Wake 101
Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
WakeWorld Home
Email Password
Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through June 21, 2006

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:42 AM Reply   
I have been considering a ballast system since last summer when I started surfing more. I have always felt that my Tige 2005 24V needed very little extra ballast to creat a fantastic wakeboarding wake. Surfing is another matter - I need weight, lots of it. Having a boat full of newbies (seems to be my penchant) and trying to fill sacs and tripping over 12V plugs all got to be tedious.

My dealer, who I think is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world, discouraged a ballast system. He says it was a pain to put in and 2 of the 3 he has done requested it be removed later for various reasons.

I am not a craftsman, really. I am not a mechanic or construction type of guy. I love to work in the boat, have done some stereo work on my own and this seemed like a doable project. I do consider myself reasonably intelligent. This project required far more thinking than I was hoping for, but I'll be getting into that later. I initially talked to Kevin Barrett at Rival and he was very attentive and articulate and available. It seemed that with a little phone support, I was sure that I could do the project. Unfortunately, he is no longer with them, but the other folks I talked to seemed decent, although my impression is that they are not up to par with Kevin's communication skills. The person I found most helpful was another fellow named Kevin who does mechanical work and installations for Rival. He was very useful, but sometimes not available, because he would be in the middle of a job. I felt like they made every effort to answer my questions.

I am not afraid of a little hard work, or of busting my knuckles a little (which happened a few times).

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:43 AM Reply   
A trip to the hardware store
I ordered the system and was thrilled to get it within a week. I opened it in the kitchen and started pulling things out and going through it all. I was sort of like a kid at Christmas.

I went through the parts list and found most everything to be there. I was missing just a few screws for the through hull fitting.

There was a list of the things that I would need included with the instructions. This included tools like a 3/4 inch hole saw for the outlet through hull, a 2 inch hole saw for the intake in the bottom of the boat, to name just a few things.

I immediately noticed that there were going to be things not sent to me and not listed as necessary items that I was going to need. This is where I was most frustrated with the system. It was clear I would need electrical connectors that were not provided, but were not listed in the items to buy either. They sent a fuse holder, but no fuse. I only have one thing to say to Rival about that - pull yourself together!

After Kevin Barrett left Rival, I decided that I could do it myself. There are many resources online if one were to decide to do it that way. I in fact, started a list of necessary parts. I quickly became overwhelmed by the need to pay attention to detail and make sure that all of the fittings came together properly. Wakeworld is full of guys who got nearly done and then couldn't fit things together because one hose was 3/4 inch internal diameter and the other was 3/4 inch outside diameter, for example. I decided that I was into doing the job, not going to the hardware store to get parts. I ended up going to Lowe's and Home Depot way too many times. If the parts needed list had been accurate and complete, I wouldn't have had to waste my time. I don't think it would be too hard to have put things together correctly.

Example number 1: the parts list said I would need a 3/4 inch hole saw.

Now look at the through hull drain fitting and the 3/4 inch hole saw I bought:

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:45 AM Reply   
Another trip to the hardware store
Because I was going to be using the boat as I was doing the install, I tried to not do anything that would impair the function of the boat, unless I could finish that specific job. My first goal was to get the drain system intact. I could even use the 12V pumps that I have always used to drain the bags, just connect them to the tubing and plug in as needed.

The first issue is fittings. I have Pro-X series sacs. I use one V-drive side sac on one side of the engine, one custom made surf sac that holds about 1300+ pounds on the port side and then a U-shaped sac for the bow. I want to be able to easily remove the sacks so that I can dry out the carpet as needed. I purchased the quick connect elbows that can be bought from I found them to be pleasant and knowledgeable. I knew that the system used 3/4 inch hose so I bought 3/4 inch fittings.

The Rival system came with the 3/4 inch hose and some 3/4 to 1 inch connectors. The pump intake is 1 inch. The bag fittings are available in 1 inch. It seemed stupid to me to restrict the flow before it even gets to the pump by putting a 3/4 inch connector and then attaching it to the bottom of the pump via a 1 inch hose. I was eager to get the drain for the surf sac started, so I put it together.

