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Chatty21VLX

Help design my ballast system and spend my $

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Chatty21VLX

I have a 2001 vlx with MLS ski locker bag only. I have the stock 2 aerator pump system. I recently bought two 540lb eight.3 locker bags, and I want to permanently plumb them in this off-season. I'm pretty sure I want reversible pump(s) instead of aerators, and probably replace the ski locker pumps with a reversible. No plans for a bow bag yet. Fill and drain speed isn't super crucial since ballast will only be used for surfing. I have 2 rocker switches not being used, so I can add up to 2 reversible pumps or 4 aerators.

So, how would you do it if cost wasn't a huge factor? Diagrams would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by Chatty21VLX

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jwl019

I would buy 3 of the reversible complete kits from Wakemakers and use them in the boat.  I would install a pump for each rear locker bag, and with the 3rd I would run up to the bow for a sac or make a quick connect and a piece of hose that you could fill a bag anywhere in the cabin or the bow if you wanted to.  I would leave the stock MLS alone for now as long as it is working unless you want to replace that bag with a bigger one.

For now, just 2 of the kits would get you the bags on each side of the locker, then once you fill the 540's and notice you need the bag in the bow, then you could order the 3rd kit.

Here is my install on my VLX:

 

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sabre
18 minutes ago, jwl019 said:

I would buy 3 of the reversible complete kits from Wakemakers and use them in the boat.  I would install a pump for each rear locker bag, and with the 3rd I would run up to the bow for a sac or make a quick connect and a piece of hose that you could fill a bag anywhere in the cabin or the bow if you wanted to.  I would leave the stock MLS alone for now as long as it is working unless you want to replace that bag with a bigger one.

For now, just 2 of the kits would get you the bags on each side of the locker, then once you fill the 540's and notice you need the bag in the bow, then you could order the 3rd kit.

Here is my install on my VLX:

 

I did something very similar.  One thing to try (it works great for me) is that I put 1 large hole in the bottom of the boat (1.5") then made essentially a manifold that each of the pumps pull from.  I run 4 pumps off of 1 hole.  Based on what I read here and at other sites, 1.5" is enough to not limit the 4 pumps based on flow dynamics.  I did plumb for the bow bag (I run a 750 in the bow and 400 in the walkway) at the same time.  I'd recommend it, then you've got all the tools and parts for the plumbing at one time, you just don't need to use it immediately.

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minnmarker
1 hour ago, sabre said:

I did something very similar.  One thing to try (it works great for me) is that I put 1 large hole in the bottom of the boat (1.5") then made essentially a manifold that each of the pumps pull from.  I run 4 pumps off of 1 hole.  Based on what I read here and at other sites, 1.5" is enough to not limit the 4 pumps based on flow dynamics.  I did plumb for the bow bag (I run a 750 in the bow and 400 in the walkway) at the same time.  I'd recommend it, then you've got all the tools and parts for the plumbing at one time, you just don't need to use it immediately.

Same here. 3 reversible pumps running off of one 1.25 inch thru hull. I think the sharing slows them down a bit when running all 3.  Maybe one minute when filling the rear bags to 900 pounds. 3rd pump is shared by ski locker and bow bag thru a Y valve.

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Chatty21VLX

I don't need the switches in the WM kit. For some reason I have 2 unused rocker switches on my dash. I was planning on getting the factory looking switch covers from Bakes and using my existing switches. And I want them to drain above the water line so I can tell they're empty. Maybe drain through vent line with check valves?

22 minutes ago, minnmarker said:

Same here. 3 reversible pumps running off of one 1.25 inch thru hull. I think the sharing slows them down a bit when running all 3.  Maybe one minute when filling the rear bags to 900 pounds. 3rd pump is shared by ski locker and bow bag thru a Y valve.

Have pics of the manifold, and a link to where to buy it?

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shawndoggy

Are your existing switch bodies dpdt? you may need new switch bodies if so....

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Chatty21VLX
13 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

Are your existing switch bodies dpdt? you may need new switch bodies if so....

Yes, at least one of them. Not 100% about the other.

