Like pretty much everyone now-a-days, most of our customers are looking to save money wherever they can. ¬†Because of that, it's not uncommon for them to head down to their local Home Depot or Lowes when it comes to buying a ball valve for their integrated system. ¬†On the surface it may seem like a good way to save a few bucks, but take a look at the picture above and maybe you'll change your mind. Although it looks almost identical to the ball valves we offer, it has one key difference, and that is (quite obviously) the metal that it's made out of. Cheaper ball valves you can purchase at Home Depot are made of Brass, a metal that is fine for the common plumbing applications for which they are sold by home improvement stores, but is a poor choice for use in a boat. Due to the environment your boat will be used in, all metal components below the water line or in contact with the water are subject to galvanic corrosion. It's for the that reason that Correct Craft, Mastercraft, Malibu, Supra and every other manufacturer use tracking fins, prop struts, rudders and all other underwater hardware that is made out of bronze (exceptions are the use of other non-corrosive metals like stainless steel in the prop shaft, and nibral in the propeller). The picture above (courtesy of Marine Cruising) clearly shows the risk of using a brass ball valve where a bronze alternative should be used. The result is not only a complete failure of the function of the ball valve, but also significantly reduced strength in the body of the fitting itself, which could lead to fracture and ultimately complete failure of the fitting. The results of that a failed ball-valve (or any thru-hull intake fitting) obviously have the potential to be disastrous. So when it comes to installing a ballast system, do yourself a favor and spend a few bucks more to get the right tools for the job. Shop for wakeboard ballast parts»