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Poke holes in my plan

Next summer I plan to permanently place one of our portable courses and attach the buoys when we plan to use it (we can leave in for a few weeks at a time) and let it sit on the bottom when not in use. I've read the many threads on this forum on this topic, but I'm still looking to problem shoot before hand as much as possible. Here is the situation:

Large public lake
Very large cross winds will occur at times during storms (our portables have always made it through these storms but have sagged which maybe helped them)?
Lots of boat traffic
8-10 foot consistent depth
Super clear water (some weeds but not to the surface)
Zebra mussels are now in the lake
Water level might change a foot or so over the course of the summer.

So here is my plan.

Use schedule 40 2" pvc pipe for all sections.

Stainless mainline throughout.

150' or so of cable on each end from 55 to anchor.

Use large heavy permanent cement anchors with rebar driven through it into the bottom on each end attached with chain to a 3' screw in spike.

Have a junction of some kind between the 55's and the anchor for tightening if needed. Considering a come along in there but wondering if that is necessary if it is tight to start with.

Here's where I'm undecided:

1. Do I use 2" pvc arms for the skier buoys or do I just use separate individual anchors for the 6 skier buoys?
2. If I do the latter, will the course move once it is set (end to end) so the skier buoys don't line up with the gate buoys?
3. Should I anchor the mainline in a few places so there is no bowing in the middle (again, if it bows and the skier buoys are not connected then they end up being out of place?
4. Is it better to just have sub-buoys of some kind rather than raising the course to install the buoys? I think finding them will not be that hard as clear as the water is.
5. Is there a subfloat system that would allow us to install buoys from the boat rather than getting into the water? I'm thinking of some kind of automatic leveling system that would also address changes in water level.
6. The water is clear enough that I could just anchor the entire portable course to the bottom and just deal with the buoys if there is a good system to do that. This seems a lot easier than setting individual buoy anchors.
7. Zebra mussels are likely going to attach to the pvc...this could mean the skier buoy pvc sections could end up weighing a lot and sagging more than you would normally expect (even if I put floatation on them).

I'm interested in hearing what worked and didn't work from others who have gone this route. Thanks ballers.


  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 408 Solid Baller
    One of our courses sits in a little less water that is pretty dirty and weedy. We also get a 2-3 foot drop in water level through a season. The turns used to be individual anchors, that's something I would advise against. Even towards the end of the season with the main pretty much laying on the bottom a strong cross wind would move the main off center, it wouldn't come back to center after the wind died down due to weeds and mud. We've since put the turns on pvc which seems to keep it from moving nearly as much and even if it moves slightly its stays ski able.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,065 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Why don't you put in a block course? With water that shallow, it would be pretty easy to drop it in through the ice, assuming your lake freezes. It would take a lot of guess work out of your set up, and may be easier to remove/replace buoys between uses if necessary.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 550 Crazy Baller
    150' on each end seems like way overkill for only 10' of water.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,121 Mega Baller
    I'm with @lpskier. I would do individually anchored buoys and boat guides with sub buoys. The part where you say "lots of boat traffic" got my attention. I've had to replace PVC arms from boats running right over the buoys (in broad daylight after watching me install the course) and snagging the line then breaking the arms. And, I only put my course in for a week or so in a lake with not much traffic.

    If your lake freezes, it should be fairly easy to install the anchors through the ice.

    With super clear water, it should be easy to swim the buoys in. You may even be able to devise some sort of pole to reconnect to the subs without getting in the water, depending on how you set up the sub buoy loops and the buoy lines/hooks. Set the subs about 4-5 feet below the surface.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 587 Crazy Baller
    We have 2 portable stainless courses installed permanently on our river. Each end of stainless mainline is anchored with cement rings that they use for sewer caps. Course is held on bottom with bungees attached to cinder blocks. Balls are held on with adjustable bungees as the depth of river fluctuates. Balls are left in all season. We have not broke any of the pvc arms that go to the turn balls but we are constantly replacing or adjusting balls as MISkier said. On busy weekends other boats will run over balls and cut the line. Or pull the pvc arm and move cinder block before cutting line.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,754 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Question - you have a permit to do this? In MN you need a permit for a course that gets left in over night, even if you are pulling the balls. Only going to take one ticked off fisherman before you have Sherriff issues.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Yea we have a permit. I'm worried that any permanent solution where we tried for auto leveling buoys would get mucked up by zebra mussels where the portable structure acts to level the buoys without requiring a pulley or something else that could get clogged up. Setting Two anchors seems easier than 26 but maybe it won't work as well as I'm envisioning my way. I don't need it to be record capable. We won't be setting any records:)
  • ShakeskiShakeski Posts: 141 Baller
    @foxriverat Where are these courses?
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,121 Mega Baller
    edited December 2016
    If your water level only changes a foot or so over the course of the summer, I would not spend the time, effort, or money on an auto-leveling solution or use a portable for that particular reason. I would just have the buoys attached in a way that makes manual adjustment quick.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,296 Mega Baller
    I would consult with Dr. Jim when it comes to moving courses around...
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 587 Crazy Baller
    @Shakeski Courses are located on the fox river in St charles We only have about a 5 mile boatable stretch from the dam at rt64 heading north before it gets too shallow. I just started skiing the course about 3 years ago but they have been out there ever since I started boating there 25 years ago. There used to be a Jump out there too when there was a ski club called the ski kings.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • ShakeskiShakeski Posts: 141 Baller
    Ahhh - that is South of where I am. Our course is on the Fox River too - but up north on the upper river right before the Chain O Lakes. Very cool! I did not know there was a course (or courses) there @foxriverat
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,252 Mega Baller
    @foxriverat, before Arthur Andersen LLP imploded I would go to training at their facility in St. Charles and I could see your slalom course from the paths down by the river. Never did get to meet any of the skiers out there. It would be different now with BOS. Oh well!!
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
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