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vette-ski

DIY Ballast Project Install

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vette-ski

I'm finally getting around to posting a mini-write up of the ballast install I did this spring. I thought the crew might get something out of the pics since everyone seems to do things a little different. I'll try to keep words to a minimum, but it could end up being a long post. I also decided to host my pics at another site so hopefully they will all work.

First, these are the thru-hulls I chose. Stainless for the exit thru-hulls, and a stock t-handle Perko for the inlet to the pumps. My main reason for selecting these inlets is if I ever sell the boat in the future without the sacs, I can remove the pumps and install the plugs. I would still have to come up with a way to plug the SS exit fittings.

exitthru-hull.jpg

inletthru-hull.jpg

This is a mock-up of my inlet fittings. The 3/4" nipple, elbow, and valve are standard Depot/Lowes issue. The length of nipple is necessary to offset the pump from the bottom of the hull so you can thread it into the valve without the discharge barb from hitting. I think it's in the 2-3" range, and threads right into Perko fitting. All of my pumps (fill/drain) are Rule 1100 gph; 3/4" inlet thread, 1" barb discharge.

fittingmock-up.jpg

Because my exit thru-hulls are for 3/4" hose, I had to modify my Rule pump since they are barbed for 1" hose. I filed down the barbs and used pvc cement to install 3/4" barbs, again from Lowes.

drainpumpsmodified.jpg

Edited by vette-ski

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vette-ski

Exit thru-hull locations are pretty easy to figure out. Just be clear of your decals. I also changed my bilge pump exit to SS as well.

frontdrain.jpg

rearportdrain.jpg

rearstarboarddrain.jpg

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vette-ski

Inlet thru-hull locations are a little more tricky. For the rear sacs, I chose open spots on either side of the v-drive unit. Things to watch out for: make sure you can still swing your ball valves closed without hitting something, and make sure you still have access to the packing nuts on the drive shaft. For the ski locker front sac, I chose a location up beside the sac. I had to watch out for trailer bunk placement for the ski locker too.

rearholelocations.jpg

frontholelocation.jpg

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vette-ski

Here’s the fill pumps installed.

Ski locker fill pump:

frontfillpump.jpg

Rear port fill pump:

rearportfillpump.jpg

Rear starboard fill pump:

rearstarboardfillpump.jpg

For the ski locker drain line, there was already a small hole leading from the locker up under the driver's kick panel. I had to make it slightly larger for a 1" OD hose.

skilockertounderconsolepassage.jpg

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vette-ski

In a previous thread, we discussed the need for venting these sacs. I attempted to vent mine. My approach was to tee into the drain line so I don't need another thru-hull just for vent lines. This view shows a rear sac. I pulled it out for the pic, otherwise it tucks up nicely under the gunwhale. I made sure to point the vent part of the tee up, so when the pumps are draining it goes straight through the tee and out of the boat instead of back into the sac through the vent hose. This sort of works ok on the rear, but not so well on the ski locker sac because everything is below waterline and below the discharge thru-hull. I plan to add barbed check valves on the vent lines to prevent the drain pump from re-filling the sac through the vent hose. That should solve the problem. It works as is, but drain times are slow since part of the water is going back into the sac.

ventlinetee.jpg

Here's some shots of the sacs installed empty. I wanted quick connects at all fittings so I can remove them for drying.

rearsacempty.jpg

frontsacempty.jpg

Here's how my rear drain pumps are situated:

reardrainpump.jpg

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vette-ski

My last hurdle was making a switch panel. I have used up every available switch in my dash, so I had to start from scratch. I like what I ended up with. The only sacrifice was loss of a cubby hole I seldom used. Again, this was done with system removal in mind.

switchpanelmock-up.jpg

switchpanel.jpg

switchpanelmock-up2.jpg

switchwiring.jpg

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vette-ski

switchpanelinstall.jpg

Results:

Fill times are only a couple minutes. Here's the sacs full:

frontsacfull.jpg

rearsacsfull.jpg

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vette-ski

And most importantly, I do see a noticeable difference in the wake as seen from the boat. I have yet to actually get behind the boat though. Hopefully this weekend.

21 mph stock:

21mph.jpg

21 mph, wedge only:

21mphwedgeonly.jpg

21 mph, wedge and 3 sacs full:

21mphwedgeandballast.jpg

And nice versatility with the Diamond hull. Here's 34 mph ski speed:

34mphnowedgeorballast.jpg

In addition to the plumbed in system, I have some extra sacs to play with and fine-tune the wake. I have a couple of those 150 pound Pro-X bricks with handles on them. They can sit in the bow for boarding or behind the driver for surfing (I'm goofy foot). I also have an extra 350 pound Pro-X tube sac that can lay in the bow walkway. Otherwise, my plumbed in system is right at 1200 lbs.