This is a pic of the 3/4 inch quick connect, then 3/4 inch hose, then the 3/4 inch to 1 inch adapter, 1 inch hose, then the pump. In my mind, any extra connectors are simply opportunities for a leak or problem to occur, so I ordered some 1 inch connectors for all of the drains. I had to go to the hardware store to buy some 1 inch hose. it was not included and it seems obvious that they knew I would need it (they included the connectors), but they did not put it on the list of things to buy on my first trip.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:46 AM Reply   
Then came drilling the holes in the side of the boat for the drain tube. As I stated a few posts ago, they said I needed a 3/4 inch hole saw to make that hole. No, it is obviously bigger than 3/4 inch. You can see the nut that tightens it is greater than one inch in diameter.

Fortunately, I had some hole saws already. I chose to do this job at night and no one was available to tell me how big to make the hole. I then took an old piece of wood and used my 1 1/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch hole saws to make some holes. Guess what - one was too big and one was too small. So I am off to the hardware store again to get a 1 3/8 hole saw. This fit perfectly.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:48 AM Reply   
Now that I have my 1 3/8 hole saw, I am ready to drill into some fiberglass. I found it helpful to use the hole saw in reverse, and had no problems with cracking of gelcoat. I did not tape over the hole, although I have seen some people recommend using masking tape to help eliminate the risk of gel coat cracking.

Make sure that you have a mandrel that is long enough. The Mandrel is the drill bit that is centered in the hole saw. For the 1 3/8 hole saw, mine was too short, so I had no way of stabilizing the saw on the fiberglass and it tends to jump on you. Neither Lowe's, nor Home Depot had mandrels long enough.

If you look close, you can see where it jumped on me. I didn't worry too much, because the flange on the drain pipe will cover that scuff.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:50 AM Reply   
Here is a chunk of my baby!
You can see where I first drilled a small hole to be sure it went through to the other side where I expected it to go.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:51 AM Reply   
This is how the fitting went in. The hoses are quite tight, so I found it easier to put the first segment of hose on and then put it through the hull.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:52 AM Reply   
This is the picture:

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:53 AM Reply   
And then the look from the outside. I think they look very nice. I wondered why they went with the plastic with the cheap chrome overlay, a fully chromed out one can be found on If I were ordering it myself, that is what I would have gotten. As long as the durability is there, I won't worry about it.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:54 AM Reply   
The drain from the sac goes through the pump, out to the discharge hose, through a 3 way connector and out the side of the boat. The hose that goes off of the three way connector is the vent hose. When the bag is full, I know it because water spill out over the side of the boat. The vent hose comes off of the top of the bag. There needs to be a check valve so that when the sac is emptying, it just doesn't pump water back into the sack. Some systems simply drill 2 holes in the side of the boat and don't have a check valve.

The vent hose has a 3/4 inch quick connect that attaches it to the sack.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:55 AM Reply   
Getting the front drain on took a little more effort.

I first removed the stereo speaker and was able to reach inside and loosen a nut on the wall of the bow that holds the cushion on. I was then able to lift the cushion out of the way and remove it altogether.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:56 AM Reply   
I was then able to drill another through hull and attach drain and vent hoses as before.

A word about getting the hoses on the connectors. They are very tight. The instructions gave very good advice to heat up the hose with a heat gun or blow dryer. I nearly gave myself a blister before realizing that heat was the key. I found it worked best if I heated it up to the point it was difficult to handle, then using a rag or gloves, I could put it on. It helps to lube the connector with water, 303 protectant or spit, whatever I could find at the time.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:57 AM Reply   
Now the discharge and vent system is fully plumbed. The fill system was going to require the biggest commitment as far as making the boat unusable (you have to tear things apart), so I waited to do that until the last. I 'll present it now, however so that it might flow better.

First you need access to the area in front of the transmission behind the gas tank. The rear seat cusion was easy to remove and the subsequent pieces just screwed on.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:57 AM Reply   
Then that rear seat area just lifts right out and exposes the tranny and engine. The rear of the gas tank is just under the edge of the floor.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 4:59 AM Reply   
Here is where you have to decide where to put the through hull fitting for the intake. Someone on one of these discussion boards said that there could be a concern that the intake should not be located directly in front of the perfect pass speedo, because it might cause enough turbulence to make it not work as well. Honestly, I did not know if that is true, but it made some sense, so I didn't want to take any chances. I spoke to one of the guys at Rival, he recommended that I put the through hull scoop opposite the perfect pass paddle wheel. He was amazed that my paddle wheel was located on the starboard side (usually the best place to put the scoop).

