I had this though many years ago but lost
it in my mind
Background. I've been cruising on my Hunter
376 for a few years now. Below is a picture of my routes I've taken. Some of the water
I've sailed gets pretty rough at times and I found myself wishing I had a much heavier keel
in those situations. I've wondered what it would be like if I were on an IP or something similar. However, there are times when I've very glad I have my Hunter
376 such as my last leg where I was doing 6.5 knots close reaching in 9 knots apparent but the IP behind me was doing 3.1 (according to AIS). They soon turned on the iron genny and motor
sailed the whole way while I sailed the whole way.
So my desires to buy a heavier boat has gone down quiet a bit. I like my boat and she does well for me. However, an external water
ballast just might make my boat sail much better in those nasty conditions such as 30 knots and 10 foot steep seas where I have 3 reefs
in the main and two in the jib
to keep the heel down to a comfortable 15 degrees. Problem with that is of course I slow down to about 5.4 knots
and it's a bit bouncy.
So, what are opinions on this site about using an external water ballast that can hold $1,200 lbs? Yes, I want to keep this discussion focused on this question and not the question 'why are you cruising on a Hunter' or 'why don't you buy a different boat'. Let's just say I have my reasons for those types of questions
I guess the issues I'm worried about are:
1) The dynamic forces from the bag to the connection points.
2) Why I never see any other cruisers using them considering those who sell them claim it would be beneficial to any boat.
3) Would it make the boat out of balance and cause problems after a big wave has passed? I guess not because we are basically talking about rail meat used in racing
4) I've know a few boats have used them in races but I haven't heard of many. If it works so well one would think all racing
boats would use them, right?