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully somebody gets something out of it.

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stewart

Looks like a nice clean install Thumbup.gif

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wienrdog

Very Nice... :)

One comment - couldn't you modify the black panel you made to still allow you to use some of the cutout area?

It's right up against the side carpet, so it will either already rest on the carpet or a small angle bracket would allow it to rest on the carpet & not flex when pushing the buttons.

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Portugue

NICE job and great info.

I have a 02 sunscape I want to do the same thing to.

Thanks

What was your over cost and time? Thumbup.gif

And most importantly, I do see a noticeable difference in the wake as seen from the boat. I have yet to actually get behind the boat though. Hopefully this weekend.

21 mph stock:

21mph.jpg

21 mph, wedge only:

21mphwedgeonly.jpg

21 mph, wedge and 3 sacs full:

21mphwedgeandballast.jpg

And nice versatility with the Diamond hull. Here's 34 mph ski speed:

34mphnowedgeorballast.jpg

In addition to the plumbed in system, I have some extra sacs to play with and fine-tune the wake. I have a couple of those 150 pound Pro-X bricks with handles on them. They can sit in the bow for boarding or behind the driver for surfing (I'm goofy foot). I also have an extra 350 pound Pro-X tube sac that can lay in the bow walkway. Otherwise, my plumbed in system is right at 1200 lbs.

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully somebody gets something out of it.

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Chia

nice install, any problems with getting a prime to the suction pumps?

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vette-ski

I've yet to add up all my receipts but I don't think it will be that bad. Most of my sacs came off of ebay but are barely used. The fly high quick connects add up pretty quick. So do the thru-hulls. Time....piddling over weekends and evenings. Didn't keep a time clock but unless you have many days straight to devote to the job, I'd plan for a few weeks. Not something I'd do during prime season. Wait until fall or next spring. I store my boat off-site over winter so I couldn't do it then.

Very Nice... :)

One comment - couldn't you modify the black panel you made to still allow you to use some of the cutout area?

It's right up against the side carpet, so it will either already rest on the carpet or a small angle bracket would allow it to rest on the carpet & not flex when pushing the buttons.

I thought about that, but it would have been hard to get enough screws to hold the panel from underneath. That was the quick way to do it. I didn't have a way to mount a block to the inside of the hull. I would have to extend the edged of the panel along the hull for good support of the panel. It's actually not bad because the area behind the switches gives me a place to put my phone that always used to disappear somewhere when you take off.

nice install, any problems with getting a prime to the suction pumps?

No problems with prime of the pumps because they are below waterline. My first trip to the lake this year all I had installed were the fill pumps and fill line. I held them up high to see where waterline is, and it is VERY close to being the same as floor level. So anything below the floor will have water all the time.

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D-GOOSE

Drool.gif I had to keep looking back to make sure you had an 01 because that thing looked so clean, inside and out. The bungee cord in the locker still looks new. Great job on the install.

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mainekneeboarder

What size sacs are those rear ones? They fill the compartment nicely! Thanks

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WaveMake'nLSV

Hijack....how hard was it to drill the holes thru the hull? Am paranoid of gelcoat shattering. I want to install a new Remote on the transom and my OLD one is a mere 3/4-1" hole with the new one being MUCH larger. Any pointers to enlarging the hole?

TIA...and great looking install, btw! Thumbup.gif

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vette-ski

Rear sacs are the pro-X 400 lb v-drive sacs. People have posted on here that the 750's will actually fit in there. I'm still a little skeptical on that but they say they've done it. I'm pretty sure those compartments are deeper on the wake hull. But you'd for sure have to re-locate batteries and modify the front close-out panel on the starboard side. I felt the 400 per side was enough, and still give room to throw jackets or ropes on top.

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vette-ski
Hijack....how hard was it to drill the holes thru the hull? Am paranoid of gelcoat shattering. I want to install a new Remote on the transom and my OLD one is a mere 3/4-1" hole with the new one being MUCH larger. Any pointers to enlarging the hole?

TIA...and great looking install, btw! Thumbup.gif

That could get tricky. You really need the pilot bit in the center of a hole saw as a guide. If you already have a large hole, you definitely won't be able to go center-on-center without the larger hole-saw wanting to wobble a bit and then you end up with a messy cut. How much larger is the new hole? Is there any chance you can offset the new hole so that your pilot bit can go to the side of the old hole, but yet still allow the old hole to be completely cut out by the new hole? The new hole would have to be at least 2x the size of the old hole to do this. If you can't do that, I hate to say it but your best option for making a large hole larger would be either a jig saw (gasp) or a dremel bit and lots of time.

