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Old 04-20-2021, 11:21 AM
Davis Davis is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Boat: Mastercraft, Maristar 225 VRS, 1994, Indmar Vortec 5.7L
Location: United States
Posts: 9
1994 Maristar 225 VRS Ballast Setup

Hello everyone,

I was in the process of making a post about all the upgrades that I have made to my 1994 Maristar when I realized that I should elaborate on the ballast setup since it may help some of you out. I still plan on making that other post in the future but I believe this ballast information will be more beneficial to everyone.

Iíd like to start by mentioning that my setup is mainly for wakesurfing. I still love to wakeboard but I have many friends with new X24ís, Xstars and G series boats that the maristar canít really compete with. Donít get me wrong this boat will still allow you to learn plenty of tricks and you can still have a blast behind it, however Iím just spoiled. This boat will however make a pretty great surf wave so thatís been my focus. Iíd also like to say that everyone has their own opinions on wakesurf waves depending on their surf style so keep that in mind as I go along.

Letís start by talking about the hull shape. This is a very shallow and flat bottomed boat. This makes it difficult to get low in the water considering its dry weight. Counter to a lot of information on the internet, I find that in this boat, weighting the bow does not do very much unless you overload the back. This takes a scary amount of weight, and considering the short freeboard itís probably not the best idea. I find that moderately weighting only the rear of the boat produces the best wake. If you still need a bigger wake you can weight the belly and throw even more weight in the rear. Either of these can produce a wicked curl in the back of the wave with plenty of push. It can also help to list the boat slightly however I usually just weight the boat evenly as I have both goofy and regular friends and it doesnít make a huge difference.

Now letís get into the specifics of my setup. This maristar has the problem of the battery being in the side engine compartments meaning that you canít put a large fat sac on the port side. Originally I put 350 lb bags in each rear locker and then a 475 lb bag on the floor in the rear of the boat and another 475 lb bag on the rear seat above the v-drive, totaling 1650 lbs. This produced an incredibly consistent wave with the use of a large homemade wake shaper but having fat sacs in the way is never ideal.

The most recent iteration involved rerouting the battery underneath the passenger seat to open up the rear compartments for more ballast. This allowed me to eliminate the 475 lb bag on the floor and the one on the seat. The 350 lb bags were each upgraded to 910 lb bags with an integrated pump that fills/drains through the stern. The idea behind this being that I can drain ballast while driving as fast as I desire. Yes I do need to be stopped to fill, however that time doesnít matter to me since I am usually getting boards and ropes situated while the bags fill. I wanted to be able to drain quickly to get back to the dock before dry storage closes. I also have a 325 lb bag in the ski locker which needs to be filled in order to reach the full capacity of the rear bags. The 325 lb bag is a ďsumo sacĒ that I bought locally and the 910 lb bags are the ďUniversalFITĒ bags from WakeMAKERS. For those of you that donít want to do any math, that totals 2,145 lbs. The 910ís are as large as you can fit in this specific boat.

For pumps I am using the Johnson Talulah Reversible Pumps from WakeMAKERS. They are inexpensive and have a high flow rate. If you do any ballast setup, I beg you to invest in good wiring and a small sub panel. I used the Blue Sea Power Distribution Block also from WakeMAKERS. Iím not talking about this for safety reasons, but more so saving yourself the headache of having to deal with a poorly laid out system later down the line. It also helps to overbuild the system if you plan on adding more pumps or another amp in the future (donít forget to pick suitable wiring to go to this panel as well).

If I am going out for a quick set, I usually only fill the rear bags about 80% and leave the belly empty since I still have to fill that one manually. In the future I would like to plumb that in too. This boat still only has one battery so I always leave the engine running as I fill or drain. If your boat is even slightly newer I would highly recommend two batteries since the computers are often more sensitive to voltage changes.

Thatís my journey with the ballast setup. I know that may have been repetitive for a lot of people but Iím hoping that it can help a few that are just getting into this. Take a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think.
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1994 Maristar 225 VRS
1997 Sammy Duvall Prostar 205

Last edited by Davis; 04-20-2021 at 11:38 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2021, 08:10 PM
dgaugler's Avatar
dgaugler dgaugler is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: 2018 NXT22, 1996 Maristar 200 VRS
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 73
Very nice. I just upgraded from a '96 200 VRS. Everyone was always amazed at the surf wave that boat would produce. We always listed with 750lbs in the rear locker.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:52 AM
CaptainValencia CaptainValencia is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Boat: 1986 MasterCraft Walk-Around
Location: southeast
Posts: 20
What a great read!! I have the exact same boat as you and I'm working on a very similar setup.
Here is what I bought and am installing.
- J King plummed through the boat and wired up to a three-way switch
- Two 750s for the rear with a Y-connector between them
- One 370 for the ski locker, I'm plumbing a diverter between these so I can use the one pump.

Questions if you are up for it
- How many people did you have in that boat for these pictures
- Which wake shaper are using? I have had trouble getting generics ones to stick to our boats since there is not a great flat surface for it. Also, where do you mount yours? Pic?
- Does that wave give you enough push to drop the rope? And do tricks without falling behind the wake?
- Any reason you plummed it from the back and not the bottom of the boat?
- did you run overflow hose for the rear bags?

Thanks!!

Last edited by CaptainValencia; 05-07-2021 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:09 AM
Davis Davis is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Boat: Mastercraft, Maristar 225 VRS, 1994, Indmar Vortec 5.7L
Location: United States
Posts: 9
I'm glad that you found this helpful. For starters I would highly recommend that you go with at least two pumps as you'll probably want to make this upgrade in the future anyway. I've had great success with the Johnson Talulah pumps and they're fairly inexpensive too. It won't be much more expensive to get two of those vs a Jabsco King.

To answer your questions...
1) There was only 3 people in the boat
2) It's a homemade suction shaper. I don't have any pictures right now and I won't have much luck describing the shape to you since it's difficult to get the suction cups to stick to the side of this curved hull. I'll update this thread with some pictures in the future.
3) This wave has plenty of push for me. I weigh about 170 and ride on a small skim style board. I've done plenty of 360's and a few 720's behind this boat. Still working on shuvs.
4) The ballast is plumbed through the stern because I wanted to be able to drain ballast while driving at any speed. I explained more about this is my original post.
5) Yes there are overflow hoses for the rear bags.

Another thing that I should mention is that you need to reinforce the side walls on either side of the engine. I didn't have this in the picture in my original post but I now have aluminum "angle iron" to strengthen both sides. I'll upload some pictures of this once I take them.
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1994 Maristar 225 VRS
1997 Sammy Duvall Prostar 205
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:53 AM
Sully_6 Sully_6 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Boat: 2001 Mastercraft X-10
Location: Southwest
Posts: 46
Can you elaborate or take pics of your pump setup? Specifically the fill drain port on the back of the boat.
I have an x10 and was considering using my existing thru hulls (3 of them) on the rear of the boat and was going to make a post about it. However seeing as you made it work I’d like to see how it is setup.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:31 AM
Davis Davis is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Boat: Mastercraft, Maristar 225 VRS, 1994, Indmar Vortec 5.7L
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Here are a few pictures that I took this weekend. The pvc elbow is for clearance with the rudder. It should really be brass however I was using parts that I had on hand and the boat rarely stays in the water overnight. I'll swap this out eventually. Also pictured are the reinforced dividers.
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1994 Maristar 225 VRS
1997 Sammy Duvall Prostar 205
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