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Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       06-26-2011, 5:19 AM Reply   
01 Malibu Sunsetter VLX w/ Corvette LS1 package and Skylon Swoop Classic tower.

Just got her, previous owner just had a sack in each rear locker w/ a fairly cheapo pump you had to manually hook up and plug in. Just tried that setup yesterday, and it sucks.

Electrically, I know I need to buy the switches, make up a relay bank for the pumps, and tie into the circuit breaker system.

There is where I get lost, as I don't have any friends with wakeboard boats to see what their setup looks like. I have a plug near the V-drive that I am guessing there is some sort of fitting out there that can screw in and become the water intake for the pumps. I assume you just buy one pump per bag, or is there some diverter valve pump that can fill multiple bags?

I also probably want to do a ski locker bag, as with the two bags yesterday (which fill up about 2/3 of the locker), and the wake plate down the bow rise was crazy and it was near impossible to hold the right speed (no perfect pass, though I'll probably do that this winter).

Any info would be appreciated. This is my first inboard so I've got a lot of learning to do!
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       06-26-2011, 10:23 AM Reply   
Contact the folks at wakemakers. They can run you through the entire set up complete with all the fittings etc.. that you will need. Very helpful people!
Old     (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-26-2011, 9:10 PM Reply   
This is a big job, and there are many different ways to do it. Search Wakeworld and for ballast install threads and read them all. Then you will need to plan out your system. At that point, contact Jason or Spencer at There is nothing terribly difficult about installing a ballast system, but when it comes to drilling into your boat, you definitely want to get it right the first time. This is less so for the wiring... but only slightly less so.
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-26-2011, 9:56 PM Reply   
I have a 4 pump manifold system with fly high sacs, switches, a scoop,lots of hose, and 1000 gph mayfair pumps for sale. I'd let it go pretty cheap. I have pics but I'm not sure how to upload them. I can email them to you if you want.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       06-27-2011, 1:40 AM Reply   
I've done some research now, and I think I want to go the reversible pump route, but I'm not 100% sold on that route. I was thinking either a single pump to fill the rear bags, with a diverter valve if I want to just fill one. Or two smaller pumps and run one per bag. I'll probably worry about the center locker bag latter.

I like the reversible idea because of it being a simpler/cleaner install, and more like the factory ballast setups. Looks like fill times are acceptable (720GPH would take 8 minutes to fill/drain 800#). The less holes I have to put in my boat the better as well.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       06-27-2011, 6:21 AM Reply   
I just did my MasterCraft 230 VRS with 750s in the back, a "650 Lb" integrated bow sac in the front and 2 manually filled fat buddies in the ski locker.

I've used it 4-5 times now and I think I've got all of the bugs worked out. The wake is great. Great enough to give me a concussion on Friday and severe neck and back pain for the last 2 days. Ha!

I used Tsunami T800 aerator pumps, each with their own 3/4" thru hull intake, and 3/4" hose/fittings. This gives me fill/drain times of 12-13 mins but in my V-drive compartments those 750 lb bags are expanding pretty significantly so they're probably pretty close to the 950 lb "expanded" weight rating that Fly High claims.

My biggest "bug" was that I screwed the drain pumps directly into the rear bags. This worked fine for the first few times out but then one of the pumps popped out of the bag due to the large forces it was having to deal with when the boat stopped and started and it drained into the hull. I tried gluing it into place but apparently the chemical composition of the Tsunami pump plastic isn't compatible with solvent type PVC cement like the Fly High fittings/bags are. So, it wouldn't stick. I replaced that setup with some fittings and a 3" section of hose. This has proved to be more reliable and will give me more flexibility if I ever wanted to make major changes to the system.

If I had to do it all again I'd still go with the aerator pumps but I'd probably spring for the 1" hose, fittings and the Rule 1100 GPH pumps.

Also, your really don't need relays even if you go with the more current hungry reversible pumps. They're usually wired straight to the switches.

Here's some pics:
Old     (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-27-2011, 9:31 PM Reply   
You can run 3-4 pumps off of 1 thru-hull with a manifold. You will need 1 or more vent thru-hulls as well, but I don't want you to think that you have to have a separate intake thru-hull and ball valve for each pump. Can you do it that way... yes. Do you have to? No.

You can also start with 1 pump and a diverter valve and expand to 1 pump per bag later (you will want to). I will say that I had 4 bags with 3 pumps on my last boat and it worked well, as the 2 bags sharing 1 pump were the bow and ski locker bags, and I had a ball valve in there to constrict the flow to the ski locker bag to where they both filled to the optimum level at the same time. When the bow bag started venting out the side, I was done. I still would have preferred 4 pumps, but my space would not allow for 4 pumps and 4 switches on my old direct drive Air Nautique.
Old     (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-27-2011, 9:35 PM Reply   
Oh, of course the 1 thru-hull will have to be bigger. I have found that 1" is good enough for 2 impeller pumps (and theoretically 3 if there are not a lot of 90 degree bends). 1.25" is plenty for 3 pumps and should be more than enough for 4. 1.5" is definitely more than enough for 4. Remember, the impeller pumps have a 1/2" opening, so that is the bottleneck. The rest is simple math. Pi r squared.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       06-28-2011, 6:05 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by chexi View Post
...a separate intake thru-hull and ball valve for each pump. Can you do it that way... yes. Do you have to? No.
In my particular case I had to have separate small intakes for each pump because there was surprisingly little room for a 23' boat. The only place I could access the bottom of the hull was right under the engine. The rest was occupied by voids filled with foam and a 61 gallon fuel tank. I tried to use a 1.25" intake w/ manifold and I couldn't make it fit. That 1.25" hardware is huge. It's not only larger in diameter but significantly longer. The thru hull and valve were at least 70% longer than the 3/4" parts. By the time I had the manifold assembled with the pumps on it the overall length was like 20".

If I had gone with reversible pumps I probably could have made the 1.25" manifold work because the pumps themselves could have been mounted elsewhere. With the aerator pumps having to be hanging directly off of the manifold there was no way.

I also might have been able to get away with a pair of 1" thru hulls with up to two pumps on each one but that would have been more expensive than the 3x 3/4".
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-28-2011, 8:22 AM Reply   
jeff, nice work! do you have any pics of the wake? i love the 230 but haven't really seen any before/afters of that wake when its weighted


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