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Gas...and guests


behindpropellers
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This is like the rope & handle - don't even show your face unless you have a FULL 5 gallon can of gas or a crisp 20 dollar bill stuck to your forehead. Did I mention FULL can?! Skiing costs money. We all work hard to earn it. 5 gallons gets used up in 2 to 3 sets. The wear and tear and hours etc are "compliments of the host". A half full can is just disrespectful.

 

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We rotate boats for the regulars and the non-regulars are uncommon and welcome (typically because we need the third anyway). As for teaching kids, I consider it a donation in an attempt expand the sport, but in return I refuse any and all tubing requests.
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If in doubt, bring cash. Different people like different things though. The guy who owns the course lake near me prefers cash. I like to just write him a big check at the beginning of the season and keep a log. When I have friends out on my boat, I actually prefer gas since it means I don't have to go to the gas station as frequently but consistency is key. Don't bring gas one day and cash the next. The day may come when the owner expects gas from a couple people and now doesn't have enough for the day.

 

No one I ski with is a stickler and demands money or gas every time but you better be my favorite person to hang out with if I haven't gotten anything from you in 3-4 trips out. I won't remind you either...I'll just quit inviting you.

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a unsolicited 5 gallon can of gas is way more desirable than the equal amount of gas money because we didnt have to drive my empty cans to the gas station and fill them and drag them back. long time ago we had a guy who wanted to ski with us every time we went but he got in the habit of asking each time if the boat 'needs gas?' i finally told him one time the boat never needs gas it can sit there all summer and not use a single drop but *you* need gas if the boat is going to pull you skiing. even after being that blunt he would ask each time if the boat 'needs gas' so we permanantly dropped him from the invite list and dont miss him a bit.
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In the past I would assume a 5 gal can to cover 2 sets of slalom or 1 jump set (6-8 jumps). The current arrangement I have is $10/set no matter what it is. I try to find out what works best with whoever I'm skiing with and stick to that. For the boat owners that have a tendency to refuse both, I usually leave money in the driver cup holder while pulling them. Only on occasion do I pay for sets in beer, but if that is the preferred method of payment...
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@scuppers

 

Too funny! Did you really have someone show up with half a can of gas?

 

I prefer the cash since we have a gas dock and I need to support our lake gas program, if we don't use much gas the delivery company charges more per gallon or a delivery fee.

 

First time guests are free, kids are free, collage kids free. $10 per set for all others.

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@Chuck_Dickey keeping it free for the kids and college kids is HUGE for building our sport. If it hadn't been for college skiing, I would have never really fallen in love with it. This should be the standard everywhere to build and maintain our sport. Thanks for being generous enough to donate for the growth of the sport!
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We do $15 for two sets between boat owners and $20 for non boat owner.

When I go to ski at other sites with boat on lift, I take gas every other time. I only ski 6 passes on a good day.

I don't charge my daughter's college boyfriend who is just learning and skis forever. He cuts grass and works off some of it at lake.

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@scuppers 3 gallons I can totally see being cheap. 4 gallons is just how some people fill gas cans and they may not realize they are being discourteous. Heck I try to put 5.5-5.8 gallons in my 5 gallon cans but one guy who fills up his own boat puts what feels like 4-4.5 gallons in all of his cans. Maybe he does it to prevent spillage since none of his cans have caps on the spouts but still odd to me.
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Only charge people when we are at the course. $10 per set. Two other friends have boats that we regularly ski behind, I do not charge them or their wives, they don't charge me or my wife.

 

I prefer $$ as my boat takes 89 or 91 octane, and runs like sh!t on 87 octane.

 

If we are skiing open water with Family or friends its on me, or if they volunteer to contribute.

 

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Geeze, guys! Skiing takes more than 1 person and if you're on public water you need 2 other than you. I just want to ski. If that means I have to pull you, I don't care. Truly. It's a short season! The amount of people who will show up at 7AM on public water all year is a small sample size to begin with. You'll never see me be a stickler out there for gas or money, particularly with my ski buds who will all return the favor one day or another. It all comes around. Let's go out on the water and have fun. If cash shows up in my glovebox, fine. If not, whatever.
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Pretty generous @jhughes! I find with our regular crew everybody puts in cash evenly to cover car and boat fuel and we fill up on the way to the lake. Works out really well when everybody knows the story. One-off guests or kids don't pay. Bit like the rope/handle situation, it's only our crew who use them so no need for everybody to have their own, but as only two of us are boat owners and we alternate it is welcomed when others help with cleaning or whatever.

