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ahopkinsVTX

Bow Bag or Lead?

Bow Bag or Lead  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. Bow Bag or Lead?



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ahopkinsVTX

Ok, so my winter debate is to buy more lead or a bow bag and pump. Some background, I have 150lbs of lead and I had the opportunity to use an additional 150 last year so I ran 300 as far forward in the bow for surfing and it seemed to work pretty good. I am thinking that I can benefit from a bit more weight though, I am thinking 500ish total. So the question is, do I order another 350 pounds of lead, or buy a bow bag and pump?

How I see it, pros v cons:

Lead Pros:

  • Mobile, can adjust where the weight is easily.
  • Accurate, I know I can only use 200 or 300 if I need to depending on the crew.
  • No pumps over the side or pumps to wire in.
  • Probably will yield enough space to have one or two people still sit in the bow if they want. Hardly use the bow for seating though, not sure how much of a pro this is

Lead Cons:

  • 10 bags is a ton to move around!
  • Cost - will be more unless a good group buy comes around.
  • Where do you put it after we are done surfing? We tend to surf, then cruise or float. Our house is a few houses off the lake to dropping ten bags of lead back off at the house isn't so much of an option.

Bow Bag Pros:

  • Less cost, can easily get a better total weight to cost ratio
  • Easy to store if not using - can just through in the rear locker
  • Can plumb it in later to eliminate the pump over the side

Bow Bag Cons:

  • Pump over the side - the thought of it doesn't make my skin crawl like some peoples do
  • Takes up the whole bow, but as above we rarely have someone sitting up there
  • 50%, 75% full is a guessing game if trying to dial in a "specific setup"

I am leaning towards the bow bag as the first and last con I have listed with the Lead Cons are pretty significant to me, but what say you guys?

TIA!

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Ronnie

I've used bow bags in the past. Now I use a Sumo in the walkthrough. The bow is open and useful and if needed, people can step on the Sumo to go to the bow. It's 600 or 650 lbs and the big Sumo pump fills it faster than the PnP bags fill up. I only use the Sumo when there is a very small crew. IMO, I don't like lead for your Cons listed and I'm not that big of a fan of bow sacs. 

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obaro15

which sumo bag do you use?

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SCMike

I’ve got a Sumo 540 and sumo pump I’ll sell you real cheep if you want to go that route.  I used the Sumo sac in the bow of my 21vlx, but I don’t need it for my 23lsv.  It’s been sitting in my garage for over a year collecting dust. PM me if you are interested. 

Edited by SCMike

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Stevo

I think you need to add a stipulation specifically for the VTX in your poll.  I don’t necessarily think led is better then about bag and all cases 

I voted for lead in your case because of the size of the interior and maximizing space

Edited by Stevo

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ahopkinsVTX
41 minutes ago, SCMike said:

I’ve got a Sumo 540 and sumo pump I’ll sell you real cheep if you want to go that route.  I used the Sumo sac in the bow of my 21vlx, but I don’t need it for my 23lsv.  It’s been sitting in my garage for over a year collecting dust. PM me if you are interested. 

I may hit you up in a month or two if you still have it. I need to let the wallet recover a bit after Christmas gift shopping :lol:

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Sparky450

I know a lot of you guys run lead.  I have watched a really nice Response with a big stereo sink in just a couple minutes. It listed to the port side, where the batteries and amp would have been, and was gone. I am also in the boat a lot while not riding. I don’t want to run with extra weight in the boat, that will go straight to the bottom if things go bad. I ran bags in the 21LSV. And will probably put a few small bags under the seats in the 25lsv if needed. 

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Ronnie
1 hour ago, obaro15 said:

which sumo bag do you use?

Sumo

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SCMike
52 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I may hit you up in a month or two if you still have it. I need to let the wallet recover a bit after Christmas gift shopping :lol:

🤙🏼

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ahopkinsVTX

Question to those of you that said lead, what would you guys do with the ten bags for the rest of the when we aren’t surfing? It’s definitely too much weight to leave in the bow so I’m curious to know what you would do. 

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RyanB

I voted for the bag, but I don't think either option is fantastic.

I added 250 pounds of lead under the bow seat of my LSV because my wife didn't want a bow bag, and I wanted more weight.

The trouble with lead under the seats is it is always there.  It actually improved the towing manners of the trailer when I use my Yukon, but not all vehicles can handle that much weight.

