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Tag Archives: Wakeboard Ballast

  • Engine Divider Panel Saver Kits

    We are thrilled to announce that our Engine Divider Panel Saver Kit is ready for the boating aftermarket. We've had requests for a solution like this for years and it's really exciting to finally unveil this new premium product for v-drive wakeboard boats. Continue reading

  • Tech Tuesday #16: Wakeboard Ballast Systems Explained

    Tech Tuesday: Ballast Pumps Explained

    Wakeboard ballast is defined as the storage of mass within a boat to displace the hull deeper in the water which in turn changes both the wake size and shape. There are two common designs for a wakeboard boat ballast system depending on what type of pumps are used.

    The aerator pump system is the first and still most common ballast system used. An aerator pump only pushes water in one direction. This system is configured so that one pump will fill the tank from the top port and another separate pump will be used to drain the tank from a bottom port. This design has the fastest fill and drain times, is the least expensive, but does require more space for the additional hose lengths needed to work correctly.

    The second ballast system design relies on a flexible impeller driven pump. The flexible impeller pumps are reversible meaning one pump can both fill and drain through the same bottom port in the ballast tank. This system is usually more expensive but is easier to install and takes up less space. This system's on off switch can be controlled by a timer that will shut off the pump when the tank is both full or empty. The impeller pump ballast system is truly automatic in this respect.

    Aerator Pumps: Quieter, Longer Lasting, Less Energy ConsumptionAttwood Tsunami 1200 GPH

    The aerator ballast pump (Example: Attwood Tsunami, Shurflo Piranha, Rule Livewell) was initially developed to fill livewell tanks in fishing boats. When wakeboarding became popular and riders were looking to enhance their wake size, the livewell pumps were found to work really well to fill portable ballast bags. Boat manufacturers saw this and began integrating the pumps into their boats to fill strategically placed hard plastic tanks.

    The aerator pump is flow-through and works by propelling or pushing the water at a faster velocity in one direction. This means when the pump is off it does not act as a check valve allowing water to travel either direction unrestricted. When the pump is turned on water in the inlet is accelerated through the pump to the outlet. Aerator pumps are not self priming and need to be mounted below the waterline in the hull to maintain a consistent supply of water. If the water supply is limited the pump can lose prime and will air lock. No damage will be caused by running the pump dry since an aerator pump uses a hard impeller and is not water lubricated.

    Aerator Pump System Design: (
    Aerator Pump Ballast System Diagram)
    Water Source
    We DO NOT recommend using the engine’s raw water intake as the source of water for the ballast system. The risk of damage to the engine is not worth the small amount of convenience during the installation.

    Aerator Ballast Pump SchematicThe number of pumps that will be using a single water intake will determine the correct size of the bronze thru-hull fitting. When only suppling water to a single pump a 3/4” or 1” thru-hull intake will be sufficient. If the water needs to be distributed to more than one pump the intake should be at a minimum of 1” and should probably be 1-1/4” to 1-1/2”. Once the intake comes through the hull into the boat a bronze ball valved must be placed on top as an emergency shut off. If the intake is suppling a single pump it can be connected directly to the ball valve. When using multiple pumps the intake will need to feed water into a manifold that can be shared by the fill pumps for a continuous water supply. (NOTE: All pumps must be below the water level.) The more pumps that are connected the larger the manifold will need to be but a good rule of thumb is to construct it with the same size fittings as the thru-hull intake. The fill lines should be run to the ballast bag in the least restrictive route possible to avoid tight radiuses that could crush or kink the hose. Before the fill hose is connected to the sac a Vented Loop Anti Syphon Valve must be added in line. This valve prevents passive filling and draining by eliminating the vacuum in the system. (NOTE: This fitting needs to be mounted higher than the intake of the ballast bag when the bag is completely full.) The fill line will then need to be connected to a top port on the ballast bag.

