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Arctic Slalom

Mods for an '04 Sunscape 21...

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Arctic Slalom

So I just bought a new-to-me '04 Sunscape 21.

The boat is in great shape, so I think it's a great candidate to turn into a "poor-man's VTX".

The Sunscape has the diamond hull, so naturally I'd like to maximze it's cross-over capability.

I think i've decided on a samson Blade tower....I just can't seem to find a Titan III.

The boat has a factory wedge, but no ballast.

We have three kids, 12, 8, and soon to be 3.

I sold our '89 Malibu Sunsetter 3 years ago and we really started to surf a lot (our family and friends really got into it!).

I'd say on a typical outing its about 20% skiing, 40% wakeboarding and 40% surfing.

A few questions:

What type and configuration of ballast should I go with?

Do they make hard tanks for my boat? Are they a hassle?

Do I really need the ballast for surfing?

What board racks (brand) should I install? Does it make much of a difference?

Should I have the dealer (who is slow this time of year) just plumb & wire it in for me?

What combination of ballast and wedge in this vintage of Sunscape produces the best wake and surf wave? (subjective, I know).

I'm planning to keep this boat for 4-5 years at which point I'll likely upgrade to a newer VTX.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,

CR

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ryangb

So I just bought a new-to-me '04 Sunscape 21.

The boat is in great shape, so I think it's a great candidate to turn into a "poor-man's VTX".

The Sunscape has the diamond hull, so naturally I'd like to maximze it's cross-over capability.

I think i've decided on a samson Blade tower....I just can't seem to find a Titan III.

The boat has a factory wedge, but no ballast.

We have three kids, 12, 8, and soon to be 3.

I sold our '89 Malibu Sunsetter 3 years ago and we really started to surf a lot (our family and friends really got into it!).

I'd say on a typical outing its about 20% skiing, 40% wakeboarding and 40% surfing.

A few questions:

What type and configuration of ballast should I go with?

Do they make hard tanks for my boat? Are they a hassle?

Do I really need the ballast for surfing?

What board racks (brand) should I install? Does it make much of a difference?

Should I have the dealer (who is slow this time of year) just plumb & wire it in for me?

What combination of ballast and wedge in this vintage of Sunscape produces the best wake and surf wave? (subjective, I know).

I'm planning to keep this boat for 4-5 years at which point I'll likely upgrade to a newer VTX.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,

CR

I bought a 04 Sunscape 23 that had no ballast. These boats take a lot of weight to get a good surf wake. You want to use Fly High sacks, not hard tanks.

We mostly surf regular only. On the port side, I went with a custom LSV sack 1600lbs, with 2 jabscos plumbed in. On the starboard side, I went with an 1100, with 1 jabsco plumbed in. I also have that pump going through a Y diverter valve, to a remote hose I can use to fill the 750, that I put on top of the seat. This winter, Im adding a 1000lbs bow sack, plumbed into a jabsco. We will only fill the bow sack half way for surfing.

You wont need as much weight as I did, with a 21. But will still need a fair amount, as your starting with nothing.

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Levi900RR

This was my plan if I got that thing... Find a Titan 3 tower and if not buy a series 2 from Star one wake. I would get racks from them as well.

As for ballast. I would plumb in Fly high V drive sacs in the rear lockers (#750) like these: http://www.wakemakers.com/fly-high-fat-sac.html

Then get a custom sac that fits under the port side seat for surfing. I'd use 1200 GPH airator pumps. Like these:http://www.wakemakers.com/attwood-tsunami-ballast-pump-1200-short.html

Put the fills under the floor and the drains right at the sac.

For me, I love this stuff so I would want to plumb and wire it, but if you don't, I'd have Peter do it before you pick it up.

POST SOME PICS.

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wakesetter8796

I would personally do 750 in each rear locker, 500 in the ski locker, and a w711 or some lead in the bow. That way you could use the 750s for boarding or surfing. Don't want to over load the boat and have it down to the rub rail, the engine gets starved for oil. Last year our dealer replaced 2 engines on different boats because of that. Indmar didn't want to keep replacing them under warranty so surfgate was born.

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Nitrousbird

I have this exact hull. The wedge alone won't cut it for anything but beginner wakeboarders.

Either do the W707 sack (750lb sack) or W719 (1100lb sack, though you'll only get about 1000lbs out of it).

The hull needs/loves bow ballast. W711 fits under the front seats and will get you up to 300lbs. A locker bag would also be a good idea.

For surfing, the W705 fits very nicely under the port side seats.

You will be happier going with reversible pumps instead of a mess of aerators and run all 1" hose (and 3/4" or 1" for the vent lines). I would also go with the Samson Blade over the Titan.

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Arctic Slalom

Guys,

As always some great advice from crew members!

Levi; i agree the titan would be more classic look for the '04, but everything I've read about the blade is that is "pretty damn strong" and they are a great company. I called samson a few days ago and the lady answering the phone was super friendly and very helpful about technical questions about the tower. Is it fair to say the Starone II does not fold down as flat as the Samson Blade?

Wife also loves the look of Blade. She's not digging the look of the Titan. I just want something that is strong and quiet (and will go the distance).

