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Juice75

Ballast Questions...need help!

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Juice75

So here's my delima....I bought a '99 SS VLX, and I want to put an auto ballast system in it this winter, and thought I'd copy the factory install. Why re-invent the wheel, right?

I haven't had a chance to look at how it's setup in a Wakesetter, so I thought I'd pick the brains of the people on here who have a three bag system.

So here it goes:

1. Is there a separate intake/thru hull for each pump?

2. What type of thru hulls do the pumps use? Mushroom or scoop?

3. If I use a scoop thru hull, will I need a to close the valve to keep the bags from filling when moving, or will the loop in the hose be enough?

4. Where are the factory pumps mounted (fill and empty)?

5. Other than switching the hard tanks for sacs, is there anything you would change about how your factory system in setup?

6. How long does it take to fill your ballast?

Sorry for all the questions, but I want to get it right the first time.

And if anybody has any pictures of their setup, that would rock.

Thanks,

Kraig

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dlb

The thru hulls are not scoop type they are a flush to the hull type.

I have shut off valves on each of my intakes.

Each ballsat section (tank or bag) has a seperate thru hull for intake and seperate outflow for the empty line.

The intake pumps are mounted on top of the shut off valve that is threaded into the thru hull. The empty pumps are on the hard tanks and in the empty line of the center ballast bag.

The time to fill is 3-5 minutes. No big deal for me since our family spends 5-6 hours on the lake for a typical outing.

My hard tanks are in the back lockers and the center bag is in the ski locker. Other than wanting the current below floor hard tank system I am satisfied with mine.

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Juice75

Thanks dlb! One last question. Where are the thru-hulls that the intake pumps are attached to? Is one in the ski locker and two in the engine compartment? Can you easily get to the shut-off valves? And can you fill while moving, or does that create suction and starve the pumps?

Ok, that was more like four questions. Innocent.gif

Thanks again.

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Brad B

5. I did change from hard tanks to 440lb sacs in the rear trunks.

I also switched my 700gph fill pump in the ski locker to an 1100 gph fill pump cuz I Y'd it to add a hose to fill other sacs that I might bring along.

The Y has cutoffs so I can direct water flow. It also has a large int. diameter so as not to restrict flow.

6. Fill time is around 5 minutes I guess. Usually busy setting up playlists on the mp3 player while waiting. We fill 2 440s in the rear trunks about 350 in the locker and 2 200s in the bow. The bow ones fill at the same time as the locker.

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Brad B

There are 2 thru hulls in my ski locker - one is for draining the ski locker (t -handle plug) and one is where the fill pump is - they are on either side of the center.

There are 5 thru hulls in the bilge (engine) area. One for the raw water intake to cool the engine, one for the speedo paddle wheel, and 2 for the fill pumps. The fill pump ones are on either sides of the engine near the backseat seatback (!).

all are easy to reach.

The only one I ever shut off is the locker one cuz it seems to draw water from the sac but only occasionally

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DizzyG

I'm probably going to get shot for this, but why don't you just T off of the water intake and put a pump to each sack? If you go reversible you'll save yourself time and drilling through the hull.

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Juice75

My original plan was to use simer pumps (ballast puppies are too expensive) to keep it simple.

Although, once I started thinking about having to wire in relays, replacing impellers, and making sure I didn't run the pumps dry when emptying, I changed my mind back to aerator pumps. I don't care if I have to drill a couple extra holes in the boat....you just use a hammer and a big spike, right?

I don't want to T into the engine water intake because I want to be able to fill while cruising down the lake, and not have to keep an eye on the temp gauge.

Although all of this is subject to change next time I start thinking about it again. I think I've "made my mind up" about five times now.

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DizzyG

I totally understand about accidentally running the simers dry and replacing impellers, although I was pretty good about that with our old boat. I haven't got my plan down totally for the new boat's system yet but I'm sure it'll be a T off the intake.

I never had a problem filling on the fly, and I ran 3 off of our intake, the temp never even increased at all with all three on and crusing around 20-25mph with our '95 sunsetter. Another guy I ride with had a similar setup on his mastercraft without issue and now has a 3 pump setup on his nautique without heating issues. But hey, it's your decision.

Let us know what you end up doing, I'm going to be doing my new setup this spring, so I'll be looking for ideas on how to perfect the system.

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Juice75

I'll definitely update the post once I figure out what I'm doing. It'll probably be a few months, because I'm getting married in 10 days!!!!

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UWSkier
I'll definitely update the post once I figure out what I'm doing. It'll probably be a few months, because I'm getting married in 10 days!!!!

Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured would happen... Crazy.gif

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Tracktor

I just did a full auto ballast sytem on my '98 VLX. I used Simers for convenience & simplicity. I didn't use relays and have no problems. Run-dry is only a real concern with the older impellers. Works good and is very simple.

500lb bag in each rear locker with it's own pump.

400lb center bag with it's own pump.

2 - flush 1" intakes 1 shared/1 isn't (may be if I put in front ballast, currently using lead)

3- 3/4" SS vents, one for each bag with swing valves.

It fills and drains through the intakes. I may change that at some point. So far it works very well. Fill times under ten minutes(I haven't timed yet). .............

