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Maintaining a course on a public lake


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There is a course on our lake. 4-5' of water, concrete bases with eye hooks. It is a fairly secluded spot for boat traffic, but it is open to the wind in many directions. The lake fluctuates by 2-3 feet.

Every year over the winter, ~90% of the buoys break off. I think this is mainly due to the wind.

Right now, most of the buoys are tied with the all rubber bungee cords.

1) Anyone have any ideas for attaching the boat guide buoys to make them extra strong. Of course there is a chance a skiier may hit one, but I'd be willing to make those a little more stout.

2) Does anyone have an idea for some super cheap buoys?

3) When I put in a gate or turn buoy, I use old bicycle inner tubes. They are pretty strong, and I trust them to break if I get caught in one. You guys have any dependable but releasable in a crash ideas?

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Measure the length of the bungee at a normal stretch length. Then use some nicer 1/4" dock line and attaching the rope to the buoy and other bungee connection. Leave 2 1/2 - 3 ft slack, this way if the bungee brakes (which is usually what happens) the rope still keeps the buoy connected. If you are worried about the line floating, you can tie a weight to the lower end of the line, this will make sure the additional line slack is below the water line.

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Thanks for the repsonses guys. Do you use rope on just the boat guides, or do you use it on the gates/turns as well?

Are you worrried about being caught on a strong line?

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Thanks for the repsonses guys. Do you use rope on just the boat guides, or do you use it on the gates/turns as well?

Are you worrried about being caught on a strong line?

we use rope ratchets for all of the balls.

though we have not seen any incidents of getting caught on the lines that doesn't mean it can't happen.

i'm not concerned enough about it to change our methods.

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go down to home depot and get yourself a few feet of bungee cord, they sell it on a roll, some hook/snaps like shown above and a bunch ot plastic tie wraps. Surigical tubing works, as does strips of inner tubes, specially bicycle tubing.

tvano, I don't think this is a portable course, with the pvc tubing and either cable to rope to keep it straight. Plus it would be too shallow for a course to work. I may be wrong.

And Barts or ebay is the cheapest place to buy bouys.

You absolutely want the bouys to "release" or someone will get hurt. If you hook a ball, you' absolutely want the ball to release.

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Hardest part I had with a course on a public work was other non-skiers. Case in point its the fourth of July so we head out to watch the fireworks which they launch right by our course. So as we pull up I see some jet skis, fishing boats sitting in the middle of the course. I pull up by the jets ski and the guy is tied up to a boat guide. He then tells me " Hey you can tie up to these balls!" needless to say I took a deep breath and counted to 10 and did some explaining.

Also what we found is when we found a place toinstall the course, it was out of the way and no one really boated in that corner of the lake. Now we have every tuber, boarder and recreation skier skiing there. Which is fine but.....when you have glass water we all know how frustrating it is for someone to be creating wake!

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