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View Full Version : Adding FlyHigh sacks to stock ballast system...(winter project)


x10vancouver2003
10-17-2010, 08:55 PM
Hey all,

I am looking into adding some bigger sacs for my 2003 X10, and was looking for a bit of information and advice. The whole system is still stock, so the 2 hard tanks in the back compartments are obviously going to be removed...

I'm not sure if I can get away with leaving the stock original sac in the floor ski locker, but the boat definitely needs some more weight.

I have no experience with plumbing, although I have a pretty good grip on how the ballast system works, the pumps, etc. Was thinking about getting it done after this semester during Christmas break.


- How easy is it to remove the hard tanks in the back and add a pair of FlyHigh 400's or 750's?
- Can all the other components of the ballast system stay in tact? (pumps, PVC pipes, etc)
- Are the bags from FlyHigh able to be quick disconnected when not in use?

Any other tips and/or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time all! :)

nmcjr
10-18-2010, 04:47 PM
I'll give my experience, but keep in mind I have a 02 star, though I imagine they are fairly similar.

Yes, remove the hard tanksóitís easy and you will have so much more storage and servicing the engine etc is so much easier without them. You can upgrade the hose that goes from the pump to the sacs to 1" for faster flow, I didn't do the center tank because itís harder, but you will have to add new hose from the pump to the sac and from the sac to the air outlet anyway (fill from the bottom, vent the top). I bought a black ribbed vinyl hose from West Marine that is very flexible that worked well. You may have to use hot water to get the hose on some of the fittings, just dip the end of the hose in the hot water for 30 seconds or so and it will make things much easier. For the fittings, check out the link below and go with the 740 style quick connects.

http://fatsac.com/PDFs/Quick%20Connect%20Fittings.pdf

For sac size, there are two trains of thought. One is to go with bigger sacs for more flexibility for surfing etc, but you probably wonít run full 750ís in the rear for wakeboarding. Or, you can do what I do and that is to go with smaller sacs so I can just fill them until the water runs out the overflows and have consistent weight and not have to time/eyeball the fill each time etc. I probably wouldnít replace the center sac because you wonít add much weight anyway so to me itís not worth the time and money.

Final thought is that you will need to add more weight to the bow too. I think a lot of people run too little weight in the bow, which causes the wake to be soft and thin at the top. Bow weight goes a long way toward wake quality and consistency. This is hull-specific so I donít know exactly how much you will need, but I ended up with the 1000# bow triangle but that takes up all my bow seating so you could try the IBS or side sacs under the seats, but you may also need lead. I didnít plumb the bow weight, but you could add a pump and do that too.

Check out wakemakers.com, they are very helpful if you call them-good guys. Hope this at least gets you started.

nmcjr
10-18-2010, 04:48 PM
Oh, and if you haven't replaced your impellers recently, buy 3 new green style impellers which will make the pumps work much better.

76S&S
10-19-2010, 08:32 AM
I have the same boat as nmcjr, I plumbed in the IBS off of the center sac and it works great. The center sac overflows into the IBS.

jason@wakemakers.com
10-19-2010, 02:43 PM
Green impellers are essential if you upgrade to larger bags, otherwise your pumps will essentially stop working once the bag gets to around 300-350 pounds.

We're setting up a kit to Piggyback the Integrated Bow Sac off the factory center bag because that's something that so many of our customers have been doing lately.

skeeler
10-19-2010, 03:06 PM
Not the same boat, but an X-Star. May give you some ideas....

www.lockituponline.com/08-x-star-fly-high/index.htm

jason@wakemakers.com
10-19-2010, 03:20 PM
Nice install skeeler, would you mind if we posted your pics on our site in our system showcase for other boat owners to view?

That setup used Fly High's additional ballast system kit for the X-Star (it's also available for the 2006 and newer X-2), and allows you to select whether you want to fill and drain the factory tanks or the auxiliary bags.

With the rear tank setup in your boat unfortunately that's no an option, but you could use that type of setup for the Integrated Bow Sac up front if you wanted (we sell the flow control valves separately here: http://www.wakemakers.com/fly-high-distribution-flow-manifold.html).

skeeler
10-19-2010, 04:47 PM
Nice install skeeler, would you mind if we posted your pics on our site in our system showcase for other boat owners to view?

That setup used Fly High's additional ballast system kit for the X-Star (it's also available for the 2006 and newer X-2), and allows you to select whether you want to fill and drain the factory tanks or the auxiliary bags.

