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elib

Ultimate ballast setup? - 2001-VLX

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elib

I'm starting from scratch with my new 2001 VLX. It's not one MLS bag in the ski locker which is leaking pretty bad. Also no wedge. I got the boat three weeks ago and after surfing and wakeboarding with a full boat a few days ago I'm jonesing for lots of ballast. I also love all of the storage on the boat and don't want to lose it all. We usually go straight to a beach at the lake and setup camp so the boat carries 6 folding chairs, tube deflated, etc in the rear lockers.

I'm trying to design the ultimate ballast setup and do it right the first time. Does anyone have input?

I'm thinking a 2 stage setup. I wanted to get custom wakemakers bags to fill the bottom half of the vdrive compartment and build carpeted shelves above them. This plus a new ski locker tank would be stage one. Somewhere around 800 lbs in the lockers and 300 in floor makes 1100# for wakeboarding and potentially adding a wedge.

Then for surfing or getting really crazy on the wakeboard another two bags to fill the space on top of the shelves. Use valves to keep them from filling normally. All gear sits on the bags. Once base camp is setup and the lockers can be unloaded can fill the second stage. Also a custom bag for the port side bench for surfing. And leaving a quick connect hose like fman did in the bow and possibly somewhere on the starboard side behind the driver for goofy surfers. I'm not sure what size bag for that and if I should try to put a bag under the seats or just go for the triangle on top? I would rather have the whenever possible

I would use three impeller pumps with a number of valves to control.

This would allow me to retain as much usable space and still be able to fill the first stage without unloading the boat every time I ride. I'm also not good enough yet to need 2-3k# of ballast to wakeboard.

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gregtrees

I have the same boat (with wedge). I made a ghetto gate for the starboard side which slips onto the swim platform and secures to the rear eye with one turn buckle.

  • I have a 750 for each rear locker.
  • A bag under the port side bench seat.
  • A bag in the ski locker (400 #)
  • I have one bag under the bow seats.
  • I use 3 Johnson reversible pumps with Malibu rocker switches mounted on the dash. They fill and empty through the bottom of the boat. Overflow for the bags is on the port side.
  • I also had the battery moved from the port locker to the forward port storage. Had a second battery and changeover switch added for good measure.

This boat needs weight in the bow and locker, otherwise it is a short and steep wave.

A very nice boat for variety of conditions.

Have fun,

Greg

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elib

What bag do you use In the bow? Did you have to add vent thru-hulls? I only have the one

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elib

Also do you wakeboard with everything full?

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Slurpee

I've got the diamond hull on that boat. For surfing (before the Slurpee Gate) I put 500 lbs in the bow on the list side. Filled the ski locker sac and 400 lbs in the locker sac. Then another 1 or 2 (depending on crew size) 400 lb sacs on the floor or seats all the way back. Wedge is a MUST with a diamond hull anyways. About 11.5 mph. Not too bad a surf wave, but not horribly long. Talented folks could throw 360s easy though. With the Slurpee Gate I have a great wave. All the transom sacs full, ski locker full, maybe 100-150 lbs in the front. People even around the boat. A little more weight on the surf side helps. It's all documented here. What a bear to go find the threads. My boat is oooooold.

Here's my setup with all the reversible pumps. I ended up with 5 pumps. One for the bow, center, and lockers, plus a fifth with a long hose for filling and draining bags loose around the boat for whatever reason. Also for soaking down folks who get a little too grumpy but aren't worth throwing overboard... yet.

http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/21771-finished-my-ballast-system/?p=319418

And the slurpee gate

http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/39941-poormans-gate/?p=555006

Oh, and my advice, don't go cheap if you plumb in ballast. Buy reversible pumps up front. And be sure to put a ball valve at the master thru-hull fittings so you can just cut the things off from water when you don't want to deal with auto-filling and other nuisances.

Edited by Slurpee

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Afun

I've got the diamond hull on that boat. For surfing (before the Slurpee Gate) I put 500 lbs in the bow on the list side. Filled the ski locker sac and 400 lbs in the locker sac. Then another 1 or 2 (depending on crew size) 400 lb sacs on the floor or seats all the way back. Wedge is a MUST with a diamond hull anyways. About 11.5 mph. Not too bad a surf wave, but not horribly long. Talented folks could throw 360s easy though. With the Slurpee Gate I have a great wave. All the transom sacs full, ski locker full, maybe 100-150 lbs in the front. People even around the boat. A little more weight on the surf side helps. It's all documented here. What a bear to go find the threads. My boat is oooooold.

