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MartinArcher last won the day on December 18 2018

MartinArcher had the most liked content!

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37 Excellent

About MartinArcher

  • Rank
    Project Hack
  • Birthday 05/28/1983

Boat Info

  • Boat
    1987 Sunsetter


  • Location
    Western PA

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  1. I really dig it. Love the attention to detail and extra little things like the emblem and lighting. Very nicely done! Looks killer!!
  2. That turned out great. Love the panel mount connectors for plugging in the ballast hoses. I've got something similar but I don;t think those connectors were around at that point. I might have to upgrade mine. Nice job.
  3. Now that's Livin' Loud! Any info on the pane mount ballast fitting in the next to the last pic? That's pretty cool. I did something like that on our boat but it's under the gunnel (and is a hose pigtail) as I couldn't find a good panel mount fluid connector.
  4. Very cool. Looking forward to seeing the seat/seal. Well done.
  5. Looks like it turned out great! Congrats!
  6. Great to see it all back together. I love the way it turned out. The black on red contrast is awesome.
  7. Very cool. Now I need to unread that now so I'm not tempted to upgrade. **Chris said they sound terrible....no need to upgrade**
  8. How do you like the JL tower speakers?I've been curious about them and would love to hear them in person after reading some of the reviews.
  9. Well done. I love seeing these new ideas keep coming out of the community. That's a great solution! Like rugger said, if we weren't rocking wedges I'd be welding!! That's awesome.
  10. No one can ever guess the year of this boat when asked. The wedge always throws people for a loop who do know Malibu's. lol The wedge sure works and makes a huge difference for our surf wave.
  11. MartinArcher


    The biggest change to the system has been the wireless controller. I have eliminated the need to use a wrist strap to protect the remote from the water. It is now simply a keyfob sized remote with a wrist strap that floats the remote of it is ever dropped. It allows you to keep the remote in your hand and easily feel the buttons with your thumb so you don't have to look down at the remote which makes throwing those transfer tricks a little easier while keeping your eyes up.
  12. Excellent mod! I think that really is one of the best mods you could have done to that boat above the waterline. So much better of a tower than the older Illusions!
  13. MartinArcher


