Ski Tow Cleat or lack of one

Where do I attach my tow lines for skiing and or tugables on my 2013 310 express cruiser?


  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,347Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2017
    I owned a 2013 EC 310 and wanted the answer to that question as well.

    I spoke with an area -renowned fiberglass and gel coat guru (and I do mean guru).
    We only got to the preliminary stages of the investigation as I traded the boat in on a new  2014 EC 360.

    If my memory serves me I believe this is what he said after spending an hour or so looking inside the engine bay around the stern etc.

    Do not use the pop-up cleats. If you don't break them off you will certainly crack the fiberglass and gel coat.

    Do not affix any tow ropes to the handle on the transom door or the mooring cleats for the same reasons.

    He was concerned that what might appear to be easy solutions could cause trouble as he felt the pull of a tube (or skier) produces on/off shock loads that are extremely **** the structure as they create destructive point loads.

    Options (as he saw them):

    1. Use both stern tie downs (under the swim platform) with a floating Y harness to keep lines out of the props. If doing this reinforce these cleats from inside the engine compartment with metal backing plates embedded in Sikaflex or 3M 5200 to provide a constant contact base between the metal plates and the hull. I know several guys who owned EC 310s  and towed water skiers and tubers using just the two stern trailering tie downs with no apparent problems - but I would try to use some sort of backing plates. 

    2. He wondered if a metal bar could be designed that would be attached to a broad portion of the transom via a plate inside the engine compartment. I know he was thinking of a 1/4 aluminum backing plate about 16" by  8". He felt a single tow eye could be connected to this. He mentioned he had seen this done this before using off the shelf water ski tow eyes and posts that come in a multitude of configurations available on line and through water ski stores.

    As I said I sold the boat before I completed this option but I saw no reason why it couldn't be done and if I had kept the boat I had a three person tow platform that I was going to use.

    I did intend to call Rinker and ask someone from technical design for advice.

    I don't know if this helps. Good luck!

    BTW, just edited my post to say @jeffeagens .....I really loved that 2013 EC 310 Axius. It had twin 350 Magnums with the B lll X drives and it was a rocket that handles like a sports car. One of the best designed cockpits I have ever been in! What a great boat you chose, it will always look cool even 15 years from now!

    *****P.S. you might want to personal message @gtyee.....he is now the owner of my 2013 EC 310 and a respected Rinker Forum contributor. As well, this man has ALL the toys and has kids who he might have towed. 

    Again, good luck! MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,276Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    An excellent backing plate material is G-10, also known as FR-4 too.  You can buy it in pieces on-line.  it is a thermoset fiberglass laminate with epoxy resin to bind.  Impervious to water, no galvanic issues, fire retardant too (FR-4), good to 285F

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • rinker270nbrinker270nb Posts: 112Member ✭✭
    Here's a pic of the tow eye I had installed on my 99 270.  Zoom in center just above the swim platform.  Ordered 10"x4" backing plate from Great Lakes Skipper and had my mechanic install it.  I pretty much just pull a tube, works great!
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,347Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    .....great idea. The trick - which you found - was to locate a spot at the transom that would accept a decent sized backing plate. I like the size...... 10 x 4 is good. I'm guessing if metal it was 3/16 " +/-
  • rinker270nbrinker270nb Posts: 112Member ✭✭
    Thickness was good and I think we put. A longer marine board, eg 2x4, between transom and backing plate.
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