 

Skiing is certainly expensive, but not nearly as expensive as being a boat owner, the one who is responsible for getting the show on the road!!

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I second that thought. How much does a driver or spotter charge you when you want to ski and you need a crew. $10 more than covers the gas the boat burns in a set and i'm happy with that. On the flip side I ask the boat owner what I can contribute as this poll has been taken a number of times and what is does show is people feel very differently about what they want. Most of the guys I ski with own their own boats and we just alternate. I keep track so I make sure I contribute my fair share with my boat.
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For those that prefer gas over cash, what kind of gas? I know some people only will run ethanol free premium(91) and overs will run whatever comes out of the 87 handle. The few times I've skied with @MS it has been beer or cash. With buds at the lake it is pulling teeth to give them gas or cash so I always offer to help with dock/lift install and drop of treats throughout the summer.
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If someone is bringing gas, I prefer that it is 89 octane. If they bring 87, I just put that in the truck. I trailer the boat 100 miles one-way to the ski site, so I have significant gas expense for the truck as well. Since we trailer to the site, I prefer the money and don't want to have anyone driving with gas in their car unnecessarily - especially if it is over a long distance like mine.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@behindpropellers I've heard of others doing that method of gas usage as well. I think that would only work with an annual membership though because boat usage is more than just gas.

 

Not to turn this into another ethanol debate but if putting ethanol in your boat bothers you, you definitely need to require cash vs gas. If you want to go out of your way to get that stuff, more power to you but I really don't want to. I run ethanol in everything I own including a custom built 2 stroke jetski running a 17:1 compression ratio and it's fine.

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@Waternut, it is rare to be able to get real gas in Michigan and none of it is anywhere near my house. It is nearly all ethanol here. I would get the real gas if I could and would definitely prefer cash for that option.

 

By the way, I really noticed the difference in fuel economy in my Suburban on the last drive to Florida. It was 3 mpg better than any highway driving in Michigan once I was using the real stuff in the other states.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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MISkier - The Mobil station in town has recreational gasoline that is alcohol-free and 91 octane. It is a bit more expensive, but it works great for the boat. Never an issue running that gas.

 

When I have the Allendale Wakeboard and Waterski Club out, it is $10 per day. The kids got at least 2 pulls per day. When I have guests, they are guests and on my budget. If I go to someone elses lake, I bring along a can of gas with 91 octane recreational gas in it. I figure I would give to them what I would want someone to do for me. Since I only ever ski 4-6 passes, I am always on the upside. When traveling, I will always offer $20. If they refuse, it finds the cupholder or the windshield wiper. I always want to be remembered and polite and generous.

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College student called to see if he could come out and ski with us this past weekend. Showed up with 2 cans of gas. This young man will go far... and is very welcome at the lake.

 

As far a gas contribution I would have to say it depends. If you are bringing something to the party (i.e. good driving or coaching) then the gas contribution will be minimal and vice versa. I personally prefer a few bucks to bringing gas. I pick up ethanol free gas at a nearby station.

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@jhughes It's totally different for the "regular crew" at a given lake. I only ski a few times each year with @rayn and/or @chef23 but I never expect any of us to bring gas or cash for the other, because it all comes out about even and we need each other's help to be able to ski when our regular partners aren't available.

 

The "always bring gas" sentiment applies to places where I am truly a guest: I am visiting their site and requesting that they make time to fit me in. They may not ever ski off my boat back in MA.

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I always tip the bartender a lot on the first drink and tip appropriately on every drink afterward. I get pretty good service that way. Same applies here. So your gratitude, especially on the first occasion. On every subsequent ride, be fair. How much is always a variable it seems, so...

 

Ask your host in advance - gas or money and how much per set. Everyone has different situations and preferences. Guest should expect to contribute something. Host have the prerogative to decline or take less than offered. Some hosts will tell you "nothing - you don't need to bring any...", but they are just being nice. Bring something. Try at least 3 times to give them the cash/gas you brought. If they still decline, then be very thankful for the free pull. Pay them in other ways by...

 

ALWAYS help to keep the boat clean and dry, wipe off any mud you bring into it, keep your ski from banging the boat when moving it from inside to platform to water, etc. Finally, unless schedules do not align, ALWAYS bring a "boat towel" and help wipe down after the fun is over.

 

This isn't that hard folks.