Here's my setup with all the reversible pumps. I ended up with 5 pumps. One for the bow, center, and lockers, plus a fifth with a long hose for filling and draining bags loose around the boat for whatever reason. Also for soaking down folks who get a little too grumpy but aren't worth throwing overboard... yet.http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/21771-finished-my-ballast-system/?p=319418

And the slurpee gatehttp://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/39941-poormans-gate/?p=555006

Oh, and my advice, don't go cheap if you plumb in ballast. Buy reversible pumps up front. And be sure to put a ball valve at the master thru-hull fittings so you can just cut the things off from water when you don't want to deal with auto-filling and other nuisances.

Killer Avatar!!!!

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Slurpee

Killer Avatar!!!!

Thanks. Been using it for close to 20 years now. Just a classic.

Edited by Slurpee

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mgb1974

Also need a prop change. 1235 prop.

My setup is:

750 lockers

500 ski locker

650 bow under seats

Wedge

When I surf everything is filled but locker opposite side of surfing.

Wake boarding full ski, about half both lockers, wedge down.

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Slurpee

Also need a prop change. 1235 prop.

My setup is:

750 lockers

500 ski locker

650 bow under seats

Wedge

When I surf everything is filled but locker opposite side of surfing.

Wake boarding full ski, about half both lockers, wedge down.

Yup. That's mine in a nutshell. With the diamond hull I need about 300 lbs or a couple people in the bow for wakeboarding in addition to what you said or I porpoise.

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UWSkier

Where do you guys store stuff with all that ballast? With two anchors, the boom, the picnic table, PFDs for up to ten people, and three skis in the floor locker, I only have space in one locker, under the port seats, and a bag on the bow seats for surfing.

Suppose I could take most of that crap out of the boat... :)

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elib

Where do you guys store stuff with all that ballast? With two anchors, the boom, the picnic table, PFDs for up to ten people, and three skis in the floor locker, I only have space in one locker, under the port seats, and a bag on the bow seats for surfing.

Suppose I could take most of that crap out of the boat... :)

That's my issue and why I'm looking at building a "2 stage" ballast system with the custom bags. I'd like to be able to fill 400# in each v-drive locker and still have gear sitting above them on a shelf. Then when I want to fill everything for surfing or just breaking my neck on the wakeboard I could open/close a few valves so the vent line from stage 1 goes into stage 2 and fill the entire locker. Same for a bag under the port side bench and a connection for a bag to sit on top of the bow seats. Or a bag that fits under the center bow cushion. I would also keep a medium size bag to put on the floor for goofy surfers or I only have driver + spotter in the boat and want a few more pounds.

One trick I picked up is finding small crevices between the seat and the hull to stuff PFDs in. If you start hunting around you will find small spaces to hide 1-2 PFDs in quite a few spaces. I've got 7 of them stashed away not in lockers right now and I'm sure I'll find space for the last one. For instance, in the large storage under the dash behind the observer seat if you follow the hull towards the rear of the boat there is a space where I stuffed 2-3 jackets. Also put 1 in front of the gunnel "pocket" on the starboard side and two towards the aft of that pocket.

I don't have a boom but want one. I was thinking of some sort of mount on my Titan 1 tower? Or just leaving it on the beach when we want to sac out the boat. That's the other trick is putting everything into removable containers. i.e. rubbermaid tubs and milk crates so it can all be taken out and thrown on the beach or left on the dock when I want to fill EVERYTHING.

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OLDGUY

Save yourself a head ache and buy the kit from WaveMakers. I pieced together my system and don't think I saved any money doing that. Just get the sacks that fill the back and fill them part of the way until you unload gear and then fill them the rest of the way.

I use to valves in my system but got ride of them. Now I have reversible pumps. Keep your system as simple as possible it will save problems down the road.

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elib

Can you fill a bag half full if there is half a lockers worth of stuff on top?

