View Full Version : My mods to the Ruby Roo!

04-07-2010, 08:42 PM
Okay guys, I have been on this site for a while and have been slowly upgrading things on my boat. I have posted about some of them, but never posted any photos. So now I am going to make up for my slackness in this thread. My boat is a 2001 Outback DD.

I will start with the sub box I did a couple of years ago. I knew from doing car audio that the sub should not face the cockpit and should be "loaded" to get the best sound. I also knew that my bow is easy to dunk when loaded up. So I designed the box to replace the drivers footwell panel and to sit up off the floor with the sub firing forward and down a bit. I made it from MDF since it is so dense and stable, and I coated the box with many layers of polyurethane and paint, but the moisture has still gotten to it and the MDF has started to swell up some. I think for the next box, I will just go ahead and coat the whole thing with epoxy resin. I used an Infinity Perfect 10 since it has a tiny enclosure requirement, and Crutchfield had them 2 for 1 the other year. It is powered by a Hart HT-400 that was in the boat when I bought it, but still works great. I am running it bridged and I think the RMS output is 150Wx1, which doesn't sound like a lot, but that sub is very efficient and it sounds excellent. Here are some photos.

04-07-2010, 08:53 PM
Another thing I did was add a second battery. After doing all the stereo upgrades, one battery just wasn't cutting it, and it seemed that the factory alternator couldn't keep up. I have had to rely on my jump box a few too many times. Originally the battery was under the observers seat, but I moved it to the rear ski locker to get more weight in the rear and to free up storage space being the seat. It didn't fit very well in the ski locker, and when I added a second one, I know that I had to move it again. I realized that there was space under the floor up near the helm that looked like they could fit up there. So jigsaw in hand, I cut a large hole in the floor. I made it just big enough to hold the two battery boxes. I had to dig out a bunch of the spray foam, which took forever. I wired them both up with my new Blue Sea Add-A-Battery kit, and made a new carpeted piece to cover the hole and I was done. The main issue is that the batteries are just tall enough so that the new floor piece had to be taller than I wanted it to be. So now, I have one stereo battery and one starting battery, with no loss of storage space. While I was at it, I hardwired a plug for a trickle charger for the stereo battery, so when I get home, I can just plug in the charger without having to take up the floor. Here are some photos of this project.

04-07-2010, 09:06 PM
One project I just finished up for this season was dealing with the hull spreading and making a windscreen. Yes, I have one of the boats that exhibits the infamous hull spread "slash" windshield won't close properly problem. I was just going to make a walk though windscreen, but I realized if the windshield doesn't fit properly, it would only halfway work. So for the windscreen, I had a piece of 1/2" PVC board that I cut down to the right size. Then I mounted two aluminum channels in the bow walkway for the PVC to slide into. It worked fine, but looked boring. I originally wanted to use smoked lexan, but I would have had to order it and it probably would have been expensive, or at least more expensive than free, which is how much the PVC cost me. Anyway, I got the idea to put the Roo on it. So I traced the Roo on there and then used a router to dig out the PVC in that shape. Then I masked over the whole thing and cut out the masking where the Roo was cut in. Several coats of spray paint (OSHA Safety Red!) and some sanding later, I have a windscreen. For the windshield, I bought some aluminum pieces at Lowes and extended the center windshield frame to extend over to where it is supposed to, fabbed them up, painted them, mounted them with 3M automotive tape, and then relocated the turn latches. So now I have a totally functioning windshield and windscreen, and it is so nice. No more stuffing life jackets and towels to block the wind, and no more ill fitting windshield slowly grinding the aluminum away. Photos...

ian ashton
04-07-2010, 09:49 PM
Nice projects! Any pics of the whole boat?

gus 08 mobius lsv
04-07-2010, 11:16 PM
i like the windscreen idea and it looks like it came factory. very nice work!

04-07-2010, 11:32 PM
Love the sub. When I put one in my O/B I just located a 10" marine sub high on the hull side of the compartment behind the observer's seat and used a standard enclosure. It never got wet. The boat is small and open across the whole nose so the whole bow turned into a subwoofer. It worked great.

Love the windscreen. The Roo touch just makes it. Post pics of the whole boat when you get a chance, please.

04-08-2010, 04:10 PM
As requested...

ian ashton
04-09-2010, 09:18 AM
Nice match!

