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View Full Version : Moomba Outback Gravity I Ballast Issue



LakePerson1952
08-22-2011, 11:39 AM
I bought my (new) 2010 Outback about 6 weeks ago. I'm mainly a skier so I hadn't yet tried out the ballast bag but this weekend we were just out riding so I decided to fill it up and had 2 issues - plus a question.

Issue 1: Well ... the pump was on but it wouldn't fill. I didn't have the manual with me but I remembered something about starting the fill with the boat going forward - I tried that going about 12-15 MPH but not on a plane as I now see the manual suggests. Anyway, still no fill. I opened the strainer and water started coming into the bilge (expected) but had to do that twice to get the bag to start filling. The second time I tried it (same trip) in the beginning it seemed to wait quite a while to actually start but it did fill without having to fiddle with it. Is this normal? Could the problems be because I hadn't used it before? Any suggestions? Do most people leave the input gate valve open or closed when not planning to use the bag? The manual says fill time is about 4.5 minutes - I'm sure mine was a good bit more.

Issue 2: OK ... after the bag filled (I turned fill pump off when it overflowed out the through-hull fitting) I switched to empty - the water flow out seemed to be more of a wideangle spray than a bilgepump type of flow but it was initially going out. But only emptied a bit before the water flow stopped - would start then stop but pump was going all the time. Then it reached a point with the bag half full where it would not empty any more until I started massaging the bag. I have trouble believing this is normal. At some point I refilled the bag to the overflow point and allowed it to continue to overflow for quite a while and it emptied better after that but would still stop a while when there was still lots of water in the bag. Also, under the best of conditions it does not seem the bag is emptying to the degree it should. Explanations? Suggestions? Apparently when I bought the boat there was some water in the bag (maybe from a test run or when the boat was loaned to "Wounded Warriers" for a weekend before I bought it) so could that have been the issue? Should the outgoing water be a "harsh spray" or more of the smooth strong flow I normally see from bilge pump outlets?

The manual seems to imply the Gravity I Ballast has 1 top mounted fill hose inlet and 1 bottom mount exit hose outlet. Mine has 2 bottom mount hoses - presumably both outlets.

Question: The manual says to put the rear seat cushion in the "sundeck" position when using the rear ballast. To me, it doesn't seem that the bag is big enough to justify that. What do others do?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Richard

viking
08-24-2011, 03:27 PM
Richard,
My boat came with the factory GB I also. I found that i had a hard time filling only rarely and had to get on plane to prime the pump.
The main issue which will eventually haunt you is auto-filling when underway which will start to happen to you at some point. "in short" - the sprinkler valves are junk and will eventually fail you. Change it out in favor of an Irritol Ultra Flow Through valve. It'll ensure proper fill only when the switch is on.

My stock setup has the 3 intlets/outlets on the bag are (1) fill - starboard side (2) empty - starboard side (3) vent - port side.
when filling the bag you will get drainage out the vent when the bag is completely full. I've never had much issue with the drain pump. Yes it won't suck all the water out but get's the majority of it. I've found that if you move the peeps to the starboard side when draining you keep the pump primed and it does a much better job and empying. As far as waterflow - seems to be just like running my bilge.

The bag with fill and conform to whatever space you have it but I did not want to put undue pressue on the seat so always moved it as a precaution. I have since upgraded my rear bag to a 750lber and now have the need to move the seat to the sundeck position. Added a side sack and use the factory bag if low on people weight in the boat to fine tune the wake. Here's a link to my mod:
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?12648-Poor-Man-s-Ballast&highlight=sprinkler+valve

deerfield
08-24-2011, 07:55 PM
Richard - I have same year and model as Viking, including the factory GB 1 system. I always remove or raise the rear seat to accommodate a full ballast bag. No way will it fill even half way with the bench seat down. Regarding fill, never had an issue. Flip the switch and the pump goes to work. Bag fills in a couple of minutes, even with the boat sitting motionless. With respect to emptying, that's where I have an issue. At the halfway point I have to step on the bag to keep the pump primed. Eventually I disconnect and hold the bag over the water to empty out completely. Thing is pretty heavy, and awkward to handle, even with just small amount of water in it. Have never taken the time to make it work better. Hey, you got a great boat there with that Outback. Post up pictures. And welcome to the Moomba family. - Deerfield

