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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 21, 2006 » MC Prostar 205V custom ballast install... « Previous Next »
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 7:42 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Started the work phase of custom ballast install on our 2004 MC Prostar 205V. It'll be 4 Simer pumps each on their own inlet/outlet feeding their own ballast sacs (2 rear, center, and bow).

I'll try to keep a running thread for those who want to follow.

More at...

Pictures below: This weekend drilled 4 intakes (2 in hull and 2 at stern) and 4 vents (3 port side, 1 starboard).

By Rich G (rich_g) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 8:23 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
dang, you will be able to draw some water. The picture that comes to mind is Fire Boats in NYC, when they pump plumes of water 50 feet high. I wonder what kind of pumps those guys have? Keep us posted.
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:31 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here is some more information on the products and install to this point.

Regarding the intakes, I found out the hose-barb thru hull fitting diameter listed on the product pertains to the ID (inside diameter) hose size that will mate to it, not the actual ID of the vent. The ID is 3/4" at the "show" end, but tapers or steps down towards the hose-barb area. This ended up not being an issue because I had planned to cut off the hose-barb portion anyway (I could only get polished stainless with hose-barb end).

For my application:
3M 5200 Sealer/adhesive. 2 Bronze hose-barbs. 7 Polished Stainless hose-barbs (includes 1 extra). 1-1/8" hole saw.

See the step?

Overall length.

After cut
After cut

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Following are pictures of inside and outside thru hull locations. All fittings are dry fit at this point (no adhesive).

Port hull outside
Port hull inlet/outlet (I/O). Outside.

Port hull inside
Port hull I/O inside. ~1" move to port/stern would have been better to give more clearance to transmisson.

Starboard hull outside
Starboard side I/O. Outside.

Starboard hull inside
Starboard side I/O inside. Make sure you triple check location and drill small test pilot hole to insure clearance to obstacles (steering cable in this pic).

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Starboard side outside.
Starboard rear vents from outside. Same setup mirrored to port.

Port rear vents, inside
Port rear vents from inside. Clearance from center to center is ~3".

Starboard bilge vent, outside
Starboard bow bilge location. Same location mirrored to port for ballast sac vent.

Starboard bilge vent, inside
Starboard bow bilge location from inside.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Last ones for tonight...

Stern locations, outside
Stern inlets/outlets from outside. Split the difference b/w drain plug and exhaust. Now I need chrome exhaust tips.

Stern location, inside
Stern inlets/outlets from inside. Be sure to leave clearance off floor to screw on nut and any other fitting, but stay low enough to allow steering mechanism to operate w/o interference.

By Cliff Griffin (seattle) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 5:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Very nice.

One question, why did you chose to forgoe scoop type intake's? Most people use them so you have the ability to fill on the run.

By gordon (gmarkham1) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
simer pumps are self priming so you dont need scoops...

my question was the rear intakes....are you going to be able to adjust on the fly? mostly fill I guess, since they will most likely not be in the water while underway?

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

To answer your question about no scoops. By the time we launch, motor out, and first rider drops in their is plenty of time to fill. Therefore, we should only need to make minor adjustments while riding to clean up the wake. From experience with our former X10, which had the same same ballast intake, we never had an issue filling while underway. Lastly, I will be filling and draining thru the same inlet/outlet and I didn't know how a scooper would affect my ability to drain while underway.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:27 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The answer: No fill while on plane.
The reasoning: The rear intakes will be for the center and bow bags. Those will always be full because I'm fairly certain that ballast in the bow of the 205V hull is key. If I release ballast (which can be done while underway) and need to add, it'll have to be after the rider goes down.

By Edward J. Sullivan (bigshow) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:44 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Paul, I'm planning on beefing up my ballast system this year, I'll follow what you're doing closely. Where do you ride, on the river or one of the local lakes like East Fork?
By richard estevo (mendo247) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
great work! how was the blood pumping while drilling all those holes in your new boat?? all that work looks factory keep the pics coming..
By Rich G (rich_g) on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 7:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
your fill time will be so quick I don't think filling underway will be an issue
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 6:46 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Edward...I do ride East Fork mostly.

