Drilling into a perfectly good boat can be nerve-wracking, but with the right resources and knowledge, anyone that can drill into a piece of wood could install a new thru-hull intake fitting.
The following video will walk you through the process of installing a WakeMAKERS thru-hull into the hull of your boat for a ballast system.
When installing a thru-hull intake fitting, it's important that you select the correct component for the job. Due to the consistency in the thickness of the hull on watersports boats, we are able to use the same through-hull fitting for all applications. There are a few factors that make our intake fitting unique:
- Solid bronze construction: Incredibly durable and resistant to galvanic corrosion, our fitting is solid bronze, as opposed to a bronze coated part, which ensures it will stand up to the test of time.
- Blended NPT threads: With tapered threads at the end of the fitting, you can install this thr-hull without the use of a seacock, which is incredibly convenient, and also less expensive.
- Mushroom profile: The exterior profile features a mushroom design, which allows for filling and draining at speed or when the boat is stationary, without any passive filling issues.
Choosing The Installation Location
The hardest part of this process is finding where to drill the hole. We typically find the best place in most V-drive boats is on either side or around the v-drive transmission area. This area is located at the front of the engine under the back seat where the boat is usually fairly flat and has ample room for components to fit properly inside the boat and out. Sometimes boats will have extra space behind the engine near the back wall of the transom. In some cases, this is much easier to access and can give you more room to assemble the internal fittings. Every boat is a little different, so this is a general rule of thumb from the boats we have drilled into.
In addition to finding a place the components will physically fit you also want to be careful you are not placing your new hole somewhere, you are interrupting performances of other components or those components are not disrupting the performance of your new ballast system. Other components may be speedometers, skegs, drive shaft, rudder, thrusters, other thru-hull fittings, raw water intake, etc. You will want to avoid placing your new thru-hull directly in front or behind any of those components. We like to place our fitting diagonal to other components because this still allows full flow of water to each component while underway. If you cannot orient the fitting to be diagonal, try to place the new fitting a good distance from others if in line (around 6" or more).
Using our Thru-Hull locating magnets make this process much easier by allowing you to locate the same spot inside the boat that you do under the boat. This will also allow you to easily see if you have a trailer bunk, skeg, speedometer, or any other attachment the boat may have underneath. Keep in mind, the inside portion of your thru hull you will need to be able to thread on the retaining nut as well as the Ball valve, so you will want to make sure you have enough room inside the boat to assemble these fittings.
Drilling the Hole
The drilling process is quite easy, but you want to make sure you have double checked your placement before starting. It is much easier to check your placement a few times than to repair a hole in the bottom of your boat.
Watching this video will explain the details of how to drill the thru hull fitting as well as touch on where that should go in the boat.
Hopefully that makes you feel more comfortable with the process of installing a new intake fitting in the bilge compartment of your boat. If you have any other questions, please contact a ballast product expert.