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Old 31-10-2010, 07:43   #1
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Question Challenge: Ballast Alternative ?

When i purchased my boat it had been out of the water for about ten years, ripped apart and half refit done. I finished most and have her back in the water now.(few things left, rails, deck hardware,etc etc...) Anyway durring the time she sat around about 2200 pounds of lead walked away never to be seen again. I find lead very expesive and am looking for suggestions on what else i could use?? i have alot of room. (full keel, ferrocement samson cbird 37)
Any ideas would be great.
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Old 31-10-2010, 08:05   #2
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Concrete encased scrap metal?
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Old 31-10-2010, 09:14   #3
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A guy I know used railway line that he found in a scrap yard. After painting it with a rust inhibitor he used epoxy to hold it all in place. A lot of work but he wasn't on a schedule so for him the extra time was worth the saving on lead.

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Old 31-10-2010, 09:31   #4
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What about concrete?

In fact, can't you just pour concrete into the keel and let it set where it wants?


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Old 31-10-2010, 09:34   #5
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steel punchings,acid wash then mix and pour with liquid cement
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Old 31-10-2010, 09:41   #6
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If you use steel and water/moisture ever gets to it, it will rust/swell and could fracture your keel. I would try to find something non ferrous.
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Old 31-10-2010, 09:51   #7
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thanks guys, concrete is what i was thinking. but will putting steel in with it make it any heavier ?
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Old 31-10-2010, 10:08   #8
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Concrete is not particularly heavy, even lighter than aluminum (for a given volume). Steel is three times as dense, so it would certainly make it heavier if you mix in steel scraps. You might research depleted uranium; I don't know what it costs or how to get it, but since it's a by-product it should be inexpensive and it's used in aircraft counterweights, and supposedly for boat ballast - it's also denser than lead.
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Old 31-10-2010, 10:24   #9
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concrete displaces almost its own weight in water,so as a ballast material is not very advantagous,steel is cheap,as long as air cannot get to it will not rust,when set in rich cement mix then sealed on top with epoxy.
have also heard of ferro boats using used catterpilar track pins.
railway line sections.
the main thing is it cannot move if the boat is ever knocked down.
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Old 31-10-2010, 10:42   #10
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Most railing and fencing fabricators also do road drainage grating, and usually have heaps of domino sized off cuts in galvanized flat bar. I needed 900lbs for the counterbalance on a glaziers tilt table, and was suprised at how little cube this occupied.
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Old 31-10-2010, 11:17   #11
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You could try going to all the local tire shops and auto garages and see if they will sell you their tire weights. They get pulled off the rims when rebalancing and they can't be used again, so are put in bins for sale to the scrap guy. Call the scrap dealers to find out what they pay for scrap lead, then go talk to the shop owners. Work out a deal for a tad more cash. I collected 3600 lbs of lead that way, and all I did was make up a couple of ingot molds from 3 inch channel with end caps on a slight angle, then melted the weights in a trough heated with a propane ring burner. All the steel dross will float to the surface of the melt and can be scooped off. Then ladle lead into the molds, let cool and tip the ingots out. Be careful when emptying the bins of weights into the melt. If there is any water in the bin, it will explode on contact with the melt and spray molten lead all over hells' half acre. I had it happen and spent two weeks on my hands and knees picking lead spray off the driveway, fence, and house wall.

Your next choice would be steel in solid chunks. The larger the better. Sand blast or acid etch them and then cover with epoxy to prevent rusting. Put them in the keel and then pour fresh cement in and around the masses.

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Old 31-10-2010, 11:29   #12
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Here, you choose................

Specific Gravity & Weight Per Cubic Foot:



