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AWSA Extends Model Year Boats For Events


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The exact wording from AWSA:

 

a) Class C and F tournaments may use 2018, 2017, 2016, or 2015 Approved towboat(s) (current and three years prior). Class C & F tournaments may use 2008 to 2014 AWSA Approved Tournament boats equipped with Zero Off with the approval of their Regional AWSA Towboat Committee member (or Chair(s) of the AWSA Towboat Committee.

 

b) In all instances where a boat older than the current model year is used, the manufacturer must also have a boat on the approved list for 2018.

 

The local organizing committee (LOC) may apply to its Regional AWSA Towboat Committee member (or Chair(s) of the AWSA Towboat Committee) for use of an OLDER model year towboat. Consideration will be given to the condition of the boat, speed control system and version of speed control software in the boat. Older boats must follow current Towboat Policy Insurance Requirements.

 

Primary change here is Class C and F tournaments may use 2018, 2017, 2016, or 2015 Approved towboat(s) (current and three years prior). No additional approval required for 2015 and newer.

@lpskier is correct, you could always ask the committee for approval for the use of an older boat.

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This is another improvement in our sport. I like @lpskier have never been turn down by the towboat committee for older boats, but certainly makes sense to formalize these guidelines and eliminate the need for making the request. I would be in favor of something similar for record events, but not sure if IWWF would need to weigh in on that.
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I love this move by USAWS.

 

@John Brooks as I understand it that IWWF does not approve towboats, just the needed buoy times & specs of boats. USAWS is different though. We have approved hulls, props, motors... Its a revenue driver for USAWS......

 

An example would be the boat that was used at the world games, Swiss & German Nationals. Not approved in the US for tournaments but is acceptable to the IWWF for record events.

 

RULE 10 - BOATS - SKIS - TOWLINES

10.01: General Boat Description

For IWWF Towboat Approval refer to Official IWWF Towboat Policy.

a) Boats must have the performance necessary to attain and maintain the required boat speeds

while towing a heavy skier under tournament conditions.

b) Overall length shall be approximately 5 meters but must not exceed 6.5 meters. The beam shall

be not less than 1.80 meters and not more than 2.50 meters.

c) Boats shall be equipped with a towing pylon on the centreline of the boat, approximately

amidships which shall be a minimum of 65 cm. and a maximum of 1.20 meters above the water

when the boat is standing still with no occupants aboard. The entire pylon assembly shall be of

fail-safe construction, designed to withstand a minimum loading of 600 kg. through an angle of

70º from the stern on both sides.

The towing pylon shall have an area integrated in its design for attachment of a trick release

mechanism. It is recommended that this area be included both above and below the tow rope

attachment location and be located as required to insure clearance of the rope and/or trick

release mechanism from the engine housing. This area for attachment of the trick release

mechanism shall be cylindrical with a diameter of 50.8mm, +0.00mm, -0.25mm, and a

minimum height of 28mm. A cantering hole with a diameter of 6.000mm, +0.35mm, - 0.0mm,

and a minimum depth of 1.8mm shall be located on the centreline of the attachment area height

and be oriented toward the front of the towing pylon. Any manufacturer not wishing to comply

shall be responsible to see that trick releases fitting his pylon are available at tournaments where

his boats are used. (See Diagram-7).

d) Either inboard, inboard/outboard, or outboard power may be used.

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@bigskieridaho I wonder how many of these boats will actually have the correct up to date downloads? Also, The new single puck ECI in the newer boats ski nothing like a double puck (antenna) boat in older boats. There is also a issue with bad pucks in the dual system and the knowledge to realize that the puck is bad.
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b) In all instances where a boat older than the current model year is used, the manufacturer must also have a boat on the approved list for 2018.
That seems like a strange - or at least, not technically relevant - restriction. Is it political? A kind of punishment if the company has dropped out of the 3 event market (e.g. Moomba; or, if Centurion gets rebranded to Supreme in 2018, you can't use an older Centurion)?
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@andjules I bet it's about the $$ they companies have to put up to be apart of the boat tests and get approval for tournaments in the US. If they are not paying to play this year their older boats cant play as well. I am not 100% sure about Moomba but I do not think they ever made a ZO boat. As for Centurion I think they will be allowed to. It's the same parent company making the boat. They are just slapping another name on the side.
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In an effort to make hosting tournaments easier, the American Water Ski Association's Towboat Committee has extended the model year of boats that can be used in Class C and F tournaments all the way back to 2008. "This is a forward-thinking move by our towboat committee," said Jeff Surdej, AWSA president. "Promo boats have become harder to get to tournaments and fewer events are being sanctioned. This should open the door for a lot more sites and boat owners to put together more sanctioned events, which will increase membership and tournament participation."

