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Old     (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       02-01-2011, 3:12 PM Reply   
I currently have 2 Fly High ballast bags, one is in the bow and one is in the ski locker. I also have one Tsunami 1200 gph pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter.

I am getting tired of fumbling around with the hose, the power cord, moving from the middle of the boat to the front, removing seat cushions, etc to fill the bags.

I would like to simplify this setup but not necessarily to the point of a fully automated system. And, I don't want to drill any holes in the boat.

Just something a little easier to manage and let my lazy side come through....

Is there a way I can hard wire the power, fill and drain lines then just throw a hose (or 2) over the side of the boat from the driverís seat and hit a switch that will fill the bags?

Then throw the hose back over when I want to drain them?

I don't completely understand how the fully automated systems work but I do understand that I might need a reversible pump.

Other thoughts....

I have a cooler drain that I could tee into for draining the bags but it is a good foot higher than the bags outlet drain would be.

I don't necessarily want to fill both bags completely; I would like the ability to adjust the level in each bag independently.

Of course, I would like everything to be as leak free as possible. We have kids and they get into about everything.

Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       02-01-2011, 5:58 PM Reply   
I have a hybrid auto balast similar to what you are after. I have a 1200 GPH that has 1 1/8" hose to a Y with high flow manual valves to control rate to 2 550s. After the split I think it is just 3/4 inch hose. The bag closer to the pump will always fill faster so I keep the valve wide open to the far bag and about 1/2 open the close bag and adjust when the bags are close to full. Now to drain it is completely automated and have 750 GPH pumps more or less permanently hooked up to the bottom of each bag and drain through ports I put in the boat myself. The ports were easier than expected to put in and at first was aprehensive to drill the boat, but after doing it, it isn't a big deal and felt safe since it is higher than the water line. The drain pumps are switched. The fill pump is a cig lighter but I have an outlet in my rear compartment where I store the fill pump so no reall hassle. I got all the plumbing stuff from a big box home / hardware store. Ohh to hook up hoses to bags, I got some plastic fittings that were not threaded and just hose clamped the sac fittings. No leaks in 3 years.

The biggest hassle with manual fills is hooking and unhooking the pumps to the bags and this system eliminates that and the only difference between this and a fully automatic is plugging in a fill pump and throwing it overboard.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       02-01-2011, 10:42 PM Reply   
On my old boat I just T'd into the raw water cooling intake hose and plumbed in a Simer pump. It worked great and did not pull enough water to make a difference in the motor cooling. There are some risks associated with this installation but I was perfectly comfortable and it was a great addition to the boat. The main reason I did it was because our local sheriff started ticketing people for holding the pumps over the side while idling, ridiculous.


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