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  • Surf Gates on 2000 Mastercraft X-Star

    • Year: 2000 Brand: Mastercraft Model / Trim: X-Star Device Type : Hinged Gate Style Surf Device Material: Starboard or a HDPE Control: Powered with Automated Controller Cost: $1500-$1999 Installation Shop: DIY Platform Type: Teak

    I have been trying to perfect the surf wave on my 2000 Mastercraft X-Star (205v) for several years.  We started with ballast on one side and listing the boat as far as possible (circa 2010).  A few years ago we got a Nautical, which was a game changer.  The next season, we added a 2nd Nauticurl, which improved the wave.  This season I went all in.  I decided to make custom DIY surf gates.

    The 205v has an angled transom.  It starts out angling back from the top rear of the boat.  About 2/3 of the way down, it angles to perpendicular with the bottom of the hull for a few inches and then angles back towards the bow as it meets the bottom of the hull.  There is also a chine on the side of the hull about 2/3 of the way down.  All of that generally frustrates a traditional hinged gate where the hinges are attached to the transom because the mounting points of the two hinges are not in the same plane.

    Not to be deterred, I made aluminum brackets to mount the surf gate hinges.  The first iteration brackets mounted in the location of the swim platform mounts in between the transom and the platform mounts.  That did not work so well for two reasons.  First, on my boat, the swim platform mounts are very wide which limits the space for mounting the actuators.  Second, I angled the piece to mount the hinges to match the angle of the bow as it hits the transom, about 15 degrees.  This caused the gates to "go deep" about 4" when deployed which did not make a good wave at all.  They were also too low in the water which interfered with the flow on the non-deployed (surf) side.  If it's not better than 2 Naticurls, it's not an improvement, so I went back to the drawing board.

    The current iteration uses a more complex bracket.  It is a 1 1/4" block of aluminum that mounts where the swim platform mounts used to mount.  It has a piece or 3/4" aluminum bar welded to the inboard side where the swim platform mounts are now installed.  It has a trimmed down piece of 3/8" aluminum angle for the hinge mounts as well as for the mount for the actuator.  I also had to trim my teak platform to allow the gates to retract all the way out of the flow.  The result, the waves are great, better than two Nauticurls.  The gates are made from Starboard which I used just for proof of concept.  The original plan was to rebuild the gates from teak to match the swim platform once the issues were ironed out.  I am rethinking that simply because they look pretty good as is and they work really great.  

    IMG_5173.jpg.250e5f5853c9d95978c38e6d2a5490c4.jpgIMG_5172.jpg.90e57c8ae5dc07e6272fdd03694cdace.jpgIMG_5184.jpg.39c31b21914fbc72ec14cd89d04bd360.jpgI am controlling the actuators with a Wake Logic controller.  That is easily the most expensive part of the entire build, but worth every penny.  Also, the customer service cannot be beat.  In testing I accidentally wired the controller reverse polarity and exploded a couple of large capacitors and took out a couple other small components.  Matt took it back fixed it and sent it back to me for no charge (though I offered several times).  The ability to switch sides with the push of a button is awesome.  Even more awesome is the ability to turn the boat at low speeds without having to fight the perma-rudder attached to the side of the boat.  Since I have had to replace all the original gauges, I was able to repurpose the 3 micro switches that used to adjust the two speedos and the clock to now control the surf gates.

    Here are a few pictures of the install and some video of the waves we are working with.  Once the season is over I plan to remove the brackets and have them, along with the platform mounts, powder coated black.

    The video showing the gates deploy uses a 6 second deployment which creates a significant angle to the bow (60 degrees more or less).  It worked well for the port side but goofy was not too good.  I thought it was too much angle and was disrupting the laminar flow on the non surf side so I dropped it to 4.5 seconds or about 30 degrees.  The wave was much better.  I need to experiment with the ballast.  I run 2 750 lb sacs in the rear lockers, factory KGB (300 lbs) in the ski locker and about 400 under the front seats.  It needs a lot of weight to make a good strong wave and needs a lot upfront to make a clean goofy wave.  That goofy wave was all the sacs full and two people in the bow, one in the back and the driver.  With everyone in the back, the wave doesn't form correctly but with plenty of weight in the bow, it forms nicely with lots of length and push.

    Thought some 205v owners might like to see this.  The steps and angles on the transom make more traditional gates with hinges attached directly to the transom impossible.  The nice thing about this install is that it uses the factory transom mounting and requires only a single hole on each side for the actuator cable.

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    I had a similar problem with the transom shape on a 2003 malibu.   Nice solution by attaching the hinges to the swim bracket.  Awesome to see it working! 

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    Looking good!  You'll be using the wireless transmitter and throwing wake transfers from the wave in no time!  Glad your having fun with it.  :) 

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