Jeff W
04-09-2010, 02:12 PM
wow - that was a BALLSY move cutting into the floor like that. I'd NEVER be able to do it but props to you for making it happen. I like the wind blocker. You should take the wind blocker out and give us the exact dimensions so we can make our own. Looks great!

04-09-2010, 02:38 PM
I 2nd that on the wind blocker. :)

04-10-2010, 10:25 AM
I third! Very nice work!

04-12-2010, 01:05 PM
As far as measurements for the wind screen, I'm sure every boat is different (especially with the hull spread) so you guys will have to measure for yourself.

Here are my ballast mods. My boat came with the two rear factory hard tanks that totalled 350 pounds. I played with weighting the boat for a couple of years with tubs full of water, weight plates, and that sort of stuff, and I got really tired of it. I was also under the assumption that more weight in the back was better. So I yanked out the factory tanks and reworked the factory plumbing and put in a W707 (20x20x50) 750# Fat Sac. It was so much bigger and the pressure head was a lot more, so I had to install some valves to keep the sac from emptying on its own. It was also bigger than the compartment, so it didn't fit well, and I could only get maybe 600# in it. I also eventually learned that for my boat, it like more weight in the front than the rear. I gradually added weight to the front to tune the wake and ended up with (4) W703 (12x12x48) 260# Side Sacs up in the bow, two under the bow seats and two in the bow walkway. I realized that the 60% rear 40% front ratio is actually the opposite for me. So that meant that I needed the almost 900# in the bow that I ended up with. As you can guess, that is a lot of weight in the bow, and we dunked it almost constantly, and often we would have 6 people in the boat. So with all that weight we were easily 1000# plus over the weight limit of my boat, which is not smart, plus I hate walking on sacs and having almost zero storage. Long story longer, I swapped out the rear sac for the W704 (16x10x62) Tube Sac which is listed at 370#, but with it expanded to its max in the rear ski locker is at least 400# plus. Then I scrapped one of the front sacs, so now I am running about 1000# total in the same ratio as before. The wake is still nice, but the boat is a little more driveable, and not as easy to bow dip. Anyway, I have some pics below that show the current setup. I have both the pumps (reused from the factory system) below the PVC floor piece that I made to cover the bilge. I still have the manual valves in place, one on the drain line that I keep closed until it is time to empty the sac, and one on the vent line that I close once the sac is full so it doesn't loose water while riding. I still have the factory check valve on the fill line. To protect the blower line, I chopped up a piece of PVC pipe and glued some carpet to it to clean it up a bit.

04-12-2010, 01:06 PM
More ballast pics...

04-12-2010, 01:16 PM
I have also worked on the trailer a bit too. The non skid tape was coming loose from the step areas, and I had already re-glued it once and was tired of it. Besides, it had gotten very brittle anyway. I thought about spray on bedliner or maybe diamond tread pieces to replace them. I noticed something that made my decision for me in getting my boat ready for this year. I had scrubbed the carpet spotless earlier this year since it (and my whole boat) was disgusting. After I cleaned it, it looked better than it ever had since I owned the boat. However, after climbing in and out of it a thousand times cleaning and tweaking and fixing other things, it was dirty again. I realized that I needed a permanent floor mat for the boat. My buddy had this in the form of carpeted steps. And I got to thinking, a lot of older boat trailers had this, but now they are all grip tape. So I got some more PVC board and made carpeted step covers that not only look great, but I can wipe my feet on them before I get on the boat. Such a simple solution. The other things I have done was to install a new wicnh, a Fulton XLT, which is nice, but the new handle wouldn't fit, so I had to put my old handle on it. I also replaced the bow and keel rollers with some of the Stolz ones. My keel roller was worn it two pieces and was beating up the bottom of the boat, and the bow stop kept leaving black marks on the hull. Photos below...

04-12-2010, 01:22 PM
One las thing I did was address the tower bolts. Last year I kept the boat outside under a cover, so I kept the tower up almost all the time. The only exceptions were when we went up to Hyco lake where we had a low bridge to go under to get from the ramp to the warm part of the lake. I had picked up some pins to hold the tower from Lowes that worked and were quick, but they were loose and rattled a bit. This year, I am keeping it in my garage, so I have to fold the tower more often. So I got some stainless thumbscrew bolts and lanyards from McMaster-Carr to make this better. Now I can have the tower rigidly fastened, yet quickly unscrew it, without tools, and not drop the bolts in the water. Very convenient. Here is a photo of how that turned out.