    Vent / Overflow
    The second fitting that will be used on top of the ballast bag is for the vent or overflow connection. This is a necessary part of the ballast system because without it the bag will either trap air and not fill to capacity or grow larger than the compartment and potentially cause damage. By adding a vent the soft structured bag will only grow as large as the confines that it is given. The bag will also discharge when full alerting the driver to turn the pump off. The vent hose needs to be routed above the sac and the thru-hull fitting needs to be at a level that is higher than the bag fitting when it is filled completely. (NOTE: Installing the thru-hull fitting as far forward toward the bow will ensure that the bag does not drain when wakesurfing since the boat is heavily weighted on one side.)

    The drain port on any ballast bag is always at the end on the bottom. The drain pump must be at or below the bag's port to ensure that gravity will do the job of keeping the pump primed. The proximity of the pump is also a huge factor in how well the system will drain. If the pump is close to the water source and primed at all times the chances of an air lock are less likely. The hose connected to the outlet on the drain pump must run up beyond the height of the ballast bag just like the vent line. It is also advised to loop the hose before connecting it to the thru-hull fitting to ensure that the bag does not drain due to the force of water pressure from a full ballast bag.

    Flexible Impeller Pumps: Reversible, Built In Check Valve, Easy InstallationJabsco Ballast Puppy Pump

    The flexible impeller pump has been used for bilge pumping, livewell circulation, washdown systems and general fluid pumping. The first ballast application using the flexible impeller pump was by MasterCraft when they started using the Jabsco Water Puppy pump to fill and drain ballast bags in their wakeboard boats. Jabsco worked closely with MasterCraft to develop the Jabsco Ballast Puppy Pump and has since emerged has the leading supplier in the industry. The simplicity of the pump is what makes it so appealing. Being able to use the same port to both fill and drain is very convenient.

    Unlike the aerator pump a flexible impeller pump is self priming meaning it does not need to be mounted below the water line as it will actually pull water into the system from the thru-hull inlet fitting. This also means the pump will act as a check valve and will not allow water to flow in or out. The impeller is water lubricated so running dry will damage the impeller if not the entire pump. The chance of “run dry” can be almost eliminated by installing an ballast pump timer. Another option is to design a system with a visual and audible indication of when the bag is draining. The best rule to keep in mind is that when the pump is not circulating water be sure to turn it off.

    Flexible Impeller Pump System Design: (
    Reversible Ballast Pump System Diagram)
    Water Source / Draining
    We DO NOT recommend using the engine’s raw water intake as the source of water for the ballast system. The risk of damage to the engine is not worth the small amount of convenience during the installation.

    The suction that a flexible impeller pump has can create issues if the water intake is shared. By using a 1” bronze thru-hull fitting the pump will have a sufficient source of water. Immediately after the thru-hull intake fitting install a brass 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. On top of the ball valve add a 1” hose barb fitting. (NOTE: Using 1” ballast hose throughout the system is preferred and will make later steps easier.) The fill lines should be run toward the ballast bag in the least restrictive route possible to avoid tight radius's that could crush or kink the hose. To implement a system that drains above the water line install (Visual and audible indication of draining) a check valve or non return valve inline to prevent water from draining back through the intake and out the bottom of the boat. Next to this check valve a tee fitting is needed to redirect the flow of water out the thru-hull fitting when the bag is being drained. One of the two unused barbs on the tee will be need to be connected to the flexible impeller pump via a stretch of 1” oem ballast hose. The hose should slide over the inlet on the pump as most are 1” barbs. The other end of the pump will need to be connected to the port on bottom end of the ballast bag. The pump will fill and drain from the bottom part. Proximity between the pump and the bag is not crucial. The last remaining barb on the tee fitting will be for the drain. Run this hose to a thru-hull fitting above where the bag will be when at its capacity.