Material Specific Gravity lb. per cf-
Acetic acid, 90% 1.06 66.3
Alcohol, ethyl 0.789 49.0
Alcohol, methyl 0.791 49.0
Alfalfa, ground 0.26 16.0
Alum, lumpy 0.88 55.0
Alum, pulverized 0.75 47.0
Alumina 0.96 60.0
Aluminum, solid 2.64 165.0
Aluminum, oxide 1.52 95
Ammonia gas 0.00 0.048
Ammonium sulfate 0.83 52
Andesite, solid 2.77 173
Antimony, cast 6.70 418
Apple wood, dry 0.71 44
Apples 0.64 40
Arsenic 5.67 354
Asbestos, shredded 0.35 22
Asbestos, solid 2.45 153
Ash wood, black, dry 0.54 34
Ash wood, white, dry 0.67 42
Ashes 0.66 41
Aspen wood 0.42 26
Asphalt, crushed 0.72 45
Babbitt 7.28 454
Bagasse 0.12 7.5
Bakelite, solid 1.36 85
Baking powder 0.72 45
Barium 3.78 236
Bark, wood refuse 0.24 15
Barley 0.61 38
Barite, crushed 2.88 180
Basalt, broken 1.96 122
Basalt, solid 3.01 188
Bauxite, crushed 1.28 80
Beans, castor 0.58 36
Beans, cocoa 0.59 37
Beans, navy 0.80 50
Beans, soy 0.72 45
Beeswax 0.96 60
Beets 0.72 45
Bentonite 0.59 37
Bicarbonate of soda 0.69 43
Birch wood, yellow 0.71 44
Bismuth 9.79 611
Bones, pulverized 0.88 55
Borax, fine 0.85 53
Bran 0.26 16
Brass, cast 8.56 534
Brass, rolled 8.56 534
Brewers grain 0.43 27
Brick, common red 1.92 120
Brick, fire clay 2.40 150
Brick, silica 2.05 128
Brick, chrome 2.80 175
Brick, magnesia 2.56 160
Bronze 8.16 509
Buckwheat 0.66 41
Butter 0.87 54
Cadmium 8.65 540
Calcium carbide 1.20 75
Caliche 1.44 90
Carbon, solid 2.15 134
Carbon, powdered 0.08 5
Carbon dioxide 0.00 0.1234
Carbon monoxide 0.00 0.0781
Cardboard 0.69 43
Cedar, red 0.38 24
Cement, Portland 3.15 94
Cement, mortar 2.16 135
Cement, slurry 1.44 90
Chalk, solid 2.50 156
Chalk, lumpy 1.44 90
Chalk, fine 1.12 70
Charcoal 0.21 13
Cherry wood, dry 0.56 35
Chestnut wood, dry 0.48 30
Chloroform 1.52 95
Chocolate, powder 0.64 40
Chromic acid, flake 1.20 75
Chromium 6.86 428
Chromium ore 2.16 135
Cinders, furnace 0.91 57
Cinders, Coal, ash 0.64 40
Clay, dry excavated 1.09 68
Clay, wet excavated 1.83 114
Clay, dry lump 1.07 67
Clay, fire 1.36 85
Clay, wet lump 1.60 100
Clay, compacted 1.75 109
Clover seed 0.77 48
Coal, Anthracite, solid 1.51 94
Coal, Anthracite, broken 1.11 69
Coal, Bituminous, solid 1.35 84
Coal, Bituminous, broken 0.83 52
Cobalt 8.75 546
Coconut, meal 0.51 32
Coconut, shredded 0.35 22
Coffee, fresh beans 0.56 35
Coffee, roast beans 0.43 27
Coke 0.42 26
Concrete, Asphalt 2.24 140
Concrete, Gravel 2.40 150
Concrete, Limestone w/Portland 2.37 148
Copper, cast 8.69 542
Copper, rolled 8.91 556
Copper sulfate, ground 3.60 225
Copra, medium size 0.53 33
Copra, meal, ground 0.64 40
Copra, expeller cake ground 0.51 32
Copra, expeller cake chopped 0.46 29
Cork, solid 0.24 15
Cork, ground 0.16 10
Corn, on the cob 0.72 45
Corn, shelled 0.72 45
Corn, grits 0.67 42
Cottonseed, dry, de-linted 0.56 35
Cottonseed, dry, not de-linted 0.32 20
Cottonseed, cake, lumpy 0.67 42
Cottonseed, hulls 0.19 12
Cottonseed, meal 0.59 37
Cottonseed, meats 0.64 40
Cottonwood 0.42 26
Cryolite 1.60 100
Cullet 1.60 100
Culm 0.75 47
Cypress wood 0.51 32
Dolomite, solid 2.90 181
Dolomite, pulverized 0.74 46
Dolomite, lumpy 1.52 95
Earth, loam, dry, excavated 1.25 78
Earth, moist, excavated 1.44 90
Earth, wet, excavated 1.60 100
Earth, dense 2.00 125
Earth, soft loose mud 1.73 108
Earth, packed 1.52 95
Earth, Fullers, raw 0.67 42
Ebony wood 0.96 60
Elm, dry 0.56 35
Emery 4.01 250
Ether 0.74 46
Feldspar, solid 2.56 160
Feldspar, pulverized 1.23 77
