How to Install a Ski Pole

Updated April 17, 2017

A ski pole, or ski pylon, is a metal pole mounted to the rear of a boat. It provides an elevated attachment point for tow ropes used by water skiers and wake boarders. This keeps the tow rope out of the boat's wake, makes the skier more stable by removing the downward pull caused by transom-attached ropes, and helps prevent engine fouling. Ski poles are found at many marine equipment stores. They can be installed with just a few tools.

Position the ski pole on the boat's centre-line at the very rear of the boat. Extend the telescoping arms to ensure they reach the proper installation position.

Drill holes through the boat body where the ski pole base-plate rests. Make sure none of the holes extend below the water line.

Mount the ski pole base-plate to the bottom of the boat with 1/4-inch bolts. Use 1/4-inch large diameter washers on both sides of each hole to prevent damage to the boat body. Tighten 1/4-inch nuts on the bottom of the bolts with a socket wrench.

Seal the bolt holes with silicon sealant. Apply the sealant as directed on the packaging.

Attach the ski pole to the base plate. Adjust the ski pole to the desired elevation.

Install the outer brace arms into the clevis on the pylon. Pin them in place with the clevis hitch pins.

Insert the inner part of the telescoping brace arms into the outer part. Extend the arms at a 45-degree angle toward the rear of the boat until they reach the boat deck.

Ensure that there are no cables, wires or pipes in the area, then drill holes where the brace arms meet the deck with a power drill.

Insert each mounting clevis into its hole. Place the lock washers and nuts on the end and tighten them securely with a socket wrench. Apply silicon sealant to the holes.

Attach each telescoping brace arm to the appropriate mounting clevis. Apply downward pressure to each brace arm, then drill a hole all the way through both the inner and outer brace arm.

Remove the brace arms from the clevis mounts. Install bolts and nuts on the brace arms and tighten them securely with a socket wrench. Reattach the brace arms to the clevis mounts.


If the boat deck is less than 1/2-inch thick in the area that the clevis mounts attach, reinforce the deck with a piece of marine plywood.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill
  • 1/4-inch bolts
  • 1/4-inch large diameter washers
  • 1/4-inch nuts
  • Socket wrench
  • Silicon sealant
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