    Vent / Overflow
    The only port that will be used on top of the ballast bag is for the vent or overflow connection. This is a necessary part of the ballast system because without it the bag will either trap air and not fill to capacity or grow larger than the compartment and potentially cause damage. By adding a vent the soft structured bag will only grow as large as the confines that it is given. The bag will also discharge when full alerting the driver to turn the pump off. The vent hose needs to be routed above the sac and the thru-hull fitting needs to be at a level that is higher than the bag fitting when it is filled completely. (NOTE: Installing the thru-hull fitting as far forward toward the bow will ensure that the bag does not drain when wakesurfing since the boat is heavily weighted on one side.)

    What type of ballast system do I want?
    Most riders want to match what was available from the factory when the boat was new or when the manufacturer integrated a ballast system. That concept has always been the best option in our opinion. If there is already a ballast system in the boat it is best to match what the manufacturer had in mind to ensure the entire system functions and looks like it was installed by the factory. Having an entire system that functions the same will also make trouble shooting any issues that arise much easier. If the system that is already installed is not working properly let us help you find the best solution to resolve the issues.

    The aerator pump ballast system is the best option for most riders because of its fast speed and low cost. If there is not enough room in the boat to add the vented hose loop fittings and vent lines above the bag this system is not a good choice.Complete Impeller Pump Ballast System

    We recommend the flexible impeller reversible pump ballast system for riders that need to fill and drain through the bottom of the boat because of regulations or if they don't have enough room to implement the aerator pump system. When adding an additional stand alone system on top of a existing factory ballast system the flexible impeller pump system will have the best results with the least amount of hassle.

  • Tech Tuesday #2: 2014 Straight Line & Liquid Force Ballast Bag Improvements

    Welcome to Tech Tuesday! Each week we will choose one question from a customer and post the answer on our blog. You can join in on the action by emailing your technical questions to sales@wakemakers.com with the subject: Tech Tuesday, or hit us up on social media with the hashtag #WMTechTuesday.

    What did Straight Line do to fix the fitting issue some of the bags had last summer?

    Straight Line made vast improvements to their 2014 Ballast Bag Line. Based on customer feedback the bag fitting port threads have been reinforced with an internal composite ring providing additional strength and durability.

    With 2 drain on either end and 2 fill/vents on top both the Straight Line and Liquid Force BroStock ballast bags will easily integrate with our side to side ballast transfer system we call the X-Link System. An additional spring loaded Link port also makes it possible to fill and drain with a Straight Line Sumo or Super Sumo Pump for maximum efficiency.

    All 2014 Sumo bags are a compatible upgrade for the 2013-2014 Malibu Hi Flow Plug and Play Ballast System, 2013-2014 Axis Hi Flow Plug and Play Ballast System, 2014 MasterCraft Gen 2 Ballast System and the 2014 Supreme S21 Plug & Play Ballast System. All 1" NPT bag ports are compatible with almost any off the shelf threaded fitting as opposed to the 3/4" NPSM ports that comes standard in Fly High sacs and are proprietary.

    Another big addition to the Straight Line ballast program for 2014 is the Axis Wake Research specific bag line. These bags are designed to fit perfectly in your Axis boat from the rear locker all the way to the bow. The new integration bow bag is set to be released early this spring making it possible to fully integrate your boat with Straight Line Ballast.

    Axis Wake Liquid Force Edition Wake Boat

    Why are Straight Line and Liquid Force Ballast Bags a good value?

    -Easily integrates with WakeMAKERS X-Link System

    -Versatile sizing: Straight Line and Liquid Force Bags are designed to fit in most boat manufacturer's storage lockers.

    -Bigger 1" NPT ports: Compatible with almost any fitting system.

    -Additional drain port is standard

    Wade Motawi at Liquid Force  "We have test results of Sumo vs. Competitor. Our Sumo Skin has 37% higher tensile strength and 150% higher tear strength. Yeah we were shocked to see the results too. Turns out we have a much stronger fabric reinforcement layer."

    Liquid Force product designers met with Malibu product engineers to come up with the 600lb. bag that fits almost perfectly in the rear locker of Malibu and Axis boats. You don't have to spend the extra money on buying a bigger sac that you won't fully utilize. With Straight Line and Liquid Force it is all about getting a custom fit for your boat without the custom price tag.

