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Ballast & Battery questions


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2nd post on TMC, have learned a lot! This is my first ever boat & first summer doing water sports, I'm new to all of this. I'm In Canada so buying gear is overpriced & hard to get in from America..

2001 Malibu Sunsetter VLX, no hard tanks, Fly High 750s in rear lockers, stock Malibu bag in ski locker (mistakenly ordered, unknown weight)

1. My dealer carries a 800gph ballast pump for $90 I believe. I want dedicated pumps for each bag, could I run 2 of these pumps on a 1" thru-hull to a T connection and then to the bag? I understand it won't be 1600gph but I would think it will be pretty fast, for cheaper than a Johnson pump.

2. Replacing my 1 battery setup with dual battery, is there a reason people seem to go with a manual switch over a VSR?

Also gonna be looking at putting together a custom NSS style system with Wake Logic in the coming months :)

Had more questions but they're escaping me at the moment..

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Welcome to the club! While i am not by any means an expert, i also have a 01 Sunsetter VLX. I have 750s in the rear locker attached to the 2 aerator pumps for fill and drain each. I am going to chuck that system since priming, wiring and tubing is significantly more work. I know the Johnson is more expensive but it seems to definitely be the professional retrofit way to go.

As for dual batteries, do a search here and there is tons of info but there is nothing bad about going either way. Each has its own benefits as you will see in other threads. I have a manual perko and don't have any issues with it just rotate batteries on different days to ensure good charge. I know a Blue Sea Add A Battery is a popular choice around here.

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I likely have one of the most heavily modded SV23 hulled boats in existence (at least top 10):

- Move the battery out of the rear locker.

- Your dealer is ripping you off for $90 on a 800GPH aerator pump. Like highway robbery ripping you off. Wakemakers sells that same pump for $25: http://www.wakemakers.com/attwood-tsunami-ballast-pump-800.html

- Now ignore the pump above, because #1 you would want a 1200GPH pump if going aerator and #2 skip aerators all together (with their Home Depot looking PVC installs, 2 pumps per bag, priming issues, draining issues, zillions of fittings, etc.) and go with impeller pumps.

- Aerator pumps may have better flow on paper but typically are slower (especially draining) than an impeller pump. A PROPER aerator install that won't have issues (after tweaking it) will end up costing about the same as an impeller install

- 750's are fine for the rear, Fly High 1100's are an even better fit. Neither require divider reinforcement (I've ran both), neither fill to their stated weights nor do most of Fly High's bags actually fill to their stated weight.

As for the battery switch, the Blue Sea Add-A-Battery is really the way to go. Never have to mess with the switch, worry about draining the battery, etc. Search for Shawndoggy's modified diagram for how to properly wire it for house vs. stereo battery.

Also, you need a bow bag. Not really an option on this hull, no matter if you are wakeboarding or surfing...it's even helpful for slalom as I fill it a bit with all other bags empty. It's even more important than the ski locker bag IMO. A bit of lead to move around is pretty helpful too (real lead bags, not that steel shot stuff).

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I moved the battery to the observer compartment so I could run the 750s this summer, but when I go dual I want them under the observer seat. I can't find Deka batteries in Canada, i can get Odyssey for $350 each though.. Good to know 1100s will fit, I had a feeling they would after filling the 750s.

My dealer has unreal markup, but he is the only one on the island so he's got me by the balls. Importing into Canada usually involves brokerage fees, plus shipping costs are through the roof. I haven't called wake makers yet but I intent to..

My dealer said he'll give me 20% off my next project gear(ballast install) because I can't return the ski locker bag, I wanted to try & take advantage of it but if the product is inferior, no point.

Are you running a bag under the bow seats? I'll have a look around for some lead.

Nitrous let's just trade boats, I'm doing same projects you've already done plus NSS..!

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No way I'm trading boats (unless there was a stupid amount of money exchanged...not a lot of LS1 SS VLX's out there).

I am using the under seat Fly High bag - I have 5 bags plumbed in the boat total. Didn't realize you were from Canada, as that will make everything more expensive and a pain in the butt.

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1) Yes, you can run 2 pumps of a single 1" thru-hull/ball valve/T. An 800 GPH aerator pump will be about 550 GPH at the sac, due to length of hose and height above the pump. They work perfectly fine for those not in a hurry. If speed is a factor, consider an 1100 or 1600 aerator or an impeller pump setup.