04-12-2010, 01:41 PM
In case any of you are curious, here is a photo of the wake with about 1500# of weight and only one person in the boat. That is me driving taking the photo over my shoulder, and my buddy Ben being pulled and he is about 5'-11" tall. We are running at 22mph I think. The wake is not huge, but I think it is quite nice for my 2001 Outback DD!

04-13-2010, 11:18 AM
Those are some real nice upgrades. I really like the carpets steps you made. Looks really nice and clean, also i like the idea of them cleaning your feet some before getting in the boat.

Do you have a plan for the fenders where its curved?

04-19-2010, 05:27 PM
Nope, no plans for the fender tops. That is the only place the nonskid stayed put. Since it has the Moomba name cut into it I want to leave them. If I can figure out how to get the wax off of it where I waxed the trailer, that whould be nice though.

04-19-2010, 07:56 PM
NCSUmoomba - Nicely done. All of it - the custom upgrades and complete outfit. - Deerfield

Canuckle Head
04-20-2010, 12:42 PM
Lookin good NCSUmoomba! I've got a question about the wind blocker. Where did you find the aluminum channels?

04-20-2010, 01:12 PM
I bought them at Lowes. They are for 1/2" thick material.

Canuckle Head
04-20-2010, 01:55 PM
Thanks Brian. I see from the pictures that they have radiused (or is it bevelled?) corners on them. did they come that way or did you have to cut/grind them down? I am nervous about them being sharp and someone cutting themselves on them when the board is not in there.

04-20-2010, 09:09 PM
You did an awesome job on the mods!!

04-21-2010, 11:01 AM
Yep, I was nervous about that too, so I ground them down. I used a 4.5" grinder for the bulk of it, and then cleaned it up with a hand file and a little sandpaper. You couldn't cut yourself on it if you tried now.

Canuckle Head
04-21-2010, 11:59 AM
Thanks for letting me know. Will post pics once I get it done. We don't have Lowes up here in Canada so I'll have to find it somewhere else. Maybe Rona or Home Harware? West Marine? :confused:

04-22-2010, 01:08 PM
You might can try any home improvement supply place. I think the aluminum channel is designed/marketed to be trim pieces around 1/2" plywood.

Canuckle Head
04-22-2010, 01:15 PM
Thank you Sir! :D

04-23-2010, 04:36 AM
I am planning on putting a wind dam on mine after I get her out of storage. I'll probably just use some 1/2" plexi glass cut to size from the hardware store. Tired of the GF and her friends complaining after the sun goes down about being cold and the wind coming through...

How did you mount the aluminum channel pieces on there? Did you screw them in or use like a double sided tape? Not sure if you posted that and I missed it...

I have the same problem with my windshield too, but I don't think it is quite as bad as yours. I can still secure the window with the turn latches, but the top one barely locks onto the frame. Bottom one is still perfect.

04-23-2010, 11:45 AM
I used the 3M exterior grade double sided foam tape to attach mine. I have plan to rework the bow area of the boat, so I didn't want to drill a bunch of hole that would show later. It also makes the install cleaner and easier. They use similar stuff to hold parts on cars, so I'm sure it will hold up well.

04-23-2010, 06:25 PM
I used the 3M exterior grade double sided foam tape to attach mine. I have plan to rework the bow area of the boat, so I didn't want to drill a bunch of hole that would show later. It also makes the install cleaner and easier. They use similar stuff to hold parts on cars, so I'm sure it will hold up well.

Thanks for the response. I'm sure the local auto parts store should carry the 3M tape. I wasn't planning on using any screws either as I don't want a bunch of holes showing...

Canuckle Head
04-24-2010, 12:25 AM
So far I've found the aluminum channel and the double sided tape. I couldn't fiind 3M but found some Scotch brand exterior mounting tape (double sided) which is rated industrial quality. Now all I have left to do is make a template and then buy the Lexan. Found a shop that sells 1/2" Lexan by the square foot and they'll cut to specification and sand the edges too.

Lynn Syndrom
04-26-2011, 12:48 PM
Just reading an older post and wanted to comment on the windshield modification...my 2003 Outback has the same issue with the top windshield latch not even reaching the other frame rail to secure window shut. Thanks for the ideas...