With the rear tank setup in your boat unfortunately that's no an option, but you could use that type of setup for the Integrated Bow Sac up front if you wanted (we sell the flow control valves separately here: http://www.wakemakers.com/fly-high-distribution-flow-manifold.html).

Go for it....

s_worty
10-19-2010, 05:38 PM
I have a bow bag and two rear bags in the rear storage compartments plumbed in from the overflows on the stock ballast bags. I think I bought them all from wakeside.com but I don't know the exact bags, but they are all from Fly High. I used fittings from Fly High or from Ace Hardware and water heater/water filtration/reverse osmosis tubing from Ace Hardware. They all fill and empty with the original ballast pumps. The front bag made the most difference because when I used to hit rollers the PerfectPass used to surge so this helped keep the paddle wheel in the water. Unfortunately when I added the rear bags I started having problems with the surging again, so I upgraded to the Stargazer, wow, what a difference, like a whole new boat! However, at that point I didn't have any hole shot and my boat used to take forever to plane, so I bought a new OJ prop from Eric. Problem solved, and now I get a great wake!

oh yeah, and I don't notice a significant increase in gas consumption, great wake...and economical with the MCX engine...

G-Star
10-19-2010, 06:28 PM
I have the same boat as nmcjr, I plumbed in the IBS off of the center sac and it works great. The center sac overflows into the IBS.

I've been looking at doing 750s in the rear lockers and an IBS up front. Do you have any photos of how the IBS fits in your '02 X-Star? Does it completely fill, or is it too squashed up?

CantRepeat
10-19-2010, 07:16 PM
Someone was talking about turning their pumps so the impellers were down, thus not letting water drip into the motor. Strangely enough, Jabsco says you can mount them in any direction but then goes on to say that it's best to mount them so water will not drip into the motor.

Go figure.

"
INSTALLATION
The pump must be mounted in a dry location – the motor
is not waterproof and must not be submerged.
SELECTION OF A COOL VENTILATED location will
generally extend pump motor life. The unit can be mounted
in any desired position. It is best to mount so that
water dripping from loose port connection will not wet
the motor. The pump head may be rotated 180į on the
motor to change the direction of flow."

And as far as changing polarity it seems you can just rotate the head of the unit to change the flow direction.

x10vancouver2003
10-19-2010, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone!!!

With the installation of an IBS, how do you plumb it off the center ski locker sac? I have never dealt with a ballast install before...but it should definitely make for a fun project over the Christmas break.

For those of you with the IBS bag...what do you do regarding storage? The bow under-seat compartments are real good for storage...I like to throw all the spare life jackets, first aid kits, spare ski ropes, etc up there (I have a sub and amp in the port side compartment, so there isn't much for storage there anymore).

I would also like to see some pictures of the IBS filled and unfilled in the bow of any boat...just to get an idea of how things setup...

jason@wakemakers.com
10-19-2010, 11:57 PM
I've been looking at doing 750s in the rear lockers and an IBS up front. Do you have any photos of how the IBS fits in your '02 X-Star? Does it completely fill, or is it too squashed up?
I'll see if I can find a picture from one of our customers or of an install, there's not much to see though, as the bag is essentially flush with the seat cushion support structure. It's not going to fill fully in your X-Star because the bag is bigger than the compartment, but that's fine, it just means you'll get the most possible weight in that location.

And as far as changing polarity it seems you can just rotate the head of the unit to change the flow direction.
Ah! Good point, I forgot about that.

With the installation of an IBS, how do you plumb it off the center ski locker sac? I have never dealt with a ballast install before...but it should definitely make for a fun project over the Christmas break.
Hey Justin, like I said in the email, we'll include installation instructions for you that walk you through the process.

For those of you with the IBS bag...what do you do regarding storage? The bow under-seat compartments are real good for storage...I like to throw all the spare life jackets, first aid kits, spare ski ropes, etc up there (I have a sub and amp in the port side compartment, so there isn't much for storage there anymore).
You gotta pay to play! :) If you want the biggest and best shaped wake possible you have to sacrifice some storage space, that's just the way it goes.

I would also like to see some pictures of the IBS filled and unfilled in the bow of any boat...just to get an idea of how things setup...
See my post above, I'll try to dig some up for you guys. Unfortunately you're going to be pretty underwhelmed with them, as there's not really anything to see when the bag is full.

