Managing the Angle of your Rails
This page is an expanded discussion of the "Rail Angle" section of the Installation Instructions.
You will be mounting the Rail tubes into a pair of the square holes in the sides of the Frame using the 1/2" bolts. The ideal angle is when the rear of your PWC is 3 or 4 inches out of the water when loaded, and the tips of the Rails are also out of the water. Achieving this depends on more than one variable. You have to take into account how much the rear of your houseboat will "squat" in the water when the PWC is loaded. This will depend on the weight of your PWC and the size of your houseboat. Longer and wider houseboats won’t be affected as much as smaller houseboats. It will also depend on whether or not your gas tanks are full. Another variable is how low or high your winch is mounted on the Frame (see loading instructions), and if you direct the cable to wind up toward the top or bottom of the drum which changes the height of the bow and stern of your PWC. You will have significant control over this when winching up your PWC by simply pushing down or lifting up on the rope as it winds in.
So choosing a rail-angle is a little bit of trial and error. There is nothing wrong with choosing an angle that is your best guess, loading your PWC, and if you don’t like the loaded angle, changing it…it is only a matter of changing the 2 bolts that connect the Rails to the Frame (keep the threads lubricated).
We suggest that you begin with an angle so that the bottom of the entry-end of the Rails is about 3 inches above the water. If you have a smaller houseboat, you might start with 4 or 5inches above the water. For your information, it is relatively easy to lift the winch rope and pull the bow of your PWC UP to engage it into the Rails as you push the "IN" button. Some dock installations have their Rail tips a full 12 inches above the water which requires a significant lifting of the bow to engage into the entry-end of the Rails.
Attach the Rails with the 1/2" bolts through the outside of the Frame and through the holes in the front of the Rails. Secure with a washer and nut using a 3/4” wrench. Remember to lubricate the bolts and turn the nuts slowly to avoid seizing. Tighten them until the end of the bolt is flush with the end of the nut. That will leave a gap between the Rail tubes and the inside wall of the mounting frame.
Some swim platforms are very close to the water, or they slope downward toward the water. Or, the weight of the PWC might lower the rear of smaller houseboats such that the tips of the Rails or the end of your PWC might be in the water even with the Rail tubes mounted in the lowest set of holes. If you mount your rail tubes into the bottom holes and the tips of the Rails are still touching the water, you can easily solve this by adding a spacer under the Rails tubes where they pass over the rear edge of the swim platform...essentially raising the rear of the Rails higher. The spacer can be as simple as a piece of treated 2x4 or 4x4 or a composite deck board and covered with carpet as shown in the photo. Another option is a square or rectangular piece of aluminum such as the 2x2 piece shown in the lower right photo which, in this photo also has a board attached to it. These boards and aluminum tubes are available at any hardware store. Regardless of the material, it should be screwed to the underside of the Rail tubes so it tilts up out of the way along with the Rails and doesn't become a toe-stubber on your deck.
If you add a spacer under your Rails, please send us a picture or two.
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If you have any other questions about our PWC Rails, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can call me directly at 1-937-476-1298 (Eastern USA), or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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