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Winter Projects

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At the end of 2021 we sold our 2012 20' Hurricane deck boat and bought our 2001 Malibu Wakesetter VLX. We only got to take the Wakesetter out 2 times last year before winter, but I knew there was a few things I wanted to do to the boat over the winter.

1. Move the single battery from the rear locker with the ballast bag to the observers compartment and install a charger and switch

2. Upgrade the rear 400# ballast bags to 750# bags and install quick release connectors

3. Upgrade speakers and add sub

4. Replace the 2x4 seat riser with a metal riser

5. Remove the Wakesetter decal and compound and polish the gel coat

6. Switch the stock prop to a Acme 1235

7. Clean up some wiring

8. Miscellaneous fluid changes, spark plugs, fuel filter, impeller, repack wheel bearings, new tire, etc. 

Now if we can just get some nicer and warmer weather to get the boat out on the water! 

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Posted (edited)

Here are pictures of of the battery upgrade. 


OEM single battery location


I had to pull all of the wires from the back up to the helm and then run them through the ski locker to the observers compartment.


Start of the lay out for the Blue Seas Add-A-Battery switch and ARC.



i upgraded the wiring to 1/0 since it's a longer run and if i ever wanted to install a bigger alternator. Also installed a Noco 2 bank battery charger. 

Edited by jd8181
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Replace the 4 blown speakers with new Kicker speakers and going to give this sun/amp combo a try since the price was right. I had to remove the windshield to get to the front 2 in the dash. 



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The 2x4 riser came with the boat 🤷🏻‍♂️ So I made a metal one. 





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The gel coat looks 1000x better. It took me 8-10 hours, but was worth it. I removed the decal, then had to wet sand (800, 1000, 1500 then 2000 grit) where the decal was. Then heavy cut compounded the whole boat, light cut and finished with a polish sealer. 








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Posted (edited)

Prop wiring and miscellaneous 


1235 Prop


New to me 750# Fly High bags with quick connector



wiring before


wiring after


teak swim platform re-varnished


old 450# bag and single battery in the locker with it. 

Edited by jd8181
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Posted (edited)


The bilge pump had seen better days. I'm glad i tested it before the season to find out it was bad and the impeller wasn't even attached to the shaft. 


Carpet inside the boat when i got it.


Carpet inside the boat after i finished cleaning it. 


refinishing the teak swim platform. 

Edited by jd8181
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That is a fantastic looking Boilermaker boat - confirmed by the reflection of the hat in the gel coat!  Great Work all around.  Boiler Up!

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3 hours ago, Murphys said:

Nice work.  And great looking welds.:)

I wish I could take credit for the welds, but one of the welders at my work did them. He does a great job!



57 minutes ago, amartin said:

That is a fantastic looking Boilermaker boat - confirmed by the reflection of the hat in the gel coat!  Great Work all around.  Boiler Up!

Greatest school in America!!!!



33 minutes ago, Hemmy said:

@jd8181 Nice work on the boat.  What lake(s) do you go to?

We go to Mississinewa Reservoir mostly. 

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21 hours ago, dspilot said:

Great writeup. I'm in almost the same boat (see what I did there 😎)......

We bought a '99 sunsetter in September of last year and took it out enough to know what we wanted to get done over the winter. Like you, I moved the batteries from that spot to the observer's compartment and added a subwoofer in there. I had the local Malibu place change/inspect all fluids, change the impeller and spark plugs and take care of some other little things that were bothering me. 

Batteries before:


Batteries now before I put the new sub in....


Swim platform:



I still need to give it a good wash/sand/polish/wax job, and think I'm going to get rid of the decal thats on it now (it's not a wakesetter) and get a new Malibu decal to go on the rear sides of the boat. Just ran out of time this spring and couldn't wait any longer to get her on the water. 


Still need to replace the speakers under the rear seat, but our system is plenty loud the way it is-it just bothers me that they don't work. I think this next winter I'm going to get my rear ballast plumbed to dedicated pumps so that all I have to do is flip a switch to fill/drain. 

Its a great first boat for our family. We are learning a ton as we go and having a blast the whole way!



Nice job. That battery set-up looks a 1000 times better. As far as a ballast set-up, it's nice to be able to just flip a switch to fill and drain the bags. We are still working to find the right set-up for a really good surf wave. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2022 at 1:12 PM, jd8181 said:

Nice job. That battery set-up looks a 1000 times better. As far as a ballast set-up, it's nice to be able to just flip a switch to fill and drain the bags. We are still working to find the right set-up for a really good surf wave. 

I know our boats are a little different, but here's our setup and I'm pretty satisfied with my wave. I've got a 750# sac in each rear locker, 225# in the ski locker in the floor, and 2 fatsac bricks (150# each) that I put in the bow on the surf side...then I get as much of the crew as possible to sit surf side as well. And finally I have a mission delta shaper as low and far back as possible. I've got a decent wave....now we've just got to figure out how to ride it 😂.

Edited by dspilot
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