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NWBU
4 hours ago, jwl019 said:

I would buy 3 of the reversible complete kits from Wakemakers and use them in the boat.  I would install a pump for each rear locker bag, and with the 3rd I would run up to the bow for a sac or make a quick connect and a piece of hose that you could fill a bag anywhere in the cabin or the bow if you wanted to.  I would leave the stock MLS alone for now as long as it is working unless you want to replace that bag with a bigger one.

For now, just 2 of the kits would get you the bags on each side of the locker, then once you fill the 540's and notice you need the bag in the bow, then you could order the 3rd kit.

Here is my install on my VLX:

 

My setup is also somewhat similar except that I just have 2 reversible and put a diverter valve on the starboard line that flips between either filling the starboard locker or the line running to the bow sac. Works great for me since I'm listing the boat and only need to fill one side at a time.

I surf regular so I'll fill the port and bow sacs at the same time, and when a goofy rider is up I'll switch the diverter valve to fill the starboard sac at the same time I'm emptying the port sac, leaving the bow sac filled the whole time. Or you could reverse the setup and run the diverter valve off the port pump if you're predominantly goofy. Both reversible pumps fill and drain through the bottom through-hulls.

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Chatty21VLX

Anyone have the wakemakers diagram for the impeller pump with shared vent/drain port (drains above the water line)? It's the only one listed on their resources page that doesn't have a working link or image.

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minnmarker
1 hour ago, Chatty21VLX said:

Anyone have the wakemakers diagram for the impeller pump with shared vent/drain port (drains above the water line)? It's the only one listed on their resources page that doesn't have a working link or image.

When you do it that way you need one way valves between the thru hull and the pump and between the pump and the drain line and in the vent line between where the drain line connects and the bag.  Those valves restrict flow so will slow down both filling and draining.  We just listen to the pumps and/or watch the bags when draining. No matter how you do it someone has to be paying attention.

I made the manifold with parts from a sprinkler supply warehouse and a plastic tubing site that had the 1-1/4 hose. Wakemakers had the 1-1/4 thru hull and valve.

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Nitrousbird

I have one of the better wakes out there on this hull - I recommend copying my setup.

Get rid of those tiny locker bags, they are worthless.  Get some Fly High 1100lb bags.

Replace the just OEM ski locker bag with a new one.  They don't fill as much as they could and I hear of leaking issues.  Dump the aerator pumps for it or keep them if you really like them. 

Get the under seat bow bag.  Just do it, you need it.  Also get an under seat bag for the port seats...again, you need it.

You can run everything on 3 reversible pumps and 2 valves (so you can split the pump between multiple bags).  I also recommend dumping the water above as it is much easier to monitor the bags draining.  I've done it both ways and above is much better.

Ignore what switches you have; you will need to rewire everything anyway.  I also recommend getting about 300lbs of lead.  If you don't have a wedge, you need one of those too.   It isn't cheap to surf on this hull but when setup correctly it can make a pretty decent wave for a smaller 21' boat.

 

 

Edited by Nitrousbird

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Chatty21VLX
12 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

I have one of the better wakes out there on this hull - I recommend copying my setup.

Get rid of those tiny locker bags, they are worthless.  Get some Fly High 1100lb bags.

Replace the just OEM ski locker bag with a new one.  They don't fill as much as they could and I hear of leaking issues.  Dump the aerator pumps for it or keep them if you really like them. 

Get the under seat bow bag.  Just do it, you need it.  Also get an under seat bag for the port seats...again, you need it.

You can run everything on 3 reversible pumps and 2 valves (so you can split the pump between multiple bags).  I also recommend dumping the water above as it is much easier to monitor the bags draining.  I've done it both ways and above is much better.

Ignore what switches you have; you will need to rewire everything anyway.  I also recommend getting about 300lbs of lead.  If you don't have a wedge, you need one of those too.   It isn't cheap to surf on this hull but when setup correctly it can make a pretty decent wave for a smaller 21' boat.

 

 

I totally get what you're saying, and it's not what I wanted to hear. My boat doesn't have a wedge, but I just bought the mounting plate from a TMC member, so it will have one by next season. How much return can I expect from a big automated ballast system in an older boat? 

