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MC Prostar 205V custom ballast install
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P hat in Cincy
Soul Rider
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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2006 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MX21,

No real problems to speak of. In the pictures above I show that I put a "T" in the bow fill/empty line to make sure the 'legs' drained properly.

Having said that, after pulling out of the water and being on the ramp incline, I hit the empty switch and it seemed that pump had the most water to pump out of it's line (maybe a gallon or so). The bag looked and felt completely empty when I drained it on the water, but some must have been left somewhere.
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watsoc
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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please post a pic of the wake w/ and w/o the ballast so we can all get a final idea of how all your hard work paid off. Very impressed with the cleaness and quality of your work.
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

watsoc wrote:
Please post a pic of the wake w/ and w/o the ballast so we can all get a final idea of how all your hard work paid off. Very impressed with the cleaness and quality of your work.


Will do...once the weather breaks. Rolling Eyes

I received the Pro X Series Fat Sacs for the rear compartments yesterday, so I'll be installing them tonight or tomorrow morning. I'll update the thread showing them later.
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watsoc
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PostPosted: Mar 25, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KurtinCincy:

Sorry, I forget that everyone is just getting to the point of thinking about putting their rides in the water for the first time this season. It is 85f in Phoenix today and I am doing my annual maintenance to get the boat out on the water tomorrow. I have been riding since the beginning of February though so you kinda forget most of the nation is just thawing out now. Looks like a great project though and I am interested to see the results. That is a sweet looking ride as well.
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P hat in Cincy
Soul Rider
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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pro X fat sacs came in and I installed them last weekend.

If you have experience with them, you might know they have quick connect fittings, but at $12-$25 each for additional I decided to find a work around. A 3/4" PVC fitting will screw in to the bags nicely but are prone to leaking because it's not a pipe fitting (not tapered). Therefore, my workaround was buy a grommet and gorilla glue it to the hose barb. I haven't tested it yet, but the fitting with only Teflon tape (no grommet) didn't leak THAT much so this should be an improvement. Next step would be to add a small amount of plumbers putty, if necessary.

I should add that I did use the quick connect fittings on the vent lines. I wanted to be able to connect those so they didn't interfere with putting boards in the compartments. The rear fittings are hard plumbed as I don't see a real need to completely remove the bags. The extra hose length you'll see is for 2 reasons. 1) I didn't want hose sticking straight up out of the bag b/c boards would not go in, and 2) I wanted to make sure the hoses put a 'tightening' force on the fittings (the hose pushes the fittings tighter, instead of pulling them loose).

Other than all that, I'm about to call it a wrap. I'll update with weighted vs. unweighted wake pictures when I get them.

Take care,
Paul
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P hat in Cincy
Soul Rider
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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finishing up for tonight...
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Iman
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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, you do incredible work! I have an MB with a 210 hull that is very similar to the 205 hull. My dealer installed heater only has two air vent lines, no where near as nice as yours. My homemade ballast system works great but yours puts mine to shame. First off, my center floor compartment doesnt appear quite as large as yours so I use sand and hard weight there, I could probably wedge 4 sand bags in but I usually use 2-3 and two 50lb leadheadz. I also add up to 350lb more of sand/hard weight in the bow and under the passenger seat, depending on how many passengers I have and how much I fill my rear sacs. My rear sacs are rigged to a 2000 gph Rule that I drop into the water to fill. Then I plumbed both sacs to drain with 1000gph aerators out my existing bilge line. I definitely like your 3/4 barb and grommet into the sac system. The waterbed connectors suck. I just use 3/4 pipe, tape, and a circular steel clamp although I had planned to glue them this year. I did use regular fat sacs and completely full I was a little too rear heavy unless I stuck a passenger or two in the bow. I now have some longer, flatter sacs that I slide further forward under my seats. I didnt notice if your rear compartments are like mine, probably not since mine go all the way to the floor. I guess I have these long sacs around 40% in length under the seats, moving my weight further forward. The seats block full filling, I used to do this with regular sacs and it would lift my seat cushions but not with these flatter sacs (one is a Tige' 1000lb or so belly sac, the other a big bump 800 that I've encased to control expansion). Anyways, I guess I get about 400-600 lbs or so in each sac but shifted further forward as I am now it's pretty well balanced. Depending on how much weight you can get in your center sac, I'm guessing you'll be a few hundred lbs too rear heavy with a driver and a passenger sitting beside you. If you dont have that one passenger you'll need weight there too of course. Extra weight in the passenger rear side will not balance me out if I dont have a passenger to counteract the driver, I have to add weight under the passenger seat.

