Another Jump Ramp Question… Flotation!

coledimichcoledimich Posts: 15 New Baller
I really appreciate the help I’ve gotten from everyone already and hope its ok if I ask a few more questions as we’re going through this process of getting our *new* ramp into jumping shape.

Basically I’m looking for opinions on flotation. I have one person telling me plastic 55gal barrels will do the trick and we can get them for about $5 a piece from a local car wash. I have another person, who I consider pretty knowledgeable, saying they are sketchy and we should go with 24”x48”x16” foam filled dock floats which are about $180 a piece. I’m inclined to agree that we should go with the proper dock floats but since the price difference is going to be about $100 total vs $1500 I figured I should hear from some people who really know before we go ahead with either option. So would 55gal drums work well or will we regret going down that road?

Thank you all so much!
Tagged:

Comments

  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 134 Baller
    We’ve been running barrels from a car wash for decades without issue, we do use closed cell styrofoam to adjust the length and to float the side curtains.
    coledimich
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,835 Crazy Baller
    Kinda depends on how the jump is constructed, ie. "racks" that hold the flotation. Closed cell foam is good unless you have muskrats.

    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge

  • sheskis7sheskis7 Posts: 81 Baller
    I just redid my jump after 30 years. Old floation was the Dow Billets, found new on line at a place in Florida. Bought the same as I had. They are the long blue blocks and we have all kind of critters and nothing eats them. the advantage I see over the boxes they are easy to work with as far as spacing, easy to cut with saw. They worked great for me. I also have some old if you need any let me know. Text me your phone and I'll send you photos of mine
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 15 New Baller
    @sheskis7 my phone number is 858-997-9096. Would love to see some pictures of your setup!
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 15 New Baller
    @LeonL excuse the paint work, still in the midst of finishing that up but here are some pictures of the structure of our ramp if that helps. The sections in between the I beams are all either 2.5x 4ft or 3.5x4ft.


  • sheskis7sheskis7 Posts: 81 Baller
    The Dow Styrofoam Billets (Blue) are 20" x 96" x 10" ordered from Dock Builders Supply Gibsonton, Fl. I ordered 6 $1126.50. Like I said they are easy to cut to size and they will never get waterlogged and critters won't eat them
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,835 Crazy Baller
    How do you keep your flotation in place? It appears that everything is flush on the bottom with no "pockets" for flotation to fit inside to prevent movement.

    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,294 Mega Baller
    Not on a jump ramp but we use plastic barrels on our swim rafts and dock. We've adapted them to have axles by drilling through both ends of the barrel putting a PVC pipe through with a flange on both ends, PVC glue on the pipe and the flange, before pushing together toss a load of 3M 5200 and then push it together and run some stainless screws in.

    Pull the large bung, drill a hole and pull a tire stem valve through.

    Then reinstall every bung with silicone caulk to seal it and pump a few pounds of air into each tank. So long as they hold they're good to go if not use soapy water like doing an inner tube and find and seal your leak. Pressurize each to a few pounds.

    Then you mount by running a galvanized pipe through the PVC across the frame and lashing the pipe down - on wooden docks this is usually by drilling a hole through the frame and then cutting out around the hole to form a U notch and then you just screw some of that galvinized joist hanger strap across the hole.

    When you do this if you pull it one way all the drums roll like wheels and you can pull it up on shore with a winch or tractor instead of carrying it. Then for storage you jack it up with a farm high lift jack and stack cinder blocks under it. So for service you can just go around and around jacking it up until you can drop the drums out to roll them out for service/replacement.

    Problem is they will need replacement they will crack and leak. If you install valve stems you can go around with a bike pump and pressurize them then watch for leaks. Which of course is the problem with these drums. As a side effect if you mount them rigidly with barbed fittings at the top and a few small holes at the bottom you can just pump them till all the air blows. If you had a ramp that has shore power for water pump you could also pump air into all the drums and solve most leak issues easily.
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional
    edited August 4
    @coledimich do it right the first time, I have tried everything, this is my 12th or so build/rebuild...
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 15 New Baller
    edited August 4
    @LeonL if you look closely you can see that the angle steel in the pockets is raised a few inches so flotation can be trapped inside the I beams that make up the boxes of the frame. That being said I don’t yet know how the floatation will be bracketed on or attached since this ramp is brand new to us and we are just learning everything as we go.

    @BraceMaker the ramp already has an axle built in so no need to add extra wheels and I think we just want to do it the right way instead of a jerryrigged system so that there is as little upkeep as possible. We are a college team and it is difficult to get people to do this kind of work or even have people that do know how to do it so we are trying to do everything we can to reduce having to make fixes in the future. Obviously there will still be many but just hopefully smaller ones. That’s why I asked the question, basically I want to know if plastic barrels would be considered jerryrigging or if it is pretty standard.

    @mmosley899 That’s the goal! Would you mind sharing some more description and pictures of what you’ve done to “do it the right way”? Seems like you have lots of knowledge and we’d love to learn from that!
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @coledimich i used 4 4x6’ encapsulated dock floats, bolted to the frame on the last three ramps I built as the main floatation. I added additional smaller floats to adjust to the weight of the frame. If the jump is only used at 5’ for collegiate, you may not need any additional floats. Forget the plastic barrels and unprotected foam, they are more trouble in the long run. But the encapsulated floats are more expensive. You can get many different sizes to fit your frame. Surprisingly enough you can order them through Home Depot, and they will be delivered to your local store. Or try Overton’s.


    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional

    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional
    edited August 4
    This jump is for sale if anyone is looking for one...

    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
  • nautique1228nautique1228 Posts: 14 Baller
    @Mmosley889 sent you a message about the jump
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 15 New Baller
    @mmosley899 Can you recommend a good long ram jack to use? We need to replace the jacks on ours and it looks like you used some on that ramp you have for sale
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @coledimich I used one from Northern Tools, inexpensive, not too sure about how it will hold up.
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
    coledimich
  • Timr71Timr71 Posts: 67 Baller
    @mmosley899 Is that the one from the World Games? I saw that it was still tied up to the dock when I drove past there this past Saturday.
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 766 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @Timr71 Yes, we haven't had time to move it yet. It will move to the Flipside lake at the other end of the park unless we sell it. We had three people jump over 200' on it.
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    2022 World Games Competition Manager
    Timr71
Sign In or Register to comment.