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  • Surfgates - 2002 Malibu 21’ VLX Wakesetter

    • Year: 2002 Brand: Malibu Model / Trim: VLX Device Type : Hinged Gate Style Surf Device Material: Starboard or a HDPE Control: Powered with Automated Controller Cost: $500-$999 Platform Type: Teak

    Big thanks to everyone at the wake garage, after seeing all the completed surfgate projects I figured it was time to upgrade my system this year. 

    Last year I had made a suck gate that worked pretty good for the first couple times out, but then it decided to quit sucking.  It would work for a run or two then fall off. 


    I first taped off the boat and lined up the outside edges.  The transom isn’t flat, but there is about 8” tall area that fit the hinges




    I used the fast Lenco actuators and HDPE I had picked up from a local plastic supplier.  It was $20 for two 1’x2’ sheets of 3/4”.  If I had to do it again I’d use 1/2”.  The 3/4” made a nice substantial gate, but it caused me to make the gap between the hinges and boat wider then I would have liked.  I ended up using a router to round over the edge so it wouldn’t get hung up. 






    I don’t have the room for a table saw, so to make a nice straight cut I use a straight edge clamped to the board as a guide. I also used a router on all the edges after I got to the final shape I wanted.IMG_06.JPG.e2ef693c50de9bea354a537e961d649a.JPG

    To line up the actuator, I used a 90 degree angle to find the centerline of the hinges.   




    I used a scrap piece of HDPE to raise the swim platform ¾”. 


    I’m still a week or two out from automating the gates with an Arduino controller, but for now I’ve set it up with manual switches.







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    You've got the same hull I do!! 2004 LSV Wakesetter!! This is awesome. Please let us know how the wake looks any any other things you've learned that you'd do differently! I've already purchased the actuators, HDPE and wakelogic controller! 

    I knew the transom area was going to be trouble, but you've developed an interesting shape/solution there. Would love to hear how it deploys and if there is any spray/issues with the tabs deployed and tucked away.

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    Looks like a really good project with a clean installation. Congratulations. Would love to see some pics or video of gates in action on the water. 

    Now a couple of questions,  I've tried home the made suck gate, what we use now due to ease of use and storage. A couple of years ago I made a gate that attached to swim platform, felt the wave was better than the suck gate one but it was terrible turning the boat around when having to go back to fallen rider with that thing attached and not being able to retract. Am I right in thinking the wave is better with the gate further back, at the end of the hull/beyond? 

    Is it necessary to follow the "vertical" shape of hull or could you bring the top of gate in toward center of transom and stills see good results? In my mind a more lateral/outward vs lateral/downward projection of gate vs downward could be beneficial? Would it not get out of the water enough when retracted? How much does height and length of gate matter? The bigger the boat the bigger the gate is my assumption.

    All feedback is welcome!

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    Tunafoot, I have a have a similar shape to the side of my boat and was wondering if the top of the gates cause problems with the water when closed? One design I am considering, results in a similar line up of the gate.

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