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Mooring whips in rough water?

SSG223SSG223 Posts: 21 Baller
So I was THIS close to buying a ski boat to combine with a separate surf boat, and just found out (thankfully?) this morning that our local city has a code (and is enforcing it) that limits each residence ONE boat lift. While I'm very uncomfortable keeping the boat in the water, just due to the impact on the hull (scum line), I still really want a pure ski boat!

As I understand it, there is no limit on the number of boats, just the number of lifts. So as an alternative, I was thinking about the mooring whips. But in our cove, on hot days, it really gets battered by all the surf boats and tubers. On top of that, the lake is enclosed by concrete bulk heads, so it gets multiplied (each wave in bounces off and hits the waves coming in). It can become a mess pretty quick!

Does anyone have any experience using mooring whips in these kinds of conditions? It seems like they would work well in calm waters, but not sure about nasty rough conditions. I would also think that even if it does work, it must really put a load on the dock?

Thanks in advance for any insight or guidance you can share.


  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,251 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    They will work to keep your boat from banging into the dock. They are very common on our lake where it gets white caps windy several afternoons per week. Just make sure to get ones that are big enough for your boat's weight.
  • eyepeelereyepeeler Posts: 197 Baller
    I personally would never let a ski boat sit in the water for extended periods. Gelcoat is porous.
    Matt Dillon
  • SSG223SSG223 Posts: 21 Baller
    @eyepeeler - I agree, but it's either buy a crossover boat like we have not (Malibu VTX), or this. If we do it, I'm thinking of just dropping it on Friday night and pulling it out Sunday night, so it's only during the weekend (when it's crazy rough).

    Was so bummed when I heard about this, could not even believe it, until I found the city ordinance, which is crystal clear about the limitations.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Are you allowed a track system that puts boat on shore?
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,620 Mega Baller
    edited August 2018
    Can you apply for a second lift? A local thing limits how wide your dock and lifts can be compared to your shoreline but many are allowed a second or third lift in shallower, which the DD boats dont need quite 2 feet.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,078 Mega Baller
    Check these out.

  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,262
    When I lived in Hawaii Kai, we were not allowed to have lifts. Everyone used the mooring whips, quite successfully. The Slalom Course was right in front of my house, and the mooring whips worked great. I was flying 747's and would be gone a few days at a time, so I pulled the boat out, but left it in while I was home to ski every day. The ones I used were rated for a much heavier boat, which I suggest. Even worked when we had wake boarders come close by.
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • SSG223SSG223 Posts: 21 Baller
    @oldjeep - Unfortunately, not practical on our lake. Between the bulkhead along our shoreline, and retaining walls, no room! There are some houses from 30+ years ago that have the tracks, but those were grandfathered in. We're in Washington state, so environmental rules are nuts around here.

    @bracemaker - I don't think we can get an exception, at least I have not seen anything in the code that allows for it. I might call the city tomorrow and see if there is anything we can do to work around this constraint. I'd like to use the excuse of depth, but where I was going to put the lift, we're in >6' of water.

    @ScottScott - Thanks for the guidance, I'll have to investigate these more. We don't have any pilings, we have a "static" dock since our lake is maintained at a certain level. From what I can tell from their website, you need a piling of some sort so the slide can go up and down. But worth investigating for sure!

  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 72 Baller
    I always kept my ski boat on a lift but I used to keep a 26 foot sea ray sundancer on mooring whips in very busy water and they worked great. You could have a surf boat go by or a 50 foot cruiser and that boat never quite touched the dock in 5 years. It was amazing how much abuse those whips can take. It is very crucial you set your static lines to the dock correctly so that they boat does not move backwards or forwards but after you play around with them for a few days and find the optimal position they are great. You will have no problems keep a ski boat safe.
  • lewis310lewis310 Posts: 16 Baller
    Find a neighbor that will let you put a lift in at their place in exchange for occasionally using your boat. Or better yet, go partners with them on the boat.
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 179 Baller
    I used to use whips for years. (Finally have a lift now) The whips can handle anything.
    The dock, not so much.
    If your dock is built well, you'll be okay for a few years.
    If the dock is not made of wood, likely to hold up even better.

    I'm curious as to the city code rationale of one boat lift per lot or residence?

    And don't get me started on surf wakes.
    Yes, I get it... they are sorta fun, and it's a good party.
    But the guys that surf 100 feet from property lines with docks, boats and canoes are causing damage.

  • torontoboatertorontoboater Posts: 42 Baller
    I use dock whips for my 99 Sunsetter LXI. They work great and have now for 4 years.
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 478 Solid Baller
    Can you get one of the airbag style lift for ski boat? Only lifts it like a foot out of water and doesn’t have the “structure” of a lift.
  • 96SNEFI96SNEFI Posts: 25 Baller
    skimtb: I seem to recall (so I didn't look now) that the front fins, prop and rudder are kinda in the way.

