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Tag Archives: wakeboard ballast system

  • Check Valves vs. Vented Loops

    When asked to talk about which is recommended, check valves or vented loops in a ballast system, the answer is both. Depending on the system you are building, you might be able to get away with one or the other, but for a complete ballast system where you’ll have bags filling and draining both above and below the water line you should be implementing the use of both check valves and vented loops.

    Quick description of what each do: Both check valves and vented loops are used to prevent the passive draining of bags (draining while pump is off and boat is in use). However, only a vented loop will also prevent the passive filling of a bag (think opposite of passive draining).

    Vented Loops:

    If your ballast bag is going to reside below the floor/below lake level (think ski locker) Then you’re going to need to integrate a vented loop in the ballast hose line in order to prevent both the passive draining and filling of the ballast bag. The reason is that vented loops are fitted with a one-way valve right at the high point in the loop. This valve still allows water to be pumped through the loop like a solid tube, however, once the pump is turned off air is let in through the valve and into the tube. This allows the water to drop on both sides of the high point in the loop and prevents a siphon from occurring. Now, for this to all work correctly you need to install the vented loop as high above the water line as possible. The most common location for installation is under the driver’s dash near the windshield. If you’re installing it in the back of the boat, whether in a direct drive or v-drive, up under the gunnel is usually the best location. It’s also important to install the loop as close to the ballast bag in question as possible.

    Check Valves:

    Now if your bags are filled above the water line then check valves will work great as you won’t have to worry about passive filling. The check valves will take care of any passive draining and you’ll be on your way. Plus, check valves will cost you less and are easier to install. Check valves are basically just a non-return valve that requires no maintenance, will never rust and can be installed in any position and at any angle. When building a ballast system there are many applications for non-return check valves. Because of this we have done extensive tests to ensure the valves that we offer will perform in pretty much any situation you can conger up. And while it might sound like a plug for our product, we really don’t recommend using valves designed for use in a domestic plumbing environment (meaning both the swing valves and spring-loaded check valves you would find at the hardware store). The reasons for this are:

    1. They are installation attitude dependent; because they rely on gravity to close the swing gate, they must be installed within a range of angles, which is less than convenient when running lines for ballast.
    2. They're bulky, and typically require additional fittings to convert the threaded connections to hose barbs, which increases the size even more and adds more failure points.
    3. And, they're expensive (compared to the integrated hose barb valves we offer).

    One thing to keep in mind when building your ballast system; If you choose to forego the use of check valves, your system will essentially remain incomplete. You’ll never be able to fully drain your sacks completely without them. Meaning unless you have a check valve to prevent air from flowing back into the bag, you’re bags will never be able to raisin up and stay completely drained.

    Hopefully this has instilled some knowledge in the heads of all who read it. If you have questions feel free to contact us and ask away. We’re always around and ready to help you build the perfect ballast system for your boat.

    3/4" Check Valves

    3/4

    1" Check Valves

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    3/4" Vented Loops

    3/4

    1" Vented Loops

    1

    Starting at $13.95
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    Starting at $14.95
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    Starting at $27.99
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    Starting at $47.95
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  • Malibu PiggyBack Factory Ballast System Upgrade

    What it is: Malibu PiggyBack Factory Ballast System Upgrade

    The Malibu PiggyBack Ballast System is designed to make use of the existing pumps, hoses and switches in your Malibu boat, to expand the capacity of your factory rear ballast tanks from 250lbs. up to an incredible 1,350lbs. This kit includes everything needed for the installation, including a replacement Fly High Pro X Series ballast bag (choose your capacity), Fly High quick connect fittings, all necessary fittings and adapters, hose and installation guide.

    For Use In:

    This Piggyback system is designed to work with any Malibu boat that has factory rear ballast tanks that are installed below the floor of the boat and use aerator pumps for filling and draining. Confirmed models include the following boats:

    • 2009-Current Malibu vRide 21
    • 2009-Current Malibu vRide 23
    • 2007-Current Malibu Wakesetter VTX
    • 2005-Current Malibu Wakesetter VLX
    • 2005-Current Malibu Wakesetter LSV
    • 2006-Current Malibu Wakesetter 247 LSV

    For specific questions on fitment, and for possible compatibility with other models, click here.