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OLDGUY

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elib

Folks who have bags to fill the vdrive lockers how much stuff so you keep in those lockers? Also what about a shallow "tray" on the top of the locker for a few ski vests ropes etc.

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OLDGUY

If you leave the locker doors unlocked the bags will start pushing the doors open. Then just reverse the pumps for a second.

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elib

Do the pumps tend to pump at the same rate? Could I use A relay and one switch or do I need two?

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OLDGUY

I have a two way switch for each pump. That way you can control how much water goes in each bag. More people on one side I add or loose weight to even out wake.

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elib

Damn did you add switches somewhere? Now I'm envisioning an extra five switches below the dash on the right to somehow match my 420sq. Also no one makes a system to measure how full a soft bag is right? I can't think of how it would even be possible. I do remember seeing an external electric meter for black water tanks on sailboats.

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OLDGUY

My switch panel is on the side under the throttle. No I don't have a way to tell how much is in each bag. The pumps empty and fill so fast that I just look at the wake till it looks like I want.

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elib

Is that switch panel factory or did you add it?

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OLDGUY

Added it.

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Slurpee

Folks who have bags to fill the vdrive lockers how much stuff so you keep in those lockers? Also what about a shallow "tray" on the top of the locker for a few ski vests ropes etc.

I've got the 16x16x42 bags in my rear lockers. That's 400lbs each. They're plumbed with overflow lines out the side of the boat so I can see when they're full without opening up the lockers. They fill up the lockers quite nicely with just enough room left on top to leave a half dozen vests and such. They're also short enough that I have room for my battery boxes at the back of the boat without too much stress on them.

I've got the 10x16x62 ski locker sack for another 400lbs. Again it's got overflow plumbed in.

I've got the 725lb integrated bow sack. It's got overflow as well, but it's usually on the seats instead of underneath them so I can see it. Underneath the seats I think it'll hold about 150-200lbs of water. I rarely put it under there though. I've got it plumbed to work either way, but it is a tiny chore to move the hoses around into a new position.

The only way you'd be able to tell electronically the fill level would be with a mechanical flowmeter. Stuff like that exists, but it's more for folks building gas pumps or chemical dispensing. Larger boards have things like that on their fuel lines for obvious reasons. For a while I had a test system set up looking at the power going to the reversible pumps and trying to interpret the hash to get the motor revolutions. Worked okay, but was still too variable to be useable without double checking. And if you're going to do that, then you might as well not have it. Honestly in the 6 years I've had a plumbed in system it's not been any kind of bother to open a door and look to see if they're full enough or empty yet.

I also just relabeled 4 of my existing panel accessory switches that weren't used to do the pump control. I bought a few new switches and did some wiring to get that done since the switches in place weren't the right ones for driving reversible pumps, but it was very clean when done.

The switch for the fifth pump I have plumbed to 8' of free hose for loose bags I just cut into the hull back by the shower pump switch underneath the rear ski locker door. Looks nice.

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Brodie

My surfing set up, which is dialed for regular IMO:

Rear lockers-750's (still have rooom on top for vests)-both on Johnson pumps

MLS Ski locker-~500 lbs-on aerators

Custom tube sac under port seats-375lbs

Bow sac up front -usually on top of seats so I can fill it full, but plumbed to work either way.

The tube sac and bow sac share a Johnson pump with a valve to control flow direction.

Wedge down

Ghetto-gate- this made the biggest difference. Prior to having this, I would run a 400 or 750 on top of the port seats.

With a light passenger load, I run everything full. With 4+ adults in the back, I run a little less in the rear lockers, otherwise the wake is too steep. I plan to add a larger triangle bow sac for a little more weight up front to counter-act this, but I am a little leery of this as to the increased risk of running the nose to low.

Kids skis go up on the wake board rack, as I have 2 wakeboard racks and a surf rack.

My switches are all factory switches on the dash. I only had to re-purpose one switch for the port/bow pump. The others were already there, I just rewired them.

My batteries are behind the observers seat, and I store vests and my anchor here as well.

Edited by Brodie

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malibuskier2003

I run a 540 in each locker (leaves a little room for vests), a 800 on the floor across the back (up against the seat), a 800 on the floor touching the back bag & running up the walkway & a 650 in the bow. I also have a set of DIY surf gates that I love. It's not bad for no wedge....

Dave

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