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Old    Mispella (jon43)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-22-2006, 11:01 AM Reply   
has anyone built one like thisUpload
Old    Mispella (jon43)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-22-2006, 3:08 PM Reply   
no ok
Old    Dave (awf_axis)      Join Date: Aug 2002       08-22-2006, 4:14 PM Reply   
If your using aerator pump(s) for emptying, you should put a pump on each bag directly. Any air in one of the other bags or the line will cause you grief. For $40 a pop, it's worth it.

Also, you could eliminate the shut-off valves, if you put a fill pump on each bag. Put in check valves instead.

Would be simpler than running around opening and closing each valve when adjusting which bladder needs water, if so.

I had done similar things in an older PS205, and learned the hardway on some of this.

I have an X-Star now, but added a bow-sac. Using this strategy of two pumps per bag, it's been flawless.

My 2 cents....

Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       08-22-2006, 4:43 PM Reply   
Your setup is a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Are the "ballast reservoirs" hard tanks or flexible bags?

If they are flexible bags then I would recommend just one connection between the bag and the manifold, then tie your fill and empty pump to the same connection on the manifold. You couldn't fill one while emptying another but it would cut down on the plumbing a lot.

I would also dispense with the check valve. I have never seen one that worked worth a damn that didn't create such a restriction that it would severely reduce the flow rate. To avoid the tank self emptying you can either provide a vented loop above the maximum level of the bag, or if it is a hard tank simply have the inlet for the tank at the top.

Likewise, if the empty pump discharges its water high on the side of the boat, above the maximum level of the tank, then you won't need a check valve there either.

Personally, I prefer 6 pumps over six valves. You definately need a valve between the fill pump and the thru hull fitting on the bottom of the boat, but if you dedicate a pair of pumps to each tank you can empty/fill any tank without changing any valves. A flip of the switch you can do at the helm station.
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-22-2006, 6:02 PM Reply   
That's one of the diagrams from my article written several years ago, which was intended to be more of a springboard for ideas than "here's exactly how it should be done". There have been many advancements in ballast system designs since that was written. The principles are still the same, but I would honestly look around for a more current design to copy.

Ditto Rod's comments, except on the check valves. I have 1" PVC swing checks all over my current aerator system, and I'm getting fill/drain times in the 5 min range for 2500 lbs.

I currently run a system that is very similar to the Rival Industries design, and I couldn't imagine something working better or more reliably. Unless you're the type that just enjoys tinkering, I recommend buying a Rival system. You won't save much in the long run by gathering all the parts up yourself, and unless you know exactly what you're doing you'll spend a LOT more time debugging.
Old    Wes Gardner (wesgardner)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-22-2006, 6:33 PM Reply   
I second Trace's comments...if you're considering an aerator system, keep it simple, use great big hose and be happy with very fast fill times...look around here for info on mine and other's systems that work fast and clean...
Old    Mispella (jon43)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-22-2006, 6:59 PM Reply   
I will be doubling the pumps on both ends (and the drain or empty will be in the back under the water line) I was thinking of useing a fill switch and a empty switch to start and stop the pumps. Then useing four other switches to open and close the valves. I was considering a spinkler system valve Has anyone used somthing like this all my bag will be vented with a check valve.
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-22-2006, 7:47 PM Reply   
Wes, Yooper, and myself are running very similar systems which work VERY well. Read this thread:
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-22-2006, 7:51 PM Reply   
...and this one:
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       08-23-2006, 10:19 AM Reply   

Before you start building anything based on sprinker valves I suggest that you run an experiment. Buy a sprinkler valve, hook it up to the output of a pump you want to use, feed the pump from a bucket and power the sprinkler valve on.

First problem: most sprinker valves require 24 Volts AC, which you will won't have on your boat. It is possible that 12 VDC might operate it but it might not.

Second problem: The typical sprinker valve uses a small solenoid to open a very small passage and then uses water pressure to actually operate the valve. Works great when you have 30 PSI available. It may not work at all with the very low pressure available from your ballast pump.


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