    The Integrated Bow Bag and two different Ski Locker Bags are new for 2014, so you can finally load up your whole boat with Straight Line Ballast.

    Straight Line  and Liquid Force Ballast Bags and their Actual Weight

    Another bonus feature in the 2014 Straight Line Series is that you get more weight for your buck. We've been keeping our eyes on a WakeWorld post where a few guys measured the actual weight of Straight Line, Fly High, and Eight.3 bags versus the advertised weight... Lets just say that Straight Line and Liquid Force did well for themselves.

    Liquid Force BroStock 750 - Actual Weight: 800lbs.

    Straight Line Sumo 900 - Actual Weight: 1000lbs.

    Straight Line Sumo 300 - Actual Weight: 320lbs.

    Straight Line Flat Sac 800 - Actual Weight: 840lbs.

    Straight Line Sumo Bow Bag 650 - Actual Weight: 830lbs.

    Liquid Force BroStock 600 - Actual Weight: 660lbs.

    Straight Line Sumo Jr. V 450 - Actual Weight: 480lbs.

    Liquid Force BroStock Sumo 600 Ballast Bag

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/straight-line.html]Shop Straight Line Ballast Bags»[/button]
  • Eight.3 Wakeboard Ballast and Pumps Now Available at WakeMAKERS

    Eight.3 Wakeboard Ballast

    WakeMAKERS is excited to introduce Eight.3, a new wakeboard ballast bag and pump brand brought to us by the great people at Square One Distribution (Ronix/Radar). Whether you're a wakesurfer or wakeboarder, Eight.3 has the speed you need to spend more time behind the boat and less time filling up your ballast bags.

    The Eight.3 3700GPH submersible pump fills and drains 3 times faster than the other leading ballast pumps on the market. It's little brother the 3000GPH submersible pump is no slouch either.  With a bag fill rate of 417 pounds per minute, your boat will be weighted perfectly in a matter of minutes.

    Eight.3 Telescoping Bags available in 400, 800, and 1100lbs. 

    Both of the Eight.3 Submersible Pumps are designed to work with the 400, 800, and 1100lb. Telescope CTN Bags. The unique telescoping dry chamber gives you enough space to quickly and easily drop the Eight.3 Sub. Pump into the bag for lightening fast drain times. You can forget about dealing with air locking or re-priming and the unique trapezoidal shape helps reduce bag roll and keep your sacs right where you want them to be.

    Key Features

    • 4 Ports ( 1 high velocity port) (1 fill/vent port) (2 drain ports)
    • Available in Grey/Scuderia or Black/Juice
    • Fits in Most V-Drive Lockers
    • 1" Diameter Threaded Fill/Drain Ports
    • Laser Cut 26 Gauge Heavy Duty PVC Materials
    • High Strength Welded Seams


    Eight.3 Ballast Pump 3000GPH $149.99

    The Eight.3 Sub. Pump delivers a bag fill rate of 417 pounds per minute for fast filling and draining of the Eight.3 Telescoping Ballast Bags. This system easily plugs into your cigarette lighter with its 12ft. power cord. 10 feet of 1-1/2" heavy duty hose gives you plenty of length to drop the pump over the side of your boat.

    Key Features

    • 12AMP
    • Anti-Airlock Protection
    • Heavy Duty Waterproof Construction
    • Won't Burn Out When It Runs Dry
    • Stainless Steel Shafts
    • Rust & Corrosion Protection


    Eight.3 Ballast Pump 3700GPH $159.99

    With an incredible fill rate of 514 pounds per minute, the 3700GPH Submersible Pump will save you a ton of time. The fastest and most powerful pump on the market is finally on our shelves and ready to ship!

