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Our guides, owner's manuals and resources for wakeboard boat accessories make it easy to upgrade your boat.

  • Ballast System Layout Diagram Gallery

    This gallery includes all of the individual ballast system diagrams that we've ever generated in one convenient location.  This is by no means a complete compilation of every possible layout, but it does cover most of the basics, and with a little creativity you should be able to tweak one of the below layouts to meet your needs.  As always, if you have specific questions, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help you out.

    You can find all of the components listed in these diagrams in our Wakeboard Ballast Parts category.

    Basic Aerator Pump System
    Basic Aerator Pump Ballast System Layout

     

    Aerator Pump System Shared Drain / Vent Thru-Hull Using Vented Loop Anti Siphon Valve On Fill Line (Below Waterline Ballast Bag)

     

    Aerator Pump System Shared Drain / Vent Thru-Hull Using Check Valve On Fill Line (Above Waterline Ballast Bag)

    rear-bag-aerator-system-vent-drain-single-port

     

    Dual Aerator Pump System Single Intake

     

    Basic Jabsco Impeller Pump System
    Basic Impeller Pump Based Ballast System

     

    Basic Johnson Impeller Pump System

     

    Jabsco Impeller Pump System (Drains above the water line)

    Jabsco Impeller Pump System With Shared Vent/Drain Port (Drains above the water line)
    jabsco-ballast-system-drain-above-share

    2008 Malibu VLX Super Piggy Back With Auxiliary Drain Pump on the Fly High Enzo Sac (Shares Factory Vent/Drain Ports)

    Johnson Ultra Ballast Impeller Pump System (Drains above the water line)

    johnson-pump-ballast-system-drain-above-water-line

     

  • Weighting a 2013 MasterCraft X-10 for Wakesurfing and Wakeboarding

    2013 MasterCraft X-10 WakeSurf Ballast Upgrade

    MasterCraft's Josh Palma, does a phenomenal job explaining how to weight the new 2013 MC X-10 for both wakesurfing and wakeboarding. Obtaining the perfect wake for your riding style is our goal at Wakemakers. The new X10 is available from the factory with both a plug n play ballast upgrade and surf tabs to get the best wake possible. Just remember you still need to buy your bags from WakeMakers as they do not come with the boat.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/mastercraft]Shop Mastercraft Wakesurf Ballast Upgrades»[/button]
  • Malibu Wakesetter Ballast: A Malibu Launch System History

    Malibu Wakesetter Ballast: A Malibu Launch System History

    Malibu has a reputation throughout the industry for crafting high quality, high performing boats with industry leading innovations. They offer as much value as they do fun. In the late 90's Malibu engineers developed the Wedge which was a simple foil on the transom of the boat that when engaged would create down force in the stern for a rampy wake with more pop. To even further the sport of wakeboarding Malibu created the most comprehensive ballast system in the industry with the MLS or Malibu Launch System.

    Malibu MLS Ballast 2001-2004

    Starting in 2001, Malibu boats could be optioned from the factory with 900 lbs. of ballast. The three tank system consists of a 500 lb. center ski locker sac and two above the floor 200lb. hard tanks in the rear compartments. Malibu's first ballast system used Rule Aerator pumps to fill and drain each tank independently. Each tank has three connections consisting of a fill on top, a vent on top and a drain on the bottom all plumbed with 3/4" black ballast hose. The drain pump was connected directly to the back end of the hard tank to ensure the system stayed primed.

    In 2004, the Malibu Wakesetter VLX and Wakesetter LSV models both had the option of a 350lb. bow tank to increase the total factory ballast to 1250 lbs. The increased ballast capacity when coupled with the popular Wedge displaced more of the hull creating a massive wake. In turn the Wakesetter series become a favorite among professional wakeboarders. Malibu also changed pump suppliers and started using the Shurflo Piranha 800 GPH Aerator Ballast Pump because of it's high quality construction and low profile design.

    Our recommended upgrade for both wakesurfing and wakeboarding would be to remove the rear hard tanks and replace them with a Straight Line Sumo 750's or Fly High Fat Sac 750's. We cannot PiggyBack this system because the hard tanks are above the floor and a piggy back requires gravity to drain the water from the bag back down into the hard tank. Using the WakeMakers Malibu Tank Buster Kit, all of the plumbing will be reconfigured to fill and drain the sacs from the helm just like the factory setup. Adding a 3/4" check valve to the fill line is not necessary but might alleviate the system from passive filling when the boat is stationary. If the boat was not equipped with the factory bow hard tank, the Fly High Integrated Bow Sac fits well under the front seats up front for a custom yet hidden solution. The integration of this bow sac will require the installation of a Complete Ballast System.