 

Click here is the exact wording from the 2018 towboat policy:

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You also have to remember, who with these older boats will be willing to have their boat used in a tournament and get a additional 8 to 10 hours a day put on their boat? That amount of time would take weeks for private use. Also don't forget about million dollar insurance coverage and the risk of scuffs, scrapes and other damage that could happen at a tournament.
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I do not know what it is like in the rest of the country but here in Southern California there is a serious lack of promo boats. I can only think of one, current year, promo boat south of Sacramento (plus my ProStar). I know there must be more than that but not many.

 

The result is that non-promo boats are getting used and /or one boat is pulling whole events. Adding money to every entry fee and paying the boat owners $5 or $10 per ride pulled is an idea that needs to be talked about more. This is not a solution to the overall problem but does take some of the sting out of getting 5 or 10 hours on your boat in a weekend.

 

I am bringing this up now because this is the time of year the tournaments are being planned. No one likes to pay higher entry fees but I want to encourage tournament organizers to consider this.

 

Or other ideas?

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When I lived in nor cal tournaments had as many as 3 maybe 4 mfgs. Now with one company pulling a tournament in most cases the promo person is getting no additional money from the tournament and may even have to pay to ski. In addition the boat may also be getting 10 hrs per day with no additional compensation. That with the added stress of selling it every year no wonder the promo boats are far and few. @Horton you are correct. Something has to change.

It seems to be that the tournaments don’t want to compensate the promo owner. The tournaments believe in most cases that the factory money is enough.

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@dave2ball I can not understand how a tournament organizer can be against charging a few extra $ per round for the boat owner. I guess there can be some push back from the skiers but anyone in this sport who does not have an extra $10 per ride is in the wrong sport.

To be clear I am not suggesting the money come out of the event organizer's pocket.

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@Horton I know what you are say is that the skier should pay the additional cost. I’m all for that. My take is if the tournament organizer takes $10 more per skier or entry and states that is goes to the promo boat owner the overall entries may go down because many people or skiers believe that the factory promo compensation is enough and should not get additional.
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@dave2ball and that is why it's important thing for us to talk about here. If charging more for tournament entries is one of the things that's going to help the situation we just need to educate the membership.

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At our last tournament (Labor Day weekend) I used my '08 196. There were no promos in KY. The only one had just been sold and picked up. As an LOC, I'm in for charging an additional $10 and paying the promo person. How does that help if there aren't any? If there were, how do I get the word to them that they'll get compensated? At the time I sanctioned our 2017 tournaments I took @Jody_Seal 's suggestion and for the first time in 22 years did an official "tow boat request". That yielded me nothing. I was able to to get promo boats to two of our tournaments and that was due to a direct request. I asked them if they had been contacted by their promo coordinator, since I put in the request online at sanction time, and both said no. So,moral to that is requesting via the USAWS online request is worthless.
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@LeonL If you want to get the word out let the promo coordinator know your intentions or talk to the promo person directly. If you are going to host a tournament after the nationals nobody can guarantee you a promo boat because the need to sell them ASAP. Most promo people are not going to lose a sale for a tournament.

As far as the tow boat request form I know it does work. The best thing to do is contact the coordinator directly.

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There's a reason(s) why there are so few promo boats now. Boat prices are higher and promo "deals" are likely not worth it anymore. Simply ignoring the root causes and charging skiers more isn't likely the long term solution.