    Owning a 1987 Malibu Sunsetter has been a fun venture. I really enjoy slalom skiing but another fun watersport we have enjoyed is surfing. When owning a direct drive you learn surf on a less than massive wave. I decided to add gates to the boat after experimenting with some fixed gates and being very happy with the results. The issue with manual gates is a boat this size is very difficult if not impossible to turn against the gate that is out. I quickly realized that an automated solution would be needed if we wanted to continue running gates. This would allow the gates to retract as the boat came off speed )or exceeded a high speed limit) and deploy as the boat reached surf speed. I also has many other ideas up my sleeve when I kicked off the project including controlling the gates wirelessly from the wave to allow the rider to control the surf side and initiate transfers as they wished. The project took my about four weeks. It turned out to be a lot larger project that I originally had thought, but then again I kind of went all out with it. I built the gates from teak wood and used 2" stainless bar to fasten them together. I polished all the stainless to a mirror finish including the hinges. The amount of time I have in polishing is insane. The side of the boat is pretty close to a 17 degree angle. When designing the gates I realized that that 17 degrees would be a bit much to lean the hinge line over to. With a 17 degree from vertical hinge line the end of the gate would rise almost 6 inches. I designed a wedge block to go between the gate and the hinge line to reduce the hinge angle to 9 degrees. This brings the gate elevation change to 2-3 inches. It also allows the actuator mounting point to be under the teak deck. At a 17 degree angle, the actuator angle was so great the transom mount would end up above the teak deck....not good. I designed the gates to be level with the teak deck when stowed and then "dig" a bit deeper when deployed. The gates stow at 27 degrees and deploy to 30 degrees. This 57 degree swing is accomplished using Lenco 102 actuators. When designing the angles and mounting points of the gates and actuators, I realized that the actuators mounting point on the transom would need to be exactly where the swim platform was. I came up with a solution by welding the existing swim platform brackets to a larger 1/4" aluminum plate that would offset the bracket toward the center line of the boat. This also allows the actuator to be mounted to the aluminum plate. I had them powder coated along with the brackets that mount on the platform. The finish turned out great. The gates had to be cut with several angles, it is probably best to let you look at the pics instead of describing the angles in text. I mounted the gates to the transom and the new brackets along with the actuators. The meant drilling 14 new holes in the transom per side. That's right, there are 28 new holes in the boat! You can rest assured they are very well sealed with 3M 4200. I also had to do gel coat work on the transom where the swim platform brackets mount. The old brackets were mounted with 4200 and required a lot of scraping to remove. It also pulled a few small bits of gel off the transom. I re-gel coated the area so the new brackets would have a good surface to seal to. All holes were pilot drilled in reverse and then over drilled the OD of the screws being used through just the gel, and then countersunk to prevent any gel cracking. As for the control, I had designed and built a GPS speedometer for the boat two years ago. This system uses an Arduino controller and a GPS receiver along with a 2 line LCD display. I added onto the existing system to control the Teakgates. It allows a couple control options using 3 switch inputs and 4 actuator outputs, a couple output amps, and 4 relays to reverse the polarity to the actuators in order to extend or retract them. The system allows you to manually extend or retract each gate one at a time or at the same time. It also allows you to arm a gate which is then deployed when the boats speed is between 7 and 12 mph. This controller has since evolved into a full custom control system that is used to control the gates, feed the Perfect Pass system a GPS based signal (instead of the paddle wheel), wirelessly control the gates, monitor actuator current, display GPS, speed, current, heading, status info on a digital display, etc. I now sell these controllers under a small company I created called Wake Logic Limited. You can drop me a line about the controller at matt@wakelogic.com. The gates are finished with Star Brite's Tropical Teak Sealer. The wood turned out beautifully and really shows off the grain and knots in the wood. I also cut compound angles in the teak platform to match the gates when stowed and finished the fresh cuts with the same teak sealer. I remounted the teak deck and it now comes right on and off the mounts. Well here are the pics of the project…. Here's a video of the gates in action. Here are some pics of the wave after I got the boat in the water. I put 300 lbs in the locker, and about 500 lbs on each side of the dogbox for this run. I have since learned that a 750 on the regular side give just a bit of list and a bit better wave on the regular side. The goofy side on a Mabu is really good due to prop rotation so this balanced out the wave nicely. In these pics we had the weight mentioned above and 5 passengers on board and me on the surf board. At rest, the boat sat perfectly level (with dual 500’s). Any listing in the pics is from the gates. I have the gates set up to deploy at 7 mph. If the speed exceeds 12 mph they go back to the stow position. If the speed drops below 7 mph they go back to stowed. I also set up my switch bank to allow the surf side to be swapped while underway. Here is what I noticed while behind the boat.... 1. The wave is as good with my new gates if not a bit better than my prototype gate from the Poorman's Surfgate thread. 2. With the prototype gate, I had to weigh the surf side a bit heavier than the non-surf side to get the same wave I had last night. 3. I had two more people last night than I ever had running the prototype gate. 4. The wave is longer, cleaner, and has a lot more push than our non-gated wave. 5. I finally tried surfing goofy - the wave is actually really good without moving a single person or bag. 6. It takes about 4-5 seconds to switch from one side to the other.....on an 87' Sunsetter. 7. I'm pretty darn happy with the wave....especially considering it's a 25 year old direct drive. 8. Stow the gates, set the Perfect Pass for 30 and enjoy a slalom run back to the dock with no disturbance to the wake whatsoever. Now for the good stuff.... Here's the wave this spring in April with no gates and just listing. Me wearing the same wetsuit. 300lbs in the locker, 800lbs on the surfside, and 4 people in the boat (3 on the surfside and 1 driver). Both gated and non-gated waves has the floating wedge down. All other pics are with the Teakgates…. Some arial footage of the gates in action....
