Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2000 Sport Nautique Ballast and Tower Install

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2000 Sport Nautique Ballast and Tower Install

    With summer right around the corner I decided to tackle two pretty large projects I've been planning over the winter. As a mechanical engineer by trade, I might have went a little overboard with this, but I wanted to do this the correct way the first time around so I wouldn't be digging back into it a year or two down the road.


    Ballast Install:

    Before I settled on my design I drafted about 11 different drawings in AutoCAD going back and forth between aerator and reversible systems.

    The things I liked about the aerator system were the lower cost and faster fill times. But I didn't like how I would have to overcome the problem with priming them, adding check valves, and the potential problem of passive filling while driving. Another problem in a direct drive is the limited space for twice as many pumps.

    The system I chose to go with utilizes 2 Johnson reversible pumps; one is mounted behind the driver kick panel and the other is in the trunk on a 3/8" piece of HDPE. The one in the trunk will be used to fill/drain an 800lb Sumo Sac in the trunk. The front pump is connected to a T with two ball valves after it. One side of the T goes to a custom 400lb ski locker sack and the other side goes back through a hole I drilled in the ski locker into the engine compartment, between the gas tank and rear seat backrest, and comes out the driver's side for a plug-and-play fill/drain line which will attach to a 750lb Fly High sack. This sack can either lie across the back seat or on either side of the doghouse to add some extra weight for surfing.

    I went with all 1" hardware and hoses. Each drain line has a check valve to redirect the water to drain out the side of the hull. The drain and vent lines also connect before the thru-hull. For wiring I ran 12 gauge duplex wire from Wakemakers. I wired it from the pumps to the switches, then from the switches to the battery. Each pump has an inline 30 amp fuse. If I add another pump in the future I'll install a circuit panel to make everything a little more organized.





    As you can see here by the sharpie mark, that was where I originally planned to drill the hole. When I went under the hull I realized it was on an angle so I had to move it down a couple of inches. When I did that the ball valve couldn't close, so I spun the handle around and bent it 90 degrees.












    No that's not a crack, just the reflection of the tarp.














    2000 Sport Nautique - GT40, Origin Wake Tower, 2700lb Ballast System

  • #2
    Tower Install:

    The tower is an Origin Catapult from originwakeboard.com. As much as I would have liked to go with an ND tower I couldn't justify the $2000 price tag. This was (in my opinion) the best looking universal tower available for my boat, and I'm sure it's not that bad if onlyinboards is a retailer for them too. The Chinese company that makes them (LT Wakeboard) is the same one that makes Aerial towers, which seems to be a pretty popular universal option.

    When drilling the holes I used a 17/32" drill bit and chamfered the gelcoat with a Dremel. For the backing plates, I made paper templates and traced them on 1/4" aluminum which I had cut at a local welding shop. I then chamfered and rounded the corners with a grinder to avoid putting stress on the fiberglass. I glued the plates on with TotalBoat Thixo structural epoxy adhesive. I used red loctite on all bolts except the removable ones for folding the tower.









    Front Driver Side Plate:


    Rear Passenger Side Plate:






    Advice and tips to anyone attempting either of these projects:
    1. When mounting the rear pump, MAKE SURE the floor piece fits back in with the pump in place. Mine didn't and I had to take the mount off to put the floor piece back in when I was done.

    2. Measure multiple times before drilling. Even when you think it's perfect, measure again. I must have measured each hole 10 times before I drilled (and the bottom hole probably closer to 20). This is especially critical when mounting the tower. A slightly off-center hull mounting point will throw the whole tower off.

    3. A heat gun and dish soap are a NECESSITY for ballast installs. There is no way I would have been able to fit the hose over the fittings without the heat gun.

    4. Sharp drill bits will make this job much easier. Spend the extra $30 and get new drill bits before drilling into your $10k plus boat.

    5. Pinch clamps are much cheaper than worm clamps. I got all the stainless clamps I needed from McMaster for $15.

    6. Mount the pumps in a way that you can easily change the impeller.

    7. Attach your bronze ball valve and/or elbow right after you install the thru hull. That way you can twist it a little bit while the sealant is still tacky.

    8. Installing the tower and ballast took about 5 full days all by myself. The time probably would have been cut in half if I had somebody to work with. Find a buddy to help with this if possible.


    That's all I can think of for right now, I'll report back and get some more pics either this weekend or next weekend when I get the boat out on the water. Please feel free to ask me any questions you have about the install.

    Thanks for reading!

    Matt
    2000 Sport Nautique - GT40, Origin Wake Tower, 2700lb Ballast System

    Comment


    • #3
      Was able to get the boat out last weekend and test everything. Tower worked great, nothing came loose or creaked. Ballast system also worked great with no leaks. I may get some rubber screw caps to prevent the rear bag from popping against the bolts that protrude out of the pump. Also, I may move the front bag forward a few inches to prevent the vent hose from pinching where the ski locker door comes down.

      We tried surfing with the rear 800 and front 400 filled, and my homemade suction gate on, but couldn't seem to get enough push from the wave to go ropeless. I'm guessing I'll need to fill up the extra 750 bag I have to get a surfable wave. I've read in other threads these hulls still like some list with the suckgate. Also, my suckgate popped off a few times so next time I may have to remove some pin striping or dewax the area I'll be putting it.

      In the future I may add ballast timers since I won't be the only one using this system. It seems like an inexpensive way to prevent someone from running the pumps dry and ruining the impellers prematurely.







      2000 Sport Nautique - GT40, Origin Wake Tower, 2700lb Ballast System

      Comment


      • #4
        For surfing, you'll need more weight in the rear and I would say the front bag won't help you much. You'd be better off putting some weight to the rear and surf side. Give the 'Direct Drive Surf Report' a read and you'll be surfing in no time.

        Also, great job on the installations. I've done both projects and you're attention to detail is very much appreciated.

        https://www.planetnautique.com/vb5/f...t-99-sport-air

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by glassywaters View Post
          For surfing, you'll need more weight in the rear and I would say the front bag won't help you much. You'd be better off putting some weight to the rear and surf side. Give the 'Direct Drive Surf Report' a read and you'll be surfing in no time.

          Also, great job on the installations. I've done both projects and you're attention to detail is very much appreciated.

          https://www.planetnautique.com/vb5/f...t-99-sport-air
          Thank you! Iíll be sure to keep that in mind next time I go out
          2000 Sport Nautique - GT40, Origin Wake Tower, 2700lb Ballast System

          Comment

          Working...
          X