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Lake rules, wakeboard boats, shoreline erosion etc.

We just bought a home on a beautiful private lake in Western NC. The shoreline is mostly private homes with stone seawalls, and generations have enjoyed skiing, tubing, etc. If it only had a slalom course in a protected cove it would be perfect! I am asking for suggestions on lake rules that our homeowner's assoc could adopt.

At issue is the new generation of large wakeboard boats that throw huge wakes. When the original lake rules were written many years ago a "ski boat" looked like my 20' Nautique. Now a few 23' + wakeboard boats, complete with ballast tanks, have come to the lake and they are creating problems for both homeowners (damage to moored boats, seawall damage, etc) and other boaters & skiers on the lake. But it would be hard to tell a neighbor that hey you're not allowed to put your $100k boat in the lake. And residents have always been free to ski, tube, board, swim etc etc as they choose. I don't want to be a killjoy but something has to be done.

If anyone has experience with this, and better yet a copy of lake rules we could look at, it would be appreciated. Thanks, Jeff


  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 550 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2015
    A private lake community near me requires boats on the lake to be under 20' long and not have any ballast bags (doesn't matter if they are empty -- they can't be in the boat at all). You can tube, wakeboard, even surf. All the restrictions are on the boat. I think their rules/regulations are available online. Do a search for "Lake of the Pines" in Auburn, CA.
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    Hard issue because it is really hard to define. Most go with boat length restrictions - 20-feet being common. Some go with a weight restriction - 3,000 total wet capacity (all fluids, including ballast tanks full). That leaves fat sacks as the question mark. It also gets fishing boats as live wells then count as weight. Some outlaw "wake enhancing devices." That is really hard to define as well - occupants? Lead filled bags slalom skiers use for trim? Trim tabs? Malibu's wedge? How about a bilge filled with water?

    In my opinion you can enforce a size and a wet weight standard but little else.

    Best wishes.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,414 Crazy Baller
    If it's creating "problems" for homeowners, if the majority agree you should be able to adopt rules to,alleviate the "problems". Boat size is probably your best first rule, second no ballast. Since it's a private lake it may be hard to get anything done as obviously homeowners already have "illegal" boats. Look carefully at what rules are currently in place.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • JeffSwainJeffSwain Posts: 15 Baller
    Thanks for the ideas so far and looking forward to more. For a boat length restriction, a number of homeowners have 24' pontoon boats, which obviously aren't a wake problem. And then there are the "deck boats", in between a ski boat and pontoon. A 24' model is also popular on our lake, mostly used for slow speed sightseeing but occasionally to pull grandkids skiing/tubing/wakeboarding. So I don't think I could suggest a 20' limit. And what if the 2018 Ski Nautiques end up being 21'???
  • ntxntx Posts: 835 Crazy Baller
    @JeffSwain when you say "private" lake are you talking about a private man made lake designed for watersking? Or are you talking about a natural lake with no public boat ramp. Huge differance in what you might be able to enforce.
  • sgreggsgregg Posts: 20 Baller
    Any reason why you wouldn't want to just "ban" wake surfing as an activity on your lake?

    We live on a stretch of river that prohibits the use of wake assisting devices (fat sacs/loading/hydroplate/etc) - that helped a few years ago, but unfortunately doesn't restrict the new generation of boats designed for surfing (which are causing the most damage to docks/banks)

    Seems like by eliminating the activity (surfing), you might be able to reduce the number of boats producing that type of wake
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,678 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Kind of hard/wrong to be making rules after the fact. Rules limiting boats and activities would be part of a home purchase decision. Are the violating shoreline distances or breaking some existing rule/law?
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • Chris TaylorChris Taylor Posts: 120 Baller
    My mother n laws neighborhood changed their bi-laws after a few years. At first there was just a speed limit on the lake, however now they went to an extreme to limiting HP to 75HP or less. They have special rules stating pontoons can be up to 24'. The 2 other private lake neighborhoods have size limitations of 21' for boats but also 24' for pontoons and specifically banned any weight/wake enhancing device in the boat.
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 328 Baller
    edited October 2015
    How about something along these lines: "Boats weighing in excess of 3000 lbs. including any ballast may not be continuously operated at speeds between 5 and 30 mph within 100 yards of shore." This would also address the I/Os and deckboats that wreak havoc by driving with the bow at a 30 degree angle at 15 mph.

    Trouble is...nearly impossible to enforce effectively.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,464 Mega Baller
    Uncontrollable on public lakes...not sure you will be different and may have to protect yourself and let those with skin in the game (moor boats or tie to docks) fight it against those owners with the big boats who justifiably want to use them. My brother and I are both on public lakes. His is much busier than mine and in the metro with lots of big boats...but we now also have wake surfers here in rural MN.

    I have a rip-rap shore, and when my boat isn't used she's as high on the lift as my windshield frame will allow under the canopy. Moor or tie up at your own risk. No waves touching my boat, and nothing a boat throws at me compares to a big, white-capping blow from the south all day. My shoreline and boat are safe. If you can't change the rules, may have to simply look out for your own shoreline, boat, and equipment. Good luck, sounds like a tough political issue.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • BKBK Posts: 23 Baller
    @sgregg I'm on a private lake and I have a 196. I can surf with a driver and an 80 lb ballast. I run as close to the gates (middle) as possible. But restrict me because I'm "surfing"? A 200 at trick speed with a driver and pinner pushes a bigger wake.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2015
    IMO the best way to deal with big boats, big wake, erosion, etc is to protect your property. Build a seawall and get a boat lift. Like it or not, we are all boaters. I've got big and very loud 40+ ft boats on my little 5 mile long lake with a bridge in the middle. No idea why anyone would want to use a big boat like that but more power to them.

    Restricting access to some people is a slippery slope and makes it easier for others to restrict you. There aren't a ton of lakes around me but there are 3 with some kind of horsepower restriction on them. You can easily own a 2500 sq ft house on a very skiable lake in a private gated community with a dock for under $150k a few miles up the road from me....the catch is it's on a lake with a 50hp restriction and noise restrictions. I don't know the entire history of that lake but I can tell you that the whole neighborhood is a dump for the last 9-10 years that I've known it.
  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    @BK you better post some video of that........... you toss the rope in?
    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    Don't mean any disrespect , but if you don't like the current use of the lake , why did you just buy a house there ?
  • Fast351Fast351 Posts: 269 Baller
    Don't know how big the lake is, but from the sounds of it, the best you can probably do is set a minimum shoreline distance as your no-wake zone, and protect your property. Maybe a no-wake time limit too (IE sunrise to 1/2 hour before sunset or something like that).

    I don't think you want to get into a pissing contest with your neighbors that enjoy the lake in a different way than you do.

    For example, on our (non-private) lake, we like to ski at sunrise. We do that to avoid the jetski traffic and larger boat traffic that comes out at 10am, and the water is usually flattest at that time. I'm sure the people fishing would love to restrict us so that we can't ski at that time and disturb them (even though our wake is smaller and our engine quieter). You have to share. Just the way it is.
    Mike van Meeteren
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