Plug and play is a generic term we use to describe a factory installed option, available on many current boats, that allows for the installation of auxiliary ballasts, which can be controlled using the factory ballast controls built into the boat. On some boats, plug and play includes the required ballast bags, shipped from the factory, while on other boats, such as Malibu and Axis, the plug and play system in installed in the boat, but ballast bags must be provided separately.
In general, plug and play ballast systems allow you to add auxiliary ballast bags connected to the factory ballast system built into the boat, so they can be filled and drained using the factory components that fill and drain the stock ballast system and controlled from the dash.
How Plug-and-Play Systems Work
In practice, and this means different things for different manufacturers, both in terms of performance and functionality, in most applications, plug and play system adds additional hoses in the primary lockers where ballast bags are stored, next to the engine and the rear lockers of a V-drive boat and possibly in the front of the boat as well. These hoses feature connections that allow for auxiliary ballast bags to be connected quickly and easily.
Once ballast bags are installed, controls on the dash that fill and drain the factory ballast system can also be utilized to control the water level in the auxiliary ballast bag. In most cases, these hoses will be equipped with the Flow-Rite Quick Connect Fitting System, making installation of the bag quick and effortless, and allowing the bag to be removed easily for cleaning, storage or winterization.
We offer solutions designed for most factory plug and play systems. We offer ballast bag solutions for nearly all factory plug and play systems. In most cases, the bags we offer fit better, hold more capacity, and offer more storage, thanks to our exact fit measurement process. If you have factory plug and play installed in your boat, and you have existing ballast bags, we can usually offer you more capacity for a better performance behind the boat. If you don't have existing ballast bags installed in your factory plug and play system and want to make use of the easy integration that it offers, contact us to discuss your options for adding more ballast.
The functionality of factory Plug-and-Play systems will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Although most perform reasonably well, there are some that have flaws in their design or implementation. As a result, we generally offer solutions to resolve those issues and make the system function correctly, if needed.
Although we are able to make use of, and in many cases improve the functionality of the factory plug and play system, we are limited to what the factory provides us from a physics perspective. As a result, there are limits to where and how much capacity we can offer in terms of ballast bags, when integrating with the factory plug and play system.
For more information about making use of the factory plug-n-play system in your boat or upgrading the ballast capacity of the current bags that are installed with your factory plug and play system, contact a ballast product expert.