 

As I understand it, the whole concept of the approved boat process was an income generator for USAWS and a process where towboats were given a gateway of sorts to pull tournaments. While the promo programs were meant to get new(er) boats at the tournaments, they were also a sales stream for boat manufacturers. And boats that pulled a certain number of local tournaments were able to pull regionals, pulling 3 out of 5 regionals allowed them to pull nationals.

 

I'd like to see real statistics of the number of promo boat owners today vs historically. I'm sure there's a decline but how much? Likewise, in the 80's/90s there were a handful of boats that were assigned (or sold or whatever) to the top level skiers. Seems today there are a lot more skiers who are sponsored by boat companies. I'm not saying that's a bad thing or undesirable, just makes it different from years past.

 

Perhaps understanding the reasons why fewer people are interested in being promo owners is part of understanding the problem. Certainly it's related to the cost, but what's the solution?

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@klindy You are correct about a couple of things. The price of boats are higher. For a first time promo member its can be tough to come up with the required amount of money to get into a promo boat. Higher prices also make it tough to get your money out of the boat. Not many people know how much time is involved being on a team. Your weekends are taken up and you are basically first in and last out at a tournament.

If promo boats go away or become even more scarce, How many people are going to step up and use there personal boat for a tournament with out getting something out of it money wise? You have to have 500,000 insurance coverage plus additional insurers. Its a double edge sword. It comes down to the MFG's. They control what happens with the promo teams.

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Putting 6 hours on a 600 hour boat makes no difference to the value of the boat. Inching 6 hours closer to that 100 hour mark might make a difference. People's thoughts on boat values are weird. "But don't put hours on my new boat!"

 

At 5 bucks a pull, you need 10,000 pulls to pay off the boat (the promo guys are going to jump on me because my math doesn't add up to what they have in the boat). Even $10 doesn't really work. IF YOU ARE SKIING AS A BUSINESS. Who really does that? There's passion and pride involved. A payoff is not possible (doing the math, there are just not enough tournament pulls available). A payoff (over expenses, comped entry, and the full tank of gas) to the boat owner is just ego stroke. Not sure I'm (strongly) opposed but it sure goes against tradition.

 

The current state of the promo program sucks. But the current market that the retailers have to deal with sucks worse. So the retailers who will support or even work with promo boats are rare.

 

Sponsored skiers? Really? Where? Not in California - unless you count @Horton .

 

Factory support? There's just not enough money or interest in 3 event skiing to distract the focus from surfing and tubing. Then we fight over trivial differences between the manufacturers and sour things even more.

 

I haven't gotten a ride behind a 17 this year. Not quite true, Regionals and Nationals might have had the latest boat. I might have gotten a round behind Horton's boat. But I haven't gotten a training ride behind a 17 (OK, one short set behind Will and Brandy's boat). Certainly haven't driven one. When a dedicated and active skier hardly sees the newest and greatest offerings, the promo program has totally failed.

 

A few years ago, Mastercraft sent a boat to an event we were putting on at Stan's lake. After driving and skiing it for a day, Stan and I sat in the boat together. "We're not giving this boat back, are we?" A sale was made by getting the boat out there for people to experience. (Thanks @"Mateo Vargas" .) This is the big and real downside to the new rule. But I'm not sure AWSA had a choice.

 

I've never been on a promo program. But my boat has been used at a lot of tournaments. Looks like it might now see more.

 

Eric

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It's all about money - for the manufacturers. My guess is that the manufacturers don't believe that a 3E promo boat program generates enough additional sales to be worth while. Some say that a promo program takes sales away from dealers. A manufacturer sells a promo boat to an individual for about the same money as it sells the same boat to a dealer. Then then the manufacturer pays the credit to the promo individual for tournaments pulled - whether it is in cash or discount off the individual's next promo boat. Some also provide clothing perks etc. to their promo operators. Thus, the promo program costs a manufacturer a pretty good amount of money per boat. If the manufacturer sells the same boat to a dealer, it has no additional expense (of which I'm aware). So, why have a promo program if it doesn't promote additional sales, and it costs money. The underlying cause is that the demand for three event boats has diminished (I think), and that is because surfing and wake boarding have become so popular. This is just my opinion - I have no industry knowledge - but it makes sense to me. There are lots of individuals who can and do pay $150,000 for a wake boat. There are many individuals in three event skiing who can afford a $60,000 or $70,000 promo boat. There are many legitimate reasons why they don't want to, however. The main reason any individual operates a promo boat is love of the sport and love of boats. It certainly is not to make money.
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@dbutcher we should be happy the boat companies make ski boats at any price. They make a lot more per hour of factory operation making wake boats. If there was enough orders for wake boats I would imagine the ski boats have to wait.