  14. On of the cast iron exhaust manifolds on my 1987 Sunsetter started leaking. Something failing is the boat’s way of telling me to upgrade it right? ? I started shopping around a researching exhaust manifolds and chose two Stainless Marine manifolds. I’ve been very happy with the choice! A user on TheMalibuCrew, “Woodski” shared some info on how he made “mufflers”. Everything is 4" from the mani's back. The "mufflers" are 1/8" stainless plate cut into 4" circles with 4 tabs that are bent back over the exhaust tube. There is a half moon cut out of the circle for the exhaust gas to flow through. I still need to cut slots in the bottom of two of the muffler plates to allow water to pass through the solid half. The design allows me to slip the coupling over the end of the exhaust tube and capture the muffler. Basically the idea is to keep the line of sight broken for the sound waves to exit the exhaust. If you shine a light up your exhaust, you'll see a similar design, but a bit more restrictive. Now, on to the install! Existing exhaust.... Old mani's off... New manifolds on! Still need to sort out the cooling water plumbing. "Muffler" plates... I also upgraded the tips since I am running 4” instead of 3” exhaust. I’ve always thought with the custom stainless wedge bracket that a pair of stainless slash cut tips would look awesome on the boat. I drew up a drawing for what I wanted and sent it off to Stainless Marine and they custom build a pair to fit the boat. As usual I couldn’t go off the shelf. Since the flange needed to be angles a bit to fit the transom angle and the flange needed to be a bit smaller than the standard offering to fit the flat spot on the older style transom a custom job was in order. Stainless Marine did an awesome job. Check out the pics below to see what they look like. One thing worth mentioning, old sealant and silicone is tough stuff to remove. When mounting something to the transom of a boat that is going to be below the waterline, surface prep is very important. To remove the sealant from the old tips I tried everything….Goo Gone, Goof Off, Brake Kleen, and Gasket Remover. Nothing phased the silicone. It is good stuff. I worked at it for a long time with my fingernail and a few more razorblades. I was pretty happy with how clean I got it and siliconed in the new tips with 3M 4200. After the tips were mounted I headed into the boat and hit the first obstacle that I knew was coming. The tiller arm cleared the old exhaust by 1/8". The new stuff is 1/2" thicker so I knew I was going to have to take 1/2" off the tiller arm and machine a new hole for the control cable. I bought a newer Malibu rudder, housing, and tiller arm from TheMalibuCrew’s Chris's wrecked Sunsetter so I figured I would install it while I was at it. I got everything on my old rudder off EXCEPT the base plate on the bottom of the boat. I banged, pryed, heated, yelled, bled, etc and it would not budge. I called rugger to see if there might be 5200 holding it on, but he said he hadn't taken it off so whatever Malibu used is good stuff. My Skier's base plate came off easy....not this one! rugger talked some sense into me....since the dang thing has been on the boat for 24 years and works fine I put it all back together with new silicone inside the boat. Heck, the wheel turns with one finger. Another good thing is the rudder shaft on the old rudder is 1.125" and the new one is 1". Also, the bore going through the bottom of the boat needs to be larger for the new port...no biggie, just another thing to change. I'll save the new parts in case I ever ding my rudder off something. Anyways...here's the pics from the tiller modification. Tiller arm too long... Shorter! Much better… Newer Malibu rudder shaft…. Existing 87’ rudder shaft Existing rudder left, new one right (I think the existing one looks like it has more steering authority with the longer blade)... New port vs Existing port...the grease zerks are the whole reason I wanted to change the port... Got the main tubes and "muffler plates" in. It is turning out nice. Just need to add the 4" tubes to get me up to the manifolds and I'm done with the exhaust piping. I then have to sort out changing the hosing for the cooling water. Getting closer! Got the down tubes installed. I feel like I've been wrestling pythons to get them in there. I think it looks pretty sweet. I ordered softwall tube and I thought that was a mistake. The left (port) tube for some reason wants to flatten out more than I would like. I ended up putting a band clamp around that section of tubing to help keep it round and it has worked well. Just a though when debating between hard and softwall piping. Well I got the cooling water all hooked up and everything looks, works, and sounds awesome! A couple quick revs in the driveway put a big smile on my face. Can't wait to hear it in the water. As you can see in the bit I stuck the camera in the boat, the downslope of the exhaust in out inboard boats really amplifies the water acting as a muffler since the water actually hangs near the 45* coupling since it is lower than the tips when the boat is floating or on the trailer. Under way, the tips will be lower.....and the exhaust louder. I can't wait to hear it from the slalom rope! Enough talk about exhaust….let’s hear it!! After the first night on the water with it I think it sounds fantastic. Much deeper tone than before. It is louder as well, but certainly not overbearing. It would turn your head if you’re a motor head like me. What I can't believe is how much faster the boat pulls out of the water with the wedge down! I actually gained 3 mph on the top end as well! I'm pumped with the install and very happy with the performance outcome. The video doesn't do the sound justice, but gives you an idea. Of course the fly by vids are the best….. Excuse the camera shaking.....water was 59 at the dam and I was just floating with trunks on. This video isn’t about the picture....it’s about the sound!
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