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Access to promo boats for tournaments

LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
edited June 2017 in Rules/Politics/Issues
The subject of the lack of promo boats for tournaments has been bandied about in threads in the past. We have always been blessed to have access to promo boats in the past. This year with the knowledge that at least one of the promo guys does not have a boat this year, I took a step that had never done before. @Jody_Seal recommended, or at least asked one of the commenters, that he utilize the USAWS website "Request for Towboat" option. When I sanctioned our tournaments for 2017 I made the official request for one of them, our June 3, 3 round slalom. I requested one each SN, MC and Malibu. I received a message that an email was sent to three different addresses. One I recognized. The others, I did not. So far I've had no contact from USAWS, promo coordinator, or promo person. However I reached out to a promo person in an adjoining state that I know and they agreed to come. Overall assessment of this request option is that it is useless. So if you guys who do not personally know a promo person to contact, and you hoped that USAWS would help you, I'm afraid you're SOL! Have any of you used this request and had a positive result?
EDIT! I neglected to give credit where credit is due. @skiboat38 has faithfully provided his promo SN for every tournament we've had for over 20 years. It is appreciated!
Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,711 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @jcamp Silly question, but given that these events are at sites that skiers typically live at - can't they just rent a boat from one of the residents? Seems like the price of boat use just needs to be built into the cost structure of the tournament rather than counting on the use of a "free" boat
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @oldjeep - what I've heard from folks is no one wants to put 10 hours on their boat (for one day) or 20 for two days to pull a tournament. Personally, I bought my boat to be used, and I'm not really that concerned about hours (and I don't live on a private site). For a friend in need, I would probably be willing to let them use my boat for a one day event once per year. However, it's a hassle to bring the boat someplace and back (first there, last to leave), and sometimes boats get scratches and dings in them at tournaments (which I care about more than the hour meter). So - as someone who owns a 2015 ProStar, in the right circumstances, maybe. For most people, I think its the hours.
    Jim Ross
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 914 Mega Baller
    @oldjeep Two owners on lake, neither has boat that is within 3-year model rule.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,124 Mega Baller
    edited June 2017
    Yes this is becoming more of and issue every year. I as a semi promo team member understand the frustrations that have become very real of tournament directors not getting a boat for their respective event. I do still maintain that one needs to check the box for a boat when sanctioning a tournament at least there is digital information for requests.
    As a person that covers over 10 events including regional and nationals, sometimes I feel that those that utilize my boat in tournaments could care less about it. Many a pin person reeling their trick rope with a carabeaner on the handle dings the gel coat as the trick skier slams his trick ski against the gel under the rub rail and then just tosses their ski across the back deck and upholstery. Where are these guy's when a i have spend an online session ordering gel and then an afternoon doing the repair only to have some yahoo do it again three weeks later, or some of these tech wizards dancing on the deck of my boat with shoes on setting up the camera stations for slalom.

    Manufacturers are not obliged to get a promo in every state in every region. With the cost of these boats continually rising and minimal return for promo owners is not worth the effort to many. Also manufacturers and promo teams have in many cases do not to send boats to event with less then 18 entry's.

    AWSA said they will not deny a tournament for using an out of date boat. Seems pretty logical, a rules exception will need to be applied for from regional tow boat rep.
    a tournament can entice a promo owner or private owner to bring a boat via paying for travel or give an entry or room and lunch or all of the above including flat out paying them to bring their boat.

