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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 01, 2004 » Ballast Intergration « Previous Next »
By David L. Emel (maristar200v) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 10:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I want to thank everyone who provided input and ideas for putting this ballast system together. Iím posting the results to hopefully benefit others who are looking to implement a similar system. This ballast system was installed in a 1997 MasterCraft MariStar.

I started off with purchasing two Simer BW8512 Pumps combined it with a 1-1/4" manifold with four independent manual ball valves distributing water via 3/4" flexible PVC pipe to four distribution points:

1) Starboard Aft 350lbs Launch Pad V-Drive Twins
2) Port Aft 350lbs. Launch Pad V-Drive Twins
3) Bow Ski Locker (directly plumbed to fill locker approx 250lbs.)
4) Bow Deck between bow seats removable Fat Buddie (stores under port seat when not in use) 250lbs.
= 1200lbs water ballast combined.

The water pick up is tapped into the water cooling line between the v-drive and oil cooler. An existing raw water strainer is between the water scooper on the hull and v-drive to ensure no foreign objects. The pumps and manifold were mounted on the back side of the seat above the v-drive and transmission. All of the hose/pipe was run out of sight and everything can be easily removed (if needed). The ballast fills and empties in approx 12 minutes each way with a flip of a switch.

Ballast System Main Parts List (not all inclusive)
2 - DC Simer 10gpm pumps (B.E. Atlas)
1 - 50' flexible 3/4" pvc pipe
4 - 3/4" PVC ball valve
various 1-1/4" 90deg elbow's & T-fittings
various 3/4" 90deg elbow's & T-fittings
8 - 3/4" PVC to female hose thread
4 - 3/4" PVC to male hose thread
4 - 3/4" male pipe thread to male hose thread
3 - Water bed to hose adapter (water bed store)
Approximate cost $250 (listed items were purchased at Home Depot unless otherwise noted)

Pump and Manifold
Water Source

By Quen (ill_rider) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 6:09 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Do you incorporate vents or do you just watch and stop the pumps when sacks/locker are full?
By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 6:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Looks nice! What are the two oblong grey components next to your pumps? Are they electrical?
By Matthew Melvin (melvinator) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 7:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Remember those simers are not ignition protected, it looks like they are in the engine compartment.
By TR (biz) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 7:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here are some words that immediately come to mind... spark, fire, boom, burn, loss not covered by insurance. Not to be downing your system but the simers are not ignition protected as Melvinator has also stated. Move them out of the engine compartment into an open air space and you have a winner!
By David L. Emel (maristar200v) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 7:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
1) No vents, burped the bags once after installing them and now they fill up and then shrivel up like raisons when you reverse the pumps to empty.

2) The oblong grey components are switches boxes, one to operate the pumps in forward and reverse and the second box is a fuse box to protect the pumps and switches. I recommend using a circuit breaker instead of traditional fuses.

3) Yes, I have read that the pumps are not ignition protected. However, the pumps I received are completely sealed and the manuals state that they can be used for marine applications. Regardless, to operate the pumps the engine hatch must be open (thatís were the switches are to operate the pumps in forward/reverse). Opening the hatch provides plenty of ventilation to thwart any possible spark.

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 11:06 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I love that you can empty at full speed because the water will just get sucked right into your raw-water impeller pump and out your exhaust.

Do you only fill at idle, or what's the fastest you have been going with both pumps on and filling?

By actiondcpd (actiondcpd) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 12:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Looks very nice. I like the idea you use both pumps at the same time to fill and empty. Do you have any power problems running them at the same time? Do you run them off the same battery?
By David L. Emel (maristar200v) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 6:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Typically, I fill everything while Iím waiting for my wife to park the Trailer and truck. By the time she parks the truck and is situated in the boat, the ballast is full. It only takes around 12 minutes.

I had a concern regarding the power draw from the pumps. There is one battery on the boat - Interstate 650CCA. I have tested the systems two ways:

> Fill & Empty with engine off, Engine started engine without issue.
> Fill & Empty with engine on (idle), no rise in engine temperature. Note: I have not tested at speed, nor do I think I will, since the hatch (v-drive) must be open to operate pumps and monitor bags while they fill.

The only issue I came across, if I turned both pumps on at the same time, one of the pumps would blow a fuse while the other would continue to run. I'm assuming that it created too much of a power spike of some sort. However, if I turn one pump on and then count to 5 to let the spike subside then start the second pump the issue disappeared.

