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View Full Version : My Outback Ballast Upgrade...



ian ashton
04-17-2009, 03:16 PM
I've just started the upgrade process, and couldn't wait to post up what I'm doing.

We orderd the boat with the factory Gravity I setup, which is a 400lb bag under the rear seat (approx 14x14x60). I was looking at going with the 20x20x50 750lb bag from Fly High, but I wasn't super excited about loosing the extra 10" of length. So I was putzing around on eBay the other day and ran across the perfect solution; a 20x20x60 (~850lb) bag, in blue no less! I bought it from seller 'MaxWakeMaxFun', here is a link to his eBay items page:
http://stores.ebay.com/MaxWakeMaxFun

I got it 'Buy it Now' for $65 shipped, so I figured even if it wasn't right it was a cheap enough experiment.

The package arrived yesterday and I played around with it in the boat. After some measurements I realized he accidentally sent me a 12x20x60 - great seller though, the correct size is already in-transit to me!


Again, this is not the size I will be using. This is 12" high, I will be using a 20" high, which should be to about the middle of the sun pad cushions:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2412&stc=1&d=1239995246

This particular sac has 'MasterCraft' fittings. I was a bit confused by them at first, but looking at what I'm going to do I think they are actually going to work a little bit better than the Quick Release fittings. What I'm planning to do is make an extension hose to go from the middle drain and run it to the factory drain and plug in to the factory fitting. The fill hose is pretty much in the perfect spot, so I will just need to get the adapter.
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2413&stc=1&d=1239995246

Just to give an idea of the height;
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2414&stc=1&d=1239995246

The overall
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2415&stc=1&d=1239995246

ian ashton
04-17-2009, 03:40 PM
For the front I'm planning on adding a StraightLine Launch Pad Chair (250lbs) and plumbing in the ballast fill and drain lines to hide away under the seat or something. I just need to measure the walk through in my boat to make sure it will fit properly.

Limishowman3
04-17-2009, 08:24 PM
Hey Ian you will probably need more weight in the front if your planning on filling it full to 850#'s. I would say another 300# in the front on top of the 250. That is if your looking for that 60/40 ratio. Be ready for them rollers as you will be sitting deep in that water.

Sled491
04-17-2009, 09:42 PM
I was under the impression that the Outback didn't really benifit from extra wieght in the front due to it's hull design. Just to save you some effort:)

jasonwm
04-18-2009, 01:58 AM
I was under the impression that the Outback didn't really benifit from extra wieght in the front due to it's hull design. Just to save you some effort:)
It really depends on how you are planning on using the boat, and what your expectations are as far as the wake is concerned.

Will you be using the boat for surfing as well as wakeboarding? If so, it maybe more important to have weight up front in order to make the pocket long enough.

jmvotto
04-18-2009, 08:06 AM
ian, from the pics does this mean you lose the whole back seat.???

I want to convert from ballast I to III but weighing all these new mods everyone has done.

Sled491
04-18-2009, 09:27 AM
JV, You would have to leave the back seat in the sundeck position for the regular outback. BUt looking at Ians pics, even that looks iffy.

ian ashton
04-18-2009, 10:12 AM
Hey Ian you will probably need more weight in the front if your planning on filling it full to 850#'s. I would say another 300# in the front on top of the 250. That is if your looking for that 60/40 ratio. Be ready for them rollers as you will be sitting deep in that water.


HINT: buy three starightline launch chairs or buy one good fly-high sac.

your gonna need those extra chairs as back-ups when the welded seams split.

Their junk

2 birds with 1 stone - the walk through in the Outback is only 14" wide, the seat is 17". I think I'm going to go with my initial plan of moving the factory 400lb sac to the walk through.

ian ashton
04-18-2009, 10:13 AM
ian, from the pics does this mean you lose the whole back seat.???

I want to convert from ballast I to III but weighing all these new mods everyone has done.

I think if its completely full the back seat will need to be stashed at the marina. I'm guessing I'll most often just fill it to the most I can get with the seat in the up position.

Sled491
04-18-2009, 10:34 AM
Ian now you just need some kind of drop curtain hanging down from the seat cushion to hide the bag from view and give it a real clean look.