Note the black unit on the floor - that is my perfect pass paddle wheel.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:00 AM Reply   
The manifold for the Rival system is neat. It comes with 3 pumps all put in place and then rhinolined for durability. It is recommended that you put the gate valve on and then install the unit all at once.

Because I had to put my through hull on the opposite side and run my hose over, I needed another pipe nipple that was not included. Another trip to the hardware store! Neither lowe's nor Home Depot had 2 inch pipe nipples that were plastic, so I just used a metal one that they did have. Anyone want to comment on that?

Now that the manifold is all in place, I was ready to drill the scoop hole. This scoop is one bad hombre. They call it a 1.5 inch scoop in the literature, but it is actually bigger. It is about twice the size of the scoop for the boat engine cooling system.

The instructions said that I should drill a 2 inch hole in the bottom of the boat. At this point, I am pretty nervous, and I am beginning not to trust my instructions to some degree. So I drill a hole with my 2 inch hole saw into some wood and put the scoop onto it. Check this out:

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:01 AM Reply   
The hole is looking too big for the scoop. I was thinking that the hole should be reasonable snug. I think that there is a lot of pressure under there when the boat is under way.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:02 AM Reply   
I'm off to the hardware store (again)
The scoop is really much closer to 1 and 3/4 inches! I don't feel comfortable with that much gap, so with the hole saw I already own, I drill a 1 3/4 inch hole in the wood. The scoop wouldn't fit through it. I think that I might be too anal, but now I'm off to the hardware store to buy a 1 7/8 hole saw. Remember that I already bought the 2 inch hole saw according to their list. Now I have used it, so I really can't take it back. I decided to do this over the holiday weekend, so I don't have any support to call on and ask if it really matters.

I drill the new 1 7/8 hole in the wood and it fits perfect. note the 2 inch and 1 3/4 inch hole next to the one the scoop is going through.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:03 AM Reply   
I measure the spot on the inside of the hull about 17 times and try to guage whether it will come out on the right spot. It needs to be flat, so I check it with a square and my spot looks good to go. I need to be able to put a right angle fitting on top of the through hull scoop, so I need to be far enough away from the gas tank. I first drilled a small hole from the inside of the boat to make sure I am in the right spot.

The gas tank is shaped sort of like the state of utah, but reversed. the metal on the right is the first portion of the gas tank.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:04 AM Reply   
This is why you usually always make the hole from the outside in. If you go from the inside, you will get some cracking of the fiberglass. This is not a big deal, the scoop hole will take that out.
This is the same hole, but from the bottom of the boat.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:05 AM Reply   
If I have to make one more trip to the store, I am gonna break something.

As I climb under the boat to drill the hole, I knew I was going to get showered with microbits of fiberglass.

Don't forget these. I once picked a piece of fiberglass out of my boat dealer's eye. I know it wasn't very comfortable.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:06 AM Reply   

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:06 AM Reply   
just in case you are curious - it was about 5/8 inch thick.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:07 AM Reply   
Then I put her on with about a pound of silicon sealant (OK, not that much). The nut that tightens the through hull on was really tough to get to because of the curve on the bottom of the boat. The nut goes on the inside. With a buddy to hold it in place, I was able to get some channel lock pliers on it and tighten it very good, albeit 1/8 of a turn at a time.

We then put the small screws in the through hull scoop and were done with drilling holes for now. These were the screws they forgot to send me, so I picked them up on my first trip to the hardware store, because I noticed they were not there.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:08 AM Reply   
I then put the 2 inch braided hose on to bridge the through hull and the gate valve.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:10 AM Reply   
It is hard to see, but here is the manifold with the intake pumps too.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:10 AM Reply   
I love electricity!
The electrical went off pretty well without a hitch.

Since I am a whiner, I should point out that there is a 7 in one wire that they gave me to wire the gate valve and intake pumps, and if it had been 6 inches shorter, it wouldn't have fit. I had to make sure there was no slack in it.

