Scott B. Morehouse
The intention of the Wake Booster project was two fold. The primary goal was the design and fabrication of a portable balest system used to lower the stern of a ski boat in the water there by producing a larger wake. The increased wake is desired in the sport of wake boarding for greater distance and height when jumping. This allows the rider to perform flips, spins, and other acrobatic stunts in the air. The system must be portable and compatible with most boats. The weight must be quick and easy to remove as many wake boarders also water ski, a sport that demands the minimum possible wake. The equally important second goal of the project was to develop an easy way to transport all necessary equipment (wake board & bindings, wet suit, life jacket, etc.) plus the ballast system while leaving one or both hands free. The solution was a pair of bags. The first bag (bladder bag) is designed to hold 600 pound of lake water that will be pumped in and out with a modified bilge pump. Since lake water is readily available when boating, the bag will be easy to fill when wake boarding and just as simple to empty and fold up when skiing. The second bag (board bag) is an oversized wake board bag designed to carry all necessary wake board equipment plus the empty bladder bag.
The maximum weight of the bladder bag is set at 600 pounds so that it plus four 200 pound passengers will not exceed 1500 pounds (the maximum buoyancy of most ski boats). The bag itself is a tubular shape with dimensions of length = 63" x radius = 9.5". Nylon was selected as the material for both bags because of its strength and resistance to tearing, sunlight, & water. A waterbed bladder will be placed inside the bladder bag and used to hold the water. The bag's purpose will be to limit the amount of water pumped into the bladder by only letting it expand to a maximum dimension. The board bag has dimensions of 20" x 56", and is designed to carry 2 wetsuits, a life jacket, gloves, soap, extra fins, and the empty bladder bag. It will be equipped with both carrying handles and a shoulder strap. The binding will hang on the out side to save space inside the bag and allow it to be slimmer overall.
A modified bilge pump will be used to fill and empty the bladder. This pump will plug into the cigarette lighter, or in the case that a lighter is not available, there will be alligator clips that will attach to the battery. It will take five to six minutes to fill or empty the bladder.