LakePerson1952
08-25-2011, 12:16 PM
... My boat came with the factory GB I also. ... The main issue which will eventually haunt you is auto-filling when underway which will start to happen to you at some point. "in short" - the sprinkler valves are junk and will eventually fail you. Change it out in favor of an Irritol Ultra Flow Through valve. ... My stock setup has the 3 intlets/outlets on the bag are (1) fill - starboard side (2) empty - starboard side (3) vent - port side. ... Here's a link to my mod: http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?12648-Poor-Man-s-Ballast&highlight=sprinkler+valve (1) Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure what you mean by "sprinkler valve" - Is it what the manual calls a "manifold"? Bag side of the strainer? A pic of the UltraFlow looks like what I can see of the manifold. From the thru-hull inlet, I have a gate valve, a pump, a strainer, the manifold, then to the bag I presume. (2) Bag connections: Interesting - so the 3rd is a vent - that's a good thing - my 2 connections are on the port but the thru-hull is on the starboard. (3) Link: I could read the text but the pic links seem broken - not unusual for me with this forum.


... No way will it fill even half way with the bench seat down. ... With respect to emptying, that's where I have an issue. At the halfway point I have to step on the bag to keep the pump primed. ... Hey, you got a great boat there with that Outback. Post up pictures. And welcome to the Moomba family. - Deerfield (1) It seems that your bag may be larger than mine but maybe not - still need to play with it some. (2) What you describe is exactly what I experience. (3) Thanks and I agree. Pics as soon as I remember to take the camera out on the water - the mind is the 2nd to go. Thanks for the welcome.

Thanks a bunch for the responses!

General Update: I actually had the opportunity to go by the dealer yesterday and talked to him about it. He said what I described did not sound normal and there could be some binding in the hose or something so they would check it out for me. I'll wait until I bring it in for my next periodic service (almost have the hours for that now). I want to use this opportunity to, again, give credit to my dealer (JC Sports in Seneca, SC). This is the kind of thing he could have easily said, "Oh. That's normal" but he didn't. Those guys are great.

And I am really loving my Moomba Outback!

viking
08-27-2011, 07:49 PM
LakePerson -
Yes, the manifold the manual talks of is actually just an automatic sprinkler valve off the shelf from HD or Lowes. Plumbing is the same on mine with main shut-off valve, pump, strainer, and then the valve with selenoid. The springs and internals get gummed up after time and they don't do a good job keeping the bags from auto-filling. I cleaned my original several times, even replaced it to no avail. Upgraded to this:
http://www.irritrol.com/valves/valves_700s.html

In regards to the through-hull fittings - I have one on port and one on starboard side. Guess they could have changed the way they do them between the model years?? Starboard side is the empty and port side is the vent. The empty plumbing goes from the bag to an empty pump on the starboard side gunnel (accessible by pulling out the floor in the rear ski locker) then to the starboard side through-hull. I did notice when I was modifying mine that the line was pretty short the way it was run it could very likely kink. That may be your issue. You can get a flashlight and look under the gunnel area towards the rear and you should be able to inspect.

Good luck!

rodneykey
09-20-2011, 12:37 PM
I have a 2007 Outback and the problem I found with the rear bag draining was either a dealer installation issue or the factory (Not sure who installed it). Open your ski locker and remove the sides of the ski locker and then the floor peice that sits over your fuel tank. The installer on mine did not cut/notch the floor board on the left side of the ski locker to allow for the hose not to be crimped flat that goes from the pump to the outboard drain. I had to complete replace this hose and cut the floor board to allow for space for the drain hose. Now this only allows my bag now to drian to about 1/3 full, but it is better than just half way. I am now considering replacing the pump with one of artwood pumps to see if it works better. Funny thing is, nobody ever talks about this pump, but its there.