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Old     (polkaking27)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-24-2009, 8:39 AM Reply   
I'm wondering if anyone on here has tried to attempt a pumpless ballast system. I think Calabria (or sanger maybe) does this kind of system.

Anyway, does anyone have any experience with this, or am I going to have to be the guinea pig.

I'm looking to find out what kind of thru hulls you used for the intake, the design, supplier etc...
I'm also just wondering if its possible from a DIY standpoint
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       03-24-2009, 8:46 AM Reply   
The MB TeamWideBody has the through-hull system this year. Its a great solution. I am looking forward to test riding that boat. It is said to fill/empty in about 1 minute.
Old     (lovin_the_wake)      Join Date: Jul 2007       03-24-2009, 8:48 AM Reply   
there's a few people on here that have em I'm sure they'll chime in sooner or later
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       03-24-2009, 8:48 AM Reply   
Alan Plotz put a couple steel or aluminum tanks in a MC PS 190 several years ago. IIRC he used thru hull scoops to build pressure in the fill lines. He put a valve and a vent on each tank so he could tell when they were full. Ball valve on the fill line to keep the tank/bag from emptying back into the lake.

If you have a 10 or 15 minute haul to your riding spot, it makes sense. If not, you're burning gas pretty quickly to fill your ballast. Personally, i'd stick a fill pump in the line somewhere for grins, to easy not to.

You can always drain your bags into your bilge and pump it out while you head back to the dock.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-24-2009, 8:50 AM Reply   
had it on my 08 Tomcat last year. 2500 lbs filled in 60 and drained in 45. The system is so simple too.

Not sure how you'd do it on a DYI level unless you really tore your boat apart.
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-24-2009, 9:06 AM Reply   
Cody, get in contact with username "Psychlone" on here, or "Cyclone" on He is currently working to install the system in a Toyota Epic SX with in-floor ballast tanks. I don't know where he is in the process, but know he has part numbers and components... and everything else to get started.

Good luck.

(Message edited by phenom_1819 on March 24, 2009)
Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-24-2009, 9:11 AM Reply   
filling sacs above the waterline vs filling under the floor....big difference in pumping requirements
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       03-24-2009, 9:16 AM Reply   

The infloor system seems like a huge waste of $$ and time. I DO think you can create a small pumpless system, but you're always going to be fighting the systems restrictions.

I guess the question now: is how much water flows out of 2" scoop at 40 mph? I wouldn't go any smaller...
Old     (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       03-24-2009, 10:12 AM Reply   
I can't believe no other manufacturer has not copied MB system. Hell why not pumps suck. I know we get into this crap that you cant copy someone else but screw it. MC,BU,CC,TIGE copy copy copy. Has anyone heard of any issues with the MB system?
Old     (westsidarider)      Join Date: Feb 2003       03-24-2009, 10:23 AM Reply   
Doesnt Epic use this system. I thought I remember seeing pics of it. It has a small "door" that opens up in the rear to allow water to flood the hull. To drain I think you just open it as your driving back.
Old     (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-24-2009, 10:24 AM Reply   
our 89 Tristar filled about 1200 lbs of ballast automatically through the main drain right in front of the engine. We could fill with the pressure while driving, or we could sit still and let the pump suck everything in. Super simple system that worked great. Took about 4 mins. of driving, or about 12 mins. of sitting and waiting. Also, when it was time to drain we just reached down and uncoupled everything, and the bilge pumped it out. I'll try to find some pics of it later.
Old     (pc_sledge)      Join Date: Jan 2006       03-24-2009, 10:25 AM Reply   
According to Wakeboarding Magazine '09 boat review issue. Mastercraft is offering it on the 09 X14.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-24-2009, 10:27 AM Reply   
the only issue I ran into last year was that a mud dauber (sp?) built a nest in one of my air vents and it wouldn't allow the tank to fill. A hangar fixed that problem. But on the MB it's super easy to access the gates so if one breaks there is a panel and you just replace it, simple. I spoke to the gate manufacturer though who claimed they have never had one fail before.
Old     (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       03-24-2009, 10:59 AM Reply   
Mud daubers and spyders get in the current vent system so thats pretty normal.
Old     (mechmaster)      Join Date: May 2006       03-24-2009, 11:06 AM Reply   
Look here: ays=0&postorder=asc

This is a user-installed system similar to what you're talking about.
Old     (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-24-2009, 11:29 AM Reply
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-24-2009, 11:52 AM Reply   
I'd think incorporating the pure vert system takes some work from an engineering standpoint. We aren't talking about pushing water through small holes into bags or plastic tanks. we are talking about flooding giant chambers in the hull. I think we're also talking about a patented system. Obviously, at some point that will expire.
Old     (my_malibu)      Join Date: Feb 2008       03-24-2009, 11:55 AM Reply   
must be the same system Mb uses
really fast fill and drain
trade off is the seating is raised to allow for the tanks so you sit higher in the boat
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-24-2009, 12:05 PM Reply   
The system in the 2001 is a totally different concept to the MB or Calabria system. MB is a flooder system the 2001 is a pressure scoop system. Read the post for the details, they are all there.

You can only use a flooder system below the water line, pressure scoop above or below.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       03-24-2009, 12:37 PM Reply   
derek, are you talking about the engine's fresh water intake? what pump? if any..

