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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through March 18, 2009 » Flag Buddy « Previous Next »
By Norco_Boarder (bill_sloan) on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - 4:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My crew and I picked some of these at the boat show and I thought I'd share a link with everyone. I haven't tried it out yet but is it holds up it will be nice and handy.

By Lou (ferral) on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - 6:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Make sure its legal where you are. Unless I'm mistaken, in CA it has to be a person physically holding the flag, those hands free things are illegal.
By Bill K (bill_airjunky) on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - 6:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The thing that might not work here is that the flag needs to be down, out of sight when the rider is up, and up above the bimini & speakers when the rider is down.
By Mike Buchner (flagbuddy) on Thursday, February 05, 2009 - 7:00 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Believe it or not I am the inventor of the Flag Buddy. I live in Colorado and have also heard some states may not approve of it… So I started doing some research and made some calls to the boating regulation office in Washington, California, Arizona and Oregon, all states have slightly different rules. However they all had about the same thing to say regarding the Flag holder.
1. The observer must run the flag.
2. It needs to be viewable from all sides. (I sell it with a 30” flag to help with this)
3. It can’t be up permanently (That’s the coolest feature of the flag buddy you just rotate it up and down.)
(They all said it would be legal in their state).

All that being said, I realize what they told me… and what is actually practiced by the rangers at the lake might be different. I’m really looking for feedback from people who think the Flag Buddy might not be legal in their state…..

By Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111) on Thursday, February 05, 2009 - 7:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I think another great thing about it is that you will most likely never hear the common phrase, "hey where'd the flag go?"... you know when someone sets it down at their side and then someone else moves it or something.

I know that Lake Powell has some of the strictest rules and a lot of other lakes and parks will look to Powell as an example. there is a good chance that if Powell says it is cool then everyone will.

i'll have to check with them some time. i already have some plans to talk to them about some other stuff. maybe monday...

By AnT (regalado1) on Thursday, February 05, 2009 - 9:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here is what I came up with a few years ago. It was a fun project to do. I'd like it to be a little faster, but it's fast enough. And I made it, so I like that. Wired it to one of my Aux. switches on the control panel.

By tj (tj_in_kc) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 8:00 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mike - or anyone else, can you chime in on this.

I NEED a solution to this exact problem. I live on a private lake in Kansas City, MO. We have different rules on our lake than the state laws.

I need a flag that is 360 degrees viewable. Meaning it needs to mount on the sides, or top of the tower, and unlike other places the flag stays up all the time someone is in the water, and all the time someone is wakeboarding. only take it down when you are totally done with watersports. It also MUST me mounted and can not be held by hand. right now i'm using a flag stuck in a Teeball bat thing. it's ghetto.

Have you ever made one of these, or is there one available for a Malibu Illusion X tower?

If you have let me know how I can order one!

(Message edited by tj_in_kc on February 09, 2009)

By Bill K (bill_airjunky) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 9:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey AnT (regalado1), I'd be interested in seeing more about how you made that. A friend of mine has considered using a power antenna from a car. But usually that motor is pretty bulky & might be tough to conceal on the tower.

Mike, I'd be interested in talking more about your flag in WA & ID waters. Like I said before, the issue the water cops seem to have here is that the flag needs to be completely hidden out of their view when we're riding, and then up & visible from 360 degrees, which can be tough with a tower, bimini & speakers. So I would question if most flags were enough. Maybe 30" would do it though.

By Cory McLean (kikitlo) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 9:46 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
If memory serves me correct, Ant didn't you use a power Antennae motor?
By Cory McLean (kikitlo) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 10:49 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
By Bill K (bill_airjunky) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 10:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
HEhe, slick. Thanks.
By Mike Buchner (flagbuddy) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 2:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey guys
Actually one of the guys here on our lake has an illusions tower with speakers and a bimini. It works great for him. The Flag Buddy has a few features that make it work well for almost all boats.
• It clamps to your window (it has rubber clamping pad so it won’t slip or scratch)
• All you need to do is slip it over the window and tighten wing knob.
• It’s designed to rotate up and down. (In most states it’s illegal to leave the flag up permanently. Don’t want to tick off Mr. Ranger)
• The rotation is done by a ball joint so the Flag Buddy can rotate in both pitch and yaw… 360 degrees in pitch and 70 degrees in the yaw direction. This allows you to maneuver the flag away from speakers and board racks as well as positioning the flag so other boaters can see it better …. i.e. between the speakers instead of behind them….
A couple of other features that are handy:
• With just a ¼ turn of a thumb screw you can remove the flag from the holder. (This is handy if you need to give some idiot a better look at the flag… or if Mr. Ranger is close by and you want to be double sure your legal. )
• For guys who have the standard tower. I also make a tower mount….
I have a few videos on Flagbuddy.com that might give you a better idea of how it works….
FYI I have a machine shop in my garage so if you have special flag holder request I may be able to help.


