So "rail meat" is nautically speaking all about repositionable ballast to mitigate undue healing and to a lesser extent to shift weight fore and aft, right?
Sort of similar to water
ballasts or canting keels and such counter weighting contrivances.
Well after doing some research
on the web, I've noted some innovative cruisers that have come up with practical ways of utilizing the most essential of provisions as easily movable ballasts. My personal favorite being of the liquid variety.
First, the classic wooden barrels, which can be rolled to windward or lashed to a sliding trolly sled, not unlike moving the boom towards windward with your traveller. The potted plant pictured below is looking a bit puny, seems in need some TLC, but heck movable landscaping also qualifies as being repositionable ballast; rail pots instead of rail meat, [the hemp varietals seemingly being the most popular on board many vessels as they typically grow like Weeds and I suppose one can weave your own ropes with the dried materials. Many of us have not learned the art of splicing an eye, so I suppose a substantial portion of the plant growers might be more inclined to dispose of the dried hemp by burning it instead of weaving it.]
The potential down side of wooden barrels has to be the maintenance
of the additional "bright work" on-board. Wine, whiskey, beer
, pick your favorites; these days water
can be made with the reverse osmosis
devices and water does not age properly in wooden barrels.
And for the real traditionalists there is the Rum
Tub(s) which similarly can easily be shifted towards the windward side by the crew that otherwise would be relegated to being rail meat.
Skippers, it is our responsibility to maintain proper moral, so we can't forget the daily rum
ration [a.k.a. tot]. Senior Ratings [those deemed Petty Officers and above, e.g., our spouses - gender neutral] receive their ration of 1/8th a pint neat, Junior Ratings, e.g., the rail meat and guest that have worn out their welcome, receive their ration diluted with two parts
water, to make 3/8ths of a pint of grog. Be sure to keep proper logs
on the ships personnel records, Junior Ratings are noted by the designation G for grog, T for temperate or UA for under age, less than 20. T's receive 3 pence additional compensation per day. If rum is not your desired beverage, the traditional alternatives being beer
rationed at one gallon per day, wine at one pint per day, spirits at one half pint per day.
When the supplies of moveable ballast become low, one has to head
to back to a provisioning
port and refill so as to maintain a properly balance-able vessel and to maintain moral.
As to the rigging
below, it is a bit more modern variety [no bright work maintenance
required], whereby the aluminum
barrels are provided dual purpose to hold beer and to mount the speakers for hailing and listening to music
, [mini-kegs and speakers on a wake board rail]. Just loosen the rail clamp by twisting the knob and slide the hefty weight of the barrel towards the windard side, then retighten the clamp. Damn now why didn't I think of that, an ideal place to stow a weekend's worth of refreshments and so easy to dispense from, easily reachable from the helm
position. The more rails the merrier, albeit stowing the weight overhead would tend to shift the Center of Gravity up compared to stowing below, so the silly racers should prefer to mount in the bilge
compartments below the cabin flooring
, perhaps a U shaped rail below decks.
Seemingly an empty barrel / keg could be dual purposed as a mooring
float or an anchor
trip line float, used in lieu of an ugly plastic mooring
Or ganged together one can recycle the barrels / kegs to make a floating dock