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Slalom Course Selection


Markhuber01
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So I live on small lake north of Chattanooga TN. We are looking to set up a slalom course. After a lot of reading seems forgiveness vs asking for permission may be the way to go with the local regulators. The temporary courses seem like a good idea, but at the same time seems like a lot of effort to set up everytime you want to run a course. I came across a "Sinking Slalom Course" - Does anyone have experience with this? This seems like a good option to sink it to keep it hidden from vandals as well as avoid the set up headache of a temporary course. Should I just put a permanent course in? and avoid all the headaches and see what happens? When I was a teenager 30 years ago there was a slalom course on the lake, and only fisherman messed with it (tried to cut and sink it) The only issue is the lake is more heavily used than it was years ago. Anyone have thoughts or experiences on how to make the establishment of slalom course successfull?
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Wally sinker is way better than the old accu-float was in term of fiddling with it to get it to work.

 

If you have a permit the ultimate for durability will remain having fixed solid/heavy anchors installed with sub floats and sacrificial lines above - when set at uniform depth the sub-bouys make it quick work to replace balls - and it makes it far tougher for vandals to take out your course. Sure people may sneak in and cut balls - but to sit there and cut all of them will take a lot of time. Anything with a mainline, you get one ball and you can pull up the arms, mainlines etc. quick work with scissors, knives/cutters and your course is done.

 

We're not permitted so I haven't launched mine in years (MI) but these days if I had a permit I'd be having a video camera pointed at it whenever it was in.

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@Markhuber01

So how many residents on the lake and many of them do you think would be onside, information gathering and knowing what you are up against is always good to know permanent or sinkable, but you need to gather info by stealth, the wrong person gets a sniff and your done, even sinkable do not install at a time of day when evetybody can see what you are doing unless its in a corner tucked away from prying eyes.

I take it the lake is public ?

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I just completed installation of a permanent course on a private lake. It was a lot of hard work and we made every mistake imaginable. I would not attempt a permanent course only to find out later that you’ve been denied the use of it. I’d go with a sinkable course and you’ll be skiing much sooner. If you did decide to go with a permanent course that has independent anchors, you need to get plenty of help and with people that know what they’re doing with the proper surveying instrument, etc. Placing anchors on the bottom of an uneven lake floor can be a nightmare.
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Regarding the "permit vs. forgiveness" question, I'd go with the permit. For one thing if you go to the effort of installing a course and get called on it, the agency that issues permits may be pissed off enough to not issue one and then you're out of luck. If you try the "I didn't know..." excuse they'll most likely just be more irritated either because they've heard that before and don't like liars or because they don't like dealing with ignorant people who are too dumb to ask the right questions. Do it right- you won't regret it and may have recourse if someone does mess with it.
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We have had an Accu-sink and now a Wally Sinker on Lake Murray, SC (public) for almost 20 years now. Wally Sinker is a great improvement to Accu-sink. Our course in a great cove for skiing but could never have it up full time due to weekend traffic and jet skis. Permanent courses are not allowed on the lake although there is one. It's allowed to remain b/c there are no houses in cove and it's been there forever (probably grandfathered in). Portable courses are allowed as long as they are removed when skiing is over. Every time someone asks about the course, we always tell them 'we take it down when we are done'. Get it?

Wally Sinker is NC and great to work with.

 

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Our experience has been the closer the fill line to the center of course the less trouble. We used to run ours to shore but it takes a lot more air/time to raise and lower. Also problems such as keeping air line submersed (already mentioned) and risk of people dragging an anchor across. 5 years ago we moved the fill valve to a submersed buoy about 10 feet off centerline of course and in the middle of course. Shortened raise/lower time by several minutes. Also eliminated having to go to shoreline with boat to raise and lower.
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