87 Sunsport Wake Surf Boat Conversion Need Some Input
Hello fellow Sunpra Owners I am looking for some advise. I am getting into wake surfing now and would love some advice on how to best convert my 87 stock Sun Sport Skier to a wake surf boat.
I am prepared to install a fully automated system and new prop but want some input before I invest the 2-3 k I am prepared to put up tomake this possible.
new prop Acme ?
# of pumps
alternator upgrade from 50 amp to 100 amp?
Last edited by Sunapee Sunsport; 07-21-2011 at 12:30 PM.
Reason: more questions
Sunapee, first of all good luck with the project!
I'm no expert but I'll try and answer your checklist items in order using some of my own experience, coupled with things I have picked up from reading other posts from other members' projects.
I believe the prop that people will recommend to you is the Acme #543. It is a 13x11.5 prop. I have it on my boat and it works absolutely GREAT for pushing a loaded down boat. You may want to ask around though because depending on how much weight you're going to be pushing you may even want to go with something like a 13x10.5.
You're definitely going to want bags underneath your rear seat and inside your rear ski locker. Also, you'll want one in the bow on the port side basically below the windshield on the floor. I found it helpful to put one up there as well as another bag on the starboard side. Then I put a ball valve on the fill line leading to the starboard side so that when I wanted to wakesurf, I just flip that valve and the pump only fills the port side. ALSO, there is one guy I can vaguely remember on here that was able to construct a platform or something underneath his floor to hold more sacs. You may want to ask around about that. I don't know how much you know about surfing but with a Sunsport I've found that it's most important to get as much weight as you can on the port side, rather than worrying about all the weight being back. Most guys with these boats, myself included, still end up with a sac or two filled up the old fashioned way laying beside the doghouse or on the back seat. A good resource to ask questions to is a member by the name of Mikey-something. Just search Mikey and you should be able to find him. I've noticed he hasn't been coming around here lately but he has quite a few posts on his thread and he also turned an 87 into a surf beast.
I think most guys will suggest just going with the Tsunami aerator style pumps. They're fast, cheap, and easy to replace if they break down. The only disadvantage really is that they aren't reversible and they have to be mounted below the waterline. You can go with Jabsco or other reversibles but you can expect longer fill/drain times and more money spent. With those however, you won't have to drill drain holes in the side of our boat because they will drain out the same holes they filled through. With my setup, I'm running two Tsunami 800's as fill pumps, mounted using a T-manifold off of the existing drain plug hole in the center of the boat. That threading is 3/4" so it works out well. Then, I have a drain pump on each bag.
I just upgraded my alternator to a 110 amp I think, I'm really glad I did, my old one was going bad and there is a very noticeable difference in performance. Easy, fairly cheap upgrade.
I only have a single battery and I'm running 3 pumps at a given time (draining bags) a head unit, 2 amplifiers, a sub, 6 speakers, and an EQ and I manage to do fine. I know a lot of people will suggest a second one and it will definitely make things easier, especially for expansion of your sound system if you're someone that is planning on that. Go with 2 if you have the money, if you're short on money or not too worried about stereo, etc. then just stick with one for a while and see how it works.
I hope all of this helped, I'm sorry it was so lengthy, I'm just bored sitting in a hospital bed
thanks for the input. I was leaning towards 3 jabsco pumps mounted up front in the bow storage area but placed behind the passenger seat compartment . Not an easy place to get to but i figured that these pumps would be the most free for maintanance.
I had considered aerators but figured I would need 2 per fill / drain circuit and am not sure were I could place so many pumps in the bilge / engine compartment. Where did you place your's?
I have 2 fill pumps. They're both connected to a T-Manifold that is screwed into the existing drain plug hole in the center of the boat, straight down in the engine compartment. One pump fills my two front bags, and the other fills the rear bag I have under the rear seat. If I were to add another bag in the rear ski locker, I would NOT have a problem with having it filled by the same pump that fills the rear seat bag. These pumps are very quick, almost twice as quick as the Jabsco pumps. More than twice as quick if you spend a little extra money and get the Tsunami 1200's.
The other thing I don't know much about is venting bags that use the reversible pumps. For my system, I have vent lines that T into the drain lines that go out the side of the boat around the rubrail. Obviously with a reversible pump system you won't have separate drain holes so I don't really know how those bags are vented, someone else will have to chime in on that subject.
I don't have ballast on my boat, so am not familiar with these systems. But I disagree with, but probably don't understand your statement: "...vent lines that T into the drain lines..." Combining fill and vent lines doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I would fill and drain with reversable pumps from the bottom of the reservoir, and vent it from the top with a separate hose system. As fluid enters the reservoir, air must be able to leave to prevent pressurization. When fluid leaves the reservoir, air must be able to enter, to prevent the creation of a vacuum. If the system has restrictions in the vent, it will not fill or drain as fast as it might otherwise. The rule of thumb is that the vent should be twice the size of the supply to avoid restrictions.
Originally Posted by chrisk
Last edited by rludtke; 07-23-2011 at 12:33 PM.
rludtke, yeah I didn't use clear English, we're arguing the same point.
The point I was trying to make, is that one of the general pros about using reversible pumps is that you won't need to use as much hose to finish your product. But what I said I don't understand is where people run their vent lines to when they have a reversible pump system?
With my aerator system, my vent lines T into my drain lines which then run outside the boat near the rubrail. There is a checkvalve between that T and the bag on the drain line to prevent back flow. What I'm trying to say, is if with a reversible pump system you still have to end up drilling holes in the side of the boat for your vent lines, I would just rather go with aerator pumps to take advantage of their cheap prices and faster fill/drain times.
Did that make sense? Sorry I may be a little woozy from a day and a half of morphine.....
Yep, makes sense. I think however, that I would mount a separate vent thru-hull fitting on the transom well above the water line so that it only passes air, and not water, at least not until the reservoir overfills. Then I would drain through the fill line, using a reversable pump. If the boat did not have a thru-hull already, then I would probably place it low on the transom so that it is exposed when plaining, but underwater at rest. This, I think, would facilitate faster draining when underway due to reduced back pressure. Filling would require the boat to be either at rest, or moving slowly, to put the thru-hull underwater.
Originally Posted by chrisk
Obviously I don't have the reversible pump system, but I remember reading when I was deciding what to go with that if you can have the thru-hull on the bottom of the hull you should try for that. The reasoning for this was actually the same reasoning given above. As water passes by the hole on the bottom of the boat it creates a negative pressure situation and actually sucks the water out of the bags - so, you wouldn't have to worry about back pressure.
Now, like I said I don't know much about it and I just happen to remember reading this. So, whether or not I read it from a reliable source or not is also up for debate Just thought I would throw it on the table for discussion.
I also wanted to add, that sometimes I do have problems with my aerator style pumps priming themselves, even though I have them mounted below the waterline. You will not run into this problem with the self-primers so, for me, that would be a huge advantage.