Fertilizer, acid phosphate 0.96 60
Fir, Douglas 0.53 33
Fish, scrap 0.72 45
Fish, meal 0.59 37
Flaxseed, whole 0.72 45
Flour, wheat 0.59 37
Fluorspar, solid 3.21 200
Fluorspar, lumps 1.60 100
Fluorspar, pulverized 1.44 90
Garbage 0.48 30
Glass, window 2.58 161
Glue, animal, flaked 0.56 35
Glue, vegetable, powdered 0.64 40
Gluten, meal 0.63 39
Gneiss, bed in place 2.87 179
Gneiss, broken 1.86 116
Gold, pure 24Kt 19.29 1204
Granite, solid 2.69 168
Granite, broken 1.65 103
Graphite, flake 0.64 40
Gravel, loose, dry 1.52 95
Gravel, w/sand, natural 1.92 120
Gravel, dry 1/4 to 2 inch 1.68 105
Gravel, wet 1/4 to 2 inch 2.00 125
Gypsum, solid 2.79 174
Gypsum, broken 1.81 113
Gypsum, crushed 1.60 100
Gypsum, pulverized 1.12 70
Halite (salt), solid 2.32 145
Halite (salt), broken 1.51 94
Hydrochloric acid 40% 1.20 75
Ice, solid 0.92 57.4
Ice, crushed 0.59 37
Ilmenite 2.31 144
Iridium 22.16 1383
Iron, cast 7.21 450
Iron, wrought 7.77 485
Iron oxide pigment 0.40 25
Ivory 1.84 115
Kaolin, green crushed 1.03 64
Kaolin, pulverized 0.35 22
Lead, cast 11.35 708
Lead, rolled 11.39 711
Lead, red 3.69 230
Lead, white pigment 4.09 255
Leather 0.95 59
Lignite, dry 0.80 50
Lignum Vitae, dry 1.28 80
Lime, quick, lump 0.85 53
Lime, quick, fine 1.20 75
Lime, stone, large 2.69 168
Lime, stone, lump 1.54 96
Lime, hydrated 0.48 30
Limonite, solid 3.80 237
Limonite, broken 2.47 154
Limestone, solid 2.61 163
Limestone, broken 1.55 97
Limestone, pulverized 1.39 87
Linseed, whole 0.75 47
Linseed, meal 0.51 32
Locust, dry 0.71 44
Magnesite, solid 3.01 188
Magnesium, solid 1.75 109
Magnesium sulfate, crystal 1.12 70
Magnetite, solid 5.05 315
Magnetite, broken 3.29 205
Mahogany, Spanish, dry 0.85 53
Mahogany, Honduras, dry 0.54 34
Malt 0.34 21
Manganese, solid 7.61 475
Manganese oxide 1.92 120
Manure 0.40 25
Maple, dry 0.71 44
Marble, solid 2.56 160
Marble, broken 1.57 98
Marl, wet, excavated 2.24 140
Mercury @ 32oF 13.61 849
Mica, solid 2.88 180
Mica, broken 1.60 100
Milk, powdered 0.45 28
Molybdenum 10.19 636
Mortar, wet 2.40 150
Mud, packed 1.91 119
Mud, fluid 1.73 108
Nickel, rolled 8.67 541
Nickel silver 8.45 527
Nitric acid, 91% 1.51 94
Nitrogen 0.00 0.0784
Oak, live, dry 0.95 59
Oak, red 0.71 44
Oats 0.43 27
Oats, rolled 0.30 19
Oil cake 0.79 49
Oil, linseed 0.94 58.8
Oil, petroleum 0.88 55
Oxygen 0.00 0.0892
Oyster shells, ground 0.85 53
Paper, standard 1.20 75
Paraffin 0.72 45
Peanuts, shelled 0.64 40
Peanuts, not shelled 0.27 17
Peat, dry 0.40 25
Peat, moist 0.80 50
Peat, wet 1.12 70
Pecan wood 0.75 47
Phosphate rock, broken 1.76 110
Phosphorus 2.34 146
Pine, White, dry 0.42 26
Pine, Yellow Northern, dry 0.54 34
Pine, Yellow Southern, dry 0.72 45
Pitch 1.15 72
Plaster 0.85 53
Platinum 21.51 1342
Porcelain 2.40 150
Porphyry, solid 2.55 159
Porphyry, broken 1.65 103
Potash 1.28 80
Potassium chloride 2.00 125
Potatoes, white 0.77 48
Pumice, stone 0.64 40
Quartz, solid 2.64 165
Quartz, lump 1.55 97
Quartz sand 1.20 75
Redwood, California, dry 0.45 28
Resin, synthetic, crushed 0.56 35
Rice, hulled 0.75 47
Rice, rough 0.58 36
Rice grits 0.69 43
Rip-Rap 1.60 100
Rosin 1.07 67
Rubber, caoutchouc 0.95 59
Rubber, manufactured 1.52 95
Rubber, ground scrap 0.48 30
Rye 0.71 44
Salt cake 1.44 90
Salt, course 0.80 50
Salt, fine 1.20 75
Saltpeter 1.20 75
Sand, wet 1.92 120
Sand, wet, packed 2.08 130
Sand, dry 1.60 100
Sand, loose 1.44 90
Sand, rammed 1.68 105
