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Broken Towers

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the towers should not fail at all

Here is the skinny on the welds from my perspective. All the welds are cold rolled. None of the welds were internally perged with argon leaving the inside of the welds sugared and brittle. On the ones

I think its not a question of IF these towers will fail, but rather WHEN. A week after I took delivery of my 21 Tomcat in 2013 I wrote my dealer concerning this issue. No reply from MB. My concern at

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Looks like thin material, poor prep work & the welder was in a hurry, it looks like it could break with a little force really easy, shows no penetration, weld was built up in the middle, no penetration, went too fast, thin wall shit you have to turn down the heat!

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I think its not a question of IF these towers will fail, but rather WHEN. A week after I took delivery of my 21 Tomcat in 2013 I wrote my dealer concerning this issue. No reply from MB. My concern at that stage was that these towers will fail due to poor design and welding. A few years later and unfortunately out of warranty the first towers of that batch are proof. MB has given option of Tower Speakers, then their towers should be designed to carry that load. If there was a proper quality control system in place then these boats should have never left the factory like this.


Some pics i took of the welds in 2013..i will check them again on my next trip.



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My welder said it looked they did some sort of cold something or another, not an actual weld, I wasn't listening, was too busy putting my tower back on & grumbling under my breathe.  But yes, it's a known issue, there are approx 15 people now in my tally & those are just the ones that get online, do facebook, etc. 


I have had MB PM me on this forum once asking me about why I didn't like a certain dealer, said they wanted to follow up & are trying to make improvements.  So I know those asshats read these posts.  But crickets from them on this issue.  I had to copy Mike B before Sanchez ever responded to my email. 


 The simplicity of this issue is, the tower is shit, lots of people suffered exact same break, exact same spot & were all told to pound sand.  Only one person I came across said it happened immediately on their 2015 & it was AWS who took care of them & put the 2016 tower on his boat under warranty.  I don't have time to post my pics at the moment, but they're all the same, top tube welds give & boom they come down.  Mine happened on the water when high winds came up but they weren't that high, we were able to trailer, etc so it's not like there was a ton of force & I only have two speakers mounted to the side.   

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Very interesting. I posted up pictures of my 2013 F24 weld cracks a while ago. Mine has the 3 tube tower, not the 2 tube tower so mine should be much stronger, overall. My weld cracks are at the base where the hold down bolt threads into the tube. It's also a poor design, but different. 


Looking at the pictures above, the issue is the tube, not the weld. Not that it matters much. It's still a mgr. flaw, but I think it's important to point out where the failure really is. No doubt the welding stressed the tube and provided a weak (er) spot, just as every weld has ever done. This just wasn't taken into account and relieved. While the MIG welds aren't pretty, they obviously held. Welding rule #1:  pretty welds can fail and ugly welds can hold. I don't see any TIG welds in these pictures. Hard to say how well it was prepared. Penetration looks low in spots, but the weld is at least twice the size it needs to be so who knows what's going on under what we can see. I don't like the tac tac welding I see in a few spots, but there are a few solid beads that look ok.

In short, I don't think the weldor was ready to be doing this kind of production work. I also think this tower was poorly designed. I'd love to know if an engineer signed off on the prints. Highly unlikely. 

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Here's a couple links as well on this board



This one has the 3 tubes with broken welds


That's just a quick google search. I'm sure with a little looking one could find plenty of these stories



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When my 14 failed Star One and MB took great care of me, keep in mind I live 2.5 hrs from where the towers are made, so putting on a 2016 tower was not a huge deal.

That's deff good to hear that they took care of it.  I think your distance helped greatly.  I still go back to they knew good & well a bunch of these were failing though.  

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Shocks failed 2014 tomcat 21 , fell on my head with 4 (oem) speakers. It was ugly. Don't remember why I didn't bring the tower down after removing screws. Suppose trusting the shocks was bad idea.


Had to edit real quick. Wasn't using the boat LOL was removing screws and cleaning up before folding tower / storage prep.


But I will always remember to keep my kids away while messing with tower.


Dealer took care of the shocks faster then I could ever imagine. Great care


Fwiw I store boat with tower down, assume this speeds up the wear and tear of shocks.


Still love mb.

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This one is mine. It's broken in a different spot, down by the base. Also noteworthy, the welds on mine are cracking, not the tube, like in the rest of the pictures I've seen.

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Not that it matters much in this case, but there is a big difference (at least to the mfgr.) with a failing weld vs a failed tube. The two pictures below show a failing weld. In my opinion, nothing was done wrong by the mfgr. for these welds to fail. The two bases do not fully come together when the tower is upright and then tightened down. It is causing the nut to try to pull out, causing stress. I need to check, but I think, and hope, the cause is bad adjustment on the shock. It might be bottoming out before the tower rests on the base. I just need to get in there and look. If that's the case this failure would then be all on MB for bad installation. 






If you go back and look at the pictures posted in this thread you will see how the cracks are not in the weld, but next to them on the tube. In some spots the tube broke leaving a good bit of tube left attached to the weld. I'm just a lowly weldor, not an engineer so I can't tell you what tube should have been used, but this tube was clearly the wrong one. I also don't believe for a second that the tube failed because of tower speakers. I think it failed because of the load placed by towing. With all the people posting up their pictures it would be good to also note how they spend their time on the water. I'll guess and say most of the broken towers are owned by people who wakeboard more than surf, for example.

In short, if I was the manufacturer I would be slower to fire the weldor, and quicker to fire the designer. Although, there is no way I would send some of those ugly welds out the door. 

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