Good luck and let us know how it works.
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P hat in Cincy
Soul Rider
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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took the boat out to test the system last night. Everything performed great! I just need to work on dialing in the wake now (weighting).
The comparison picture is unweighted (top) vs. weighted (bottom) @ ~22.5mph. 550lbs of gear and people in each. Add ~1500lbs of ballast for the weighted picture. I'll pump more weight into the rear next time out. I was only 50% full in the rear bags.

Before taking the pics, I did get to ride for the 1st time this season! The wind has the lake a little choppy when I rode, so I couldn't get a good feel for the firmness of the wake. Next time.

Below is the comparison pic followed by 2 pictures from the evening. It should give you an idea of how great it was to really be out for the first time this season.
P
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panhead
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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2006 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P hat in Cincy, Looks good. How did the simer pumps work out? How long did they take to fill the bags.
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panhead,
Thanks for the compliment.

The Simers worked great! Those things definitely howl at you (let you know they are running)! I like that b/c there'll be less chance of one being left on unnoticed, as happened with our former X10 Jabscos. I'm pretty sure I'll 'learn' their sounds and be able to tell when they have emptied the bag(s).

I'm going to estimate the bags filled in about 5-6mins, but can't be certain. Again, rears were only about 50% full, so it'll probably add another couple/few minutes once I find the best wake shape/firmness. I'll time it next time.

P
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panhead
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good to know, the one thing I was worried about since my sacs are a pain to get to and my biggest concern was knowing when they are empty. I was going to push the drain hose through an above the water line thru hull using a couple of check valves before the pump. See attached schematic. I had also heard the simers were kind of slow. I know they are slower than the aerator type pumps of the same value, I like the convenience of not having to open and close valves by using the pump to hold water in or out make the fill/drain process simple. I can live with a little extra time for the added simplicity.
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your schematic is pretty much the way MC does it for the stock ballast setup...at least it was for our former X10. It'll do the job nicely. I chose to keep the job simple and go in/out the same thru hulls...for now. Maybe next winter I'll push it out the sides...fireboat style. Cool

MC also puts a ball valve b/w the thru hull and manifold so you can shut the system down in case of an "event". Didn't know if you were planning the same.

As you may remember, I have 2 thru hulls going thru the bottom of the hull that handle the rear bags. As the rear bags started to become empty and the pumps started pulling some air, air bubbles started gurgling up from the hull. I kinda chuckled about it. Laughing
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panhead
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1 1/4" i.d. thru hull with a scupper in the bottom of the boat with a ballcock threaded directly on to it, this way I can shut it down right at the thru hull eliminating any possible issue further up the line. I was going to drain thru the inlet as well but with the scupper I think it could be a problem to drain while under way.

I forgot to close the valve once after the old aerator pumps drained the sacs and started to head for home, after about 10 minutes the boat started feeling sluggish then I noticed the vents were pushing some water out. Turns out the sacs filled up due to the pressure, so I am kind of forced to create another hole to drain out of. I will be able to use this as a weapon when the people we raft up with get out of hand Very Happy I should put one on either side so I can soak everyone.

Where did you get the check valves you're using? I just got back from Home Depot and they have nothing. The Water Source ones you're using look like they are threaded on both ends so they look like they would be perfect for the drain lines.
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panhead,
I wouldn't recommend the check valves in that picture. I never installed them. I decided to do it right and get some 3/4" PVC swing check valves. The spring loaded ones probably offer too much resistance and will end up choking flow. The swing check valves will offer little/no resistance. They do have to be mounted horizontally or vertically in a certain orientation. I got mine from www.plumbingsupply.com ( http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pvccheck.html ).