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SacRiverRat
I'll definitely update the post once I figure out what I'm doing. It'll probably be a few months, because I'm getting married in 10 days!!!!

Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured would happen... Crazy.gif

Crazy.gif Another case of 'adjusted' priorites post marriage ;)

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jetskipro550
I'll definitely update the post once I figure out what I'm doing. It'll probably be a few months, because I'm getting married in 10 days!!!!

Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured would happen... Crazy.gif

Crazy.gif Another case of 'adjusted' priorites post marriage ;)

Well I think...never mind... :lol::lol:

Edited by jetskipro550

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Juice75

Ok, ok.....well I did finish the ballast system, but just haven't updated the post. Maybe I'll find some time this weekend between going to the Malibu demo day and painting the nursery. Yep, you heard it right. Our future ripper will be here in July! I just hope she loves the water as much as I do.

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jetskipro550
Ok, ok.....well I did finish the ballast system, but just haven't updated the post. Maybe I'll find some time this weekend between going to the Malibu demo day and painting the nursery. Yep, you heard it right. Our future ripper will be here in July! I just hope she loves the water as much as I do.

WOW! Congrats!!! Thumbup.gif

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DizzyG

we got married in Vegas and then had a reception at the lake for everyone that didn't make the trip (which was almost everybody). The day of this stressful event I walked down to the dock with a beer. Grabbed my board and vest and flagged a friend down. I went for a set, came back to the pier and by that time people were arriving. It was a great start to a really fun day. Wife didn't mind a bit, i think she expected that type of behavior. No need to do a priority 180, you are who you are

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sunscapeJeff

Juice75 ... How do you like your system?

What type and size of thru-hulls did you end up using? And did you use the male or female varieties?

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Juice75

Believe it or not, I'm back to update the post. Biggrin.gif But first things first...here's a picture of my future boarder. She was born on 7/9, and we just brought her home yesterday (Mom and daughter are sleeping, so I have a little extra time).

172111210-M.jpg

Now for the ballast install. I went with the Fly High 400 lb v-drive sacs in the back, and a 500 lb fly high in the ski locker. Although, I'm probably only getting about 300 in the front before the locker door pops open. I used the Tsunami aerator pumps with a fill and empty pump on each bag. Each fill pump also has it's own 1" thru hull. The bags drain out the sides. I didn't use any vent lines because the water just pushes past the drain pump when the bags are full. Overall, I love the setup, but I think I need more weight up front, so I'm going to play with that next.

I have a ton of pictures, so I'll break it up by sections.

Part 1: Fill Pumps

When I did my install, I couldn't find any fittings that would fit the Tsunami pumps, so I had to modify them a bit. I used a dremel to shorten the intake side and grind down the threads to fit inside a 1" fitting. Then used some tubing sealer to bind them. All fittings were bought at either Home Depot or Lowes.

Here's a pump with the 1" fitting:

172341123-M.jpg

Assembled:

172340882-M.jpg

To keep the pumps below the water line, the intakes make a 90 degree turn after the thru hull. All fill pumps have a shutoff valve, and the two rear pumps have swing check valves to prevent siphoning. I just close the shutoff valve on the front, since it's easy to reach.

Front fill pump:

172342958-M.jpg

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Juice75

Rear left fill pump:

172349929-M.jpg

Rear right fill pump (tight fit):

172350420-M.jpg

Front thru hull:

172348447-M.jpg

Rear thru hulls:

172348973-M.jpg

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Juice75

The rear fill lines loop up and over the engine divider walls:

172347872-M.jpg

Ran a big loop in the front line under the dash to keep the water from flowing back out...if I don't shutoff the intake valve:

172350915-M.jpg

The hardest part was getting up the nerve to drill holes in the bottom of my boat. I used a hole saw drill bit, and it was really easy once I drilled the first one.

172342341-M.jpg

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Juice75

Part 2: The Drain Pumps

Each drain pump is located at the rear of the bags. I used 1" line between the bag and the pump, and 3/4" line from the pump to the exit port. I widened the hole where the steering cable goes into the ski locker, and ran the drain line through it to exit under the dash on the drivers side. On the rear pumps, I had to notch the divider walls to allow the drain lines to fit over them. The rear pumps drain on their respective sides.

Drain pumps:

172344402-M.jpg

Front drain pump:

172349617-M.jpg

Notched divider in the rear:

172346333-M.jpg

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Juice75

Rear drain pumps:

172347377-M.jpg

Pic 2:

172347568-M.jpg

Rear exit ports:

172347977-M.jpg

Front exit port:

172348208-M.jpg

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Juice75

Part 3: The Switches

I bought the switches from the local Mastercraft dealership. I used a card display holder, like what sits on business countertops with Amex flyers in them, for the switch case. Cut a hole in the bottom to hold the switches, shortened it, and my wife made a cover out of some black vinyl. Attached the whole thing with a couple of bolts, wired it all up, and it works great! The outside switches are for the rear bags, and the middle switch is for the ski locker bag.

Card/switch case:

172348368-M.jpg

Case with the cover pre-assembly:

172349881-M.jpg

Covered:

172350156-M.jpg

Mounted:

172350609-M.jpg

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Juice75

Here're the switches all mounted up:

172348988-M.jpg

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