It can make it tougher to crank the boat onto the trailer.

The bow sits significantly lower.  It is VERY easy to take a roller over the bow with the lead, hard to avoid when I have two or three people up front.

The bag solves all those problems except my wife's wishes, which is why I have lead.

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ahopkinsVTX
47 minutes ago, RyanB said:

I voted for the bag, but I don't think either option is fantastic.

I added 250 pounds of lead under the bow seat of my LSV because my wife didn't want a bow bag, and I wanted more weight.

The trouble with lead under the seats is it is always there.  It actually improved the towing manners of the trailer when I use my Yukon, but not all vehicles can handle that much weight.

It can make it tougher to crank the boat onto the trailer.

The bow sits significantly lower.  It is VERY easy to take a roller over the bow with the lead, hard to avoid when I have two or three people up front.

The bag solves all those problems except my wife's wishes, which is why I have lead.

I agree neither option is ideal or fantastic, but the vtx requires bow weight to surf. My wife has never sat in the bow so I don’t think she will care, but who knows. 

I thought about stashing lead too but from what I’ve read I won’t get enough up there and I don’t really want it permanently in the bow. The vtx sits a lot higher then a response but not nearly as much as a LSV. Even 2-300 pounds makes it much easier to dip the bow. And the boat looks un-level, I don’t want that :biggrin: 

My truck has max tow so it wouldn’t be a factor there but I do trailer every time. 

Edited by ahopkinsVTX

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RyanB

@ahopkinsVTX, if I were to do it again, I would skip the bags, and build my own.  Buy used tire weights, and some 2" or 3" by 2' PVC pipes.  Put the lead in the pipes, and seal them.  That way they would easily fit around the tank under the bow.

But if your boat already sits bow low, I really wouldn't want lead up there permanently.

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ahopkinsVTX
14 minutes ago, RyanB said:

@ahopkinsVTX, if I were to do it again, I would skip the bags, and build my own.  Buy used tire weights, and some 2" or 3" by 2' PVC pipes.  Put the lead in the pipes, and seal them.  That way they would easily fit around the tank under the bow.

But if your boat already sits bow low, I really wouldn't want lead up there permanently.

Yeah if I had a 23 LSV I’d probably do that too. I’m still leaning more toward the bag just being ten bags of lead is a ton to manage. I’m sure someone on here has figured it out though!

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onewake09

I keep 10, 50 lb bags in my a20. I exclusively trailer, except once a year when I rent a house on lake anna. I usually put 400 pounds on the cushions in the bow and leave the other 100 in the cabin to toss where I need them. I tow with a 6.2 silverado and 5.3 Tahoe. I cant really tell a difference on either vehicle if it’s in the boat or not. As soon as I drop the boat in the water I move the bags up front. It stays there all day. Heading back to dock while dumping the bags I move it back to in front of the bench seat. Lead takes up so little room that I can easily have two adults still sit in the bow. They just put the feet on the bags. 

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RyanB

@onewake09, Most of the time you should not feel that extra 500 pounds of lead when you are towing. 

But if you leave it all in the bow that could move you significantly over the tongue weight rating of your truck/hitch. 

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onewake09
10 minutes ago, RyanB said:

@onewake09, Most of the time you should not feel that extra 500 pounds of lead when you are towing. 

But if you leave it all in the bow that could move you significantly over the tongue weight rating of your truck/hitch. 

Oh I’m aware. I always move it back to the cabin area and spread it out. 

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Cole2001

I leave 400 of lead in my bow at all times, which is fine cuz my particular boat actually drives a lot better weighted down in the front. I do move it back when trailing to help get the nose to the bow stop. 

On our old r20 (very comparable to vtx). I ran a ballast bag in the front walk way and I would go a couple days without draining it just because it wasn’t that bad. 

Arent you a skier? If so I’d definitely go the water option, another thought do you use your bow? Don’t want to upset the ladies upfront. 

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ahopkinsVTX
9 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

I leave 400 of lead in my bow at all times, which is fine cuz my particular boat actually drives a lot better weighted down in the front. I do move it back when trailing to help get the nose to the bow stop. 

On our old r20 (very comparable to vtx). I ran a ballast bag in the front walk way and I would go a couple days without draining it just because it wasn’t that bad. 