I had 4 side hull drain ports on our former X10. It was great coming in to dock spraying out water like a fire boat. The look on some people's faces ( Shocked ) told us they must've thought we were sinking and our bilge pumps were working overtime to keep us afloat! Laughing

Anyway...PVC swing check valves are highly recommended, but the ones in the picture are from Lowe's and you can find them in the lawn irrigation system (like in-ground water system) area.
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panhead
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I can see what you mean about the spring loaded check valve, I was kind of wondering that about the inbound line as the pumps will be pulling through the valve instead of pushing like in the drain line. I will look into the swing type at plumbing supply. It looks like I can get all of my fittings there.

Thanks Again

I will post some pics of the retro fit when I pick up the boat and start work. Time to order the parts.
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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P hat in Cincy,

Very impressive you paid a lot of attention to detail on this project, pimp my ride look out for this guy Very Happy

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watsoc
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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P hat in Cincy:

Looks like everything turned out great. Now it just needs to warm up so you can really check ot the fruits of your labor. Hope you enjoy everything this summer.
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CP3
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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2006 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a well thought out set up. Great job
Let me know how that bow sac works. how much wieght do yo think you got in there?
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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P hat in Cincy, Two more quick questions:

1. What is the purpose of the check valve in the vent line? Mine are above the water line so back flow should not be a problem.
2. How did the fittings for the old style sack work out? ( 3/4" 90 deg barb & FIP to 3/4" MIP to 1" Barb) Did you end up adding hose clamps? I would like to get away from the waterbed fttings as well.

I can't wait to get started on my boat.
Thanks again for all the help.
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PostPosted: Apr 03, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the purpose of the check valves are so the bags empty completely and so the pumps dont suck air and not water when emptying
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Apr 04, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments. Cool

The bow sac probably holds more water than I anticipated. I would estimate that I'm 50% or more of it's capacity. Estimate b/w 400-500lbs.

projectely4 wrote:
the purpose of the check valves are so the bags empty completely and so the pumps dont suck air and not water when emptying

Affirmative.

I ended up putting hose clamps on the fittings before first water test. Better safe than sorry, plus I think they are needed to seal off as well as insure they don't pop out.
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Jun 13, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but here are some better pics of the wake. It's hard to get a good shot from the distance so I put a 'one-sided' one up too.
We were sufficiently loaded with about ~1800lbs of ballast and ~900lbs of people.
Bottom pic is our first view of the potential of the surf wake.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job on the system man! Wow. I have an x-star with the 205V so I didn't have to worry about it, but with all those pictures and suggestions it makes me want to rip out the system I got in there now and do something like yours.
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PostPosted: Jun 16, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like this system design & the pics look great. I need to get working on my system ASAP, thanks for the nudge.
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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2006 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P hat,
beautiful work, man. I am curious, could you estimate the cost and man hours for this project?
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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mariner,
Attached is a screen dump of my BOM (bill of materials). It'll get you in the ballpark as it captures the 'big hitters', but I'm sure some misc stuff is not captured. If the picture doesn't show up...it's says ~$800 w/o sacs.

As for man hours, not sure. Sooo many trips to the hardware store...
I'm guessing if you had it all planned out with materials pretty much waiting...1 person, 40hrs.