Richard E...Although the first hole I drilled on our former X10 was pretty hearth thumping, I didn't think drilling this time was too big a deal. You just have to plan carefully.

Rich G...I anticipate max. fill time will be about ~7mins. ((600lbs/8.33lbs per gallon))/10gpm

No real progress on the job tonight other than setting the side vents in with a high grade clear silicon caulk.

By Joe H (superairdawg) on Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 6:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Edward -- I'm sure you'll see his boat on Griggs early in the season so you can check out his handiwork first hand!
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 8:38 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
By superairdawg: "Edward -- I'm sure you'll see his boat on Griggs early in the season so you can check out his handiwork first hand!"

Sounds like another early March ride in the very near future! I better get on the heat install too then!

By Edward J. Sullivan (bigshow) on Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 3:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you're riding in March drop me a line!! And, ya I'd love to see the finished product.

Does anybody here belong to an Ohio based ski club? If so I'd like to talk to you.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 7:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Not too much progress on the ballast project since I switched to heater install (waiting on additional ballast components), but here's an update...

I made mounting plates for pumps (squares). Rectangle mounting plate if for parallel running heat install project. All are made of 3/4" plywood sealed/painted.

Mounting plates carpeted.

Pumps mounted to mounting plates.

"Specialty parts": 3/4" ball valve for each intake (4) for emergency shut-off. 3/4" check valve for each sac vent (4). These will insure system seals when emptying and doesn't suck air while leaving water in sacs. Found in lawn irrigation section of Lowe's. 90deg elbow to hosebarb for attachment to c/v.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 6:53 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Things are getting down to details, so progress appears slow. I just received the switches from MC of Charlotte last week, but wiring is still a little off in the future.

Right now the single biggest headache has been dealing with the rear (transom) intakes. If I had to do it all over again, there'd be 4 holes in the bottom of the hull and none in the transom.

Since each intake will have a ball valve, I want to hard-pipe (galvanized) up to it. The rear intakes initially made this task like putting a puzzle together. There are some obstacles to work around, most notably is the steering linkage.

However...after scraped up knuckles and pulled out hair, I have my work around. They are assembled and being painted before final install. Below is a diagram on how it's all played out.

All valves will be reachable thru center (engine) need to empty ballast and remove side panels.

Ballast plumbing layout diagram.

Building on the diagram above, I have attached actual pictures. Although the stern subassemblies are built, they are not attached to the thru hull yet. The thru hulls are not yet bonded either. This will all be completed once the paint dries.

Port stern ballast plumbing. I will make mounts to support this structure.
Port stern

Starboard stern ballast plumbing. The stern plumbing will be concealed by the removable engine compartment walls.
Starboard stern

Stern plumbing reference. The steering linkage does clear.
Stern layout 1

Stern plumbing reference 2. Again, just set in place. Not assembled to thru hull yet.
Stern layout 2

Port hull plumbing. A ball valve will be attached.
Port hull

Starboard hull plumbing. A ball valve will be attached.
Starboard hull

Stern plumbing reference. All ball valves reachable thru open engine hatch.
Stern plumbing

Hull plumbing reference. You can just catch the a glimpse of the red fittings. Again, all ball valves reachable thru open engine hatch.
Hull plumbing

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 8:47 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK...I have some progress to catch you up on...

I have bonded the below waterline thru-hulls in with 3M 4000 UV fast cure. I decided to stay away from 3M 5200 b/c I wanted something a little more workable if I need to remove a thru hull or fitting. All above waterline thru-hulls are sealed with a 100% Silicon caulk.

I've ditched the support plates I had built for the pumps and mounted them in the rear compartments on the back of the seats.

I decided to use spa hose because it can be bent fairly tight w/o collapsing. The trick to this stuff is to use a heat gun to warm it (get it pliable) and some dish soap to get it to slide over the hose barb.

The pump supply plumbing is in and all bag supply lines are in with exception to the rear bags. Next step for plumbing is to make bag and vent line connections.

Wiring is run and connected at pumps. I'm waiting on 7 pin DPDT switches in order to finalize the wiring.