    I seem to think there's a term for all the under water stuff in marine-speak but it fails me now. :)
    Old outta shape guy very casual fair weather skier for 40 something years.
  • riplashriplash Posts: 26 Baller
    Is it possible to get one lift that can lift and store 2 boats?
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 478 Solid Baller
    @96SNEFI , my buddy uses one for 2017ish nautique and before that a 95 prostar. So it works. I think it’s like a u shape or something. I could find out more if needed.
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 974 Mega Baller
    @riplash weld 2 together and call it one. :)
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 371 Crazy Baller
    Is there anything limiting the size of your lift. If not can you just build a big lift which includes a walkway between the two boats and lifts them in and out as one structure. Get it in, get it grandfathered and you’ve got it forever. Would be great for resale one day too
  • jepskijepski Posts: 54 Baller
    @SSG223 - hey my first post here (waiting 'til I actually had something of value to add, lol). I used Monarch brand mooring whips for several years in a similar situation with both a MC PS190 and later my MC PS205. They kept the boat safely away from the dock, no issues there. As I witnessed the lake get progressively rougher, due mostly to more boat traffic and more of that being surf boats (don't get me started) it became a bigger challenge. I witnessed the bow of my 205 dip under massive rollers several times while moored to the whips. Not good. Nighttime storms were also a concern and I usually didn't sleep well wondering if everything would hold (it always did). None of my boats had cleats. I would connect the whip to the bow lifting ring and one of the stern lifting eyes, but to control fore/aft movement required spring lines which I also had to attach to the lifting rings. It worked but took some time to secure when docking. Not that I would venture out during rough water (which was most any weekend after 10AM), but doing so required several people to deal with the boat, rollers and the connected lines. As other have suggested, a floating lift would be much better if your conditions were similar to mine. My boat is now on a different lake in a covered lift.
  • 96SNEFI96SNEFI Posts: 25 Baller
    @skimtb : I had a look at one of those air bag lifts. It appears to need some kind of mat or something to protect it from the gear. But that was just one brand. I stopped looking.
    I used to use whips. They worked great. Then came the surfers. Like someone else wrote where they got water over the bow. I preferred bow in so I had over-the-transom washes. The "euro" rear of the NWZ didn't help either. Not fun. Now I'm on a lift. Couldn't be happier watching the rollers come in and seeing my boat high and dry.
    Old outta shape guy very casual fair weather skier for 40 something years.
  • I realize this is an old conversation but I just came across it....

    I am looking at getting mooring whips but everything I see has them attached to a wooden dock and I have an aluminum floating dock made by Alumidock.

    Anyone have any examples of how to attach to an aluminum dock, preferably to the side rails since going through the aluminum decking hindered by the floatation materials.

    @hemlock - you mentioned attaching them to a not wooden deck. Any suggestions for me?
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 378 Solid Baller
    edited March 11
    Not sure I would use whips with a floating dock. All whip usage I have seen is on docks that use steel pipe driven into the lakebed to secure it.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,262
    If you read my post above it explains usage of whips I used in Hawaii. Although our docks were wooden, they were floating docks. The docks had to be able to raise up and down due to tide effects. Worked great, especially since my Nautique sat sideways across from 3 ball in the Slalom Course.

    I don't see any reason you could not use stainless bolts right to your metal dock.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • ironhorseironhorse Posts: 130 Baller
    I have an aluminum floating dock with whips and had my X14 on it for 5 years without an issue and our lake is very rough mid day. @Zackerondacker what I did to secure my whip mounts was make two stainless plates that fit between the trusses of my dock and I drilled the trusses and bolted these in place. On my top deck since I have plastic flow through decking, I used a 1 inch thick aluminum plate that is approx. 5"x9" that is used as a base on top of my decking to spread out the force for my whip mount. It works great and I have had zero issues in 5 years and have seen some serious wave action.
  • rbuss4rbuss4 Posts: 26 Baller
    edited March 12
    Through-bolt the mounting plates for the whips and reinforce the backside with plates or wood also attached to the rails to spread out the pressure. I did that to mount to my wood dock that has removable decking tops. Worked great! I bought a lift last year so my set used 1 year is available for purchase.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 609 Crazy Baller
    Agree with @riplash , get someone to build you a double lift! My bet is additional orders would follow
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 230 Baller
    edited March 12
    Mooring has worked for me for many decades, one can configure the anchor and ropes to keep the boat out of the way and floating away from all hardpoints yet the stern line can be unhitched from it's land securing and pulled over to the dock, the stern rope secured to the dockline, step on the platform, uncover, clip the ropes together to make the mooring retrievable, let it sink operate boat from dock, Reverse the process when done with the boat,
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