2) a manual dual battery switch and a dual battery switch with VSR/ASR are both great routes to go, but there is no single best way. it has a lot to do with how the boat will be used, the size of the house battery bank, etc. Manual switch system requires a little discipline, where as the switch/VSR systems dont like to have the house batteries pulled very low.

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After hearing the real-world difference I think I'll try & go impeller pump.

Yup, being in Canada makes every project cost approx 30-40% more for quality equipment.. or overpay for garbage..!

Nitrous - you're running 2 locker bags, ski locker, bow bag, where's the 5th? Do you run all full for wake boarding?

Also where's the hour meter? Dealer said 405 hours but I have no idea where they got that reading?

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I did a long list of mods to my 03 VLX last winter too. Including adding 3 jabsco pumps, adding a bow sac (filled with a tsunami) new pump wiring, adding a second battery and moving the stereo to the second battery along with the pumps. I just did the blue sea relay and skipped the manual switch. I bought my pumps from shuswap ski and board during their Calgary boat show sale. Bought my 4 fly high ballast bags from boattoys.ca during their boxing week sale. Bought my tsunami pump/box anchor/blue sea relay and fuse panel from overtons on their Black Friday sale. I bought my hd ballast hose from greenline industrial supply, this stuff was a pain to work with. Every connection needed to be heated considerably. And if I was to do it again I think I'd vent out the side but drain out the thru hull. I have one check valve that refuses to seat and the rr ballast won't fill unless I plug the vent/drain and then spray some water out and then keep filling.

Which island are you on? West coast or east coast?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

post-23114-14091105284701_thumb.jpg

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West coast best coast :)

I don't have an over tons near me, not a lot to choose from for boat products.

I will be heading to Chilliwack this winter to demo & pick up stereo gear, if there's a good shop nearby I could stop in there too.

With the Johnson impeller pump my understand is its reversible so it would fill/drain on the same thru-hull line? Did you just use ballast line to vent as well? What is it connected to?

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Nitrous - you're running 2 locker bags, ski locker, bow bag, where's the 5th? Do you run all full for wake boarding?

Also where's the hour meter? Dealer said 405 hours but I have no idea where they got that reading?

With the Johnson impeller pump my understand is its reversible so it would fill/drain on the same thru-hull line? Did you just use ballast line to vent as well? What is it connected to?

5th bag is under the port seat for surfing.

Hour meter is on the display on the tach and on the multi-fuction Lowrance gauge if you boat is optioned with them (the right side gauge). I have to rely on the Lowrance gauge for my hours as the display to my tach was out upon purchase and the tach died soon after (since replaced with a Perfect Pass Stargazer setup).

You can either fill/drain on the thru-hull on the bottom of the boat OR have it full from the bottom and drain up top. I just converted to the later and really like it...I will say it sprays water out a lot harder than the aerator setups do. :) You need to install a vent above the water line as well for each bag.

Edited by Nitrousbird
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Alright, what about bow/ski locker bag? Are you using center drain plug, shared thru hull or separate for each one? Vented to the side of the boat as well?

I'll have a look when I get to my boat but I don't think my depth finder is multi function..

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The Blue Seas "add a battery" kit is going to be the easiest and least maintenance option for the battery upgrade. We've been running our set up for 5 seasons now and it's probably the best money we're spent for reliability. Charging to the lowest battery occurs automatically while the manual switch allows you to turn off the power for better security and protection against dead batteries due to a switch being left on.

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Alright, what about bow/ski locker bag? Are you using center drain plug, shared thru hull or separate for each one? Vented to the side of the boat as well?

I'll have a look when I get to my boat but I don't think my depth finder is multi function..

I have 3 pumps (with two diverter valves; one diverter for the ski and bow bag, one for the Starboard Locker and port under seat bag). The bow/ski locker bag pump is off the T-handle port next to the V-drive. The other two pumps are fed through dedicated 1" thru-hulls that I added. Each of the 5 bags has its own dedicated thru-hull for venting that I added.

Do you have the two small gauges like on mine (pictured below)? If so, the right gauge will have hours on it.

1wgn.jpg

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I have 3 pumps (with two diverter valves; one diverter for the ski and bow bag, one for the Starboard Locker and port under seat bag). The bow/ski locker bag pump is off the T-handle port next to the V-drive. The other two pumps are fed through dedicated 1" thru-hulls that I added. Each of the 5 bags has its own dedicated thru-hull for venting that I added.

Do you have the two small gauges like on mine (pictured below)? If so, the right gauge will have hours on it.