Pictures follow...

Ballast line routing overview
Port side pumps for port rear bag and front bag.
Port plumbing/wiring cutouts in seat support plate(wall separating bilge and under seat storage).
Center and bow plumbing layout. I drilled a hole into the center locker to give a more direct route into the compartment, rather than using the air vent channel. Bow supply/drain lines have "T" to help insure proper filling and drainage of front bag.
Center bag plumbing runs. You can see the new hole I drilled from center locker into starboard air vent channel for center bag vent line. This hole mirrors the hole made by MC already in the port side.
I enlarged the air vent hole in the floor to make room for the bow fill/drain plumbing run.

(Message edited by phat in cincy on March 12, 2006)

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 9:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
This pic is a little busy, but in it are the center bag vent line and 2nd bow fill/drain line. They both come up the (already) enlarged air vent channel. FYI...MC uses the air vent channels to run some wiring.
Starboard side pumps for center and starboard rear bags.
Plumbing cutouts run thru wall separating engine compartment from rear locker.
This picture just shows how everything looks after the floor had been reinstalled over the gas tank. This vantage point is the opening where the black "cooler" sits in the middle of the back seat.
This picture just shows how the starboard side pump wiring drops and they tie into the pump wiring harness coming from the port side pumps.
Pump wiring run to switch locations. The cutouts are already there by MC. They just plug them if not used.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 9:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Replacement switches haven't come,so I decided to start working on final plumbing connections.

I started with the bow sac. Since the Fly High Pro X series integrated bow sac has 4 inputs, I decided to use 1 in each "leg" as a fill/drain, the additional in the port-side leg as a vent, and the one in the bow as a vent also. I'm going to give a try to tieing both vent lines into one swing check valve. We'll see what happens.

Next, I moved on to the center bag. I found that if I take a Sch. 40 1" hosebarb to 3/4" OD thread and mate it to a Sch. 40 3/4" hosebarb 90deg elbow to 3/4" ID thread, it will fit nicely into the "standard" ballast bag connections. I used a heat gun on low setting and some dish soap to help aid the connections. I'll check for water leaks and connection strength later to see if I'll have to hose clamp the connection. Anyway, I made the supply/drain connection and vent connection. The check valve assembly and connection to the thru hull are pictured above.
This is an overview of the center bag connections.
Here are the connections viewed from w/i the center locker.

(Message edited by phat in cincy on March 12, 2006)

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 9:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
All plumbing is complete with exception of final connections (vent and fill/empty) to rear bags.

Once the switches come in, I should be able to wrap this project up and then put the final touches on the heat install!

Pic showing starboard rear plumbing setup. Although picture looks like bilge and vent are on same thru hull, they aren't.
Starboard rear bag fill/drain line.
Pic showing port rear plumbing setup. Although picture looks like bilge and vent are on same thru hull, they aren't.
Port rear bag fill/drain line.

By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Wow - Looks like a million trips to Home Depot/Lowes.

I've done some extensive thinking about build a ballast system. So I'm quite facinated by your project.. Two questions:

1) Are you worried about your pumps airlocking, being the impeller is the highest point in the plumbing?

2) Where did you purchase your pumps?

(Message edited by yosquire on March 12, 2006)

By dave powell (pjdave) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
my question is why the swing check/non returns on the vent lines?

As a plumber that install looks great, big task.

By Clint Rice (ttuclint) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 1:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but your system seems a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Hoses running all over the boat and all.
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 6:00 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
To answer questions:

Between the ballast install and heat install, you don't know how many trips to those stores I made. I should own stock in them.

1) I'm not too worried about air locking. The pumps are self priming and although in a different location they are approx. the same height as were in MC's stock setup in our former X10.
2) B.E. Atlas.

1) Swing check valves are on the vent lines to insure the pumps suck all the water out of the bags and don't pull air thru the vent lines.

It might look complicated, but in reality it's very simple. There is 1 supply fill/empty line going thru each pump to each bag, with exception to the front bag due to it's configuration, and 1 vent line from each bag for overflow. Perhaps it's my routing path that makes it look complicated.