    Key Features

      • 20AMP
      • Anti-Airlock Protection
      • Heavy Duty Waterproof Construction
      • Won't Burn Out When It Runs Dry
      • Stainless Steel Shafts
      • Rust & Corrosion Protection
      • 3x Faster Than Any Competitors Pump

    Skeptical about the Eight.3 Bags and Pumps? Watch this video showcasing the Eight.3 Telescope CTN 400 vs. Fly High 400 with Tsunami Pump.

  • New WakeMAKERS Ballast Parts Category

    Already have a ballast system but need to replace a few parts to get it up and running? Want to upgrade the quality of a few of your fittings? Or maybe you're looking for a check valve or vented loop to add to your current ballast system to prevent passive fill/drain issues. Whatever your need is when it comes to ballast systems and the individual parts that make them up, you'll be able to find it here in our wakeboard ballast parts category.

    Our ballast system parts selection is full of carefully selected parts for your ballast system which were selected specifically with wakeboard ballast system design and functionality in mind. We don't cary any generic plumbing parts that you might find at your local hardware store, each part is tested and assured to perform in your boat and to meet your expectations. The added benefit in almost every part we sell is that they will cost you less than a similar product you might purchase from the local plumbing store. You get the convenience of getting parts that are tested for compatibility, at the best price, and with the most convenience. Forget multiple trips to the hardware store, everything is included in one place.

    We've carefully designed the shopping experience to cater directly to your needs as well, with the goal of making everything easier on you the customer. If you know the part that you need but aren't sure how to find it, we've got you covered. We've created a parts section that can be searched through in many different ways to make sure you'll get to exactly what you need and get out quickly, without wasting your day scouring the internet trying to find the correct part.

    Search by Category: WakeMAKERS has divided our ballast system parts into 4 major categories for convenient shopping:

    • Ballast Fittings
    • Hose & Accessories
    • Thru-hull Intake Hardware
    • Thru-hull Vents & Drains
    • Check Valves & Vented Loops
    • Electrical Components & Accessories

    Filter Products: Not sure which product you want but know what you need it to do? Filter products by....

    • Category
    • Hose Size
    • Part Manufacturer
    • Thread Size
    • Price

    Search Function: Know exactly what you need and don't want to spend time clicking around? Just search for it. You can always just type in exactly what you're looking for in the Search field at the top right hand of every page on our website. If we've got it, you'll see it show up.

    So next time you're in need of a replacement part for your wakeboard boat's ballast system, remember that when you choose WakeMAKERS you're getting the satisfaction and peace of mind that everything will perform as it should and will save yourself some cash at the same time. That's the WakeMAKERS way.

  • The New WakeMAKERS Wakeboard Ballast Shopping Guide

    So you've decided it's time to stop putting up with that less than adequate wakeboarding or wakesurfing wake and upgrade your boat's ballast system. Well that's awesome! You're definitely going to be much happier this summer with the wake you've been dreaming of. But the decision is just the first step, do you know what to do next? Well, you found the WakeMAKERS site so I guess you did know. BUT, what about after that? If you're not sure how much weight to add or the location in the boat you should be adding it then the new WakeMAKERS Shopping Guide is your answer.

    Because nobody has more experience than us when it comes to building the perfect wake, we've put together a shopping guide to help get you going on upgrading your boats ballast. The WakeMAKERS wakeboard ballast shopping guide helps you answer those important questions of "How much weight should I be adding to my boat?" and "Where should I be adding the weight in my boat?".

    Whenever weight is added to your boat, including people, gas, ice chests, or water ballast, it will make your boat sit lower in the water and in turn increase the displacement of the hull. As the weight put into your boat is increased it will in turn create a larger wake. So to consistently create that super sized wake for wakeboarding or wakesurfing you're going to need to add more ballast to your boat. But contrary to popular belief, size isn't everything and the shape of the wake is just as important. By placing your additional ballast in different locations inside your boat you can help create not only a bigger wake, but also a better shaped one with a smoother take-off.

    Depending on how integrated you want your ballast system to be and how much you're wanting to spend, we have many different options for you to choose from. To figure out what the perfect system is going to be for you and your wakeboard boat and to get started with your order, check out the new WakeMAKERS Shopping Guide. And if you have any questions we’d love to talk to you, so either email us at sales@wakemakers.com or give us a call at (888) 338-6085.