Limishowman3
04-20-2009, 12:17 PM
That is what i plan on doing moving the 400# sac to the front. At the moment since the only free time i have is being able to spend on the lake instead of modding my ballast. I have been just using the 750 in the walkway and filling to however full it can get. I can say the wake has gotten a whole lot bigger and the planes out so much easier. The only problem I am going to have to figure out is how to fill that 400# sac w/o spilling water since the connections are on the side instead of the top like the 750# fly high sac i have. I might make an extension fill hose for it. Just have to wait another two weeks before I can go home start my summer/boat projects.

jasonwm
04-21-2009, 01:54 AM
I might make an extension fill hose for it. Just have to wait another two weeks before I can go home start my summer/boat projects.

Another option would be to purchase Fly High's Check Valve Fitting, that will prevent water from spilling also (but will cost more than the few feet of hose you would need to extend the filler above the top of the bag).

ian ashton
04-21-2009, 03:49 PM
I rec'd the replacement bag yesterday and its the same as what I had rec'd originally, which makes me think that I rec'd the correct size from the get-go. Either way I’ve decided that I want to keep this bag, as its still about twice the size of what I previously had, and it fits the area perfect.

I stopped at Lowes today and picked up some of the misc. plumbing parts I'll need to complete my project, and I'm placing my WakeMakers.com order this evening. I'm pretty excited to get this project underway.

ian ashton
04-25-2009, 09:36 AM
I'm still undecided on the bag - I think I'm still want the 20x20x60, as originally advertised. The 12x20x60 fits perfectly, but its just not the weight I wanted. I emailed the seller to see if he can physically measure and find an actual 20x20x60 - if not I'll use this for now and eventually pick up a FlyHigh 20x20x50. The 60" width just fits so perfectly, I really hope I can get the larger size.

Anyway, I decided to install the 12x20x60 to see how it looked when full of water, so here is how I did it.

First things first, I ordered 3 male Flo-Rite threaded connectors from WakeMakers (Great company, fast shipping, great price!!!). At their reccomendation I went to Lowes and bought 3 threaded to barb fittings, as there isn't a male Flo-Rite to barb fitting.

For the fill I used the "waterbed" fitting that came with my sac, and threaded one of the Flo-Rite connectors to it. I didn't have to extend the factory fill hose at all, it was in the perfect spot:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2447&stc=1&d=1240665818

With the vent I used one of my adaped fittings, and again didn't have to extend, it worked out perfectly:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2448&stc=1&d=1240665818

For the drain I decided to use the center fitting on the sac. To do this I just had to make an extension hose to run from the center of the sac to the factory drain. I used another one of the adapted fittings to plug in to the factory drain:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2449&stc=1&d=1240665818

On the other end of the extension hose I just used a 3/4" barb elbow to connect to the sac:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2450&stc=1&d=1240665818


*****All these pictures were taken in my 'testing' phase. I know that I need to add clamps to all the lines, I just wanted to make sure everything fit correctly before I clamped it all down. I also worked the barb fittings further into the hoses, I was just antsy when taking the pics.*****


All in all I'm really happy with the setup, but I do want more weight back there. With this in the back the boat basically will not plane, so my next project is to move the factory 400lb bag that came in the back of the boat up to front walk through. I'm hoping to plumb it the same way, using all the factory quick-release fittings. I'll also need to add another pump and all that.

ian ashton
04-25-2009, 09:38 AM
And this is how it looks completely full:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2451&d=1240666670

There is a definately noticeable improvement in the size of the wake, but again, never enough, lol.

Limishowman3
04-25-2009, 11:56 PM
If you really wanted more weight, you shouldve bought the wrap around the engine and put a 750 in the walkway. That is what we use on our team boat up here in lubbock. We also have around 6 people on the boat too. We have a Malibu response LXi. Puts out a good wake when full for a cross over, but no wakesetter wake. Our team is in the process of looking for a new boat, strictly wakeboarding but are looking for some company who would help us out.

ian ashton
04-26-2009, 12:50 PM
I was thinking about that, but I decided that I want everything to look factory, and afterall this is a ski boat, so I'm sure the hull design isn't going to permit masive wakes. I think ~1,200 pounds between front and rear should suit me just fine, and this bag folds perfectly under the seat when not in use.

ian ashton
04-27-2009, 03:03 PM
Buttoned up under the seat:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=2470&stc=1&d=1240859008

Sled491
04-27-2009, 08:16 PM
I just realized the color of the bag goes with the boat:)

jasonwm
04-27-2009, 08:43 PM
Nice job Ian, that looks great!