Wanted - A Footy Creche

Summer comes and so does the seaside. So Footy sailingh stops - can’t risk a beloved boat thatv we sweated at all winter sailing off toweards Africs, Japan, Long Island …

What we need is a floatinng barier that will easily and cheaply expand into a circle of, say, 65 feet diameter. If it were to have an Internet course inside it, so much the better. Tio go in as small as bag as posible and (ideally) cosdt no more than 20 Euro cents (I’m being generous here - they’re bigger than US cents!).

Come on you course engineers: a new challenge!

C’mon mate … add a gps and point towards Point Spears on the other side … let our footy’s free!

Seriusly though folks …

one more jest… angus, i am fine if your boat floats off and ends up on long island… or, at the mouth of the connecticut river would be better…:sly::smiley:

here are three ideas for barriers though.

1 swim lines. the cheap ones are still more expencive than anyone owuld like, but it works…

2 light twine with fishing bobbers, pingpong balls, milk cartons, etc attached so it floats on the surface.

3 polypropelene rope - or what ever the stuff the floats is called


Strings of Popcorn, maybe left over from Yule? You better make that circle 110 ft in fdiameter ( a 50-foot radius for the Footy course, plus a little.)


No, Tomo, dimensions are right - creche and course and go wnd-rode together. REmember the hula hoop?

Practically. How do we get this lashup to go from a bag on the car seat to a nice circle in the water without getting our feet too wet or spending a fortune? Come on there. Air pressure sounds good but is it? And how cheap?

I seew your point. You can either have the course centered in the hoop, or the hoop move with the course.

There’s these foam sticks called “pool noodles” or something similar you can get for a couple bucks (canadian) around here. Made for kids to use in the pool (and great for whacking someone over the head with!), so they’re nice and bright. Each one is 4-5 feet. You could probably cut them up into 6" sections and tie them together with rope to make your own cheap swim lines.

Are they hollow?

sometimes. you want the ones that do, they have a little hole right down the middle of the entire noodle, take saw, chop up, perfect course markers! or course floats, or footy floatation or, or, or, lol. … the only thing you should know is that “noodles” have a life expecancy of about 1 summer, so just keep that in mind next sprin gwhen the foam has rotted, this is not going to be a long-term investment… but i think it is brilliant all the same!:zbeer:

OK - say 60’ “circle” has perimeter of 3.14 * 60 = 188.4 '. Say 5 feet. per noodle = 38 noodle. What’s the diameter? Bu cuttling the nds of each noodle at an appropriate angle, it should be possible to produce a semi-rigid polygon that will 'self-deploy. Probem is whether it will go in the back of anything smaller than a Chelsea Tractor (SUV).

So assume 3" diameter and smple rectilinear packing. Take pack as 6 * 6 noodles (should be able to slip another couple in somewhere without changing external dimensions of pack appreciably). So we end up with a packed size of <= 1.5 * 1.5 * 5 feet. Is this realistic? Is it practical?


The noodles I get are 4 inches in diameter, and somusually have a narrow hole. A displacement test determined that they will displace 1 Lb. for 6 inches (for the 4 inch noodles). Although “Experts” have stated that one noodle will float a 200 Lb man, one 48 inch noodle WILL NOT support 200 Lbs! Try it- put 200 Lbs of lead ballast in a pail and tie it to a noodle: it sinks. Lesson: people in the water only weigh a few pounds.

Instead of cutting the ends at the angle needed to form the circle, it is better to just round the ends, because the lengths will never keep their position. Rounded ends will accomodate any angle needed to make the circle. Just keep the line tight with all the ends touching.

As an alternative, I would suggest using short sections ( 5 or 10cm) of the noodle with brightly-coloured floating plastic sleeves. Interlacing the noodles on the sleeves carefully, should make them pack very efficiently together well enough to fit into a car’s boot.

Also, we have been using these in model powerboats for years. They will not absorb water, and if not exposed to a hot engine, solvents or Petrol, they should not deteriorate, and mine have lasted many seasons, and mine still are in very good condition ( but a little dirty.) They will, however, become fouled with algae from the water, and could use a periodic washing.


Thanks for that Tomo. As I see it the major problem is to get something that will deploy into a circular shape, and stay that way ( +/ -), preferably without anyone having to get their feet too wet.

Any more ideas?

You forgot about the /Murphy’s law effect on circular things,’ which means that the circular barrier will never be or stay circular!:mad: Without rigid joints, that is, and you may even have difficulty with that. What I mean is that your circle will deform when the course tries to move when shifted by the wind. Even without the circular barrier, the course’s line itself will most likely be crooked as it shifts, until the wind tightens it ( asuming the shifted wind blows long enough to do that!)

On plan A, if the joints between the sections are cut reasonably angled, the most likely thing is for the thing to becomeslightly sausage-shaped with the winf. I think we can probaby live with that.

OK. As long as you aware of the problem. Getting the sausage to go back to a circle is going to be tricky. Perhaps splicing in some elastic sections into to the rope circle? A small-scale experiment ( string and straws) may help.

You could get really complicated and just make the thing powered. If I’m not mistaken, throwing a couple motors on it to give it some spin will mean it stays in a circular shape. Although this would only be practical if it wasn’t 60’ in diametre.

Being exactly circular is not vital. What we’re trying to get is a enclosed piece of water on which to sail a few Footys that can be launched and retrieved without going swimming and which is reasonably transportable.