G-Star
10-20-2010, 01:46 PM
I'll see if I can find a picture from one of our customers or of an install, there's not much to see though, as the bag is essentially flush with the seat cushion support structure. It's not going to fill fully in your X-Star because the bag is bigger than the compartment, but that's fine, it just means you'll get the most possible weight in that location.



Thanks for the info. Maybe you can help out with the right selection of bags...

I want to have a good setup for surfing without having to add too many people, but I also want to have a good setup for wakeboarding.

I've been leaning towards the 750s in the rear lockers and an IBS under the front seats. Would this be a workable setup, or would you recommend something different?

Thanks for the help!

CantRepeat
10-21-2010, 12:17 PM
BTW: I'm not sure if your pump switches are the same as my 06 but I only had to change two wires on the back of the switch to change the flow direction.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/switch.jpg

jason@wakemakers.com
11-01-2010, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the info. Maybe you can help out with the right selection of bags...

I want to have a good setup for surfing without having to add too many people, but I also want to have a good setup for wakeboarding.

I've been leaning towards the 750s in the rear lockers and an IBS under the front seats. Would this be a workable setup, or would you recommend something different?

Thanks for the help!

That's a very versatile and fantastic setup for both surfing and wakeboarding. If you're wakeboarding you probably won't want to fill the rear bags all the way, but you'll have plenty of capacity there to get a great wake out of the boat, and still be able to fine tune for individual preferences, or the number of people in the boat on a given day.

TallRedRider
11-01-2010, 11:34 PM
BTW: I'm not sure if your pump switches are the same as my 06 but I only had to change two wires on the back of the switch to change the flow direction.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/switch.jpg

Stupid me. The first time I did this, I just spliced the wires right at the pump....as you point out, I now have gotten smart enough that if there is a next time, I will just swap them at the switch to change the direction of flow. Good point for all.

medicmoose
11-02-2010, 05:01 PM
I was just curious, and I don't want to thread jack, but I am looking at plumbing my fat sacs as well. I, however, was looking at adding additional pumps (1 per bag) rather than having everything run off the factory pumps. Is this just plain overkill? I haven't really seen much talk of this type of set-up here...are there huge disadvantages?

Thanks!

jason@wakemakers.com
11-02-2010, 05:05 PM
Both methods are perfectly viable, and each one has its own pros and cons. Basically though, it comes down to cost vs. speed; a system with dedicated pumps for the new bags will be faster, but will cost more money (duh!). Whether or not it's worth it to you to spend the extra money is ultimately a personal decision for most people.

Our customers are split pretty evenly, but most people that use our Piggyback products, regardless of the boat type, are more than happy with the speed of the system because they don't switch from wakeboarding to surfing and vice-versa immediately, there's some down time associated with putting gear away, and getting out the surf board.

TallRedRider
11-02-2010, 06:12 PM
I was just curious, and I don't want to thread jack, but I am looking at plumbing my fat sacs as well. I, however, was looking at adding additional pumps (1 per bag) rather than having everything run off the factory pumps. Is this just plain overkill? I haven't really seen much talk of this type of set-up here...are there huge disadvantages?

Thanks!

One small consideration that sometimes sways people is that you probably would want separate switches for the sacks. And finding a good location for the new switches is not always cosmetically acceptable.

I piggybacked my sacks and find that there is usually plenty of time to get the sacks filled before a rider is ready, and I just motor to just outside the marina to start boarding on our small lake. By the time the trailer is parked and the driver gets back, I am already half full.

medicmoose
11-02-2010, 10:55 PM
One small consideration that sometimes sways people is that you probably would want separate switches for the sacks. And finding a good location for the new switches is not always cosmetically acceptable.

I piggybacked my sacks and find that there is usually plenty of time to get the sacks filled before a rider is ready, and I just motor to just outside the marina to start boarding on our small lake. By the time the trailer is parked and the driver gets back, I am already half full.

The one thing I have heard to be a real pain in the back side is making changes to the factory switches due to timing out...my switches are on a 2008. The folks at MC said they are a 20 minute switch....I guess that would suffice.

Smoothie
11-03-2010, 04:44 PM
Instead of integrated bow sack I bought 500lbs in pop bags because the IBS does not fill all the way. The wakemaker guys are good people and used them for my set up. I changed from a manifold set up to a through hull for every pump so three holes in the bottom. Fills much faster.