I'm most likely going to install tower myself (and have it pre-wired for speakers).

Peter and I were talking and it and it's "just dumb" to ship the tower from WA to NY and then drive it back to Nodak.

I'm a total newb when it comes to ballast so a few quick questions:

I'll need (1) pump per bag, right?

Do you 'T' connect the fill into the raw water intake or do you cut a new through hull hole?

What do the aeration pumps do?

Do the pumps ever plug with weeds/sand etc.?

The exit will go through the upper hull (similar to bilge exit), right?

What do I need to do at end of weekend to clean and dry them out? Will they get funky if I don't completely drain? I'm kinda (very) anal about the boat being dry and clean come Sunday night.

Will I be able to fill and empty while I'm driving?

Do the pumps do much to the electrical system?

Overall, I want the ballast to look and feel factory and professional. I want it to be idiot (brother-in-law) proof. :biggrin:

I'm not sure how much storage I want to give up for better wake...

I hear what you are saying about overloading the engine 8796. This is the exact reason I bought a naked boat. No tower and no ballast means limited double ups and not much abuse!

gotta run; kid to pick up from practice!

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wakesetter8796

On the Samson website you can also order racks and speakers with your new tower.

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Nitrousbird

I'm a total newb when it comes to ballast so a few quick questions:

I'll need (1) pump per bag, right?

Do you 'T' connect the fill into the raw water intake or do you cut a new through hull hole?

What do the aeration pumps do?

Do the pumps ever plug with weeds/sand etc.?

The exit will go through the upper hull (similar to bilge exit), right?

What do I need to do at end of weekend to clean and dry them out? Will they get funky if I don't completely drain? I'm kinda (very) anal about the boat being dry and clean come Sunday night.

Will I be able to fill and empty while I'm driving?

Do the pumps do much to the electrical system?

Overall, I want the ballast to look and feel factory and professional. I want it to be idiot (brother-in-law) proof. :biggrin:

- With impeller (reversible) pumps, one pump per bag. Aerators require 2 pumps.

- You want a thru-hull for each pump

- Aerators are a cheaper pump but have limitations: priming issues, require dedicated fill/drain pumps, are more selective on how you position them, etc. They don't suck the bag as dry either. Their advantage is better flow rate on paper, though my real world experience doesn't equate to that. They are also cheaper per pump but require more wiring, fittings, and other items that bring the per-pump cost up...depending on the setup the extras can bring the cost up to near, same, or above the cost of a reversible pump.

- They shouldn't be getting plugged. You don't want to run your boat into the ground, so you shouldn't be filling your ballast in shallow water. They do make strainer screens for thru-hulls but I've never felt the need for them.

- Each bag should have a dedicated vent thru-hull just like a bilge dump. For an aerator, it can T-off or have its own thru-hull to dump the water. For a reversible, it can either just dump out the bottom thru-hull, T-off on the vent, or have its own thru-hull dump above the waterline like the aerator.

- If the lockers get wet I would simply pull the bags out. If you plan on doing this, do the quick disconnects as it will make your life MUCH easier. I'd suggest this even if you don't pull them often.

- I normally don't but I suppose you could. They don't take that long to fill or drain.

- I have 3 reversible pumps going off the stock electrical distribution block running through circuit breakers without issues. Though they call for 25 amp fusing, I've found the 10amp breaker to be sufficient.

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Arctic Slalom

thanks for all the help, guys.

I'm thinking (3) bags:

(2) 400 -OR- 750 lbs in the back

(1) 300 lbs in bow

quick connects

reinforce sidewalls by engine

have dealer install

(3) reversible pumps

Will I be able to get away with 400's in the back? 750's seems like a lot?

I guess either way, the price of 750's is a wash when compared to the 400's (the bag price difference is almost nothing).

The new VTX comes from factory with only 1250 lbs. (but then again you can also get a surf gate on it).

How do they distribute the tanks on new VTX? 800 in back and 450 in front? Where in front, bow?

I'm thinking the 400's with wedge would be great for wakeboarding, but it might be really nice to have the 750's for surfing.

FWIW, I'm about 220 lbs and hope to go ropeless every time we go out.

Edited by Arctic Slalom

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Levi900RR

Go for the 750's, its way easier to put 400lbs of water in a 750lb bag than.... ;)

PS, you may not like what the wedge does for your wakeboarding wake, and those 750's will be nice with the wedge up.

I can't wait to see your boat all kitted out!

Edited by Levi900RR

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Nitrousbird

You want either 750's or 1100's. 400's aren't enough. You don't need to reinforce the engine dividers for 750's; I've had no issues with mine at all. Probably wouldn't hurt but you can get away without doing it. 100% needed for 1100's.

Wedge is needed on the diamond hull. Your surf wave will have poor push without it and the wake shape isn't nearly as nice wakeboarding without it. I've tried going without the wedge a number of times and always go back to it within minutes.

You will need some additional weight on the surf side, which is why I recommend the W705 bag under the port seats. Since you won't be using the starboard pump when surfing regular, you can use a manual Y-valve so you can use that pump to feed the port surf bag. I did this and it works really well.