By Norco_Boarder (bill_sloan) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 5:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm got the tower bracket model. I think it will be handy and very convenient.
By Nate (mammoth) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 6:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Can anyone find the section of the boating code in CA that says the observer has to hold the flag?

I call BS. Cali law only states that you must have an observer, and that you must display a flag when your rider is in the water. Nowhere is it stated that the observer must also hold the flag. In fact, the opposite is explicitly stated, that the flag may be mounted.

7009. The Ski Flag.

(a) A red or orange flag measuring no less than 12 inches on each side, in the shape of a square or rectangle, mounted or displayed in such a manner as to be visible from every direction shall be known as a ski flag.

(b) The use of this flag will not be construed as conferring any rights or privileges on its users, and its display will not be construed in itself as restricting the use of the water in the vicinity of the vessel displaying the flag.

(c) Operators of vessels will, however, exercise precaution commensurate with conditions indicated.

(d) The ski flag shall be displayed when one or more of the following conditions exists.

(1) A downed skier.

(2) A skier in the water preparing to ski.

(3) A ski line extended from the vessel.

(4) A ski in the water in the vicinity of the vessel. The ski flag shall not be displayed at any other time.

By tj (tj_in_kc) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 9:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm going to try this guy's flag buddy invention, i talked to him and he's a mechanical engineer, and seemed to be a really nice guy.

Told me he'd take it back and give me a refund if it didn't work for my setup.

I'll report back after i get it in and let you know what i think of it.......

it's 65 here today and the lake thawed over the weekend. If the water is 35 and the air is 65 degrees, does that mean i can board with my wetsuit? ha-ha seriously considering it!

By Waylon (wayz) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 11:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Just curious if anyone is using this in CA, with only 2 people (the driver, and the rider). Is this legal? No 3rds?
By Nate (mammoth) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 11:43 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Not legal to use without an observer in Ca.
By Steve Jones (steve_jones) on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 11:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Flag Buddy is the bomb. Can't wait to use it this summer.

Also, on the law, unless something has changed in the last year, there is not a specific law in California that requires a person to hold the flag. I (regrettably, very unprofessionally) argued my way out of a ticket on Shasta when the officer did not like us putting the flag in the boot of a binding when we were floating around and swimming. Our actual flag just happened to have the rules written on them so as he went to write the ticket, I told him I would be happy to hold the flag manually if he could produce the rule that said we had to do so. After some discussion, 3 hours later he returned to our boat and said I was correct. I had the actual law written down at some point but I am 100% sure that the law does not mention an actual person must hold the flag. He really wanted to write that ticket.

By Cory McLean (kikitlo) on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 8:15 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Good to know Steve. Thank You. We actually swim around the boat alot and I too put the flag in the bindings of the board in the rack. But question. Is there or is there not some rule/law that states that you cannot use a flag for someone swimming around the boat? I thought that it stated something along the lines of "Rope in the water" "skier" something?
By Steve Jones (steve_jones) on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 10:22 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Cory, I don't really know if you have to have a flag up for people just swimming around the boat, but we usually do so anyway to avoid trouble. Common sense (not law) would say that a Ranger could ticket you for not doing so and could argue the downed skier/swimmmer thing. I don't think it's part of the law though, but you could look it up to be sure.

The Ranger that came up to us on that occasion would have written us a ticket for anything had he be given the chance. He made us do a full coast guard-like inspection and came up with zip. He actually had to go to his headquarter office and brought back the "official book" (whatever that is) to show us the rules on the flag. That was how we got out of the ticket.

By Cory McLean (kikitlo) on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 11:50 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah its nice to know that they are out there patrolling to keep us safe.
By Nate (mammoth) on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 12:02 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Actually, you are not supposed to fly the flag for swimmers in the water. The flag is ONLY for tow sports with riders or equipment in the water. See section 4 of the California Code that I posted above.

I've seen Sherrifs on the Delta remind people of this rule to clear things up...and I'm glad for it. I've had a few confusing moments where people are flying the flag while swimming in a slough. According to the rules, I assum there is a rider or a line extended from the boat that I can't see...so I come off plane and drop my rider. Their violation doesn't cause a safety issue, but it does interrup a good set.

The flag is meant to be a signal that you need to be cautious and look for equipment or riders that are NOT in the immediate vicinity of the boat flying the flag.

By Brent (bfnaci) on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 7:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I was kind of hoping the "Flag Buddy" was going to be a blowup full size body with hair, sunglasses and boardshorts to act as a third.
That would be great, need that sometimes when you can't find a third and the weather and water are perfect.

By Is the plug in? (bftskir) on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 8:00 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
click on "Fake It"


By tj (tj_in_kc) on Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 7:22 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
ha-ha, that video is hilarious man!

we also have a lot of trouble finding a 3rd sometimes...we had a blow up doll we called areola last summer. she was okay at spotting, but sometimes would come loose and fly out of the boat, ruining my run!

By pete c (saceone) on Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 10:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
^^it's the first time I see an outboard MC wtf!

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