    Malibu MLS Ballast 2005 - 2011

    For 2005, the Wakesetter VLX was constructed on top of the V25 Wake hull delivering better wake size and performance. Malibu also refined the ballast system starting with relocating the rear ballast tanks under the floor creating massive amounts storage. This was also the first year that an in-dash Ballast Monitoring System was available to view real time ballast tank levels. Because the rear tanks were under the water line Malibu had to add Vented Loop Anti-Siphon Valves to the fill lines to prevented passive filling. The horse shoe shaped valves are located on the bulk head in front of the motor on either side and there is also a single valve for the center ballast tank located on the wall in the observers compartment. Malibu continued to use this MLS configuration through 2011.

    For owners looking to get the best possible wakesurf or wakeboard wake, additional ballast is still necessary. Our exclusive factory integration upgrade, Malibu PiggyBack Kit, option makes it possible to develop the best wakesurf wave or wakeboard wake while still controlling everything with the factory controls on the dash.

    Malibu HI FLO Ballast 2012+

    With the introduction of the MXZ in 2012, Malibu upgraded the ballast system and re-branded it the Hi Flo. All lines were increased from the 3/4" to a larger 1-1/8" and the pump capacity was increased by using the Shurflo Piranha 1100 GPH Aerator Ballast Pumps. This small change produced amazing results in decreasing both fill and drain times.

    Using the 2012 - 2013 Malibu PiggyBack Kit on this system works great as the larger openings in the factory hard tanks allow for increased flow when gravity allows the water to drain from the soft sac back into the hard tank before it is discharged by the factory pump. Please note that early production 2012 Wakesetter boats do still have the 3/4" plumbing.

    Malibu HI FLO Plug n Play Ballast 2013+

    In 2013, Malibu Wakesetters have the option of a PnP (Plug and Play) ballast system installed at the factory. This system uses the existing ballast pumps to fill and drain auxiliary ballast bags in the rear compartments. A complete detailed guide to the new ballast system can be viewed here, 2013 Malibu Plug n Play Ballast System. Malibu did make some changes to the ballast tanks by adding two new ports on the top which allows the ballast bag to drain more efficiently but the new system is still not perfect.

    The most significant innovation from Malibu to date has to be the Surf Gate system. By using vertically mounted plates on either side of the hull, their engineers have figured out how to divert the water on the opposite side of the wake in order to produce a clean long surf wave. The best part of the system is in the ability to change the clean side of the wave from port to starboard and starboard to port in a matter of seconds from the dash.

    Shop for Custom Malibu Ballast Bags and Fat Sacs»
    The first step in adding weight to your Malibu Wakesetter is selecting the perfect ballast bag, and we have the most options available.

    Shop for the Malibu Surf Ballast Upgrade Kit»
    Our Malibu Wakesetter Ballast Upgrades provide you with everything needed to easily integrate fat sacs into the MLS ballast tanks.

  • Propeller Basic Measurements

    Propeller Measurements
    There are three primary dimensions used to describe inboard boat propellers, which can be used to derive the performance of the prop for a specific application.

    Those measurements are diameter, pitch and cup. These are typically listed in the following format:

    XX" x YY" .ZZZ

    XX is the total overall diameter of the prop measured in inches. This is the size of the complete circle the prop makes when rotating.

    YY is the pitch of the prop measured in inches. Pitch is the total theoretical distance in inches the prop would travel through the water when completing one full revolution if no slippage occurred.

    ZZZ is the cup of the propeller blades, measured in thousands of an inch.

    These three measurements do not tell everything there is to know about a propeller and how it will perform, but they do provide a baseline for comparing two or more different propellers to one another.

    Shop for Propellers»

  • 2005-2011 Malibu Super Piggy Back Ballast System Parts List

    The original WakeMakers Malibu Piggy Back Upgrade Kit was designed with both price and ease of installation in mind. The system relies on gravity to drain the water from the soft bag into the hard tank below. This process can be slower than desired for some users.

    To speed up the system we have helped customers put together the Malibu Super Piggy back System. By using a dedicated drain pump, the average rate of draining is increased from 50 lbs. of water a minute to around 100 lbs. of water a minute.

    Installation:

    Fill - On a standard MLS the fill line runs from the pump to a vented loop anti-siphon valve and down into the hard tank. Insert a 3/4" barbed wye fitting on the tank side after the vented loop. Connect the factory tank fill line and another line to the top of the sac using a W742 fitting. This route will ensure that the hard tank will fill first creating structure before the sac puts a significant amount of weight on the floor above it.

    Drain - At the rear portion of the compartment is a small hatch that covers the factory drain pump that is connected directly to the hard tank. Loosen the clamp and remove the hose from the outlet on the factory drain pump. Connect the drain hose that runs out to the thru-hull in the side of the boat to the directional barb on the second 3/4" wye fitting. Connect the two pumps so that visually the flow is moving toward the single barb in the least restrictive direction. Place the 3/4" thread x 3/4" hose barb fitting on the inlet of the new pump and run a short section of hose to compartment. This will need a W742 fitting on the end to connect to the drain port on the bottom of the ballast bag.