05-10-2011, 04:24 PM
Here are my last two recent mods. I added the bimini late last season. I ordered a standard sized one and modified the framing to make it fit on my tower better. I also got some of the Taco stainless bimini quick connects and added to it. I did not use the rear straps and made those short support arms. This was a big pain in the butt, and now that I finally have all the tubes and fittings adjusted right, the bimini does not fit taught on the frame. I also have to disconnect one side from the tower to open and close it due to my tower speakers. It works pretty good and looks nice too. I can't believe I waited 5 years to get one of these. The other mod is that I swapped the old mirror for the CIPA extreme one. I had to buy an adapter from Monster Tower to mate the mirror to my mirror arm. I highly recommend this mirror to everyone. I can follow a rider alomst entirely back and forth behind the boat.

05-10-2011, 04:25 PM
One more photo

05-10-2011, 05:40 PM
I have now seen the mother of all garages, and it is good.

Holy moly. I would never leave that place.

05-11-2011, 09:19 AM
I have now seen the mother of all garages, and it is good.

Holy moly. I would never leave that place.

I was just thinking that too. I was looking more at the garage space then the boat LOL.

Nice upgrade and nice garage man

05-11-2011, 03:20 PM
NCSU - I have the same exact same tower as you which I honestly don't care much for mine. Doesn't follow the lines of the boat very well but not sure it's worth the cost to upgrade/change.

I like the looks of your mirror setup. I currently have a windshield clamp mounted CIPA mirror style - haven't found an arm that will work for my tower as most of them put the mirror like right over the top of my head instead of right off the windshield frame out front a little. And it's the smaller 1-5/8" tubing for the clamp. Where did you get your arm - is that a Monster?

I also like the idea of having a bimini, but once again the tower design doesn't lend itself to an easy setup as you know. I would need one that goes over the top for headroom - I'm too tall to have one under the speakers. And I'd want it to be able to fold up snug when not in use. Maybe could have something custom made with a creative fab guy.

Definitely have the garage envy going!

05-11-2011, 04:59 PM
Yep, that is the Monster Tower arm. I like it pretty well. It is nice having the quick disconnect, especially since I have to remove it to put the bimini up and down.

Thanks for the garage comments. Yea it is a really nice space. My brother and I share it. We have a lot of junk. He is big into hunting and fishing, and I am into watersports and working on cars, so it gets rather cluttered at times. The whole building is 42'x60' and a little more than half is the garage, the rest is a rec. room space with kitchen, bath, and pool table.

05-11-2011, 05:02 PM
Pool table? It really is the ultimate man cave. Nice!

07-12-2011, 12:51 PM
Can you give anymore detail on how you fixed the windshield? How is/ are the piece(s) mounted to the original frame ( not talking about the tape), more the order / layers / and material, looks like you might have used a aluminum flat stock and an aluminum rectangle stock? Hard to tell from the pictures that I see but really looks good and sounds functional.

07-12-2011, 01:46 PM
Yeah, Josh, that is exactly what I used. I will take some better photos of that and post them. It is hard to see from that one pic.

07-12-2011, 10:22 PM
I have now seen the mother of all garages, and it is good.

Holy moly. I would never leave that place.


Im not usually one to brag, but I just cant help it here... BTW,, this place is for sale... In Austin Texas, $350k

Just one Question... do you like it?

07-12-2011, 10:24 PM
How about now?

Thats a 30 foot deep 3 car with a 12 foot rollup door. Waterfront.

07-13-2011, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the response, I am starting to get some ideas together but some additonal pictures would be really awesome, Thanks for being so nice to one of the new guys on the water.

07-21-2011, 01:40 PM
Josh. Man I am so sorry I totally forgot to take some pics. I have been really busy and it slipped my mind. I will get them this week to you.

07-22-2011, 08:45 AM
Josh, Sorry for the delay. I apoligize. Here are the pics.

07-25-2011, 06:17 PM
Great pics that really helps a bunch. Thanks again for taking the time.

08-22-2012, 06:28 PM
Okay everyone, since I have had a few requests for my mod pics, and since they are no longer visible here, I have dumped them onto Picasa so you guys can all see them. Some of them are probably duplicates, since I was too lazy to sort them out, and some of them have not been posted before. Here is the link:


08-22-2012, 08:26 PM
i wish i had the tools and a garage like you..my life would be golden haha...and it would be easier for me to make stuff for my boat

beat taco
08-22-2012, 10:48 PM
Awesome man!