  • WakeMAKERS Ballast Hose vs. the Other Stuff

    Times are tough these days which makes saving money more important than ever. But saving money and buying an inferior product is never going to be a money saver in the end. And sometimes it’s even easy to think you’re saving money by shopping at the bigger discount stores without doing the due diligence first, and finding out you could have spent less and gotten more somewhere else. Which brings us to the topic of this post. The difference between the PVC Hose you’ll buy at Home Depot vs. the Ballast Hose that we sell here at WakeMAKERS.

    We have two types of ballast hose here at WakeMAKERS; standard and premium. The standard ballast hose is just that, the industry standard. This is the hose Centurion, Malibu, Sanger, Supra, Moomba and others use from the factory on their wakeboard ballast systems. It’s heavy duty walls and thick internal reinforcing spiral minimize kinking when put into tight turns and corners and also do an amazing job of withstanding exposure to any compounds in the bilge of your boat. This hose is going to give you the performance you need without compromising that OEM look.

    WakeMAKERS Premium Ballast Hose

    WakeMAKERS Standard Ballast Hose

    Our premium ballast hose goes above and beyond the industry standard hose without going above and beyond your bank account. This is the highest quality marine ballast hose we could find. The PVC hose has rigid spiral reinforcements which allow it to remain unkinked around some of the tightest corners and bends. On top of this, the premium ballast hose offers partial visibility. This is going to come in hand when you’re troubleshooting your system and want to see the flow through the hose. And if those two attributes weren’t enough, know this; this hose was made specifically for the marine environment. Meaning this is THE hose to use for your bilge. Things like salt water, gas, oil, and heat certainly won’t weaken or destroy it.

    So what about the generic PVC hose you can get from Home Depot or Lowe’s or wherever. Well first and foremost you might think you're saving money, but you’re not. Last we checked, Home Depot’s price on PVC hose was $1.72 for 3/4”, and $1.92 for 1”. Compare those prices to our industry standard ballast hose, which is now on sale for $.99 for 3/4" and $1.49 for 1”. So by doing the research and reading this blog, you just saved yourself some cash, saved yourself a trip to Home Depot (now you can put that gas money in the boat), and got the best quality product available! Other than being more expensive, generic PVC hose isn’t built to handle the pressures or vacuum of marine grade ballast hoses. It will kink when bent too sharply and won’t stand up to the elements of the environment you’re putting it in. Plus, it’s not going to even come close to looking like it was factory installed. Stick with something that’s going to give you that OEM look.

    Got questions? We’re always around and glad to help! Hopefully this post will help make the right decisions when it comes to which hose to use on your install. Even if you do find some generic hose on sale somewhere, the few bucks you save isn’t going to be worth the hassle of reduced flow and durability. Stick with a hose you KNOW is built specifically for your boats ballast system.

    3/4" Ballast Hose


    1" Ballast Hose


    3/4" Premium

    Ballast Hose


    1" Premium

    Ballast Hose


    Starting at $.99
    Buy Now»
    Starting at $1.49
    Buy Now »
    Starting at $1.49
    Buy Now »
    Starting at $2.49
    Buy Now »
  • It's Not Too Late, Receive Your Order By Labor Day

    Enjoy Your Labor Day

    For many, as water temperatures begin to fall, days become shorter, and children look forward to the coming school year, Labor Day marks the end of another fun filled summer.  If you're planning one last weekend of fun over the Labor Day holiday there's still time to receive an order on Friday and upgrade your wake for a few days of fun.

    If you have questions about how quickly you can get your order, or what products are best for your boat, contact a ballast expert and they will be happy to explain your options.

    Thanks for a great first summer, the support from our customers has been overwhelming, and we look forward to another successful year offering the world's best wakeboard ballast with the most knowledgeable support.

    Have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!

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