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Just a note - in many zones 91 octane is pure gasoline - no alcohol. It depends on the EPA attainment zone. Most "recreational gasoline" that does not have alcohol is higher octane, because that is just how it is blended in bulk and shipped from the various refineries. I don't use 91 in the boat just because it is 91, but because it does not have alcohol and it simply runs better without the water in the gas tank that alcohol attracts.

 

When I donate gas, I dontate the good stuff. Just like anything else, if it worth doing or giving, make it good stuff.

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@OB, my manual for the Indmar in Malibu says 89 octane. Same with my previous MasterCraft. So, I have always tried to use it when it is available. I wish the alcohol free was more prevalent. I would use that, even at the wasteful 91 octane.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Being a college student has its advantages in the ski world. When my college team friends and I go to ski with other people we always offer cash but it is rarely accepted. It is great that people like to help out the college skiers. I will gladly let college skiers ski for free with me when I am older.

 

That being said, when I invite my college skiing friends to come to my place to ski I expect some form of payment. It is tough footing the bill for boat gas and truck gas when I don't even have a job during the school year.

 

In reality it is the thought that counts, if your ski partners don't even try to pay, they aren't great partners. And also don't ask the person how much you owe them, give them more than what you would expect to be paid if it was your boat. Its awkward telling someone how much to pay you because you frankly don't want to sound like a cheapskate asking too much.

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91 Octane is not the "good stuff" I would much rather get the correct 87 octane gas that my boat is made to run on. Octane is a measure of the fuels RESISTANCE to knock or pre-detonation, and as such it is actually slightly less volatile and energy dense. So to start with it will make less power in my engine that is not tuned for it. Second since it hs so resistance to detonating it will sometimes not burn 100% in the cylinder, and will leave behind a carbon buildup, this in turn will raise your compression, and then you will HAVE to run 91, which is why some people run 91 for a while then try 87 and say "oh man this bad boy runs way better on 91, what a beast".

 

 

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My take. If I offer ten dollars for a set(six passes), I'm really offering maybe four dollars to ski behind a boat in which I share no expenses because at least six dollars is burned, if I only ski six passes and don't fall much. The cost the owner has incurred by letting me put twenty minutes on his late model ski boat is many times more than four($4.00) dollars. The owner IS, not "in essence is", paying me to ski behind his or her boat. If I offer twenty dollars, that is fourteen dollars for twenty minutes on his pride and joy. So twenty dollars is a hard minimum and he or she is still subsidizing my outing. This is just considering depreciation and maintenance caused by my twenty minutes. I'm guessing very few owners expect a contribution to all the other significant costs involved, but I certainly don't think I am being "generous" when I offer thirty dollars(or seven and half gallons) after my seven passes with three crashes.........Gas or cash? Ask the owner.
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Sometimes the boat owner was needing a driver. When cash/gas is offered, it is refused bacause w/o the "guest" the boat owner would not have gotten to ski. Still, when I am this guest, I always repeat my offer until something it accepted. Just good karma.
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@ToddL I would think the driving would be a wash? The "guest" probably would not "have gotten to ski" without an owner's boat and most likely owner's driving. I never think I'm doing an owner a "favor" if I'm lucky enough to be invited to ski. So, if I'm asked to play tennis at a public facility with a court fee, I shouldn't pay half the cost because it takes two to play tennis and the other person might not have been able to find a different partner? Maybe I should change my way of thinking. "You wouldn't have gone to dinner by yourself, so you can pick up my tab as well. Thanks!!" I'm going to save quite a bit of money from now on, but I'll probably lose some friends along the way.
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@Ghibli has it TOTALLY correct. Period! This "need a driver" baloney is just that. Baloney! After about 3 times of free drivers you sorta feel taken advantage of. I'd just rather have my wife drive (she's better at it anyway) and less wear and tear and most importantly, LESS TIME. The time it takes to ski is perhaps more valuable than all else.
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@Ghibli, @scuppers,

 

I must suck at writing because it seems you comprehended my post the exact opposite way it was intended...

 

I was saying that when I am the guest in that situation, I offer money and often have to force the boat owner to take it.

 

Where I wrote "when cash/gas is offered, it is refused" I was saying that then a guest offers money the boat owner often refuses it... I continued explaining that I think it is important as a guest to insist that they accept the contribution.

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We never take anything. IMO if I invited you to come ski at my site, I am responsible for having a working boat, gas, a course, etc. On the rare occasions that I go and ski with someone else, I always take cash but it rarely gets accepted. I have tried to stick in in cup holders before and found it stuck back in my jacket pocket when I got home.
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