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Old 10-12-2014, 06:54   #1
tat
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First launch and ballast advice please.

I have a 22ft fibreglass cabin cruiser which is to be used, at least at first, on inland navigable waterways.

I have re-fit it out completely. I am new to boats, totally new.

The boat is on a trailer. There is a local marina with a slipway, which I can use.

The only concern i have is that it might capsize then or later if I don't have the ballast right. Is this a thing I should concern myself with?

When i got the boat and stripped it out there was small bags filled with sand crammed into the little space there was below the floor, some steel stakes, too, and in the bow was six 56 pound weights, I guess to level it all up.

I would be very greatful for any thoughts anyone might have about this matter, however much or little they may know about the subject.

If there is anything you think you need to know from me before you can comment, then ask away.

tat
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:15   #2
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

I very much doubt it will capsize, I'd venture to guess the ballast was places to trim the boat.


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Old 10-12-2014, 07:24   #3
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

I've never seen a 22' power boat ballasted. Never seen trim weights either so I can't help.

People do strange things to boats though in the illusion that they are improving on the design. Find someone who is experienced and have them first look over the boat to see if everything looks fine and have them go with you on the sea trial, even if you have to pay someone, don't let all your hard work go down the drain by trying it the first time by yourself in an unproven boat.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:26   #4
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Thank you both for your advice. It is reassuring. I haven't done anything different to how it was so designed regarding weight distribution, so i should be ok. But I will try and find someone who can be there for a 'sea trial', if I can. But your posts are reassuring; you could have said it was a real possibility and that I must do some exact ballasting work.

I have to say that I am very excited at getting her on the water. I just love the boat, love the size, love the layout, everything, and everything brand new and just how we wanted it. We are caravanners and so from that experience know just what we need.

I will read up on trim.

Thanks very much, you have both been very helpful. It is ok is the internet, just wish we could all go for a beer. Anyway, cheers. tat.
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Old 10-12-2014, 13:40   #5
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

tat,

Did you ever weigh the total of the weight you removed from the boat, and figure out how it was distributed?

I don't know about cabin cruisers--all my experience is in monohull sailboats--but six 56 lb. weights seems to me to be a lot for a 22 ft. boat, let alone the iron stakes and sand bags. Those are an odd mix, to me. I'd suggest that you bring ballast with you when you first launch the boat, in case it needs it, just to keep your options open.

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Old 10-12-2014, 16:10   #6
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

If it's trailerable and I believe it is, when you launch it back the trailer far enough into the water so the boat completely floats. If it starts to float really leaning over or something, pull the trailer and boat out of the water.
Get someone who has launched boats many times, they will know if it doesn't look right.
Still can't imagine a cabin cruiser needing ballast, but I only know US made boats
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Old 10-12-2014, 18:12   #7
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

I don't think it's common to find ballast in small power boats so I would suspect what you found was put there by a previous owner. I can only guess why. Perhaps someone suggested it on an Internet forum.

Since you have made some modifications it's anybody's guess whether it will need ballast.

The best move wold be to have a naval architect examine it. You probably won't do that so the second best move would be to have a couple experienced boaters look at it and take it for a ride.
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Old 10-12-2014, 19:04   #8
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

It is a bit unusual for boats that size. I think you boat will float fine... but level is the question....
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:59   #9
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Thanks, folks for your thoughts. I think that backing the trailer well into the water and seeing what the job is and getting someone to stand on the sides whilst I keep a steady eye on how it floats. I'll do that, and keep some ropes on it so it can be pulled back on the trailer.

'Have a naval architect look at it'..... very dry sense of humour, very witty. Made me smile to compare that with the reality of my situation. I did ask a guy at the boatyard, he looked very experienced, like an old sea dog captian. I thought, 'this man surely knows his onions', but he just said that it either would float or it wouldn't.

Yes, all that weight in the boat when i got it. This is what got me wondering. The bloke who had it has passed on, so i can't ask him about it. Six 56lb weights, probably about 2 or 3 bags of wet sand in little bags, and one big full bag, and all the metal. Why did he do that? What did he know?.....more to the point, what am I going to find out. What a lot of weight. Yet plenty of you are surprised that ballasting has been done.

I'll take some ballast with me, that is a good idea. I will try and heave it over a bit and see if it returns upright like you would expect.

I didn't weigh what i removed when i stripped it all out, but if anything I will have added weight as I used good strong wood rafters and heavy marine ply for floors and lockers.

Yes, I'll take some ballast with me, and so see how she floats without. I will back the trailer in and take my time, and will tip it over a bit to make sure it wants to right itself.