I'm 6'3", 225lbs, and had no issues going ropeless once I learned how (last year was my first year surfing).

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Arctic Slalom

ordered the samson blade today.

evidently they are only 4 weeks out on production.

still note sure what I'm doing on the ballast.

smooth water are going to install both tower and ballast.

We're thinking 750's in the back, 400 in bow. Might do a hard tank in the bow, but then will need to use drop in cushion for good.

can't wait to see the tower installed!

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wakesetter8796

Are you going to get racks and speakers?

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ryangb

ordered the samson blade today.

evidently they are only 4 weeks out on production.

still note sure what I'm doing on the ballast.

smooth water are going to install both tower and ballast.

We're thinking 750's in the back, 400 in bow. Might do a hard tank in the bow, but then will need to use drop in cushion for good.

can't wait to see the tower installed!

If I were you, I would get the 1100 in the lockers and a tube sack under the side seat, and a 400 in the bow. Your starting from scratch with no stock ballast, so your going to need a lot of weight to get a nice wave.

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wakesetter8796

I personally wouldn't, leans the boat too much. Possibility for ruined engine that gets starved for oil. :/ 750 is plenty.

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shawndoggy

I don't think you need to get crazy weighted. That boat doesn't have a ton of freeboard, and if your less than perfectly skilled buddy or maybe your spouse will be driving from time to time, it will drive you nuts how easy it is to take on water weighted like that unless you are hyper vigilant. 750s, a locker sack and some weight in the nose and you are good to go.

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Ndawg12

400's in the rear of that boat are money for boarding, absolutely perfect imo. But if you're surfing they won't cut it. You want as much weight as far back in that corner as possible. I'd go with the 750's.

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Arctic Slalom

I'm hoping 750's will be plenty....

I didn't order racks or speakers yet. it will be pre-wired, though.

check out this blacked-out blade: https://www.facebook.com/samsonsports#!/photo.php?fbid=10151273759692600&set=a.10151273759517600.473011.92022842599&type=1&theater

I'm leaning towards the blade with the brushed aluminum on the sides...

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Ndawg12

I'm hoping 750's will be plenty....

I didn't order racks or speakers yet. it will be pre-wired, though.

check out this blacked-out blade: https://www.facebook.com/samsonsports#!/photo.php?fbid=10151273759692600&set=a.10151273759517600.473011.92022842599&type=1&theater

I'm leaning towards the blade with the brushed aluminum on the sides...

if you can't get an actual Titan 3 then that blade would be my second choice over the older Titans. Can't wait for pics of all this work...

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Levi900RR

I agree 100% with Nate

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Nitrousbird

I don't think you need to get crazy weighted. That boat doesn't have a ton of freeboard, and if your less than perfectly skilled buddy or maybe your spouse will be driving from time to time, it will drive you nuts how easy it is to take on water weighted like that unless you are hyper vigilant. 750s, a locker sack and some weight in the nose and you are good to go.

I've got the same hull. On this summer's vacation (before I did some ballast changes for the better), I had:

- 750 in the port locker, very tightly full

- 500lb crappy tube sack on the port seats, starting as far back on the seats as you could go

- 500lb crappy tube sack on the port side floor

- Decent sized mother in-law + my 1.5 year old at the time on the observer seat

- ~100lb sister in law on the port locker pad. ~100lb wife driving.

- 300lbs in bow

Boat was leaned but above the rub rail. Wife wasn't doing anything special to be careful driving at all. She turned both directions to get me multiple times, came off plane quickly, no power turns as she knows better. Even hit some chop from time to time, no water into the boat or any worry about that.

I've also had larger adult guys in my boat, with 200lb+ person sitting on the locker pad, 500 under the port seat, could others on the port side + full bow and never had any issues with chilli dipping or water over the side or transom. No oil pressure issues at all either (not that you are going to have oil pressure issues at the angles we can get these boats to lean). The SV23 hull can take quite a bit of weight. Another surfing example:

- 750 port locker

- 200 passenger on port locker pad.

- Port seats had 320+320+230 passengers on the port seats, heaviest towards the back. 200lb driver

- 300lbs in bow + 380 in passengers up there.

Again, no issues at all, totally novice driver at that.

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Arctic Slalom

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Hammertime

One thing you should check it that the base on whatever tower you end up with isn't wider than the location where you plan to mount it. If I remember correctly, Malibu made the gunnels wider on the later model boats, but I can't recall when they changed. We ran into this when I was looking for a tower a couple years ago.

FWIW, mounting the tower was a breeze, providing you're not trying to do it by yourself.

Good luck!

PS - good looking boat

Edited by Hammertime

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Arctic Slalom

I took some time and photo-edited the tower options (both black and brushed).

the black samson blade has been ordered, but figured I'd share:

http://s234.beta.photobucket.com/user/arcticslalom/media/Sunscape_Blade_brushed_zps51849197.jpg.html#/user/arcticslalom/media/Sunscape__zps1c3558e9.jpg.html?&_suid=1360731607067048327108331990764

peace,

CR

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Levi900RR

I like the chrome look.

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