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Old     (seadawg)      Join Date: Jan 2006       09-12-2011, 5:51 PM Reply   
My boat is a much happier place to be after I completed my last few projects. I've got a 2002 Calabria Pro-V, and my goal is to tweak and upgrade it enough that I'll never be desparate to get a brand new boat.

Project 1 was pretty easy: I've got two Optima batteries and moved them from the rear port locker in battery boxes, to the spot underneath the observer's seat. It's made a huge difference in storage for that rear locker - wish I'd done it sooner. Plus now, if I ever want to, I can actually put ballast back there. For the cable, I ended up using #2 welder's cable and it worked like a charm and didn't cost too much.

Project 2: since we're enjoying surfing more and more every summer, I decided to plumb in a ballast system instead of having to hassle with the filling my bags one at a time with one Tsunami all over the boat. So after buying the parts from Wakemakers, and a couple of support calls, I installed a single Jabsco Ballast Puppy that feeds a 750lb bag in my rear port locker, and also a 300lb tube bag what goes under the port side seats. The fill line Tees into the lower port of each bag, and each bag also has a vent line up high that Tees together, and goes out of a thru-hull I drilled above the water line on the port side, just outside of the observer compartment. That helps make sure it will never siphon water out. I had to add a ball-valve on the drain-line, btw, so that when the Jabsco is emptying, it doesn't suck air through the vent line via the smaller bag while finishing emptying the big one. That was an issue the first time I tested, but the valve fixed it.

I was nervous as heck to cut into the gel to install the switch, but instead decided to install it in the glove box. It was a relatively easy job with a dremel and cutting disc on the workbench.

The system takes about 10-11 minutes to fill, and luckily we haven't had any plumbing, electrical, or other issues yet. So, we've got those two bags, the stock 700 lb ballast, and I added a bow sac that probably fills to 400lb or so via Tsunami. With just a couple of people on board, I'm very happy with the normal-side wake.

Part three, the boat had a Clarion XMD2 deck when I bought it, and it just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. Solution, I upgraded to an Alpine CDA-118M marine receiver, and I also bought their waterproof RF remote at the same time. Gotta tell you, this deck kicks BUTT!! Dedicated RCA jacks for the subwoofer and interior speakers, plus it's got two speaker "zones". So, when we're pulling a rider, I've got the tower speakers cranking, without over-blasting the tunes in the boat. And with the RF remote, we can have the boat anchored and spiked at the beach, and we can control the sound system from 100 feet away. Also, like all new head units, it supports USB and iPod/iPhones right out of the box. I was using a radio transmitter for my iPod with the last system, and although it worked, it was . . .

We tested it out this weekend, and with the same 8 speakers, two amps, and a sub, the system sounded 100% better. For anyone shopping for a new head unit for your sound system, I highly recommend the Alpine.


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