By Steve (steveb7) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 8:56 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
what are the model pumps you are using do you have a link?
By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 1:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nice System... but, I agree with those that say you need ignition protection... i see your point about the hatch being open.
I am currently building a auto ballast system, and thanks to all those here that helped when i was reseaching,,Ok... I'm kind of a neat freak when it comes to exposed things like pvc, pumps and valves.. so here is my project outline for my 2002 Moomba LSV V drive.. I have everything purchased and am in the process of putting it all together this week.
3 Jabsco Ballast Puppy Reversible Self Priming ignition protected Pumps.. all hooked via a 1 inch bottom thru hull scoop with shut off to a One inch 4 port manifold (1 in, 3 out)I picked up at the sprinkler section at home Depot.. for anyone interested it is the Light green one that can be extended to as many ports as you like (more bags) these are feeding 3/4 inch lines to each pumpThat way there is no draw from my engine water.. before the pump is a 3/4" 1 way valve to prevent backflow so when i reverse the pumps to empty(via the included 20 amp 3 way carling switches) the water will hit the backflow 1 way and go out the T fitting which heads to a thru hull on the side(3 of them, 1 for each sac.) the water is pumped thru the jabscos at a rate of approx 10gal/min(6 -8 min for front locker 400# sac) and same for each 350 # sac on each side of the engine).... when they are full I will know because they will vent out the 2nd opening in the bag & the water will shoot out the thru hull openings on the drivers side. there is one for each bag so i can shut off the switch.. and each overflow hose has a one way valve so i can suck the sacs down to raisins( they wont allow air into the sacs.) All the pumps and hoses are in the v drive locker compartments out of the way and almost invisible. the mainfold is in the bottom of the boat next to the transmission and next to the auto bilge just in case. all hose is marine bilge ribbed hose. double clamped and there is a cool opening from the engine compt to the bow locker so put the hose through so not having to lift the floor to gain access or drill holes(other than thru hulls for intake/output/vent)
As for the electical side of the deal. all three pumps are wired to 3 Carling 20 amp 3 way switches that read fill/ballast/empty with 20 amp pushbutton resetable circuit breakers and the switches are wired to a second battery along with my amps and lights. this is connected to the main battery/alternator via a 50 amp combiner. so there can be no draw from main battery but it will charge from alternator. there is inline 30 amp fuses between battery and circuit breakers.. overkill, but that way only a short section of wire would need to be replaced in case of a short.
all in all its about a grand for everything .. got a deal on Ballast puppys.. those in Nor cal email me for location and names.. you have to get them from the store and buy 3 for the discount .. but got 249.00 pumps with the 3 way ballast switches for 165/ea..
so here is the breakdown on cost for those considering the same
510.00 for pumps&switches(@165/ea)
96.00 for 6 one way valves @ 16.00/ea -
50.00 for hose at 1.10 foot
89.00 for fly high 375 ski locker sac
99.00 for V drive sacs by Launch pad(350# each)
approx 60.00 for all the brass/pvc fittings for hose pump connections
60.00 for electrical wire and resetable 20 amp circuit breakers(like the ones on a dash)
110.00 for extra battery and combiner( not optimas but will upgrade later)
145.00 for 9 one way 3/4inch valves at 15.00/ea
possibly going to add 4- 65# lead for under seats on both sides... going to test ride first...see if more weight is even necessary... might just need to invite another buddy and have him sit up front..-
Not too bad considering the boat place wanted 1600 to install a less then perfect system..
i will post pics this week here on this thread..or make a new one..
any opinons or suggestions?.. thanks to all who answered my questions in the past when i was in the design phase.. helped alot.. anyone has any ???? on where to find stuff .. let me know.. I looked all over and found a few items no one thought of..
I'll be looking for test riders on the delta at the end of this month.. I'll drive.. but not crazy enough to get in the water yet... just need willing bodies to give me an eval on the wake... I'll post when ready to test.. just bring board... and no .. the boat does not run on "thankyou's" but Cold water riders get a discount for being a little nuts
Thanks.. sorry for the long post.. hopefully someone gained a little insight into building their ballast system

By Quen (ill_rider) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 2:29 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
What kind/brand of 1 way (check) valved did you use and where do you get them.

Is a seperat battery necesary with 3 or posibly 5 of these pumps?

