For 2010 MasterCraft has engineered a secondary Plug N’ Play ballast upgrade that works in conjunction with the existing factory ballast system. The depth of engineering involved in developing the Plug N’ Play Ballast system took a number of years to perfect.
The MasterCraft Plug & Play Ballast system delivers the ability to mix and match ballast loads depending on rider preference. By operating the ballast selection switch tanks can be filled separately, bags can be filled separately, or both tanks and bags can be filled together for maximum wake size. The ballast selection can also control which side the tanks and bags are filled on to create the best wakesurfing wave. The ballast system was designed to work in conjunction with MasterCraft’s new surf tabs for killer surf wakes even behind a pickle fork boat.
The heavy duty valves and valve indicator selection switches are all actuated electronically and do not require manual selection. The control system is proprietary to MasterCraft and has been waterproofed with a potted resin material to maintain in the harshest of weather conditions including saltwater use.
In engineering the system, MasterCraft worked directly with Fly High to develop customized ballast bags which fit neatly in the storage areas. The rear bags take into consideration such factors as bulkhead dimensions and the raw water strainer location of each specific model. The forward bags take into consideration the dimensions of the storage area under the seats and obstructions such as stereo amplifiers and wiring. But the most important consideration in developing these additional ballast bags is engineering them to work within the Maximum Capacity of each MasterCraft model in which they are equipped.
Since adding additional ballast at the factory would affect the published Coast Guard Maximum Capacity, the additional ballast sacks must be purchased and attached separately by the dealer or customer. (Mastercraft X-45 Plug & Play Ballast Upgrade) In order to comply with US Coast Guard Safety Standards currently in effect, the weight of a fully ballasted boat (hard tanks full and Fly High ballast bags full) will be 600 pounds less than Maximum Capacity of the boat. This leaves enough weight capacity for passengers and gear depending on the combined weight of the driver, crew and onboard gear. It will be the Captain’s responsibility to assure the weight limits of their specific MasterCraft model are within Coast Guard limits. Understand your responsibility. As long as the MasterCraft dealer or customer equips their boat with the model-specific ballast bags from Fly High, they will be under the Maximum Capacity for their model boat and comply with Coast Guard Standards.
After ensuring Coast Guard compliance, MasterCraft’s objective in engineering this system is for the secondary ballast bags to fill and empty with their existing ballast pumps at the flip of a switch. In order to accomplish this, they have had to bypass the autofill- and-empty system that is equipped on all boats without the Plug N’ Play option. Run dry protection is maintained with the Plug N’ Play system by maintaining a thermo coupler, which shuts the pump off automatically upon sensing high temperatures that would occur if a pump is accidentally left running.
The system is easy to use but requires monitoring to ensure everything fills to capacity then is manually switched off before use. Although you can use the BIG’s Ballast screen to see if the tanks are full (or listen for the overflow), there are no sending units in ballast bags, so no bag level readout is available on the BIG. The operator should open the front and rear storage areas where the bags are located to watch the actual bags themselves to see when they are full. To reiterate, there is NO Auto Shut off feature for Plug N’ Play. Still, there is no danger of rupturing bags since the ballast pumps only provide 9 PSI of pumping power and bags are rated to accept up to 45 PSI of water pressure. That means the pump will never be able to provide enough pressure to rupture the bags; instead the impeller pump will just continue to spin. For the record, the hard tanks are rated at only 3PSI which is why an overflow port is essential.
Additional things to know about the MasterCraft Plug N’ Play Ballast Upgrade:
- To install the bags, you will need to remove the plugs that will come with all the plumbing. Keep track of these plugs and place them back in the plumbing when and if the bags are removed. Without the plugs or bags in place, there is risk of water making its way into the boat through these lines.
- Once the bags are installed, you are ready to go. In order to fill the ballast bags, after the hard tanks are filled find the Plug N’ Play switches (pictured above) and simply move the switch to the right so the indicator light turns from green light (tanks) to a red light (bags). This activates the electronic valve that switches water flow from the hard tanks to the bags. Once red, the bags are ready to fill by selecting the appropriate ballast switch. Please note that the Plug N’ Play switches control the forward and aft systems separately.
- Finally MasterCraft recommends that you have fun with your new upgraded ballast system. Here is the list of current MasterCraft boats that can be equipped with the Plug & Play Ballast System (as long as the boats are equipped with the standard ballast system first).
• MasterCraft 200 / X-2
• MasterCraft 215 / X-15
• MasterCraft 225 / X-25
• MasterCraft 235 / X-35
• MasterCraft 245 / X-45 Plug N’ Play Ballast System
• MasterCraft X-Star Plug N’ Play Ballast System
If you have any questions about the correct factory upgraded ballast for your Mastercraft Wakeboard Boat feel free to contact us for expert advice.