The wires often had to go from one switch connector to another, note how on the red and white wires, I have other wires coming off of it. My first mistake was to complete a step: connect tab #3 to #5, done. Then the next step is connect tab 3 to #8. I had already crimped the wires on and had to cut them off and look at the big picture.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:11 AM Reply   
I was nervous about drilling holes for the switches, but finally got her done.


Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:12 AM Reply   

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:13 AM Reply   
The end result!

This guy is a lot shorter than me so he makes the wake look bigger. I like that.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 5:14 AM Reply   
I've been out twice since completing the install, and so far, so good. I do have a little leak in at least one of my check valves, I may have to use tape in addition to the teflon pipe putty I already used. I may just let it leak a little for a while, since the blisters are still healing on my hands.

Old     (bruce)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 6:05 AM Reply   
You are the man! Good job and great result. Nicely detailed write up and the pictures are very helpful.

I have a 2000 SAN with 2 tanks in the rear but need to add a bow sack, floor locker sack and a starboard side sack to surf. How would I plumb it to work with my existing system with all the check valves and vent hoses? It seems I could use the same vents but it might need to have it's own pumps so I can isolate them when I'm wakeboarding ot cruising to my favorite cove and need to dump it.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 7:07 AM Reply   

Depending on how the water intake is done, you could probably just T off of it and put other pumps in.

The only disadvantage of using the same vent hose is that when the vent starts discharging water, you don't know which sack is full. Having each bag have its own vent hose would be better.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 7:07 AM Reply   
Awesome writeup! I've been waiting a long time for someone to do this with a Rival system.

For safety, there should be a seacock on any below waterline intakes to shut off in case of a problem. On your system and since you have the room, I'd recommend putting a brass elbow on the thru-hull, a brass ball valve right on that elbow, and then on to the plastic plumbing and Drain Master. (No, the engine doesn't have a seacock, and yes, the PP paddlewheel is all plastic - please don't ask me to explain those.)

I wonder why Rival chose to use the vented scupper? Interesting.

That Drain Master valve is not submersible. You might want to turn it 90 up to be as far above the bilge as possible.

Your switches look great and flow with the dash well.

How much weight are you running, and what are your fill times? I'm surprised Rival uses so much 3/4" hose.

OT: Is that the engine starter mounted backwards on the transmission? Weird.

Thanks again for the great writeup.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 7:18 AM Reply   

I think that the safety valve is not a bad idea. I seriously considered it, but the black gate valve also can be shut off manually. So if it breaks there is a way to shut it off by turning it with a screwdriver.

I think you mean the gate valve when you say Drain master? The drains are each independent and go out the side of the boat. Good idea on turning the gate valve so that it is less likely to see water. I have been known to drive her into a roller or two.

This Wednesday I will get precise times on the fill. I run a V-drive side sac on one side, a U bag in the front and a custom made surf sac on the port side. I think the custom sac holds about 1400 pounds. It is 96 inches long, 24 inches wide, the section under the seats is 12 inches deep and then it bumps up to 24 inches deep on the portion in the main storage hatch (about 36 inches). All of my sacks are pro - X series sacks.
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-05-2006, 7:24 AM Reply   
I agree....great writeup
I wish that I would have documented my install like that
I installed the 4 pump system on my 'BU

I did go with a smaller through hull...the large one made me nervous

also, I used Malibu's ballast dash switches to give it a factory look

the only issue that I have now, is ....

....if you are trying to fill just one side, or not all of the bags, the others will fill some...just from the pressure of the water

on my xti, I don't have a bag always in the port side isle
I stow the hoses until I need them, then connect to a fatsac when I want
when they are not connected, and we fill the goofy side, water will leak....if we are underway..lots of water comes through.....almost as if the fill pump were on

so, I learned real cap the disconnected fill lines

but that is my only complaint
I might eventually install ball valves but haven't decided
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 8:06 AM Reply   
One shortcoming of the Rival systems is that when underway, water is forced into the manifold and out into the sacks even if the pump is off. You can't control into what sac it goes. If you are just sitting still, no water will go into the other sacs.