 

This thread is getting side tracked. If you dislike that reality of the boat business we can not change it. What we can do it look for little things that encourage more skiers to take the plunge and be a promo.

 

Will the $10 per ride pay for a $60,000 boat? Clearly no but if I have to trailer my boat a few hundred miles and get a hotel it might pay for my trip. It is at minimum a token of appreciation from the skiers.

 

If there are better ideas I am all ears. How do we, the skiing community better encourage the promo guys or the regular boat owners who allow their boats to be used in tournaments?

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$10 per pull for a three-round, 30-skier tournament is $900 to a promo driver. That would certainly pay for someone's hotel .... and nearly double the cost of the average tournament in the East, which is around $45-55.
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@LeonL , I'm the Southern and Eastern Promo Coordinator for Nautique Boats. I do all of the scheduling for Promo boats. The last I heard there is a issue at AWSA on the Towboat Request Form. It sounds like it's not going to the correct person. As Horton mentioned, it is that time of year when Regions start scheduling for the coming year tournaments. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy scheduling tournaments that are in close proximity on the same weekends. This makes it impossible for boat scheduling! If anyone is interested in becoming a Nautique Promo Team Member get in contact with me and we can talk.
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@jcamp it is a supply / demand thing. If you have enough boats and the owners are happy then Rock On.

 

When you are short boats and promo people you will need to do something. If $10 per ride is too much then $5?

Something totally different ?

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@skierjp is part of the solution. That attitude makes a difference. Thanks.

 

Communication is a problem. There used to be so many promo boats that when we knew who was coming, we knew what boats would be there. Now, getting a boat needs to be part of the plan for the tournament.

 

I hope the call for pay for boats doesn't become part of the promo thinking. Shifting boat costs onto the competitors from what used to be a viable marketing plan doesn't feel right. Almost every boat I've purchased has been from a promo. They all came out ahead from me and they got new replacement boats. I have always been happy with my deals. Hopefully things worked out for the factory as well.

 

Covering travel costs (thanks Jeff Rush for covering UCLA's blown tires), a place to stay, comped entries and a little help is proper. But throwing a wad of cash to @Horton for bringing Mastercraft's boat next door is a stretch. That sounded horrible. Thank you John for bringing your boat to the many tournaments you saved (Adobe for sure!). It was appreciated and nobody felt ripped off by you. Hopefully you didn't bring your boat just for the money. I'm just uncomfortable with a system that incentivizes promo for maximum profit.

 

I'm also uncomfortable with the high tournament entry fees, high boat costs, high ski costs, high gas prices and low wages for our kids. Cost is a factor in skiing participation.

 

I wonder if @jcamp doesn't have the worst of both worlds. Few promo boats and a smaller and somewhat less dedicated skier base. $10 might not cover the travel and $5 might depress the turnout - especially in the M2, W2 future core divisions.

 

Eric

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@Horton I’m all for finding new ways to get more promo boats available and if $5 or 10 a ride is what it takes then great. However my point above is that it used to be somewhat mutual beneficial for the boat manufacturers and USAWS to work together (or leverage each other) to have a robust promo team. Now that seems to have been altered quite a bit. My fear is just adding $5/10 per skier to bring a promo boat isn’t a viable long term solution.

 

In the good ole days there were sites with one or two promo boats on them who would never trailer their boats. They would just use them at the two or three tournaments at this home site. I know that still exists today. Is that most of them today or just a handful? Probably not fair to charge each skier an additional $5/10 on those sites ... maybe it is?

