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Old 30-03-2015, 10:50   #1
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Concrete Ballast

Hello all
I am looking into a wooden boat. very well built. 2 questions:
1: The keel is infilled with concrete and apparently steel to a level just under the engine. Is there risk of moisture, rot or any infestation at the interface
of the concrete/steel and the wooden hull
2: The engine is a V8 M75 Chrysler-Nissan 2 stroke and I have no info about it, anybody knows anything about it?
Laksmi
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Old 30-03-2015, 14:53   #2
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by Laksmi View Post
Hello all
I am looking into a wooden boat. very well built. 2 questions:
1: The keel is infilled with concrete and apparently steel to a level just under the engine. Is there risk of moisture, rot or any infestation at the interface
of the concrete/steel and the wooden hull
2: The engine is a V8 M75 Chrysler-Nissan 2 stroke and I have no info about it, anybody knows anything about it?
Laksmi
If the boat is homebuilt you don't know what they did as a membrane between concrete and wood. If is a manufactured hull there might be tar between as a membrane. This was a commnon form of keel weight on Buehler's (sp) Backyard boats and you could check out his book to see how it was finished.

I don't know that engine.
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Old 30-03-2015, 14:53   #3
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
If the boat is homebuilt you don't know what they did as a membrane between concrete and wood. If is a manufactured hull there might be tar between as a membrane. This was a commnon form of keel weight on Buehler's (sp) Backyard boats and you could check out his book to see how it was finished.

I don't know that engine.
And wood boats have longer life in cold water climates so take that into consideration.
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Old 30-03-2015, 15:55   #4
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Re: Concrete Ballast

Concrete has all kinds of problems if water makes it's way in to the block. And if it has metal imbedded in it it's even worse - the metal rusts and expands inside the block. If you see any bulging on the surface it's probably started to come apart inside the block. Generally don't like it, and you can be sure that concrete is used only because it's cheap and quick; makes you wonder where else the boat is "cheap and quick".

Those engine are old and scarce. Could be hard to find parts.

Sounds like a "run away from this boat" scenario is appropriate....
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Old 30-03-2015, 15:56   #5
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
And wood boats have longer life in cold water climates so take that into consideration.
Thank you SkiprJohn, I will have to ask what is between the wood and concrete
And it is a custom built boat built in BC, Canada
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Old 31-03-2015, 04:19   #6
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Re: Concrete Ballast

The main thing that would worry me is that you can never inspect that area of the hull.
There could be dodgy fastenings and no end of problems. My mind would dwell on these offshore on a windy night!

Regards,
Richard
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Old 31-03-2015, 12:17   #7
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by Laksmi View Post
Thank you SkiprJohn, I will have to ask what is between the wood and concrete
And it is a custom built boat built in BC, Canada
Buehler's catalogs and books.

is a great reference. I belive he built out of Seattle but I could be wrong about that. He discusses concrete as ballast. It's worth checking out of the public library if you can find a copy.

Good luck in your research. If you are serious about the purchase a good marine surveyor in your case will be worth his weight in gold. He or she can tell you precisely what's going on with the boat. Find one that surveys wooden boats.
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Old 31-03-2015, 16:39   #8
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Buehler's catalogs and books.

is a great reference. I belive he built out of Seattle but I could be wrong about that. He discusses concrete as ballast. It's worth checking out of the public library if you can find a copy.

Good luck in your research. If you are serious about the purchase a good marine surveyor in your case will be worth his weight in gold. He or she can tell you precisely what's going on with the boat. Find one that surveys wooden boats.
Thank you John
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:32   #9
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Re: Concrete Ballast

My understanding was that concrete prevents wood from rotting due to it's chemical composition. Having steel in it however seems a bad idea. Certainly concrete is cheap, but it's also very good ballast material, esp. if you want to fill nooks and crannies among the floors of a wooden boat where water might otherwise collect. There is a school of thought (Norman Skene was in it) that said you should not seek to have all your ballast too low, but spread it out a little for a more seakindly motion. Concrete, being lighter than lead, does this admirably, just by requiring more volume per pound.
A wooden boat in BC has a good chance of being in decent shape, at least where ravages of worms and weather are concerned.
Good luck.
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:24   #10
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Re: Concrete Ballast

Concrete holds moisture. The only reason some use it is because it's cheap.

I would RUN away!
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:29   #11
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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My understanding was that concrete prevents wood from rotting due to it's chemical composition. Having steel in it however seems a bad idea. Certainly concrete is cheap, but it's also very good ballast material, esp. if you want to fill nooks and crannies among the floors of a wooden boat where water might otherwise collect. There is a school of thought (Norman Skene was in it) that said you should not seek to have all your ballast too low, but spread it out a little for a more seakindly motion. Concrete, being lighter than lead, does this admirably, just by requiring more volume per pound.
A wooden boat in BC has a good chance of being in decent shape, at least where ravages of worms and weather are concerned.
Good luck.
Ben
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Thank you Ben
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:30   #12
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Concrete holds moisture. The only reason some use it is because it's cheap.

I would RUN away!
Thank you Terra Nova
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:31   #13
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
The main thing that would worry me is that you can never inspect that area of the hull.
There could be dodgy fastenings and no end of problems. My mind would dwell on these offshore on a windy night!

Regards,
Richard
Thank you Richard
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Old 31-03-2015, 22:40   #14
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Re: Concrete Ballast

Steel punchings from plants which build bolted steel structures set in concrete is a pretty common ballast material in steel boats and seldom causes corrosion even though it is down in the keel at the lowest part of the boat where moisture and submersion are common. Any moisture which gets to the steel through the concrete tends to be chemically basic which helps to prevent corrosion. As long as you cannot see any cracks in the concrete which would allow water to penetrate the concrete to the steel I would not worry about it.

You can check the soundness of the adjoining wood by poking a spike into it. If it does not penetrate the wood is good. I would tend to crawl around and have a good poke at the hull and if you find any soft spots find a wooden boat builder to check it out. This would be my preferred action as I am not sure that there would be many surveyors about these days who are well qualified to assess wooden boats.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:00   #15
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Re: Concrete Ballast

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Steel punchings from plants which build bolted steel structures set in concrete is a pretty common ballast material in steel boats and seldom causes corrosion even though it is down in the keel at the lowest part of the boat where moisture and submersion are common. Any moisture which gets to the steel through the concrete tends to be chemically basic which helps to prevent corrosion. As long as you cannot see any cracks in the concrete which would allow water to penetrate the concrete to the steel I would not worry about it.

You can check the soundness of the adjoining wood by poking a spike into it. If it does not penetrate the wood is good. I would tend to crawl around and have a good poke at the hull and if you find any soft spots find a wooden boat builder to check it out. This would be my preferred action as I am not sure that there would be many surveyors about these days who are well qualified to assess wooden boats.
Thank you RaymondR
I live in BC Canada (cold water). I was talking to a few fishermans with wooden trawler and concrete under the engine. They say similar things, and its no problem. So thank you again, I really appreciate a answer with explanation.

Laksmi
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