    Bag Size, Dimensions, and Application:

    Dimensions:

    • 400lbs - 42" x 16" x 16"
    • 565lbs - 42" x 19" x 19"
    • 750lbs - 50" x 20" x 20"
    • 1,100lbs - 50" x 24" x 24"
    Bag Size Application
    No Bag Chose this option if you already have a Fly High Pro X Series ballast bag
    400 lbs Suitable for use in all Malibu v-drive boats with factory rear ballast tanks installed below the floor.
    565 lbs Suitable for use in all Malibu v-drive boats with factory rear ballast tanks installed below the floor.
    750 lbs Suitable for use in 2007-current Wakesetter VTX, 2005-current Wakesetter VLX, 2005-current Wakesetter 23 LSV and 2006-current Wakesetter 247 LSV models.
    1,100lbs 2005-current Wakesetter 23 LSV and 2006-current Wakesetter 247 LSV models.
    Malibu TankBuster Factory Wakeboard Ballast Upgrade
    Starting at $59.95
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  • Malibu Tankbuster Factory Rear Ballast Upgrade

    What it is: Malibu Tankbuster Factory Rear Ballast Upgrade

    The WakeMAKERS Malibu TankBuster Wakeboard Ballast System is designed to integrate with your factory ballast system easily, be controlled using the switches on your dash, and not require any additional effort to fill and drain. Are you tired of the above floor factory hard tanks in your Malibu wakeboard boat taking up too much storage space and not offering enough ballast? Then the Malibu TankBuster factory ballast system upgrade is your solution. Replace the factory hard tanks with our Malibu wakeboard ballast system to create a massive wakesurfing or wakeboarding wake. Instantly triple the ballast capacity in each rear corner, while at the same time restoring full use of the lockers for storage when you don't need the biggest wake possible.

    For Use In:

    This TankBuster system is designed to work with any Malibu v-drive wakeboard boat that has hard ballast tanks that installed above the floor in the rear lockers. That includes, but is not limited to, the following models:

    • 2005-08 Malibu vRide
    • 2002-04 Malibu Wakesetter VLX
    • 2002-04 Malibu Wakesetter LSV

    For specific questions on fitment, and for possible compatibility with other models, click here.

    Bag Size and Dimensions:

    • 400lbs - 42" x 16" x 16"
    • 750lbs - 50" x 20" x 20"
    • 1,100 - 50" x 24" x 24"

    Where it goes:

    The Malibu TankBuster Ballast System Upgrade takes the place of the existing factory hard tank installed in each rear locker of certain Malibu wakeboard boats. Once installed, the new ballast sac is controlled completely from the driver's seat, and uses the factory pumps and plumbing. Everything functions exactly the same as it did from the factory, but you've added a significant amount of capacity. Additionally, when the bags are empty, the entire rear locker is available, dramatically increasing the amount of storage space for gear and equipment. This kit includes everything needed for the installation, including a new ballast bag and the necessary Fly High quick connect fittings.

    Malibu TankBuster Factory Wakeboard Ballast Upgrade
    Starting at $59.95
    [button url="http://www.wakemakers.com/tankbuster-750-ballst-system-upgrade.html"]Buy Now »[/button]
    [button url="http://www.wakemakers.com/tankbuster-750-ballst-system-upgrade.html"]Buy the Malibu TankBuster Ballast Upgrade »[/button]
  • Centurion TankBuster Factory Ballast System Upgrade

    What it is: Centurion TankBuster Factory Ballast System Upgrade

    The WakeMAKERS Centurion TankBuster Wakeboard Ballast System is designed to integrate with your factory ballast system easily, be controlled using the switches on your dash, and not require any additional effort to fill and drain. Are you tired of the above floor factory hard tanks in your Centurion wakeboard boat taking up too much storage space and not offering enough ballast? Then the Centurion TankBuster factory ballast system upgrade is your solution. Replace the factory hard tanks with our Centurion wakeboard ballast system to create a massive wakesurfing or wakeboarding wake. Instantly triple the ballast capacity in each rear corner, while at the same time restoring full use of the lockers for storage when you don't need the biggest wake possible.

    For Use In:

    This TankBuster system is designed to work with any Centurion v-drive wakeboard boat that has hard ballast tanks that installed above the floor in the rear lockers. That includes, but is not limited to, the following models:

    • 2002-09 Centurion Typhoon
    • 2002-09 Centurion Cyclone
    • 2002-09 Centurion Avalanche
    • 2004-09 Centurion Enzo SV230
    • 2007-09 Centurion Enzo SV240

    For specific questions on fitment, and for possible compatibility with other models, click here.

    Bag Size and Dimensions:

    • 400lbs - 42" x 16" x 16"
    • 565lbs - 42" x 19" x 19"
    • 750lbs - 50" x 20" x 20"
    • 1,100lbs - 50" x 24" x 24"
    • 1,450lbs - 108" x 25" x 25"

    Where it goes:

    The Centurion TankBuster Ballast System Upgrade takes the place of the existing factory hard tank installed in either the rear locker or in the mid ship of V-drive Centurion wakeboard boats. Once installed, the new ballast sac is controlled completely from the driver's seat, and uses the factory pumps and plumbing. Everything functions exactly the same as it did from the factory, but you've added a significant amount of wake building capacity. Additionally, when the bags are empty, the entire rear locker is usable space, dramatically increasing the amount of storage for gear and equipment. This kit includes everything needed for the installation, including a new ballast bag and the necessary Fly High quick connect fittings, adapters to connect to your boat's factory system, and step-by-step instructions.