Sand, water filled 1.92 120
Sand w/ Gravel, dry 1.73 108
Sand w/ Gravel, wet 2.00 125
Sandstone, solid 2.32 145
Sandstone, broken 1.51 94
Sawdust 0.27 17
Sewage, sludge 0.72 45
Shale, solid 2.68 167
Shale, broken 1.59 99
Silver 10.46 653
Slag, solid 2.12 132
Slag, broken 1.76 110
Slag, crushed, 1/4 inch 1.19 74
Slag, furn. granulated 0.96 60
Slate, solid 2.69 168
Slate, broken 1.67 104
Slate, pulverized 1.36 85
Snow, freshly fallen 0.16 10
Snow, compacted 0.48 30
Soap, solid 0.80 50
Soap, chips 0.16 10
Soap, flakes 0.16 10
Soap, powdered 0.37 23
Soda Ash, heavy 0.96 60
Soda Ash, light 0.43 27
Sodium 0.98 61
Sodium Aluminate, ground 1.15 72
Sodium Nitrate, ground 1.20 75
Soybeans, whole 0.75 47
Spruce, California, dry 0.45 28
Starch, powdered 0.56 35
Steel, cast 7.85 490
Steel, rolled 7.93 495
Stone, crushed 1.60 100
Sugar, brown 0.72 45
Sugar, powdered 0.80 50
Sugar, granulated 0.85 53
Sugar, raw cane 0.96 60
Sugarbeet pulp, dry 0.21 13
Sugarbeet pulp, wet 0.56 35
Sugarcane 0.27 17
Sulfur, solid 2.00 125
Sulfur, lump 1.31 82
Sulfur, pulverized 0.96 60
Sulfuric acid, 87% 1.79 112
Sycamore, dry 0.59 37
Taconite 2.80 175
Talc, solid 2.69 168
Talc, broken 1.75 109
Tanbark, ground 0.88 55
Tankage 0.96 60
Tar 1.15 72
Tin, cast 7.36 459
Tobacco 0.32 20
Trap rock, solid 2.88 180
Trap rock, broken 1.75 109
Tungsten 19.62 1224
Turf 0.40 25
Turpentine 0.87 54
Vanadium 5.50 343
Walnut, black, dry 0.61 38
Water, pure 1.00 62.4
Water, sea 1.03 64.08
Wheat 0.77 48
Wheat, cracked 0.67 42
Willow wood 0.42 26
Wool 1.31 82
Zinc, cast 7.05 440
Zinc oxide 0.40 25
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Old 31-10-2010, 11:30   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Concrete is not particularly heavy, even lighter than aluminum (for a given volume). Steel is three times as dense, so it would certainly make it heavier if you mix in steel scraps. You might research depleted uranium; I don't know what it costs or how to get it, but since it's a by-product it should be inexpensive and it's used in aircraft counterweights, and supposedly for boat ballast - it's also denser than lead.
yah and 3x more toxic than lead....DU is 2.7 times denser than steel, tungsten is 2.6 x denser than steel...even the gov't is ceasing to use it due to toxicity...better off finding lead pigs..

steel...you WILL have rusty bilges..no matter how you try yo seal it.
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Old 31-10-2010, 11:54   #14
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Seems lead is the best idea although not cheap if you want to avoid the problems with other materials.

How about the idea of attaching a lead bulb at the tip of the keel. This would minimize the increase in displacement for a given righting moment. You would also need to do an an analysis of the increased torque at the keel to hull connection.
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Old 31-10-2010, 12:42   #15
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If the ballast was internal than chunks of heaviest metal you can get (old rails???) can be set in cement. There will be more ballast (by volume) now if you do not have lead. Make sure your bilge will allow for this.

I think you could try to get some old batteries and use the lead if you can melt it (easy) and make your own pigs.

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