SS, retrofitting in-floor ballast (pure vert system) is IMO crazy from a cost and engineering perspective. Patent as well, although this doesn't sound like its for resale. The next closest thing is a force-fed system of hoses and bags that could be designed as a pumpless system.
Old     (wake26)      Join Date: Mar 2009       03-24-2009, 12:50 PM Reply   
Calabria has had the pumpless system for along time I have it in my 08 team edition. fills 1200# in 60 sec.It is great for on the fly adjustments when you have alot of people in the boat. It would be interesting to see someone do this kind of system on a boat that has already been built.
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-24-2009, 1:01 PM Reply   
What I meant was that more manufacturers probably have not adopted it bc they will need to make structural changes to the way they are building their boats. I'd think as they design new models, more will incorporate the pumpless system. Just my prediction.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-24-2009, 1:22 PM Reply   
One issue I see if the ballast doesn't use pumps and is below the water line...
your boat dies, you're stuck with a lot of ballast needing a tow/trying to put on a trailer... least if the boat won't start you'll prob have enough juice to pump it all out, or at least most.
Old     (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-24-2009, 1:44 PM Reply   
As I beat the holy crap out of my arms the other day replacing the impeller on my boat I was wondering why someone hasn't developed something PTO or belt driven pump for ballast systems.

I had a centrifugal pump for a recreational mining operation that ran off of a weedeater engine granted it needed primed but that little fella would empty a pool in the matter of a couple hours. filling and emptying boat ballast would be nothing if that little pump were charged with the task.
Old     (polkaking27)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-24-2009, 5:09 PM Reply   

Thats perfect. I saw that years ago and that is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-24-2009, 5:32 PM Reply   
If you have any specific questions send me an email
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       03-25-2009, 11:30 AM Reply   
ralph, sick system. I just got a few pages into it, but it looks awesome. I'll hve to check back when I have more time..
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-25-2009, 11:38 AM Reply   
Yea, the system that MB & Calabria use is Murphy's. He makes a little off of every boat sold. Great guy with great ideas.
And it seems like I heard he has more manufacturers jumping on the band wagon soon.

But like others have indicated, it would be tough to retrofit to an existing boat. Maybe if someone were replacing/repairing the floor (like in an old 2001 or Supra?), it would be a good addition to the boat. The flood gates in the transom are just RV sewer valves available at any RV store/website.
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-25-2009, 12:19 PM Reply   
Correct, and sorry Cody I thought you were talking specifically about the Pur Vert system. Pure vert would not work with most boats.

The Toyota Epic SX should be a good candidate for a retrofit though as the ballast system is below the floor and below the waterline, so it theoretically should work in that boat with a few mods... if there is access to plumb hosing from the gates to the ballast tanks. Cyclone is planning doing this by installing hosing in an L that goes off the inside of the ballast tanks to the transom near the exhaust. The ports will not be connected to the back of the ballast tanks and on the outside of the stringers as it would be in Mike Murphy's system.

Here is a link to the beginning of Cyclone's project, with a diagram of how he believes he can retrofit it:
Old     (maxx_wake)      Join Date: Sep 2003       03-25-2009, 1:57 PM Reply   
This may be a dumb question but with the systems that gravity drain out of the transom what happens if you are out on the lake with a boat full of people and when you fill the ballast you discover you cant get up on plane. Do people have to swim for a minute so you can drive around and drain some ballast? This might not be a problem with newer more powerful boats but I know I had several times on my old Supra with a 240hp carbed motor that I needed to empty some ballast to get her up on plane.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-25-2009, 2:09 PM Reply   
As long as some of the ballast is above the water line it will naturally drain whether moving or not. Once the boat starts moving it rises up out of the water and the drain speed increases, you don't necessarily have to be planing.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-25-2009, 8:38 PM Reply   
here are a couple of links to my system that i did
Old     (jimr)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-27-2009, 7:48 AM Reply   
The Purevert works great I just wish it was bigger - the Cal Air DD system only adds 750lbs. The valves look like the same 3" valves you see on RV waste water systems. If I were going to try to set up a DIY system I would start but looking at the parts and tanks available from an RV store for Brown/Gray water waste systems.

Old     (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-27-2009, 8:14 AM Reply   
A few shots of the Calabria hardware. Most of the system is hidden, but you'll get the idea.

Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-27-2009, 8:29 AM Reply   
even if you have the floor out, you're gonna need to get custom tanks made. most likely re-design some of the stringer system to make more make it worth the time/$.

unless you can mcgyver a way to bore out foam thru the transom and blow a tank into the cavity. even then, some boats have bulkheads and cross-supports in the way.
Old     (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-27-2009, 9:09 AM Reply   
Nacho, in our mastercraft we had a bilge drain with a threaded brass fitting right in front of the ski pole mounts. There was an access opening with a plastic screw on lid so we could reach down and uncouple the pump we had down there. We just had a fitting so that the pump screwed into the drainage hole and then fed a 'T' which ran down the under the floor to the gunnels(side sacs) and the rear(fat seat). Hope that makes sense. We used the factory bilge pump to drain, and sometimes we would just pull it out of the water w/ the weight in, pop the plug and drain down the road as we drove home. It was a great system and anybody with a Tri-star or prostar should check it out.
Old     (deltaboy)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-28-2009, 8:33 AM Reply   
When Wakecraft went to this system I watched the retooling they did and it wasn't that complicated. Just yank the tanks and shored up the cavity and bam 500# more ballast.


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