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There’s no denying that a beautiful sportfish looks even better when its sleek lines are topped off by a tower, but the benefits of a tuna tower extend far beyond good looks. Other than enhancing the appearance and overall value, a tuna tower is an essential part of a sport fishing yacht's layout by giving the Captain the extra elevation he or she needs to spot fish, birds, floating debris, and overall improve the entire on-water hunting experience.
Gone are the days of a simple mast and crow’s nest configuration. Today's tuna towers have undergone a transformation over the years becoming technologically advanced super structures made of the highest-grade materials. Offering intricate steering, engine control systems and complete electronics suites the tuna towers we see on sportfish today are definitely not just an accent piece or just a place to perch. A tower also serves as an integral component to the overall layout of the boat as it lends support to outriggers, hardtops, flybridge enclosures and lofty helm stations.
The opportunity to spot fish before they spot you is perhaps one of the greatest benefits a tower can offer, but it's also a big help when you're out there trying to locate birds, weedlines and busting baitfish. Thanks to the increased visibility provided by the impressive height of a tower, a captain has the ability to scan the horizon at farther distances and increase the odds of finding signs of life and tracking fish. This is a huge asset to both the recreational and tournament fisherman.
In a recent interview with Marlin Magazine, Capt. Ryan Higgins of Viking Yachts explains that his crew tries to stay consistent with two mates that rotate out of the tower during tournaments. They are “The eyes in the sky,” he says. “It’s important to have someone experienced, and the intercom system is a real help. We use a Comstar system that is connected to a speaker in the cockpit, so the tower man can easily direct the anglers.” A perfect example of how the tuna tower helps the entire crew work together - yet another advantage to having one on your sportfish.
When it comes to keeping an eye on bait, a good tower man can save the captain time by giving several seconds of notice and walking him through the situation from the best seat in the house. Overall, when someone in the tower knows what they're doing, they'll wind up taking some of the pressure off the captain and giving the anglers in the cockpit the upper hand - a big deal when serious fishing is underway. Tower boat captains will oftentimes fish from the flybridge instead of the tower because of their fishing style, location or the targeted species. In these cases, a mate or extra angler will be stationed in the tower for the advantageous bird's eye view.
With all the advantages of a tuna tower there are some considerations to bear in mind. Be sure your tower is easily accessible and isn't too challenging to climb safely and comfortably. Clearance is another factor to consider as draw bridges could cause you delays running to and from the inlet. Maintaining a tuna tower can be a bit of a challenge in itself due to the height factor but things like regular waxing, thorough rinsing and treating the aluminum are absolute requirements. It’s clear however, that the benefits far outweigh any negatives when it comes to towers. Having one is a fishing game-changer and will absolutely increase your odds of getting on the fish, case closed.
For many years, HMY Yacht Sales has had a close partnership with Viking Yacht Company– the parent company to Palm Beach Towers. Palm Beach Towers is without a doubt one of the best tower manufacturers in the industry. Contact them today for all your tuna tower needs.
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