 

Is it just the sites which don’t have a promo boat or two having troubles? Is it a coordination issue? Incentive issue? Supply:demand issue?

 

What can USAWS or AWSA do?

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My understanding is that a boat only needs to pass an acceleration, handling, and speed control test. AWSA should allow any inboard ski boat to submit to the test that approved towboats complete. Get a drone for the acceleration test in each state, have a tech controller administer the test, and that boat can pull a tournament. Then, ski clubs can purchase cheap boats and have them available for tournaments. Or, individuals could buy cheap boats and rent them for tournaments. Granted, you aren't getting a shiny new boat, but you aren't canceling your tournament or altering its schedule for the one promo boat in a 1000 mile radius.

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@eleeski technically I'm not actually a promo person. And if I am never personally compensated for the use of the BallOfSpray ProStar I guess I am ok with that.

 

My point is more than that we need to find ways to encourage the promo guys. The only Nautique I saw in Bakersfield this year came all the way from Northern California. Larson's Malibu gets pulled all over the place and I'm sure gets quite a bit of hours. In Newberry there's a couple of personal non promo boats that are being used to pull tournaments. I don't see why sweetening the deal for promo guys to encourage more people to do it is a bad thing.

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Additional food for thought. You know how sometimes you go to a tournament and lunch is provided? Sometimes there's even a barbecue on Saturday night. Those cost are just buried in your entry fee. A few dollars per ride would be no different

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@klindy unfortunately today promo boats don’t just stay on the lift at there lake. Most team members just stride to break even when they sell and many of us do it for the sport. But keep this in mind if there are no promo boats there may not be any regionals or nationals. As rules are written the TC needs a current boat with in 2 years to have a record tournament.

I appreciate what Horton is doing by bring this issue to light. I don’t think the average skier knows what sacrifices a promo person makes.

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While I think $10 per ride might be too much, I agree that a shortage of promo boats is a a huge problem for our sport. The East lost its best ski site (in my opinion) last year because it couldn't get any boats.

 

Something bold has to be done and a whole host of solutions, including a per-pull fee, should be considered.

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I have been on the Malibu Promo team since 2004. I have seen the price of boats nearly double and as you said the availability of promo boats has diminished. As the boat prices continue to rise those capable of paying these prices is obviously diminished. I think @Horton has a good idea and would actually interest people in maintaining their promo roles. Most places I take my boat to waive my entry fee and often put me up which helps with the cost of trailering a boat 3-6 hrs. As far as allowing any inboard to pull an event don't count on it. The boat test is a huge revenue stream for awsa. Skiers and tournament host should be thankful that the manufacturers are still maintaining 3 event programs. They make far more money and profit on $150000 wakeboard rigs. In the 3 event world wholesale is considered retail. Everyone wants a deal, which limits profits for these companies. On the flip side the wakeboarder pay. Then they add every option available. Do the math you will quickly see where the bean counters at these companies focus their resources. I think Horton is on the right track we as an organization need to incentivize members to maintain promo roles. Or continue to see the numbers dwendle. people may have to use their own boats for events and see 8-15 hrs a weekend racked up on their non promo boats. Also helps when people look to these guys each year when they are purchasing new boats.
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@jcamp You are lucky to spend 30 45 for a tournament. In other places it 70.00 minimum. In other regions. A promo person has higher insurance costs, gas, and possible hotel fees. The time and additional cost does not make it worthwhile for a promo person to give up 8 - 10 weekends throughout the summer. Yes it’s the team members choice to do this but with the price of boats and additional costs with minimal return. 10.00 per tournament or round is not out of line. No promo teams no or reduced tournaments.

 

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@Dave2ball I'm not pretending to know what the solution is, but we can't say "hey, don't ignore one side of the economic situation" while not considering the other. Adding $30/skiers to a tournament will impact a LOT of people. Two of my kids starting hitting tournaments with me last summer (awesome!) and I hope a third does next year. So that's $90-120 more per tournament for me. Will that affect the number of tournaments I go to? Absolutely.
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