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Slowing for the turn islands?

I just started skiing at 34 mph this year. My drivers are excellent but have definitely noticed the difference in speed going around the islands. Do some drivers back the throttle down a bit to go around the islands when their skiers are at 36 or 34 mph? I have a '14 SN 200 with ZO if that makes a difference on the answer. Thanks in advance! -Marc


  • Rpc29Rpc29 Posts: 224 Crazy Baller
    I always try to disengage the ZO around the islands, that avoids the boat gassing to try to maintain speed. That could be your issue now that you are skiing faster.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 147 Baller
    I know this sounds stupid...but how do you disengage the ZO? Do you use the button on the dash or pull the throttle back? If you move the throttle back, how much?
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 550 Crazy Baller
    If you throttle down smoothly you will feel it disengage. Just like when you throttle up you feel/hear it engage when you get close to the set speed. ZO is designed to hold your set speed, but you have to use the throttle to get it there and to take the speed back down.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    Map the course if you haven't already. I ski on a boat that things were feeling strange, turn out the boat hadn't been mapped.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,473 Crazy Baller
    I have to assume that you're not dropping after each pass? I would infer from your post that your driver(s) are pulling you through the course, going around the turn island and returning into the course with ZO engaged at 34 mph? No insult intended but your drivers are not "excellent". 34mph around an island is insane. It depends on the radius required to navigate the turn island, but a safe rule of thumb would be about 25mph. When you begin a significant turn ZO will actually accelerate, attempting to maintain set speed through a GPS plotted straight line. Note: this is whether or not you're in a mapped course.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 147 Baller
    Yes, I usually ski a pass, go around the turn island, ski a pass and drop where I started. No offense taken on the comment about the drivers. I meant to say they are all very comfortable with our lake and know how I like to be pulled. I have been concerned about the speed for awhile so it's nice to know that my concern was not unfounded.

    I'll probably play around with the throttle a few times and get a decent technique down and then teach it to anybody who is driving me.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 147 Baller
    And... the course is mapped. The boat definitely gasses up at the end of the turn but I have found the prop makes a huge difference on how hard the ramp up is.
  • lkblkb Posts: 629 Baller
    Not sure how much room you have around your islands...there is plenty of space around mine and it would be hard to find a lake easier to drive. That being said I would never go around mine at 34mph. More than 26 feels too fast and there's just no reason I can think to go faster than that.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,473 Crazy Baller
    Luckily you're using a 200. There are other boats that trying to circle an island at 34 would be a disaster.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,102 Mega Baller
    We get that free skiing also if we circle to make another pass, even without an island. 1st time driving that circle at the end I felt it accelerate to keep speed, just pulled back on the throttle to a speed that feels right, then out of the circle throttle back up till ZO kicks in again.
  • bwreinkebwreinke Posts: 10 Baller
    For reference, I ski in Colorado. In my mind there is no reason to hammer it around the island, in fact you lose speed when doing so. Next time you are out, try it, the speed will drop. Once you are in this situation, where the throttle is down, and your speed is decreasing, you're in a lot of trouble at high altitude. At lakes here in Colorado, I've found that keeping the boat at approx 28 and throttling up at the backside of the island is more efficient. You will find, with practice, a more efficient way to get to speed by throttling up at the backside of the island at the right spot and from the right speed. Honestly, I do not understand why drivers drive so fast at the turn around with or without an island, its not necessary in my opinion!
    Out of course driving is just as important as in course.
    Bryan Reinke #WaterskiColorado
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    Stinking islands! Get rid of them.

  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,628 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @eleeski keep going around the islands at 36mph and they'll erode away fast enough!
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 147 Baller
    Thanks for all the advice! -Marc
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,680 Mega Baller
    edited September 2017
    Don't go under 20 though either, especially if you're unevenly weighted. Just about put a Malibu on shore that way once setting up a barefooting run with multiple guys about to jump out on the boom together. Chine locked on me. Managed to get it stopped about 10 inches from where the keel would have beached. Corner case for sure, but more speed seemed to be the solution since I'd done that about 4 times earlier that day at higher speeds with no issue.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,820 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2017
    The course I ski on hasn't got an actual island, but it does have a really tight circle path through the lily pads. We always back it down manually and then accelerate once we can see the course again to avoid tossing the skier into shore. This is with PP, but the concept is the same - back the throttle down below the point that the speed control will take over. (typically this is low to mid 20's for skiers that are skiing 30-34 mph)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • WoodySkierWoodySkier Posts: 151 Baller
    edited September 2017
    We spin at the end of course and slow down until the zero off disengages and then speed it back up coming out of the turn. We do this with a 15 200 and 15 prostar, works great on both. If you don't back off the throttle zero off will make the engine rev up some and race around the turn.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,301 Mega Baller
    Depends on the island. Ski chaste has nearly an acre island you can drive at 28 mph around it, may be more ! The little lake here in pc 24-26 max around the island. I guess conditions will dictate speed . Some sites have short shots off the apex into the 55s. I think that engagement into the course process is most critical , sometimes the boat needs to turn faster just to get the needed engagement speed.
    Hang on Martha junior is going 36 now!

    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • greghayesgreghayes Posts: 113 Baller
    @HighAltitude - a good way to train your drivers is to have them pay attention to engine RPM. It should always be slightly below your straight line RPM around your island. How much below depends on your specific boat and setup. Experiment a little and I think you'll get a more enjoyable pull and your drivers will thank you.
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 648 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    If the island is tight you don't want your drivers looking down at the speed or tach. Have them make circles in the middle of the lake the approx. diameter of the path around the islands at 24-26 mph and listen to the engine. That is what they want the engine to sound like going around the island. In other words they should turn by listening to engine rpms and keep their vision focused on where they are going.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 147 Baller
    I did a few "practice'" laps thru the course and island to get a feel for it. Like Leoni said, it's not super difficult. If I crack the power back about 2-3 inches the boat starts to slow and settles at about 29-30 mph. By the time I'm 3/4 of the way around it's 24 mph and I'm putting the throttle back down. It get's back up to 34 mph with a ton of time before the entry gates.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think the folks that drive me will be much happier once they get used to it. It would be sweet if the whole course was programmable to include the slowdown and the ensuing acceleration coming off the back of the island.
  • GolfguyGolfguy Posts: 247 Solid Baller
    I alway slow to 3000 to 3200 RPM's before beginning the turn around the islands. The skier is in a whip so his speed is not the same as the boat. RPM's work for me.
  • shansen345shansen345 Posts: 181 Baller
    Going around the islands at full speed or with ZO engaged is dangerous and puts unnecessary strain on your skier and boat. Slowwww down to what feels like a reasonable speed. Don't sink your skier, but don't whip them onto the shore either.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    We have small islands and TXIs. 18-20mph is perfect
    Jim Ross
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