Hope that helps!
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hyperlite14
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PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Ballast System Reply with quote

Wow your automatic ballast system sounds awesome man. I have a 97 sunsetter VLX and would like to start on a system myself. I am only 18 and have been doing alot of reading and I think i have a plan of attack from reading your threads. one question I have is im not sure on the fat sacs themselves. I will be putting 3 of them in my boat 2 in the engine compartments and 1 in the ski locker. The problem i have is deciding on how big of fat sacs shoudl i get? could you help me out. would 2 400's in the back and a 500 in the front be enough? any answers woud be awesome. i dont need to get huge fat sacs right now casue im on a budget but if you could throw some numbers thsi way it would be greatly appreciated. thanks alot man
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PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have anotherquestion phat in cincy. Are you running another battery for all of the pumps? thanks alot
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hyperlite 14,
I'm not sure what your particular hull 'likes' in order to create a wake with good characteristics, but I'd say 400-500lbs each side of the engine would be a good start. I chose the bigger Pro X for flexibility. On most occassions I probably only throw 400-500lbs in each rear sacs, but I have the flexibility to add more based on activity (wakeboarding or wakesurfing) and where people are sitting.
Again sorry, I'm unfamiliar with your hull, but I'd assume a 400-500lbs bag is all you'll be able to get in the ski locker. You have to keep in mind that there is a general weight ratio of front/rear and it's typically harder to hide weight up front. So, the more weight you can design to have forward the better off you'll be in the long run.
For my setup, I did what I could to have the maximum hidden (no sacs in walkways) weight forward. Those ALWAYS go to max capacity (full) and the rears are adjusted accordingly.
Hope this helps.
Paul
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PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Ballast System Reply with quote

ThanksPaul I think i have this partially figured out now. I have a few more questions for you. 1. Did you run your pumps off the main batteyr or did u put another battery in for the pumps to feed off? 2. Are the inlet/outlets on the bottom of the boat and transom and your fat sac vent lines come throught the side of the boat? thanks alot Paul this is a big help. My dad wont know what hit him when i tell him my plan to do this!

thanks alot

Cory
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hyperlite14
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PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Ballast System Reply with quote

ThanksPaul I think i have this partially figured out now. I have a few more questions for you. 1. Did you run your pumps off the main batteyr or did u put another battery in for the pumps to feed off? 2. Are the inlet/outlets on the bottom of the boat and transom and your fat sac vent lines come throught the side of the boat? thanks alot Paul this is a big help. My dad wont know what hit him when i tell him my plan to do this!

thanks alot

Cory
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cory,

I am running off 1 battery. I just watch the volt meter and bump the RPM to make sure there is more supply than demand. An additional battery for pumps and stereo may be a winter project.

You got it nailed on my routing setup. Inlets/outlets are same line. 2 in bottom of hull for rear bags. 2 in transom/rear for front and center sacs. 1 vent line goes out the side (below the rub rail) for each bag. Another winter project may be routing separate discharge lines below the rubrail.

Paul
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PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Ballast System Reply with quote

Paul,
You had sayed that putting 2 of the inlet/outlets in the transom was a bad idea. If i use flexible tubing woudl it make it easier, cause i will be using only 3 fat sacs so i will put 2 holes in the transom and one on the bottom. or should i put all 3 on the bottom? wiht the fat sac in the ski locker should i put the inlet/outlet hole near the back with teh rear sac ones or put it up front closer to the ski locker? thanks alot this is alot of help. i really appreciate it

Cory
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P hat in Cincy
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PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cory,
Putting the 2 intakes in the transom wasn't necissarily a bad idea, it just made the install more challenging. Also, if you want to 'fill on the fly' the rear intakes are not the way to go. Since I fill the front/center full all the time, filling on the fly was not a necessity. Using flex tubing would make it easier, for sure. I just wanted to hard pipe up to the check/shut-off valve.

For your center sac thru hull, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your intakes are under water at boarding speed, especially if you will be adding water while underway. Another thing I heard was to make sure no 2 holes are within a spread hand distance from each other. It may not be necessary, but kind of makes sense.

Paul
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mainelaker
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PostPosted: Jul 09, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one intake in the transom from the factory on my Centurion & it takes forever to fill. I can't say if it is propwash or exhaust interfering but it is next to impossible to fill while under way. The system has two Mayfair 1000 GPH pumps & isn't very fast while the boat is off either but there is some improvement in fill times if you are stationary. Just to be safe I am going to put a scooper underneath for the three bags I plan on running.
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