I was hoping to be able to put in a nice automated system that I can surf, while not going so huge that i'm afraid to drive it on our large lake. I tried to go back to look at your ballast posts, but all the pics are broken links... I would love to see a diagram of your system.

And yes, my ski locker bag leaks a little, and I want to get rid of the aerator pumps. 

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minnmarker
37 minutes ago, Chatty21VLX said:

I totally get what you're saying, and it's not what I wanted to hear. My boat doesn't have a wedge, but I just bought the mounting plate from a TMC member, so it will have one by next season. How much return can I expect from a big automated ballast system in an older boat? 

I was hoping to be able to put in a nice automated system that I can surf, while not going so huge that i'm afraid to drive it on our large lake. I tried to go back to look at your ballast posts, but all the pics are broken links... I would love to see a diagram of your system.

And yes, my ski locker bag leaks a little, and I want to get rid of the aerator pumps. 

I've pretty much done what you're looking at doing and what Nitrous did. I have a wedge, surf gates,  3 reversible pumps running 2 x 1100, 600 ski locker, and under seat bow bag with 200 shot.  I added every thing except the wedge plate.  Total wake investment so far is about $4,000.  Well worth it considering I got the "wakeless" boat for a good price.  Surf wake is very good. We're able to easily surf from 15 feet back on both sides and are starting to do 360s and air.   Re your large lake, we are careful about dipping the bow when there are other wake boats about.

Definitely doable for a lot less than buying a newer boat with the same stuff.

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Ndawg12

Don't forget the $500 prop you'll need to push any of these setups.

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Chatty21VLX

So what would be the best way to add 1 reversible pump to fill 2 locker bags?

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NWBU

Are you asking about how to Y or divert the fill lines or where to put the reversible pump (use a T plug hole or drill a new thru hull)?

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Chatty21VLX
49 minutes ago, NWBU said:

Are you asking about how to Y or divert the fill lines or where to put the reversible pump (use a T plug hole or drill a new thru hull)?

Both I guess. I am open to any designs. I plan on buying a single zone reversible pump ballast kit from wakemakers to start. I want to be able to add 2 other zones in the future to fill a bow sac and have a dedicated pump for each locker. 

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NWBU

My setup has two reversibles with dedicated thru hulls by the engine mounts. Some guys will run one pump off the T plug hole to save drilling a separate hole, and I’ve even seen a couple run a line from the forward T plug. There’s some threads on here for advice on drilling. @isellacuraswill tell you it’s not bad.

My port line has a Forespar Marelon Y valve to divert the flow to a bow filler line. It’s worked great for me the last couple of years.5A1B18BD-CF89-4F93-B7E6-583AB9D0F359.thumb.jpeg.c0a86a4758dbe108ef48cec5e8ba9c2e.jpeg

99CD9281-3A5D-4F67-8A14-88D778540186.jpeg

CFE7339E-F16C-4BF5-99EC-109660D34416.jpeg

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isellacuras

I think I have a very similar set up as @NWBU .  I added two dedicated 1" through hulls, both on the port side of the engine compartment.  Drilling was super easy. There's a wakemakers video that covers the how to. (Use magnets to determine location, Tape, drill backwards to get through the gel and champhor the edge.) I used a bosworth sea-lect y valve from my starboard locker to run up to the bow. This set up is temporary until i get my third pump installed for the bow bag. So far it has worked out well but i am really looking forward to getting the third pump installed.   I have a box full of wakemakers stuff ready to do the install but just haven't found the time. When i do install it, i am using the existing mid ship plug hole. Not because I don't want to drill but because i have NEVER pulled that plug and just don't see the need to drill a new one. Once i get the bow pump in, the y valve will allow me to fill a cabin bag for the light crew days. I have one suggestion for @Chatty21VLX and that's to get the pieces for all the switches that you plan to do in the future. Even though i only did the two rear pumps on my initial install, i cut in 3 switches. That way i wont have to pull it all apart and start over to cut in the boxes. Switches and the cut in boxes are cheap. I don't have any pictures of the y valve or the finished through hulls but here's a couple from my install. 

E71D4808-6885-4681-BF21-0834842C7A92.jpeg

E7001F18-346F-4ED6-8FE1-2468711382C6.jpeg

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