(Message edited by phat in cincy on March 13, 2006)

By wakeboardin (wakeboardin) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 9:52 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have a question for you how do the pumps reverse do you wire them so they provide power on the opposite wire? It seems there is only two wires 1 positive and 1 negative. Thanks

P.S. Excellent job

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 11:03 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks and please see attached link to thread on pump/switch wiring.

Basically, the switch reverses the current which reverses the pump motor direction.

(Message edited by phat in cincy on March 13, 2006)

By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 11:15 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
btw: thanks for posting all this. Very intriguing!
By Nick Harvey (dfwharvey) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 2:41 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

I have been customizing my ballast system in my 06 X1. I am debating what to do about extra bow ballast. I know that the new bow sack from Fly High is designed for under the bow seats but I am curious as to it's fit. The bag claims to hold 800 lbs. At that volume I know that it will not fill all the way. I only need about 350-400 lbs up front so I am wondering if you feel like it will fit well and what volume it will hold before it starts to push the seats up. Thanks

By phil (nautique226) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 2:54 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
keep up the good work! Very nice install.
By Mad Child (madchild1) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 2:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
this install is CLEEEEEAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

keep up the good work.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 3:31 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the words guys!

The Fly High integrated bow sac does fit nice and snug in the bow. However, as you suspect you will get nowhere near capacity. It's the height from floor to bottom of seats that is the main limiter. I hate to estimate and be wrong, but I'll doubt I'll even get 50% of it's capacity. 300lbs may be most I'll get.

Even knowing that, I thought the design and construction was great and it maximizes all available space that is under the seats.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 - 9:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Wiring is complete.

All I have left to do is make rear bag connections, tidy things up, put on some final touches, and test the system!

Here's a link to some of the info I used for switch wiring...

Here is an idea of all the wiring behind the switches. 7 wires per switch, including cross-overs.

Here's the backside of the switches.

Here are the positive and negative switch terminals.

Here is the negative terminal hooked up to MC installed distribution block.

Here is the positive terminal hooked up to MC installed 'distribution block.'

Here are the switch and switch plates installed.

Here is an overview of the switch location.

That's all...for now!

By matt Winans (liquidmx) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 - 9:43 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I like the detail, but electrical tape? Seems like with all the planning and such you would have shrink wrapped those wire connections? It may be underneath that loom? Just bashin on yah since I dont have near the patience to show that much detail.

By Chris Smart (00smizz) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 11:44 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
very nice! how much time and money do you have invested?
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 8:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you.

I don't have tallies, but ~$600-$700. I used things and materials that are probably a little overkill and therefore it's more costly than it needs to be. If you add the front and center bags I purchased, it's more like $1K. That's about what I suspected when figuring a budget.

Time is harder to estimate b/c I've been doing a parallel heat install. I've taken my time doing them over the last couple months.

I will tell you that that an added benefit of these type projects is that they help you become very familiar with your boat.

By matt Winans (liquidmx) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 8:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Is that spa tubing you used for some of the sacks, that stuff isnt cheap correct? Did you use that tubing since it doesnt collapse as easily?

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 8:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yes to all your questions. The spa tubing is used on all sacs and is about $1.56/ft. I bought 100' and it ended up being the right amount. Maybe 10' left over. I got it from The spa tubing is about $0.50 more expensive per foot that 'braided' clear tubing at Lowes or Home Depot, but as you stated it takes tighter bends without collapsing. Since it's more rigid it more difficult to work with too. It's actually meant to be bonded with PVC cement just like schedule 40 pvc would be, but since I put it over hose barbs I had to use a heat gun to soften it up and a light coating on the dishsoap on hosebarb to get it to slide on easily.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 8:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Alright all,
I'm about ready to put a wrap on this project.

Today was a HUGE day...water tested, no leaks, and everything performed really well. Fill/empty time was about 5-7mins.

The only 'issue' is the center bag vent. I think the vent exit is pretty high with relation to the bag. Therefore the column of water it has to push up means the bag wants to swell pretty big before overcoming the height of the column of water. I'm not sure if I'll do anything about it b/c it's the easiest bag to check visually.

