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Thread: DIY Ballast?

  1. #21
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    Oct 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by wakeflip View Post
    One question I do have is this. With the 750# bags in the rear lockers, will they push all the way to the top of the locker once full? My reason for asking is because Im wondering if I can mount the pumps to to the top of the wall in the rear locker. It would be easy to install, and easy to access if I needed to change impellers. I wanted to go with Simers pumps due to the fact that they are reversable and $80 shipped, but I dont know where would be a safe place to mount them since they are not ignition protected. Any suggestions on that matter?
    The 750# bags will completely fill your rear lockers and some! This is good because the bags will form to the rear lockers and utilize all the space resulting in maximum ballast, if needed of course . On a side note, be sure to check your rear lockers for any sharp screws and edges that could potentially puncture the bags. I didn't find any in mine, but I believe others have.

    You can mount the pumps to the top of the wall in the rear lockers. Do you mean similar to the one I had mounted?


    I removed this pump because the 750# bag pushed up against it. It may have been okay there, but I didn't like how hard the bag pushed against the pump. Plus the pumps can get a little warm, too much potential for a melted bag for me.

    Simer pumps are great pumps, both inexpensive and "solid" units. Their downfall is exactly what you already know, they are not ignition protected. Which is one reason they are cheaper. You will also have to get the fittings to go from garden hose threads to a 1 in. hose barb. This adds about $10 per pump, so figure a total cost of $90 per pump. As an FYI, the Simer pumps will function fine running off of one intake. You will not have problems with the pumps filling other bags or pulling water from each other. I ran through multiple tests with my system, this is not an issue with these pumps. If you go with Simers, a one intake manifold is an option. I can't speak for Johnson or Jabsco in this manner. I have hear that Jabsco impellers are softer, which could pose problematic on a one intake system

    In addition, the Simers have a stiff impeller that does not allow water to pass by unless the pump is on. The impellers are strong, some members on Wakeworld are on their 5th season with the Simers, putting on more than 100 hrs of boat time each year, and the impellers still don't need replacing. Simers were designed as evac pumps to pump dirty water from flooded basements and such. The impellers can take a beating. That said, the Simers still come with a spare impeller, don't base pump placement off the need to replace impellers. Getting the water pump impeller out of our boats is more work than replacing any ballast pump impeller.

    Where to mount Simers:

    Good question???????? Under the seats like I did works, but remember what I said about filling and emptying the bags from the bow end. You would have to run more ballast line to solve that issue. Or, you could build a pump wall on the stern end of either locker like Ed's pic below.



    I believe a cover wall goes over the pumps, but I'm not sure? However, this would take up a fair amount of space in the locker, hogging valuable ballast space. If that is not a problem for you, this could work. Not sure how viable an option this is, because the 750# bags are the full length of our lockers. The pre '09 OBV hull doesn't have much space to give.

    I personally think that the best place to mount reversible pumps is on the engine side of the divider wall or just below that adjacent to the engine. I think it is in your best interest to use an ignition protected pump if you choose this location. Others have mounted Simers in the bilge/engine area, and I have not heard of any incidents. Their argument is that fuel injected boats don't have as much gas vapor as carb. engines and ignition protection is not as imperative. I am not a mechanic, but I am not about to jump out of an airplane without a backup parachute, if you get what I mean. Others have done it, I was not willing to take the chance.

    So between Simers at $90 ea. or Johnsons at $144 ea. (MOOMBAOWNERS discount), I'd go with the Johnsons. Extra $200 in relation to the total ballast project expense is worth it. Plus the Johnsons should be a little faster at 720 gph (Simers are 600 gph). I am going to be changing my system to all Johnson pumps. If you still want to go with the Simers, I'll sell you all four of mine for $200. Two pumps have one season of use, one has one afternoon of use, and the other one I haven't used. Again, consider the Johnson pumps.

    Well......there's my short story for the day. Enjoy,

    Chad
    2007 Outback V

  2. #22
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jackson, Ga
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    Considering im going to be adding a bow ballast as well, I wouldnt mind sacraficing a little bit of room in the rear locker to mount the pumps back there. That way they are easy to access and I would feel alot better going with the Simer pumps since they are not ignition protected. And to protect from heat and etc, I'll probably figure out some kind of cover to put over them.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Canton, Ga / Lake Lanier
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    What do you all think of this kit?

    http://www.wakemakers.com/kiss-compl...t-package.html

    Was thinking of maybe using it to add a ballast in the center locker of my LS.

  4. #24
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    Mar 2011
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    Jackson, Ga
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    Quote Originally Posted by E4NASH View Post
    What do you all think of this kit?

    http://www.wakemakers.com/kiss-compl...t-package.html

    Was thinking of maybe using it to add a ballast in the center locker of my LS.
    Ive done nothing but research and price ballast stuff for the past two weeks. IMO, you can go with a Johnson pump, which is identical to the Jabsco pump and just as good, but cheaper. Piece together everything else yourself and you will come out cheaper. You can get the hose pretty cheap at homedepot/lowes, as well as the ball valve. Everything else you can order from wakemakers. If your a moomba owner you get an additional 10% off everything. So, if your going for the cheaper route like I am, piece it together yourself. If your going for simplicity, one order, plug and play, then yeah, its not a bad deal.

  5. #25
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    Feb 2010
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    Canton, Ga / Lake Lanier
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    Quote Originally Posted by wakeflip View Post
    Ive done nothing but research and price ballast stuff for the past two weeks. IMO, you can go with a Johnson pump, which is identical to the Jabsco pump and just as good, but cheaper. Piece together everything else yourself and you will come out cheaper. You can get the hose pretty cheap at homedepot/lowes, as well as the ball valve. Everything else you can order from wakemakers. If your a moomba owner you get an additional 10% off everything. So, if your going for the cheaper route like I am, piece it together yourself. If your going for simplicity, one order, plug and play, then yeah, its not a bad deal.
    Thanks bro

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
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    1,166

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    Are you going to be adding timers to your ballast install? I know when you are filling and the bags get full the excess water will run out of the vent and then through the through hull fitting and that will tell you to turn off the pumps. My question would be how do you know when to turn off the empty part of your setup. Since the water is being pushed back under the boat how will you know when to turn them off whitout a visual inspection which kind of defeats the purpose of having automatic ballast?

  7. #27
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    Oct 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    Impeller pumps are a little louder than aerator pumps. There is a definite sound change when the pumps are empty. I do agree timers would be nice, but at $100 ea. pump, I rather listen for the sound.

  8. #28
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    Mar 2011
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    Jackson, Ga
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2007 Outback V View Post
    Impeller pumps are a little louder than aerator pumps. There is a definite sound change when the pumps are empty. I do agree timers would be nice, but at $100 ea. pump, I rather listen for the sound.
    Agreed. Alot of people just listen for it. There is also a way to tee off the drain onto the vent so that they empty out of the vents. That way you can visually know when they are empty. But, its just easier and less complicated to listen

  9. #29
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    Aug 2009
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    Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by wakeflip View Post
    Agreed. Alot of people just listen for it. There is also a way to tee off the drain onto the vent so that they empty out of the vents. That way you can visually know when they are empty. But, its just easier and less complicated to listen
    Unless you got the tunes cranked

    JK - I'd probably do the same thing if I upgraded the pumps. Just have to lower the music and ease up on the cocktails!!
    2007 Moomba Outback - waiting for summer!

    Why Not? Play Hard! Get wet

  10. #30
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    Mar 2011
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    Jackson, Ga
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    lol When we are boarding in my buddies boat we actually keep an eye on the bags once they get close to empty. Just added security as not to burn up impellers.

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