Thank you all very much, it really is a great help.

Thanks, tat.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:32   #10
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tat View Post
........... if anything I will have added weight as I used good strong wood rafters and heavy marine ply for floors and lockers ................
The point is, you have added weight but if you added it high on the boat, you may have upset the balance the boat was designed (by a naval architect) with.

You are asking people you don't know, and have never seen your boat. Nobody here can tell you if the boat is safe or not. Adding or moving weight by modifying structure or interior furniture can seriously affect a boat's stability.

Just be sure to wear a PFD when you test it and don't take anyone else along unless they are in a follow boat.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:47   #11
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Is this a production boat or home built? If it's an unmodified production boat then odds are very good (one would hope) that it will float and trim properly "as built". If it's a home built boat, then all bets are off as to what it requires to float well and whether it's even seaworthy at all.

What exactly do you mean by "cabin cruiser"? How high does it go above deck level? Has it been modified in any way? If so, there's a possibility that the stuff you found in the bilge was put there to compensate for weight added higher up.

It would really help if you had some pictures of the boat to post. We're all flying blind in terms of giving you any helpful advice.

It will likely come down to putting it in the water and seeing what happens, and backing it down so it just floats off the trailer is the most straight forward approach. If possible, I would attach guy lines from the highest secure point on the boat and have helpers on the port and starboard sides as it starts to float. If it starts to roll, then you have your answer regarding stability and they can steady it while you bring it back up the ramp. The point is, if she starts to roll when she starts to float, you're going to be in a bad situation even if the trailer is 6" under the keel, if you don't have a means of keeping her upright.

A 22' boat will be, depending on the design, tippy, but should support at least @ 600 lbs. of people standing on one rail and still be steady. If she floats well right off the trailer, and ok with a bunch of people standing on one rail, then she's probably OK to fully launch, but again, this is all seat of the pants speculation without seeing the boat.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:36   #12
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Pics would be helpful. Never heard of that type of ballast in a 22' skiff.


Maybe it was designed to carry kilos and the sand replaces the drugs. Just being a wise ass.


Maybe someone added the weight forward to get her over the hump and on a plane? Trim tabs or re wheeling might be better if that is the case.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:35   #13
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tat View Post
I have a 22ft fibreglass cabin cruiser...

I have re-fit it out completely. I am new to boats, totally new...

i got the boat and stripped it out ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
...People do strange things to boats though in the illusion that they are improving on the design...
You really said a mouthful!

tat, tat, tat--you sound like you'd be an interesting guy to have a drink with. Being totally new to boats, you bought one, totally stripped it out and refitted it. ??? I don't know whether to admire you or just be amazed.

a64 also gave you a good piece of advice...get a knowledgeable person to look it over. Not some old guy dressed in a pirate costume. If you were smart you would have taken photos before removing ballast and stripping out the boat. If you expect good advice, here, you will post some photos of inside and out. And please let us know how you plan to use this.
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Old 11-12-2014, 14:15   #14
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Hi, again, tat,

You know, Terra Nova's edging up to an issue none of us have yet addressed directly: with zero experience, you seem to be approaching adding water to caravanning as if you haven't considered the possible effects of being on the water. Water is not humans natural environment, we're pretty susceptible to drowning. The suggestion above for you to wear a PFD was based on helping you survive. This is supposed to be fun, but for re-launching a boat you don't understand, pay really close attention to how it can go pear-shaped on you. The warnings are in the posts, but more implicit than explicit.

The big question is what happens if it turns turtle? Who's in the way? Who gets hurt? How much do you lose?
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Old 11-12-2014, 14:44   #15
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Re: First launch and ballast advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Hi, again, tat,

You know, Terra Nova's edging up to an issue none of us have yet addressed directly: with zero experience, you seem to be approaching adding water to caravanning as if you haven't considered the possible effects of being on the water. Water is not humans natural environment, we're pretty susceptible to drowning. The suggestion above for you to wear a PFD was based on helping you survive. This is supposed to be fun, but for re-launching a boat you don't understand, pay really close attention to how it can go pear-shaped on you. The warnings are in the posts, but more implicit than explicit.

The big question is what happens if it turns turtle? Who's in the way? Who gets hurt? How much do you lose?
Ann, this all sounds over blown. Talking about launching a 22' boat off a trailer, Unless the boat is someone's wet dream, it should be a piece of cake. The sand bags and all is perplexing. Yep, if he can't swim a PFD probably is a good idea. He needs to set the parking brake on his vehicle.

Lets not make him paranoid.
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