While underway, you should be able to close the gate valve and no water should go into any of the sacks, even if you had the pump on.
Old     (yooper)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-05-2006, 8:36 AM Reply   
Awesome! That system works great, doesn't it? FAST.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 8:38 AM Reply   
While underway, I expect it fill before the rider falls a second time (my crew falls down very quickly).
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 9:20 AM Reply   
Yep, Drain Master is the brand name of the gate valve.

Rival probably peeled the mfr's stickers off, if they're smart.

And that is the one drawback of this system - if you're underway and the gate valve is open, water is coming in. As long as you keep the gate valve shut whenever a fill pump isn't running, it should be minimal. Did the Rival come with a position indicator LED for the gate valve?
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 9:50 AM Reply   
Do they make such a thing? I would install it if they had it. It would be very helpful for some of us who can't remember what we just did 5 minutes ago (Did I leave the stove on?)

I have heard of some people breaking their gate valves and wondered if that is because of 'closing' an already closed valve.
Old     (fill_er_up)      Join Date: May 2006       06-05-2006, 10:16 AM Reply   
Very informative stuff. Thanks for taking the time to document as I am trying to work out a similar project prior to starting.
2 questions for ya:
1-Any pics of before/after wakeboarding wakes?
2-Any similar detail on electrical connections, like did you use fuse block, run back to battery, or how?
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 10:50 AM Reply   
I hear ya.

If you look at the link I posted, it shows two models. The newer ones come with a switch with a red LED that stays on unless the valve is closed. It would be a matter of having the LED and the contacts on the valve itself, and running an extra wire for it.

I picked up a DM cheap off of ebay that I'm using, but if it breaks I'm going to replace it with the indicator type.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 10:58 AM Reply   
J - The wakes would be totally dependent on your setup. talltigeguy has his set up for surfing with a heavy list to the port side, so I would imagine you wouldn't like his after pics of the boarding wake.

Electrical is pretty low current, so you don't need a fuse block. Just add up the amp draw of the total number of pumps that'd be on at one time (half of them), and run a single fused lead that can handle it. No need for relays either - just run them straight off the switches, which should be good for at least 20A.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-05-2006, 11:47 AM Reply   
Trace - good answers.

I've found that if I fill the starboard sac and then turn off the pumps, my surf sac is only partially full and helps the wake. My only gripe is that my Tige loves weight in the front, and my U-bag is kind of puny. My wakeboarding wake is better than before for sure. Now I am tinkering with the idea of doing what Cliff did and setting up a hose for filling the sack in the walkway up front.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 12:29 PM Reply   
I am changing over from a Simer system to aerators, but I'm keeping the Simers in the system hooked up to a long hose to fill & drain the sack on the floor. Also might come in handy as a watergun. :-)
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-05-2006, 1:49 PM Reply   
I am always re-closing the switch
it has a red LED at the end of the switch, but it is only on while the switch is being pressed.
I do love the setup
found that the 2 bow bags (which I plumbed together) almost give me to much bow weight

I might valve those off, so that I can fill one side or the other...or both...from just 1 pump

I used the 4th pump for one of my quick connect bags a stowable setup ...(fill,vent,drain,electrical connects)...for the center rear or for a bag on top of the starboard seats (I cut the hoses and wires long)..and another for the port isle

I use the center rear while I wakeboard. It's postioned directly over the wedge!
...and use the bow,ski locker, and either port (me), or starboard (wife) to surf

we also add a fly high brick with the tsunami pump, and can actually surf when just the 2 of has go crew!
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-05-2006, 1:51 PM Reply   
Trace, I love the watergun idea
I'll have to use my stowable fill hoses that way!!!
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-05-2006, 4:58 PM Reply   
I bet you could put one of those garden hose sprayers on it and really wreak havoc.
Old    matt_dettman            06-05-2006, 10:29 PM Reply   

You are HIRED! I will send you any and all of my customers who want me to install a Rival system! We actually just put one in for a new customer up in St George. He is stoked with it.

You did an excellent job Doc!



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:23 PM.

Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
Wake World Home


© 2016 eWake, Inc.    
Advertise    |    Contact    |    Terms of Use    |    Privacy Policy    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct    |    About Us