    Electrical - Find the brown and black wires off of the drain pump and use the 16 Gauge Splice Tap Connectors to combine the positive and negative leads of both pumps. This will activate the new pump when the switch is activated at the dash. There should be enough room in this location to rest the auxiliary drain pump on top of the factory pump. If there is not place the new pump at the back of the compartment.

    Malibu Super Piggy Back Hardware List:

    Product Name Unit Price Qty Subtotal
    Total Price: $104.00
    3-4-inch-hose-barb-wye-fitting

    Hose Barb Wye Fitting Size: 3/4"

    $4.99
    2
    $9.98
    fly_high_fitting_w736

    Fly High 3/4" Flow-Rite Quick Release Connect W736

    $6.99
    2
    $13.98
    fly_high_fitting_w742

    Flow Rite 3/4" Elbow Quick Release Connector W742

    $3.99
    2
    $7.98
    black-ballast-hose

    Ballast Hose - Black Size: 3/4"

    $0.99
    8
    $7.92
    shureflow_piranha

    Shurflo Piranha 800 GPH Aerator Ballast Pump (Malibu)

    $49.95
    1
    $49.95
    Attwood-3:4-straight-fitting

    Attwood 3/4" Thread x 3/4" Hose Barb Straight Fitting

    $4.99
    1
    $4.99
    crimp

    16 Gauge Splice Tap Connector

    $0.15
    2
    $0.30
    31003-340

    Stainless Steel Hose Clamp Size: 3/4"

    $0.89
    10
    $8.90
  • Malibu HI FLO Plug N Play Ballast System Explained (UPDATED)

    Malibu HI FLO Plug N Play Ballast System Explained (UPDATED)

    If you purchase a US manufactured 2013-2015 Malibu or Axis that has a built date later than January 1st. 2013 it will have the most up to date Hi Flo PnP (Plug N' Play) system. The system is very simple and with the new Malibu/Axis hard tank design also a lot more efficient.

    How it works:
    The fill line from the pump runs up into a 1-1/8" hose barbed wye. One hose continues down into the hard tank and the other runs into the rear compartment. The PNP hose that runs into the compartment is connected to a plastic valve. This valve can be closed if you only want to fill the stock ballast system and not the auxiliary system. The fitting Malibu and Axis use in the end of the hose is lame. It is an 1-1/8" hose barb with a 3/4" male thread that is capped off. I would tell everyone to get rid of it for a W743 and W746 combination quick connect.


    IMG_8190-600x450.jpgIMG_8195-600x450.jpg

    The bag does not have a vent on top so air can get trapped without anywhere to go which might decrease the overall capacity. Once the bag does reach it's capacity, water will overflow down into the hard tank. Speaking of the drain port... There are two new ports in the top of the hard tank for the bag to gravity drain into. One short section of hose runs from the front of the compartment to the bottom of the bag and another short section of hose runs from the rear of the compartment into a second port on the back side of the bag. (Bags used with the Hi Flo Malibu Plug and Play need drain ports on both sides). The bag will drain better but the system will still rely on gravity which has always been the complaint of the older generation WakeMakers Malibu Piggy Back Upgrade.

    In a nut shell the system is good (not great) and inexpensive which is hard to say for any Malibu product these days. Looks to me like any of the new 2013 Straight Line Ballast bags will work on the latest generation of Malibu Plug and Play as long as you use an elbow quick connect fitting (Fly High W746) on the top. When the bag fills to capacity you don't want that hose to get kinked. Fly High also offers a line of 2013 Plug N Play bags with the required additional ports for draining.

    Shop The Malibu Hi Flo Plug and Play PnP Ballast System Upgrade»

    Axis Plug and Play Ballast Bag Fitment Guide:

    Axis Year / Model Rear Locker Bag Bow Storage Bag
    2014-2015 A24 Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag Straight Line Sumo 750 Bow Bag
    2014-2015 T22 Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag Straight Line Sumo Triangle Open Bow Sac
    2015 A22 Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag Straight Line Sumo 750 Bow Bag
    2013-2014 A22 Straight Line Sumo 750 Bag Straight Line Sumo Axis Bow Bag
    2013-2015 A20 Straight Line Sumo 750 Bag Straight Line Sumo Axis Bow Bag

    Malibu Plug and Play Ballast Bag Fitment Guide:

    Malibu Year / Model Rear Locker Bag (Best Fit) Rear Locker Bag (Conformed Fit)
    2013-2015 Wakesetter VTX Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 750 Bag
    2013-2015 Wakesetter 20 MXZ Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 750 Bag
    2013-2014 Wakesetter VLX Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2015 Wakesetter 22 VLX Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2013-2015 Wakesetter 22 MXZ Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2013 Wakesetter 23 LSV Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2014-2015 Wakesetter 23 LSV Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2013-2015 Wakesetter 247 LSV Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2013-2015 Wakesetter 24 MXZ Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag
    2013-2015 vRide 21 Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 750 Bag
    2013-2015 vRide 23 Eight.3 Malibu 550 PnP Bag Straight Line Sumo 900 Bag

     

    2013+ Malibu Plug and Play Compatible Ballast Bags:

    Eight.3 Malibu 550 Plug and Play Bag
    Straight Line Sumo V Sac (600 lbs)
    Straight Line Sumo V Sac (750 lbs)
    Straight Line Sumo V-Surf Sac (900 lbs)

  • Fly High Pro X Series Ballast Bag Walkthrough

    Based on customer feedback and common questions, we shot a quick video that details some of the design and construction features of Fly High's Pro X Series Ballast Bags.

    Take a look and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about choosing the right ballast bag for your application.

  • Change Your Propeller With The Acme Harmonic Puller

    Check out this How-To Change a prop using the Acme Harmonic Puller video. Don't let a dinged up prop ruin a day on the water or worse, an entire vacation. Learn how to change your own inboard boat's propeller quickly. If you are prepared with an extra prop and the tools required to get the job done your time off the water will be a great snack break. Watch and learn.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/acme-weekend-saver-harmonic-kit.html]Buy the Acme Harmonic Prop Puller»[/button]
  • Propeller Pitch Explained

    One of the most important propeller specs for boaters to understand is pitch. Propeller pitch is the second measurement listed on prop specs, and is measured as the distance (in inches) a propeller will travel while completing one full rotation. For example, a 13.5” x 16” 4 blade propeller it will travel 16” in a single rotation.

    By increasing the pitch greater top speeds can be accomplished as the boat will move forward through the water further with each rotation. Boaters looking for higher speeds for waterskiing, barefooting, or cruising across the lake will benefit from this performance characteristic. The down side is a loss of power at the low end, commonly known as hole shot, which is the time it takes for the boat to accelerate from a rest to the desired operating speed. If you're pulling a surfer, that time may not be very long, but if you're pulling a wakeboarder, or slalom skier, it can easily stretch out into 20-30 seconds if you have the wrong prop, which is not a desirable experience for the boat driver, or the person at the end of the rope.

    Most wakeboarders and wakesurfers are looking for the opposite affect and choose a lower pitched prop. By lowering the pitch the boat won't travel as far forward with each revolution, but the engine will have an easier time rotating the prop which results in better acceleration to the desired speed when loaded with more ballast weight or at higher elevations when HP is decreased. The downside to decreasing the propellers pitch pitch will is the accompanying reduction in top speed of the boat, although for most watersports enthusiasts this is a trade-off they are willing to make.

    Think of pitch as the gear you want to start in when driving a car. If you have a higher pitched prop you are starting out in third gear which means you will be able to drive faster ultimately, but it will take you longer to reach that point. If you choose a lower pitch that is similar to starting out in first gear; you'll get great acceleration from a stop, but the maximum speed you can achieve will be significantly lower.

    If you have any questions about propeller pitch, or choosing the right prop for your application, contact us.

    You can also use our exclusive PropFinder guides to match the perfect prop to your specific boat make and model by clicking on the link below.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-boat-propeller-finder]Browse Our PropFinder Guides»[/button]
  • Do I Need a 4 Blade Propeller for Wakeboarding?

    A lot of boat owners have a common misconception that 4 blade propellers deliver increased performance and are more efficient than 3 blade propellers. There are quite a few older forum posts and other guides that claim 4 blade props are needed when wakeboarding behind a ski boat or older model v-drive with a 1:1 gear ratio.

    This was indeed the case a few years ago but all of that changed when Acme started the implementation of precision CNC Propeller manufacturing. Thanks to Acme Propellers the 3 blade is gaining the reputation it deserves. The Acme 3 blade prop has awesome hole-shot with an unmatched top end. What is truly amazing is the smoothness throughout the rev range unlike the hand finished props of the past.

    If your boat does have a gear reduction, typically 1.23:1 or 1.5:1, the transfer of the motor's power to the water will allow a 4 blade or even 5 blade propeller to obtain better performance. Reduction gears also provide the ability to run greater propeller diameters which in most cases are more efficient.

    The perfect prop is determined by the specific application and a couple other variables such as elevation, speed requirements and ballast load, not the number of blades the prop has.
    Feel free to contact us by email, or give us a call at 888-338-6085 for more information.

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