    Centurion TankBuster Factory Wakeboard Ballast Upgrade
    Starting at $59.95
    [button url="http://www.wakemakers.com/centurion-tankbuster-750-ballst-system-upgrade.html"]Buy Now »[/button]
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  • Reversible Pump Automated Ballast System Design

    This seems to be a popular topic lately, both on the forums, and for our ballast experts on the phone, so we figured it would be beneficial to write a full guide on how to design a ballast system around a reversible impeller style ballast pump. As usual, there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goals, so this shouldn't be taken as the definitive guide on ballast system installations, but rather a recommendation on how to install a fully functional system that operates correctly based on our years of experience. Feel free to deviate from these plans where you see fit, or contact us if you any questions.

    With that out of the way, let's move on to the good stuff!

    The Basics
    Impeller style pumps (like Jabsco's Ballast Puppy) are unique because they can pump water in both directions, which means you can use one pump to both fill and drain the same ballast bag(s). Additionally, impeller type pumps act as a check valve when not running, preventing the flow of water into or out of the bag which simplifies the design of the system.

    Design and Layout
    In general, all ballast systems that make use of reversible pumps will have the following principles in common, although the specifics may vary from one installation to another depending on the applicable goals or constraints.

    The system design we've outlined in this article does use one check valve fitting which allows the water being pumped out of the bag when draining to exit the boat above the water line. This is a popular option for many people because it results in a visual and audible indication of when the bag is draining, and when it's empty. Alternatively, removing the check valve, wye fitting and attached thru-hull vent will result in a simpler and cheaper system that fills and drains through the thru-hull intake fitting.

    Water Source
    Regardless of the specifics of the system, you will need to find a source of raw water to use to fill. This can be a dedicated intake fitting installed specifically for the ballast system, or can make use of an existing drain plug fitting in the bilge using our available brass integration fittings. We DO NOT recommend using the engine's raw water intake as the source of water for your ballast system. The risk of damage to the engine is not worth the small amount of convenience during the installation.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-ballast-parts]Shop For Ballast Intake Parts»[/button]

    Pump
    There are currently two manufacturers producing then type of reversible pump used in this ballast system. They are the Jabsco Ballast Puppy and Johnson Ultra Ballast both of which are very high quality pumps that are used by Mastercraft, Nautique, Supra, Moomba, Centurion and others in their factory ballast system.

    Plumbing
    The specifics of your installation will depend on your particular boat, but the basics outlined here are generic regardless of the boat. Based on the capacity of these reversible pumps, we advice using 1" connections throughout the system to maximize capacity. Both Jabsco and Johnson pumps also accept 1" hose connections natively with out any additional fittings or adapters necessary, which is nice.

    Immediately after the thru-hull intake fitting install a full-port Bronze Ball-valve as an emergency shut-off point to allow you to immediately stop the flow of water into the boat if something goes wrong.

    If you choose to implement a system that drains above the water line, next install a check valve fitting to prevent water from draining back through the intake.

    Next is Wye fitting to redirect the flow of water out the thru-hull vent fitting when draining.

    Then comes the pump, and finally you can make your connection to the bag. Because reversible pumps fill and drain through the same bag connection, you only need two connections to the bag, one for filling and draining, and one for venting. We recommend using Fly High's Flow-Rite Quick Release Connector system for all bag connections so that you can quickly and easily remove the ballast bags for cleaning, winterization or storage.

    Both the drain and vent hoses are terminated with thru-hull vent fittings that match the factory style.

    [button url="http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-ballast-parts"]Shop For Wakeboard Ballast Parts»[/button]

    Here is a summary of the parts used in this single bag system, along with an approximate cost for a system of this type. Obviously the total cost will depend on which bag you choose, whether or not you implement the above water line drain, and a host of other factors. If the cost is of concern to you, contact us and we can help you locate ways to save some money.

    Qty SKU Product
    Cost
    Total Cost
    1 w707 Fly High Fat Sac
    $149.99
    $149.99
    1 w610-p Reversible Ballast Pump
    $239.99
    $239.99
    1 STH750W 3/4" Thru-Hull Intake
    $25.99
    $25.99
    1 IBV750 3/4" Brass Ball Valve
    $18.99
    $18.99
    2 LV1219 3/4" Check Valve
    $18.99
    $37.98
    1 18231 3/4" Hose Barb Wye Fitting
    $4.99
    $4.99
    2 w736 Fly High W736 3/4" Quick Release Connect
    $6.99
    $13.98
    1 w740 Fly High W740 3/4" Straight Quick Release Connector
    $4.00
    $4.00
    1 w742 Fly High W742 3/4" Elbow Quick Release Connect
    $4.00
    $4.00
    2 18151 3/4" Thru-hull Drain Fitting
    $4.35
    $8.70
    30 malibu-hose 3/4" Ballast Hose
    $1.69
    $50.70
    Total:
    $540.32

    Hopefully you found this article informative, and it helped to answer some of your questions regarding wakeboard ballast systems using reversible pumps. If you have any other questions, or would like help designing a system to meet our specific needs, please contact one of our ballast experts and we would be glad to assist.

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