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bret
06-17-2005, 12:45 PM
We've started out having a tough time with buoys this year. Last year we lost 10 buoys all year, already this year we've lost 9 and half of those were bullet boat guides!

Yes we're on a public lake so we have to take our medicine and we do it's just that....damn, that seems like a lot and it's only June. We have two courses with one staying in all year round - permit with the COE, Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs AR. The other course, we only put out on Sat or Sun, in a very narrow finger off a cove, we hook up the buoys, ski, pull the buoys - PVC and mainline stay in. (these are just regular ball buoys.

We have 3' of 5/16" chain on the boat guides, run up to within an inch or so of the top, 5" bolt through there, then two 3" bolts in different directions at the bottom. Then we have a 24" bungee cord, which hooks into the chain then to the PVC, through S.S. eye bolts. We have the same set up on the 55m buoys and the green intermediate. On the gates and turn buoys, we have 3/8" rope, 3', then 24" bungee, with a 2' pc of chain on the PVC arm to hold the turn buoy down.

Of those of you here who also have a course on a public lake:
1. Do you face the same issues
2. If so, how do you educate the invaders
3. How are your buoys rigged up
4. Do you ever place a wooden "buoy" in there to drive off the invaders, painted yellow, with foam injected into it to help it float
5. We have stickers on our buoys, "Heber Springs Water Ski Club" but that doesn't seem to help anymore.

Anyway, I was just wondering what others do if in similar situations. TIA. :cool:

Dan K
06-17-2005, 03:12 PM
You may be losing them to people travelling the lake at night and not seeing them. Are your stickers reflective ?

betsy&david Harrison
06-17-2005, 03:18 PM
We've started out having a tough time with buoys this year. Last year we lost 10 buoys all year, already this year we've lost 9 and half of those were bullet boat guides!

Yes we're on a public lake so we have to take our medicine and we do it's just that....damn, that seems like a lot and it's only June. We have two courses with one staying in all year round - permit with the COE, Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs AR. The other course, we only put out on Sat or Sun, in a very narrow finger off a cove, we hook up the buoys, ski, pull the buoys - PVC and mainline stay in. (these are just regular ball buoys.

We have 3' of 5/16" chain on the boat guides, run up to within an inch or so of the top, 5" bolt through there, then two 3" bolts in different directions at the bottom. Then we have a 24" bungee cord, which hooks into the chain then to the PVC, through S.S. eye bolts. We have the same set up on the 55m buoys and the green intermediate. On the gates and turn buoys, we have 3/8" rope, 3', then 24" bungee, with a 2' pc of chain on the PVC arm to hold the turn buoy down.

Of those of you here who also have a course on a public lake:
1. Do you face the same issues
2. If so, how do you educate the invaders
3. How are your buoys rigged up
4. Do you ever place a wooden "buoy" in there to drive off the invaders, painted yellow, with foam injected into it to help it float
5. We have stickers on our buoys, "Heber Springs Water Ski Club" but that doesn't seem to help anymore.

Anyway, I was just wondering what others do if in similar situations. TIA. :cool:

I remember in the old days at Nacimiento we replace the bouys with milk jugs or laundry bottles and in the am the first people out to the course changed the bottles to balls. The last skiers of the day switched them back. There is a locker on the dock that keeps all the supplies and the club members know the combo. Does this help?

bret
06-17-2005, 04:49 PM
That sounds like a decent idea, we my have to go back to all balls, we just thought last year that we had found a good solution with the chain up in the bullets. I think I'll research the quick plastic clips and call the marina across from our course, I have an old locker to use.
http://www.tmcowners.com/photopost/data/500/247course2.jpg

We have reflective tape at the start and at the end. The course, by Sandy Beach - permanent one, has been on that lake since 1980, Accufloat s.s. mainline now, in some state or another. I bought a house up there 6 yrs ago and we formed the Ski Club a year later when some other people moved back. Prior to that, myself and a few others had tried to keep buoys on it but it became a hassle with only two or three of us being the support. The past few years have been pretty good on the buoy loss, this year has just started out bad. Thanks for the locker suggestion.

ski_king
06-17-2005, 05:38 PM
Try Skier to Skier (http://skiertoskier.com/) for the clips.