Arent you a skier? If so I’d definitely go the water option, another thought do you use your bow? Don’t want to upset the ladies upfront. 

You voted lead but said I should go bow bag??

I am a skier and have been running the bow ballast and or lead. Boat seems to track better with some bow weight. 500 permanently up there may not be good for the ski wake though. 

Last year I recall someone sitting in the bow once. My wife nor our friends really seem to care to sit up there.

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Cole2001
46 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

You voted lead but said I should go bow bag??

I am a skier and have been running the bow ballast and or lead. Boat seems to track better with some bow weight. 500 permanently up there may not be good for the ski wake though. 

Last year I recall someone sitting in the bow once. My wife nor our friends really seem to care to sit up there.

I voted for what I use, your circumstances might just be a little different that’s all. 

Totally personal preference.

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shawndoggy

If I can vote for plumbed in bag that’s how I’d go. Then lead. Then pump over the side. 

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ahopkinsVTX
6 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

If I can vote for plumbed in bag that’s how I’d go. Then lead. Then pump over the side. 

I figure if I like the bag option over the lead, I’ll plumb it it. I’m not willing to go through that work to then hate the bag option and go back to lead lol. 

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granddaddy55
21 hours ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Question to those of you that said lead, what would you guys do with the ten bags for the rest of the when we aren’t surfing? It’s definitely too much weight to leave in the bow so I’m curious to know what you would do. 

I’ll never ever ever go back to that lousy pump andbover side hose where I was constantly spilling in boat when emptying or the long fill time, though I keep it for sac drain emergencies now.  I have 750 lead in a small boat like yours and have space when mushroom sac is deflated to hide them (4 to 8 50’s) permanently on top of deflated mushroom but usually that goes on top of cushions when inflating mushroom sac, you can easily put 400 or more on cushions like I did yesterday (335 on list side and 75 on non list side and there is still room for those who actually want to ride up there !!!!!!).  You need some 50’s but I have 6 of those and 8 25’s and 6 35’s.  That’s the key for moving them around from cabin to bow and back, the lighter weights (now I know why @ConnollyCrew had 35’s when I visited him at Smith lake to surf his 18’), 500 in 50’s was no fun

below is my stowing for 25’s and the starboard compartment shown I fold stack and flat stack the 35’s , stay nice and dry in each, i use garage tile flooring to keep floor water  away from bags in those compartments and I did the coffin as well to keep things dry in there when it rains hard and water gets in there)

https://www.facebook.com/100005474021989/posts/895699480622511/

the port cabin seat storage is very unique for the 25’s as they lay over support rails, easy to pull up and out to move to bow or starboard

i cover lead stack in bow with towels when surfing against wind for spray, 

with your slalom you could cushion stack 3-400 lbs and use 100-150 in cabin to even out boat wake , obviously my 750 is not good for slalom but we plan to retry slalom behind our a20 by putting 400 in nose and close all water intakes to sacs and tanks fir passive fill but I think the 350 I have left (750 total) is too much, if you stay to 550-600 I think you’ll be good fir slalom 

the cushions can take it as long as you don’t permanently store them that way 

this seasoni did the 10 50’s and changed it to 6 50’s and the 25’s and 35’s and much better 

actually no 50’s would be the best as I still move 1or 2 from cabin to bow and shift the four up there already around, a lot easier to move 25’s and 35’s around and they FOLD!!! For ease of storage that 50’s don’t and can’t

also if you want a lot of lead like mine, the 25’s and 35’s are super easy with one person in boat and one on ground to transfer 50-140 lbs at a time of 2-4 25’s or 35’s per trip to lighten the load in the parking lot fir your mainly ski days , the 50’s are no fun to lift to rail of boat and down to someone else on ground 1 or two at a time 

i had both 10 50’s and the different make up of 750 this season  and the 750 with 25’s and 35’s was easier to lift and stack on rail of boat and base of tower for wind and sun to dry them when they do get wet or to move them from cabin to bow for surf or ride

the 750 and 1or 2 guests snd no other ballast or wedge was a perfect learning Wake for young or inexperienced riders

Edited by granddaddy55

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granddaddy55

Oops

Edited by granddaddy55

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ahopkinsVTX

Having to move 20 bags of 25 pound lead seems like a bigger pain in the a** then moving around ten bags. 

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