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Lake erosion from competition ski boats

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  • Lake erosion from competition ski boats

    Our small ski lakes, there are 2, one is 60 acres, the other is 40 acres, is surrounded on 3 sides by some very nice homes here in Florida in a gated community. The community owns the lakes. There is an HOA in place and the board has changed many times since the development was started in 1986. Since its inception the lakes have been called waterski lakes. Over the years, since 1990, the board has picked up the term "multi use lakes" and established a 150' no wake zone marked by buoys spaced quite far apart in front of the existing homes. Now the current board wants to add quite a few buoys and space them closer than they are now. Skiers on the lake feel the 150' width is too wide, and the board thinks they need it to protect homeowners' property from erosion and intrusion by passing boats and jet skis.

    Does anyone know if a ski boat wake, not wake boats as they are not permitted, diminishes as it travels across a small body of water? Would it make any difference if the no wake zone was 100' or 150' if a boat was passing by as to the affect the wake would have on the shoreline?

  • #2
    Yes, to answer the specific question, and without sighting a specific reference, of course (in light of other factors) wave energy diminishes over distance. So in that regard they are correct.

    That said, this screams of a new hypothetical property owner buying next to a long standing dairy farmer [long standing SKI lake] and then whining about the smell [boat waves].... Which utterly ticks me off.
    Last edited by 86Skier; 05-25-2022, 09:38 PM.


    • #3
      Wow, 40 acres? Maybe they should just impose a 10hp limit and be done with it.


      • #4
        the basic answer is yes if does have an effect,

        he more nuanced answer is yes, but there are many more contributing factors than just distance, for a ski boat (small fast waves) bed profile IMO has the greatest effect on bank erosion, followed by bank construction, followed by distance. For large slow rolling waves, distance is a far greater factor because there is significantly greater energy per wave. I ran some numbers on this a couple of years ago and it was dramatic.

        We have similar close to me, race track been around since it was converted after the war and "new" people moving in an trying to get days open limited, lower noise restrictions, curtailed opening times etc...


        • #5
          Have 2 examples myself this morning....

          Detroit Dragway (The Dirty D) was closed in the 1998 after operating since 1959. I remember going with my father to see the likes of Don Garlits with the Swamp Rat, Hemi Under Glass, The Lil' Red Wagon, The Bounty Hunter as well as the Snake and Mongoose facing off in the Funny Car series run. Some say decreasing interest in the races were the heart of the tracks demise however attendance was on the rise after a multi million dollar investment in renovations were completed in the mid 90s and several high profile races were move to the strip. The track was considered out in the middle of nowhere when I was a kid but you could hear the cars run from our house in the summers. What really killed off the strip were the constant demands of recent local developments that were constructed all around the strip that demanded increasingly more stringent noise levels and operating days/times the locals imposed on the strip.

          Indian City RC Plane Club - Probably the name alone would have killed off the club these days as the fully woke would have their heads explode over the thought of having word Indian in a title however back then it was recent local developments that did the same to this club as well. In the old days the planes ran 2 stroke engines that ran on Nitro Methane and castor oil fuel. You could only fly about 8 channels back then but with essentially 8 weed whackers running at the same time the noise admittingly could be annoying to say the least. When my father and I first started the hobby and flying there the field was (like the drag strip) out in the middle of nowhere. It was actually only a mile or so away from the drag strip. The same groups of people that saw to the end of the drag strip got the flying field closed as well. That was done even after all the planes were required to have mufflers. This time in addition to noise the locals declared the planes to be dangerous to the public and on par with missiles, since they ran NITRO methane fuel. The groups declared that these NITRO fueled missiles would crash into houses and in turn burn them to the ground. BTW this never came close to happening as long as I was a member which was some 8 years. I don't think I ever even seen one burn period in the whole time I flew these planes.

          In many ways what we see today is just an extension of these tactics and policies which I never see changing. At the end of the day some people just love to suck joy out of anything they see others enjoying. They move from an area they basically have regulated to the point of nauseum to another area where things seem so much cleaner, freer then intact all the same rules that made their original home cities a ****hole.
          Last edited by bturner2; 05-26-2022, 06:54 AM.


          • #6
            Wow, 40 acres? Maybe they should just impose a 10hp limit and be done with it.....

            We have a usable slalom course on this 40 acre lake.


            • #7
              I understand that. But on that puddle you're not going to get away from noise or waves if there are power boats of any size. My point was everyone should just live with it since it's small and "grandfathered" or have the whole body no wake.


              • #8
                I'd kill for a 40a lake! ours is 20, no wake boats, no surf boats, no ballast & no erosion!


                • #9
                  Chris nailed it - the slope is more important than the shoreline. IE a very gradual slope has relatively little erosion because the rate of water travel over bottom is relatively low.
                  Waterski lakes are usually shallow like 6 or 7 feet with slopes that were extremely gradual like a 16:1 or 20:1 slope - these are pretty stable for a competition ski lake, but if you start running a wake boat down the lake they are insufficient. At that point you really need 10-15' of depth in the middle, this often forces a steeper slope like a 10:1 to a certain depth. But this will erode more/faster.

                  To have a deep lake and maintain the slopes you need to have a much wider lake which means more wind etc. So there are more commonly hybridized slopes say a central 10' section with a 3:1 slope then tapering down to 16:1 to the shoreline - but this will badly erode unless you have heavy say 3-5" riprap on the bank.

                  If you want a sandy bank you probably want a shoreline that's 20:1 for a good distance to not erode.