

Tony
SM#443-GRAND CRU


Bill Kinney
 

On Mon, Jun 27, 2022 at 09:08 PM, Ken Uber wrote:
Yes, whilst not an Atlantic Tower, rather an EMTEK Turkish install, the water ingress is real.  Waiting for summer to attend to the core. Is the result of poor workmanship. 
 
It matters not at all the design of the arch, but bad installation of any deck hardware in a balsa core will eventually result in core damage.  We had deck damage from at least 3 pieces of hardware that were installed with no sealing of the core. Two minor, and one serious.  Each of those parts was installed at the Amel factory.  It CAN be done right, and permanently right. The correct process is not difficult, it just takes care and time.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada


 


Paul Harries
 

Please outline optimal process for avoiding core damage.
--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


 

Alan,

The Leg Foot of the Atlantic Arch is designed to bolt onto the deck. The Emek Arch is bolted through the gunwale on the aft corners of the hull and standing on the hull stern gunwale edges of the stern.

It is easy to argue that the cause of water egress into the core with Atlantic Arch installations is caused by improper installation and I totally agree that this is a major contributor. As I said, I believe the moisture penetration can be aggravated by sailing in heavy seas with the dinghy on the arch. I assume that it could also be aggravated at anchor with swell causing side-to-side movement of a dingy suspended on the arch. The following is the resulting deck/core repair caused by moisture entering the core at an Atlantic Tower Leg Foot:
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 7:46 AM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
On Mon, Jun 27, 2022 at 09:08 PM, Ken Uber wrote:
Yes, whilst not an Atlantic Tower, rather an EMTEK Turkish install, the water ingress is real.  Waiting for summer to attend to the core. Is the result of poor workmanship. 
 
It matters not at all the design of the arch, but bad installation of any deck hardware in a balsa core will eventually result in core damage.  We had deck damage from at least 3 pieces of hardware that were installed with no sealing of the core. Two minor, and one serious.  Each of those parts was installed at the Amel factory.  It CAN be done right, and permanently right. The correct process is not difficult, it just takes care and time.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada


 


 

Paul,

There are several ways to look at this issue. Here is one way.




CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 8:29 AM Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Please outline optimal process for avoiding core damage.
--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Mark Erdos
 

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 feel better.

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,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


Ken Uber
 

Alan, the arch is fixed to gunwal, and in those locations there is bleeding inside the lasserate, indicating moisture through the connection.  This is not so bad, its where the bracing was fixed in the centre of the stern, where the centre pole for the rope railing is, these fixings penetrated the core in this area and over time has allowed moisture to ingress. such that the lasserate is always damp.


--
Regards
 
Ken Uber
SY Eleuthera
SM #007
Melbourne
Australia
0411 096 804


Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy)
 

Over-drilling and building epoxy plugs is the best way to properly mount anything that penetrates the wood core. Through-bolting is always better than screws. These old articles from a 2013 Boat U.S. magazine do a good job of explaining the process simply with illustrations. The second article is about sealants. I'm sure there's plenty of good info online but I've found these hard copy articles to be useful references while cruising over the years. Things really haven't changed much in terms of this process - properly bedding deck hardware to protect the wood core.

For what it's worth, the two best things we added early on to our 1990 SuperMaramu were a 40kg Rocna and an Atlantic Tower with 700W solar.

Cheers,
Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy SM23
NZ


On Wed, Jun 29, 2022, 1:29 AM Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Please outline optimal process for avoiding core damage.
--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Alan Leslie
 

OK Ken,
I understand what you are saying...
BUT there is no CORE invloved here...all you have is a leak which can be fixed by removing the mounts one by one and applying sealant.
Even the brace ... we have one too....where it is attached to the stern is solid...no core....well at least ours is....
In fact I think....if I remember correctly...you have two braces...one is removed when in port...but in any event I'm pretty sure they are bolted through solid fibreglass, not through the cored deck.
SO, you shouldn't have any major issues.
Send me a pic of where your braces are mounted and I can confirm or otherwise.
All the best
Alan
Elyse SM437


Jose Venegas
 

Tony,
I successfully installed the tower following Mark Erdos's methods.  There were only two differences that I implemented to make the arch stiffer to lateral wobbling.  1) Instead of making the width of the arch longer than the distance between the arch legs, as recommended by the manufacturer, I made it shorter and stretched it to create tension in the opposite direction when installed.  Before doing this I had a long discussion with the engineer from Atlantic Towers arguing that this type of pre-stretch yielded greater lateral stiffness than the method they recommended.  He agreed with my statement but told me that users preferred the look of a bowing-up arch instead of the bowing-down, which was of lesser magnitude when stretching outwards the arch legs.  To me, the lateral stiffness trumped the bowing look 100 times.  2)  I paid extra to reinforce the corners of the forward arch identical to those of the aft arch.  It was not cheap, but the result was a substantially stiffer arch that did not need to be stiffened with cross cables during passages.
Like Mark, I dont carry the dink on the arch except for short passages.  Pix below:


Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy)
 

Very nice install Jose. I'm curious about your dinghy lifting blocks - are they rachet blocks or do they have locking cams? Do you run them forward to winches or lift by hand?

Cheers,
Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy SM23
NZ

On Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 2:36 AM Jose Venegas via groups.io <josegvenegas=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
Tony,
I successfully installed the tower following Mark Erdos's methods.  There were only two differences that I implemented to make the arch stiffer to lateral wobbling.  1) Instead of making the width of the arch longer than the distance between the arch legs, as recommended by the manufacturer, I made it shorter and stretched it to create tension in the opposite direction when installed.  Before doing this I had a long discussion with the engineer from Atlantic Towers arguing that this type of pre-stretch yielded greater lateral stiffness than the method they recommended.  He agreed with my statement but told me that users preferred the look of a bowing-up arch instead of the bowing-down, which was of lesser magnitude when stretching outwards the arch legs.  To me, the lateral stiffness trumped the bowing look 100 times.  2)  I paid extra to reinforce the corners of the forward arch identical to those of the aft arch.  It was not cheap, but the result was a substantially stiffer arch that did not need to be stiffened with cross cables during passages.
Like Mark, I dont carry the dink on the arch except for short passages.  Pix below:


Jose Venegas
 

Thank you Mike,

The lifting blocks are made by Garhauermarine and have a 1/5 gain with locking cams and are lifted by hand.

https://www.garhauermarine.com/shop/transom-hardware-accessories-mast-boom-blocks-hardware/dinghy-davits-accessories/dinghy-davit-block-and-tackle-system-port-dd-bt-port-copy/

Jose Venegas
Ipanema SM2K N 278
Currently in Club de Pesca, Cartagena


Tony Elliott
 

Hi all,

Well, all I can say is thanks to you all. Very valuable information. 

I had planned to have the arch installed by now but have deferred it until next month because it seems that process of installing the arch, while simple, will take longer than I had anticipated.

Thanks again for all the valuable information.

Tony
SM#443 GRAND CRU