After a few years of attempting to use a portable course in our river and it be destroyed by current, frequently changing water levels (changes of 7ft are common), and fishermen we got a group of skiers together to form a club, get proper permits and install a permanent course that will withstand the challenges of our river. I thought I would share some pictures of our installation from yesterday and will dare say we now have one of the most heavy duty slalom courses in existence.
A few details, each buoy is individually anchored by a 2in, 7ft long pipe. There is a steel weight inside the pipe that allows the buoys to move up and down with the changing water levels. The weight is attached to a stainless steel cable which attaches to a steel chain. The chain clips on to our subfloat which we put a machined aluminum plate on each end with a threaded rod through the middle so the sub floats will not get chewed up over the years from rubbing with wave action. The subfloat then goes to another stainless steel cable up to the bouy. If a buoy comes off the weight drops to the bottom of the pipe pulling everything down which we can easily retrieve with a magnet to the steel chain.
The course was installed off a barge using a vibro hammer on a excavator. We used GPS to place markers at the bottom of the river in the correct spot and had a diver place the anchor pipe on that spot so we could get the location correct to drive the pipe.
We began this project back in November and after many hours and countless meeting with the city/DNR to get our permits after that first pass was made I can finally say it was all worth it.