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Which buoy product will last FOREVER always under water ?

swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
edited February 10 in News & Other Stuff
On a new submersible course we just installed through the ice, we need something equivalent to a couple of 9" skier balls that will always be underwater and well be subject to daily 1 atmosphere compression/expansion cycles. Is there a particular skier or gate marker product that wouldn't decay and sink after several years ? Don't need or want a fixed volume float - reduced buoyancy at depth is good in this case.

From experience, is there a Brand of Skier or inflatable Gate markers that are most durable ?

Its the blue float added to the original design - it ensures there is no residual tension from the winch-line on skier or gate buoys when the course is "up"


  • PatMPatM Posts: 789 Crazy Baller
    We use a Styrofoam buoy as our sub buoys that may work for you. They have not deteriorated in nearly 20 years that we have used them. We use to use a boat bumper style buoy and those lasted 10-12 years.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    edited February 9
    @PatM Sounds good, but we prefer something that will compress at depth and then rebound. I have a friend who used foam Crab-Trap buoys for boat guides. the looked great but after they were sunk 40 feet every day, they crinkled up and didn't rebound after a while. A standard 9" slalom ball would be fine but I don't know if they deteriorate after several years.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,080 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Try a Wally Buoy. They use about half the air of a normal turn ball. I’d recommend that you use them as your turn balls as well. They are very durable and hold up very well to UV exposure. They are more expensive than the other buoys.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    edited February 10
    @lpskier The boat guides look good. Need their additional volume for buoyancy compared to the wallyskier skier balls for the winch extraction assist. (in the drawing above)

    The turn balls would be good for the course. They would cut the total buoyancy of the course down so the tension from winch to the course would be less, resulting in less stretch in the 700 feet of poly roap between the winch and the course = less winding.

    Good Recommendation . . . thanks
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,080 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @swbca 10-4. Boat guides have the same durability. Wally’s product is the best on the market in my opinion.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 90 Baller
    For a couple of decades, before we finally built a boathouse w/lift, we used a red mooring buoy as part of a system that allowed us to moor our ski boat several yards from our dock, padlocked to a stainless chain that led back to a locked connection to the dock itself. The mooring buoy remained underwater year round for it's entire life there.

    After building the boathouse we passed the mooring buoy on to a friend on a different lake who uses it to suspend a submersible well his lake. All told, that mooring buoy has spent 100% of its life (almost 30 years) entirely submerged. Depths have varied from a few feet to more than 12 feet under the surface.

    "Taylor Made Tuff End" is the make/model; they are very recognizable by their red color with navy-blue heavy-duty eyelet:

  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    RGilmore The Taylor Made Tuff End comes in several sizes so I could use a single float. For exampe the15" buoy has 62lbs of buoyancy - I will probably have to test with some temporary floats to see what I need. Probably start with 9" skier balls that I have to see how many of those it takes to the the job . . then go permanent with a better quality float.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,569 Mega Baller
    What about making a float out of 10 or 12" PVC drill holes and let some water in. As it gets pulled down the air will compress. Won't ever lose its air.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    @BraceMaker a very attractive and inventive idea but it would require maintenance. If its not a closed system, the air very slowly gets absorbed into the water so there is something similar to a very slow leak of air. I did something like that in a previous course. Every couple of years I would dive down and blow some air into the holes forcing some of the water out. Maybe again . . its a "tunable" solution.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,569 Mega Baller
    edited February 11
    Install a bladder inside? Bike inner tube with a few pumps of air in it?

    Or make a sealed partial volume with a separate dynamic chamber?

    Sealed will prevent total collapse.

  • mike_mapplemike_mapple Posts: 158 Water Ski Industry Professional
    We have foam buoys on our courses as "subs" but they have been under water for 5+ years now...and Im 100% if I drive to our lake and dive down they will be the same as the day they were installed, just will have a bit of algae on them! (they sit at 15-25 Feet Down depending on where on the lake, and which course ( 6 ball / and two 4 ball courses )
    [email protected]
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    If you have a blister, pop it, pour some lemon juice on it, and then add salt. -Andy Mapple
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    edited February 11
    @mike_mapple We Need something that compresses with depth to reduce buoyancy. So a good quality buoy or group of buoys is best. We are pulling the float down 32 feet which is one atmosphere cutting the buoy's volume by 50%, provided its initial pressure was equal to 1 atmosphere plus the water pressure at the top position . . . the buoy is flaccid at the top . . not tight and not collapsed. Styrofoam will not lose buoyancy at depth.
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