    I don't know what the answer is but I do know that one manufacturer in particular asked for a bit of a caveat for their efforts in pulling nearly 60% of all the events 2015 and was turned down by AWSA tow boat committee. so now they have pulled a rather large percentage of events out of their promo schedule and went out started a demo day where one can get a taste of skiing behind their tournament boat for free.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • skiboat38skiboat38 Posts: 129 Baller
    Leon, Call the Paducah group, they got a new Malibu this week. Also Pat Enwald in Northern Ky has a Mastercraft again this year, I called him for our tournament
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2017
    As I stated earlier the Schmitts are bringing their MC. Actually the "Paducah Group" contacted me this morning, but it had nothing to do with the request form I submitted. That's was the crux of the matter for this post anyway. We'll be OK. Per Ham's granted exception we can use the 200 that's on site and the Centurion also. Thanks for the suggestion. Please see the EDIT entered on the initial thread post. That came to mind while riding the tractor this afternoon.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 367 Crazy Baller
    @LeonL we may need to use our tractors to pull if we don't take better care of our folks willing to have promo boats. I'm not speaking of you Leon, but all of us as tour directors and participants and as @Jody_Seal points out, and I agree, everyone needs to treat these expensive boats like our own prized possessions. I think we also need to be prepared and plan on using our own boats as tour organizers and directors and not plan events thinking a promo will be available.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,078 Mega Baller
    What would be the exposure for a personal boat to be used in a tournament? How does liability insurance or, for that matter, property damage coverage work? Would the boat and owner be covered in an accident?
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
    @MISkier I suppose all the items you mentioned would depend on the coverage you have on your boat. In the eyes of insurance companies you're no different than a promo owner. A promo owner has no special status to the insurance carrier. There is one caveat that I can't address in this, and maybe a promo owner can. My insurance, and I'm sure all do, asks who the primary operator is and any secondary operators. We require that all boats used on our lake have $1,000,000 liability coverage, so they all meet USAWS tournament requirements, if we should have to use them.
    @John Brooks we have always comped entry to promo guys and I, and all the drivers we utilize are very conscientious about care of these boats. As @Jody_Seal stated the worst people (in general) are trickers and their pin person as relates to boat care. However, I do know that many folks don't take care of their own boats, much less someone else's.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 781 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2017
    First off it's it a prevlidge not a right to get a promo boat to an event. 2nd point is Jody is correct. The trickers and the pin person THRASH THE BOATS. If fact I just about pull my boat from the tournament a couple of weeks ago. Majority of people won't respect the requests you ask for such as taking off your shoes.they think that because it is a promo boat people can trash it. Some Tournaments believe they are not responsible for any damage received during an event .wrong. I believe that the tournaments are going to be forced to pony up some concessions and start taking better care of the boats. Some boat manufacturers don't care about tournaments any more. They will pull the minimum to get into the nationals and that's it. A promo person is not going to pull a tournament for free.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2017
    @dave2ball I can respect a promo person not pulling for free. If the mfg won't give credit for tournaments it will fall back on the LOC. However if a cash reimbursement to a promo person is in the future you'll see a lot less tournaments. As for me, I can only take losses for so long and for so much. I do understand though. Promo people have my greatest respect. If anyone deserves comping it's them over officials. Officials just show up. They don't have tow expenses, tow vehicle requirements and last of all they don't have a $60K+ investment. Overall I just continue to see one thing after another contributing to the death of 3 event tournaments. By 3 event I include slalom only tourneys.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,572 Mega Baller
    Is the most current zero off required for a tournament? Is there a new Zero Off revision for a 2014 Mastercraft Prostar? I'd also like to know what insurance coverage would best suit if my boat were to be used in a tournament.
    We've lost our local CC promo guy this year, so our options seem to be a local Prostar and a TXI from about 6 hours away. I wouldn't be against my boat being used, but, as these guys said, I like my boat being well cared for.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
    The current revision level is "R". That is the only level that is approved. That revision has been available and required since 2013, if my memory is correct. So, the answer to your first question is "yes". A 2014 boat should have come equipped with "R". I'm unsure how to see the revision on the MC screen, but I'm sure you can access it.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,078 Mega Baller
    If the boat has the + setting in ZO, you at least have version R.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,242 Mega Baller
    On the insurance questions.

    From USAWaterski Towboat Insurance Requirements - you need $500K of liability protection and a Certificate of Insurance provided to the Club/USA Water Ski certifying that the appropriate insurance is in place and that the policy meets the insurance requirements as set forth above. Certificates should include the following:

    Certificate Holder:
    USA Water Ski, Inc.
    1251 Holy Cow Road
    Polk City, FL 33868-

    Additional Insureds:
    USA Water Ski, its sponsors, directors, employees, volunteers, members, clubs, associations, sport disciplines & divisions.

    Also, you need to check your policy closely. Many policies have exclusions for any use other than Private Pleasure Use. A tournament would be a form of commercial use that very well could be excluded. My Policy thru Global Marine has the "H2O Ski Plus Program" Endorsement that modifies the exclusion language to provide coverage for USAWaterski sanctioned events, including exhibitions and practice sessions, even though consideration or renumeration may be received.

    I believe the Ski Safe and Boat US policies can have similar endorsements added.

    Other insurers will likely balk if asked to add such a commercial use exception. I know of one situation where one of these companies wanted an additional $1000 to $1500 premium to allow an insured boat to be used in a tournament.

    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,417 Crazy Baller
    For those of us who may have to resort to using our own boats, keep this in mind: if your tournament is class "C" you can request an exception to the 3 year rule from your Regional Drivers Committee rep. Most a likely he/she will grant you an exception to use a boat that is older than this if the hull is unchanged from current.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,078 Mega Baller
    Good info @Kelvin. Thanks.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,124 Mega Baller
    Actually I have seen rule exceptions utilized for all level of tournament whether hull changes or not. Like I said AWSA is not going to discourage a tournament due to tow boat. Insurance has to be correct so bring on the perfect pass boats!!

    There is a rule book (an overly large rule book) in place that dictates rule for competition so what does it matter if the boat is 40 years old or new? as long as the rules are followed one should be able to hold an event via hand driving!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • thagerthager Posts: 5,110 Mega Baller
    edited June 2017
    @ms used my 02 with ZO in 2010 to pull a toutnament. Said exemption was pretty seamless.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 781 Crazy Baller
    @LeonL other then the west coast nobody comps promo people. That may be one thing that need to be changed. If a promo boat owner is not obligated to an event I believe he can cut a deal with the tournaments director. That deal would not have anything to do with the MFG. those are some ways tournaments may be ponying up. Tournament organizers who have not been on any promo team seem to believe that the tow boat credit we receive covers our cost. It does not even come close with the price of insurance, fuel and not to mention the price of the boats.
    You mention cash reimbursement and no tournaments well that will be a non issue because no boat no tournaments.
    Something has to give

  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 434 Crazy Baller
    Not sure about hand driving - Rule 8.10 is quite limiting for Class C and above.
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,453 Mega Baller
    Here in SCR I have and always will provide free entry to promo owners and their kids too.
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,124 Mega Baller
    I seen Art Cozier in his 61 Nautique bang off actual times right down the course with Andy at 35 off, Hand driving on Robin lake!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 781 Crazy Baller
    @Jody_Seal I wish I could of seen that. Must of been an awasome sight.
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