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WaveMake'nLSV

All that being said...I think I could fashion a board BEHIND the hole with short term glue or something and use it to help hold center. I guess if you have the center guide bit and really FINE teeth on the hole saw bit, theoretically it should be fine? Dontknow.gif

Hijack....how hard was it to drill the holes thru the hull? Am paranoid of gelcoat shattering. I want to install a new Remote on the transom and my OLD one is a mere 3/4-1" hole with the new one being MUCH larger. Any pointers to enlarging the hole?

TIA...and great looking install, btw! Thumbup.gif

That could get tricky. You really need the pilot bit in the center of a hole saw as a guide. If you already have a large hole, you definitely won't be able to go center-on-center without the larger hole-saw wanting to wobble a bit and then you end up with a messy cut. How much larger is the new hole? Is there any chance you can offset the new hole so that your pilot bit can go to the side of the old hole, but yet still allow the old hole to be completely cut out by the new hole? The new hole would have to be at least 2x the size of the old hole to do this. If you can't do that, I hate to say it but your best option for making a large hole larger would be either a jig saw (gasp) or a dremel bit and lots of time.

Edited by WaveMake'nLSV

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CedarLakeSkier
Hijack....how hard was it to drill the holes thru the hull? Am paranoid of gelcoat shattering. I want to install a new Remote on the transom and my OLD one is a mere 3/4-1" hole with the new one being MUCH larger. Any pointers to enlarging the hole?

TIA...and great looking install, btw! Thumbup.gif

That could get tricky. You really need the pilot bit in the center of a hole saw as a guide. If you already have a large hole, you definitely won't be able to go center-on-center without the larger hole-saw wanting to wobble a bit and then you end up with a messy cut. How much larger is the new hole? Is there any chance you can offset the new hole so that your pilot bit can go to the side of the old hole, but yet still allow the old hole to be completely cut out by the new hole? The new hole would have to be at least 2x the size of the old hole to do this. If you can't do that, I hate to say it but your best option for making a large hole larger would be either a jig saw (gasp) or a dremel bit and lots of time.

Another possibility would be to build a wood filler made of a round piece to fit the existing hole in the fiberglass, glued to a larger backer piece. The trick would be mounting this backer piece to the inside of the transom (perhaps some type of clamp or "jack" that would hold it in place). This piece of wood could be used to hold your pilot bit in place and allow you the stability to expand the existing hole in the transom.

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Chia
All that being said...I think I could fashion a board BEHIND the hole with short term glue or something and use it to help hold center. I guess if you have the center guide bit and really FINE teeth on the hole saw bit, theoretically it should be fine? Dontknow.gif

I don't think that would work. make yourself a wooden plug to fit in the existing hole (i don't think the pilot drill on the hole saw will reach the backing plate) and screw it (2 screws so it won't spin) to the board you want to put behind the hole. The board behind the hole needs to be screwed to the hull, just screw it within the diameter of the oversize hole you are going to drill for the new remote.

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WaveMake'nLSV

Plus1.gif Good Point!

All that being said...I think I could fashion a board BEHIND the hole with short term glue or something and use it to help hold center. I guess if you have the center guide bit and really FINE teeth on the hole saw bit, theoretically it should be fine? Dontknow.gif

I don't think that would work. make yourself a wooden plug to fit in the existing hole (i don't think the pilot drill on the hole saw will reach the backing plate) and screw it (2 screws so it won't spin) to the board you want to put behind the hole. The board behind the hole needs to be screwed to the hull, just screw it within the diameter of the oversize hole you are going to drill for the new remote.

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Ronnie

Nice install Vette-ski.

Scott, somewhere in all my woodworking travels, I saw a hole saw that would allow you to attach two hole saws to the same arbor to be used just for your application. A small hole saw that would fit in the existing hole to use as a guide would mount inside the cup of the second saw, the second hole saw was the new hole you were cutting. Does that make any sense to you?

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WakeGirl

Real nice Vette. Do you have any prime issues with your empty pumps not being directly attached to the bags?

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WaveMake'nLSV

I have a hole saw with interchangeable blades that lock in place. It goes from 1/2" up to about 2 1/2" I think, with grooves for blades in between for various sizes. I suppose I could leave the smaller one in place and use the larger one to bore. Problem is that is a cheap little tool and less than confidence inspiring when hacking on a $45k boat. Oh and the teeth appear to be for lumber and not fine as needed for FG. Dontknow.gif

Nice install Vette-ski.

Scott, somewhere in all my woodworking travels, I saw a hole saw that would allow you to attach two hole saws to the same arbor to be used just for your application. A small hole saw that would fit in the existing hole to use as a guide would mount inside the cup of the second saw, the second hole saw was the new hole you were cutting. Does that make any sense to you?

Edited by WaveMake'nLSV

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