We have a simular problem, I think everyone on a public lake or river have this issue.
Other than flood damage, our course has only lost about 6 balls a year. Everybody that uses the course keeps some spare parts in the boat, ready to replace if needed.

Those sailboats I see in your picture, probobly mess the course up real bad.

bret
06-17-2005, 08:18 PM
The pic you see is a fairly small cove but it does have a public access road. We have the course out a bit too far but the water is dropping so we just left if there. The sail boats hit the big part of the lake, they spend the night in that cove but they anchor on the west side, away from the course.

My club members joke that I haven't cleaned the "crap" off the PVC this year, as I usually scrub the pipes so that we ALL don't get "****e" on/in our boats...and my son likes to help. So maybe I'll clean the pipes when I get home and then people can see the PVC - 8-10' visibility - maybe that will help.

SteveO
06-17-2005, 11:26 PM
The locker while time consuming may be the solution. Using milk jugs as markers may be a good combo fix

east tx skier
06-20-2005, 12:45 PM
We have ours on a public lake. We had them in full time for the past 13 days and didn't lose one. The last time we had them in, only for a weekend, we lost one, but found it as the prevailing currents will take it to the shore.

Our setup is individual anchors. Nylon rope through garden hose to a sub. 3/8" surgical latex through plastic hook secured with two zip ties. The latex goes through the ball eye (or spongex bullet guide eye and is similarly zip tied. The bungee cords never stayed put like these latex tubes do. The weak point is definitely the nylon rope at the anchor. Will replace with coated chain soon, which will also help with water level adjustments (currently just tying knots in the latex as needed, which works well).

georgea0731
06-21-2005, 02:56 AM
I feel your pain. I've been keeping up a course for about 6 years.
I use bungee cord, approx. 4 ft. then 3/32 covered cable approx. 18 to 24 inches from Home Depot with loops at each end, made with cable clamps. I've also used 1/2 inch rope and tubing. The cable seems to protect the best and NOT damage anything in the process.
I use 2 (50 lb) electric ties for each buoy. I've tried fishing stringers snaps in Stainless & Brass. They too pop open, but makes replacing buoys very quick. Lately I've been doing both snap with ties. Waiting to see how it works. This summer I'm only using Overton's buoys since they have a thicker place to tie too.
I bought those fancy expensive plastic snaps from skier to skier and they did NOT work very well on any buoys on a public lake. Also they don't fit Overton's buoys' very well and allow the buoy to come off too easy. I wouldn't waste my $ on them.
For xmas of birthdays, or once a year I order 24 buoys and just face the reality that I'm going to use them, just like a tank of gas!

east tx skier
06-21-2005, 12:14 PM
I've had good luck with the plastic skier-to-skier hooks, but I'm not clipping to the ball with them. My latex line is threaded through the buoy grommet and zip tied twice to itself. It's fed through the eye of the hook and zip tied the same way. The plastic hook gets clipped to the rope loop (or chain link someday) when the course is put in. The only failure I had was the rope breaking as opposed to the hook.

Sounds like we may have a different setup though.

bret
06-27-2005, 04:38 PM
Just a report from the past week and half: we only lost two buoys - 1 guide and 1 turn ball. The guide was an old one and the bungee on the turn ball just broke from being in the water. We did put one yellow sticker and 1 green sticker on every colored boat guide - regular guide and timing green guide all got "PROPERTY OF HEBER SPRINGS WATER SKI CLUB", and we put our COE permit number on top of every other buoy. If I hadn't replaced #3 turn ball this morning, I wouldn't have hit at 22 off and busted my A$$ :). Happy 4th to everyone and be safe.

east tx skier
06-27-2005, 05:04 PM
Bret, as an alternative to bungee, you can get the 3/8" surgical latex on ebay for $10 per 100 feet (cut in 10' strands). Works great. Very durable. Much cheaper on ebay than anywhere else I looked.

jimmer2880
06-28-2005, 05:05 PM
Bret, as an alternative to bungee, you can get the 3/8" surgical latex on ebay for $10 per 100 feet (cut in 10' strands). Works great. Very durable. Much cheaper on ebay than anywhere else I looked.

Even cheaper yet. We cut 1" wide strips of truck inner-tube. It lasts 3-4x longer than surgical tubing. Be sure to cut it so it's not doubled up (doesn't make a loop).