1wgn.jpg

Ah I only have the left gauge. What other info does the right gauge give you? I assume that was a dealer option.

Nitrous your info has been incredibly helpful, I appreciate it. I think I have enough details to plan out these projects, I'm sure more questions will come when I get to installing all of this stuff..

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Ah I only have the left gauge. What other info does the right gauge give you? I assume that was a dealer option.

Nitrous your info has been incredibly helpful, I appreciate it. I think I have enough details to plan out these projects, I'm sure more questions will come when I get to installing all of this stuff..

Right gauge is a factory option, most that have one has both. It shows: Air Temp, Water Temp, Voltage, Hours, Clock.

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While I like the idea/look of the easier pluming with impeller pumps I just haven't been convinced its the way to go. Personal I have had none of the issues thats always thrown around when this debate come up and have a bunch of pumps and no valves to mess with, all switches on the dash for every pump/bag. I have replaced one due to my own fault and leaning on it while cleaning out the bilge and cracking it, no priming issues, no burnt pumps, no fuses blowing, and if done with check valves they can look ok. I have also left them on way too long before with a boat load of kids keeping my attention (no high pitch buzzing to hear with aerators ether) and never had one fail, not going to do that with an impeller pump. Check the threads lately about impeller pump issues? Those threads that seem to show up often and the fact that a friend of mine has factory impeller pumps in his Nautique that are always having issues and are LOUD, is the reason i haven't gone that route yet. I have thought about it! I bet there are 3-4 times or more the boats on the site with aerator pumps vs impeller pumps, and not alot of aerator issue threads. The worst thing about airator pumps is the worry they MAY break being plastic and let water in the boat, (I do have valves on the thru hulls but rarely turn them off) the best part is if I happen to have one go bad during a vacation I can run to a Wallyworld and grab another one (I actually have one someplace for a spare that I used to carry with us, cheap insurance!) If starting from scratch and just reading thru some threads on here I would probably end up with impeller pumps, but if I did some research and reading up on it, it may change my mind. Do some research and make your own choice.

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While I like the idea/look of the easier pluming with impeller pumps I just haven't been convinced its the way to go. Personal I have had none of the issues thats always thrown around when this debate come up and have a bunch of pumps and no valves to mess with, all switches on the dash for every pump/bag. I have replaced one due to my own fault and leaning on it while cleaning out the bilge and cracking it, no priming issues, no burnt pumps, no fuses blowing, and if done with check valves they can look ok. I have also left them on way too long before with a boat load of kids keeping my attention (no high pitch buzzing to hear with aerators ether) and never had one fail, not going to do that with an impeller pump. Check the threads lately about impeller pump issues? Those threads that seem to show up often and the fact that a friend of mine has factory impeller pumps in his Nautique that are always having issues and are LOUD, is the reason i haven't gone that route yet. I have thought about it! I bet there are 3-4 times or more the boats on the site with aerator pumps vs impeller pumps, and not alot of aerator issue threads. The worst thing about airator pumps is the worry they MAY break being plastic and let water in the boat, (I do have valves on the thru hulls but rarely turn them off) the best part is if I happen to have one go bad during a vacation I can run to a Wallyworld and grab another one (I actually have one someplace for a spare that I used to carry with us, cheap insurance!) If starting from scratch and just reading thru some threads on here I would probably end up with impeller pumps, but if I did some research and reading up on it, it may change my mind. Do some research and make your own choice.

I only have valves because it was overkill running 5 pumps. Impellers all use the same switches and only require 1 pump per bag. I've ran mine well longer than I should without issue. Probably not a bad idea to change impellers every couple of years (I'm on year 3 with my originals, though there is always a new/improved one coming out every other year). Even easier to keep a spare impeller on a boat than a spare pump. Impellers are louder but not that loud...I never hear them over my stereo that's for sure. There are tons of aerator threads on this site, so that's not a fair comparison, and I honestly see more aftermarket impeller installs here now than aerator ones. What I don't see is people doing an aftermarket impeller install and 1-2 years later going to an aerator setup, yet I've seen multiple threads where folks go from aerator setups, hated them, and move to impeller.

Aerators aren't all bad...you can let them drain forever without issue (never get that pancake thin bag though) and the pumps themselves are cheap/abundant.

Edited by Nitrousbird
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Running dual batteries with an isolator is the only way to go and in my opinion the easiest/hands free way to run. I also

run a dual-bank battery conditioner that I plug in when

the Bu is in the driveway. If you can get 2" lines for your sacks you will thank yourself later. Much much faster.

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