Below are some pics of some final work and then before and after ballast fill comparisons.

I made some supports for the rear intakes so that the thru hull nut is not supporting the entire weight of the arm.

Here is the port ballast installed. I will be replacing these bags with the Pro X series bags by week's end.

Here's the starboard ballast installed.

Here's port with board.

Starboard side with wife and groms boards.

People have been interested in how much water the bow sac will hold...I'm guessing ~50% of its estimated capacity.

Picture with no ballast.

Picture with front and center full, rear approximately 75%. No people.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 8:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I decided to replace the rear sacs with Pro X fat sacs. They came in and I installed them last weekend.

If you have experience with them, you might know they have quick connect fittings, but at $12-$25 each for additional I decided to find a work around. A 3/4" PVC fitting will screw in to the bags nicely but are prone to leaking because it's not a pipe fitting (not tapered). Therefore, my workaround was buy a grommet and gorilla glue it to the hose barb. I haven't tested it yet, but the fitting with only Teflon tape (no grommet) didn't leak THAT much so this should be an improvement. Next step would be to add a small amount of plumbers putty, if necessary.

I should add that I did use the quick connect fittings on the vent lines. I wanted to be able to connect those so they didn't interfere with putting boards in the compartments. The rear fittings are hard plumbed as I don't see a real need to completely remove the bags. The extra hose length you'll see is for 2 reasons. 1) I didn't want hose sticking straight up out of the bag b/c boards would not go in, and 2) I wanted to make sure the hoses put a 'tightening' force on the fittings (the hose pushes the fittings tighter, instead of pulling them loose).

Other than all that, I'm about to call it a wrap. I'll update with weighted vs. unweighted wake pictures when I get them.

Take care,

Here is the sub assembly. I used Teflon tape on the threads too.
Here's the grommet I used...from Lowe's.
Here's the connection.
Here's another picture of the connection.
Port fat sac installed.
Starboard fat sac installed.

By t (tbone02) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 9:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Paul, just wondering if the pro x have fittings on the bottom ends or not? Nice install. I want to pull my straightline 680's to replace with the pro-x. What's the weight on those?


By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 6:00 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The Pro X Fat Sacs I have in the rear compartments have fittings on the top of each end and the bottom of one of the ends for a total of 3. The listed weight is 750lbs. There are also Pro X V-drive sacs that are ~400lbs each, I think.

By Nick Harvey (dfwharvey) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 11:50 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The v drive sack is about 385-400 depending on how much you stuff it. I can tell you that it fits perfectly in the walkway of an X1 (old X2/Xstar) and will allow you to open the ski locker door when it is completely full. I weighed long and hard about the bow sack that you put in and I decided to go with a sack in the walkway at roughly 400 lbs. I also installed a three way diverter ball valve with 10 ft of hose on the fill/drain line for the locker sack so that I can fill any sack anywhere in the boat without having to throw a pump over the side. Total cost $50. At $100 for a Tsunami I figure it is a heck of a deal. Here are the pics.

By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 7:27 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I finally got to see all the work come to fruition last night. I took our first set of the season. Unfortunately, the wind wasn't cooperating all that well, but I tried to snap a weighted vs. unweighted shot.
Top pic is unweighted with ~550lbs of people and gear. Bottom pic is weighted with ~550lbs of people and gear and ~1500lbs of ballast. Both are at about 22.5mph. I was only running about 50% on the rear sacs.
Obviously, I need to play with the weight to get things shaped up better. I hope to get more play time this weekend, so maybe I'll be able to post better pics later.
The system performed flawlessly, so all I need to do is dial in the wake!

By William (projectely4) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 7:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
it looks like you might want to fill the rear sacs more because the wake looks a little rampy. also in the pics it looks like the water was pretty smooth
By Paul Brothers (phat_in_cincy) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 7:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'll definitely try more weight in the rear.
I should have clarified, the wind wasn't cooperating when I was riding. I couldn't get a good feel of the wake. It's settled down after I got out...of course.

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