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Front Ballast Questions


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I have a couple questions about the front ballast on an '06 Waksetter...

Is the front ballast all in the floor?

Does it take up any of the foot space in the bow area?

How/when do you use front ballast?

If you were ordering a new boat would you include the front ballast?

Thanks,

David

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Yes, I think you should order it. With the wider footprint of the newer VLX, I think that it's a necessary option. I'm not an expert on when it should be used, but when we test drove the VLX we filled all of the tanks & the wake was really good. Whether or not you use it is probably more up to personal preference, & how you want the wake to be shaped. When we checked out the surfing wake, it seemed noticeably better with both the center & front tanks full, but that was with no extra ballast in the rear & I think that you need more back there to really have a good surf wake. The tank basically takes up all of the space under the front cushions, including under the bow filler. So you have to figure that you don't have any storage up there at all.

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Yes, I think you should order it.  With the wider footprint of the newer VLX, I think that it's a necessary option.  I'm not an expert on when it should be used, but when we test drove the VLX we filled all of the tanks & the wake was really good.  Whether or not you use it is probably more up to personal preference, & how you want the wake to be shaped.  When we checked out the surfing wake, it seemed noticeably better with both the center & front tanks full, but that was with no extra ballast in the rear & I think that you need more back there to really have a good surf wake.  The tank basically takes up all of the space under the front cushions, including under the bow filler.  So you have to figure that you don't have any storage up there at all.

Thanks Tracie...that's exactly the information that I'm looking for. It's going to have to be a tradeoff I'll have to make. I don't think the storage will be an issue with plenty of storage elsewhere in the boat. The thing I'm concerned about is the filled bow filler area. My kids will most likely be in the bow a lot and maybe I'm a little paranoid, but it seems like they would be secure if the can put their feet in that well.

David

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To get the best wakeboarding wake possible, you NEED to have some ballast up in the front. Whether you choose to have the onboard ballast up front or provide your own custom solution which could include fat sacs or fat friends, you need weight up front to make a serious wake.

The reason is simple. With too much weight in the back and not enough in the front, the wake gets too steep and will even start to curl on itself at longer rope lengths (75-80 feet). A wake that is too steep is not your friend because it will grab the front of your board and make you crash. Even if it is not so sttep that it grabs your board, having a wake that is too steep will make your jumps inconsistent.

Putting weight in the front smooths out the wake making it huge but just the right ramp so you can not only get huge pop at long line lenghts but also have a consistent jump that can serve as the foundation for learing all the other tricks.

Just remember to take care not to swamp the boat when the front is riding heavy.

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My 03 VLX did not come with the front bow ballast but my 05 VLX does. I would recommend it. You do lose storage up front but more than make up for it with the rear ballast being mounted under the floor giving you much more storage in the rear. I use the front ballast when the boat is loaded with people or weight. It keeps the front end down allowing you a good hole shot. It gives you a great option at the push of a button. I differ a little from chauncemaster (respectfully) in that if I only have a couple people in the boat I fill the front and mid ballast combined with an additional 250lbs. of lead bars on the floor in the back compartments and have a huge wake that is nice and peaky with a lot of back. If I fill the front ballast it will flatten out a bit too much for me. If I load the boat with people I do the above but do fill the front ballast. Great same consistent wake. If you have a ton of people or weight in the boat do the same except pull the wedge up which will allow you to pull out of the hole and allow your perfect pass to operate correctly. Another great wake. Many options at the push of a button. I would go for it.

Edited by Boarder
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I consider the bow ballast on the new VLX mandatory, can't imagine not having it. The boat NEEDS weight up there. I often ride around the lake even when not boarding with the front ballast full, or at least partially full, to bring the nose down and made it ride nicer.

If I designed it, I'd try to somehow double the weight up there in fact.

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It is one of the options I wish I got. Now I have to buy weight to put up there. The only time I ever use the room under the bow cushion is for sandals and maybe a ski if one of those things makes it's way into the boat. The one other option I wished I got is the transom remote. Post your options when you make your decision.

Greg

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The one other option I wished I got is the transom remote.

This is one option I wish I did not have, I am actually thinking about disconnecting it. It gets bumped all the time by people getting in and out of the boat and sitting on the sundeck. I will not order my next boat with the transom remote.

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Totally agree with Boarder, Boomer and others.

The bow ballast is extremely useful. Better wake and easy way to balance the boat keeping the bow down. Couldn't imagine not having it.

Never had a problem with passengers up in the bow. Kids from all ages actually prefer to have the bow cushions filled in.

Only gotcha to keep an eye on is taking waves over the bow, but that's really not a problem as long as the driver is paying attention. (as they always should!)

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