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 2:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i am not at home right now.. but the check valve was a 3/4" from west marine. check their catalog. it is black about 4 inches long and works great. it is not spring loaded so requires no pressure to open.. i tried to blow through it backwards with no air leakage. so far it works.. the are about 15.49 each.. I used 9.. one for each vent to prevent sucking air when i empty, one for each pump so when water reversed it automatically bounced off the 1 way and went into the "T" and out the thru hull and one for each thru hull hose to prevent air being sucked in instead of water when pumps are in forward. this way the system is completely automatic from the drivers seat. no valves to turn very easy and simple once built. a little more expensive for parts but very convenient.. anyone can operate and it is idiot proof.. ( for me.. haha)
I'll get the part # and model # for you off the package when i get home tomorrow morning.

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 3:02 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Also.. I got a 2nd battery not only for pumps (it is good idea though) but to prevent any possibility of being stranded on a beach after cranking the tunes/amp & running my halogen lights off the main battery and also so i can empty the sacs on the trailer if necessary w/o draining the main battery. peace of mind is worth the 125 bucks for combiner & battery. hope to go to blue/yellow top gel next year..prevents any possibility of a spill, and they are longer lasting from what i heard..
hope that helps.

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 3:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Also.. I got a 2nd battery not only for pumps (it is good idea though) but to prevent any possibility of being stranded on a beach after cranking the tunes/amp & running my halogen lights off the main battery and also so i can empty the sacs on the trailer if necessary w/o draining the main battery. peace of mind is worth the 125 bucks for combiner & battery. hope to go to blue/yellow top gel next year..prevents any possibility of a spill, and they are longer lasting from what i heard..
hope that helps.

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 7:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Brian, sounds like you're planning:
Scoop, to bottom thru-hull, to manifold, to 1-way valve, to T connector, to Jabsco pump, to sac. Then the other T connector port goes to a side above-the-waterline thru-hull.

To drain, you plan to reverse the pump and have the outflow go out the side thru-hull, because it can't get past the the 1-way valve to go out the bottom of the boat. So draining sounds OK.

But I have a question. When your pump is running forward to fill the sac, what keeps the flow from going out the other T-connector port to the side above-the-waterline thru-hull?

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 12:06 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
it doesnt want to go that way.. it wants to be "sucked" by the pump. also.. i have the T connector arranged so that the water is going straight into the pump and not having to make a turn inside the T.. to exit however, the water goes against the 1 way and since there is pressure from the pump, the water makes the turn inside the T and heads out... in theory... anyone else have another idea, besides a manual valve?
By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 5:57 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Brian, that should work, relying on the suck factor. But one thing for sure is (and you probably already thought of this with all the 1-way valves you have spec'd out) is that you'll have to put another one way valve on that third leg of your drain T connector. Otherwise when the pump is running in forward to fill, it would also be sucking air in from the drain line.

I say try it and let us know how it works. If you do end up getting any spillage out the drain thru-hull during filling, you could maybe change the 1-way valve on the drain line to a model that requires a slightly higher psi to open.

I just ordered 2 Simer's for my two rear v-drive sacs and will be T-ing off the engine's raw-water intake. I'm going with this method because many people have been using this method for a long time with no problems, and I love that you can empty the sacs faster at speed back to the dock since it gets sucked into the exhaust. Bad part it the rear deck will have to be open a crack and someone has to tell me when the sacs are almost empty if I'm driving. I'm using the Simers because they are cheaper, are supposedly pretty reliable, and I can mount them under my rear seats out of the engine compartment.

Good luck and definitely let us know how it goes. You might change my mind if it works good.

And David, sorry for participating in this thread hijacking!

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 11:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yes i am putting one ways on the drain lines to prevent sucking air.. It was an afterthought the other day when I was putting it all together so I went and bought 3 more..
oops sorry david.. didnt realize there was a thing called "thread jacking" I apologize... I guess should have started my own thread. didnt even think about that.. My bad. Brian. - I will cut and paste from this thread when I post the results with pix.

By David L. Emel (maristar200v) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 11:38 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Man - you go away for a few days and you get jacked! . No problem, always looking for some additional input. Good luck to you both with the installations - post them when you get a chance for others. Was out on the lakes this weekend and the system performed flawlessly...don't know why I waited so long to do this. Regards./dle.
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