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Buoy Help and Counterweight Weights?


Zarrilli
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We use one that uses screw anchors, a subfloat approximately 4' down, and a counterweight that goes through a loop on the buoy. our counterweights are 16 oz. solo cups filled with concrete. These keep the buoys floating just about half submerged and allow for wave action and fluctuating lake levels. Obviously for tides, you need to allow more room for fluctuation, but the principles are the same. I've set up courses with Ed and we've basically copied his system, though he sometimes uses adjusters that are like old-fashioned tent guy adjusters.
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We have a course on a river with a decently strong current. We have tried everything and there is no perfect option. The best thing we found was 2 inch PVC filled with concrete that is 8 inches long with an I-hook in the top. This did the best of not getting tangled up in the cords.
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Something that worked great for me is..... a pvc pulley zip tied to the buoy. Rope from anchor goes over the pulley to a 16oz plastic soft drink bottle fillled with sand. I put a wire through the top on the bottle to attach rope to. Also zip tied a section of garden hose to the side of the bottle( the rope from the pulley to the counterweight goes through it.). The hose is necessary. This worked very well and was cheap. Found the pulleys in lowes in area where clothes line stuff is. After trial and error the pulleys that were about 3 inches worked the best. Is very well worth the effort.
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In mission bay we used strips of rubber cut from truck inner tubes. The strips would slip through the balls eye when the tides got to high and reached the limit of its stretch. In Maryland on both the Potomac bay and severn river we used surgical rubber that worked well with the tidal range. For a pulley system I did not have enough depth at one end of the course and barnacles would foul almost anything. My sub buoys would require the barnacles be removed every 4 weeks or they would no longer float. A major pain and would result in many cuts.
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We had a course in a tidal area that was subject to frequent damage by other boats, so our parts needed to be cheap and easily replaced. We used concrete block anchors with a short old ski rope upline with a sub buoy that ended in a loop about 3' below the surface at low tide. This part was permanent and we experienced no damage.

 

To the above we tied cheap small diameter poly rope that went up to the buoy and thru a large aluminum karabiner on the buoy, and back down to a sand bottle counterweight. The karabiner served as a pulley and we experienced no hangups. We drilled holes in the necks of the bottles to pass the rope through for tying. The small poly rope was tied to the upline eye and to the bottle with a bowline knot so it could be easily unknotted and replaced.

 

If the rig got run over by a boat, then the small poly line would break easily, avoiding disturbance to the lower upline and damage to the boat. We had to fiddle with the length of the small poly line so the rig wouldn't top out at high tide or sit on the bottom at low tide. Finally found a happy medium that worked at all but the very highest and very lowest tides.

We were lucky to have friends on private ski lakes who contributed their used buoys for us to use on the surface. We all carried sand bottles, karabiners, small poly rope and those used buoys in our boats.

 

 

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