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Old 04-06-2013, 12:14   #1
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How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Hey dudes and dudettes ,

I'm a little confused about how much realistically I can load a 26' sailboat up with.

I know a full 60G freshwater tank is around 750-1000lbs yeah?

I have A TON of gear I want to put in her, but I'm not sure if she can take everything. Is "watch the waterline" enough of a accurate measurement, is there a general estimate you could give? Like 2000 pounds?
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:22   #2
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Water weighs approx 8lbs per gal. 60gal is approx 480lbs
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:35   #3
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Well, as a full time live-aboard, my wife and I loaded the boat until the desks were awash then removed one shoe...Just saying. Oh ya then repainted the boot stripe.

Actually, we down sized alot then tried to keep the boat in ballance while we loaded. I was watching the water line and we added about 1 1/2" to the depth on a full keel Challanger 40.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:42   #4
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Sail Calculator says that the Cape Dory 26 will immerse 1 inch per 560 pounds additional load. But I couldn't tell you where you pass into "overloaded" territory.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:01   #5
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

When I was living in Ft Lauderdale I saw a 36' Morgan towed in by the Coast Guard loaded with 6000 lbs of "cargo". Forget the waterline, the boot stripe was close to a foot under water. The boat apparently made the trip to FL from South America during winter trades and didn't sink so you might be able load a lot onto your boat. But you might also want to make sure the rigging and chainplates are in good shape.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:03   #6
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

I conducted an informal experiment on this seven years ago. I'd lived aboard a 41' boat for eight years, and was moving aboard a 46' boat. Both vessels were similar designs by the same manufacturer. When moving day came, we docked both vessels side-by-side, and I marked the waterlines of each.

After the move was completed, the 41 had come up more than two inches on her waterline, but the 46 had gone down less than an inch.

I think the OP is wise to be concerned about the effect of weight living aboard his current boat. Boats under 35' tend not to handle weight well, and we've all seen liveaboards in marinas that are seriously overweighted, and end up never getting sailed. I hate to see it when a boat's transom is partially underwater as a result of this. On small boats, performance is compromised by weight fairly early, and safety is compromised soon thereafter.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:08   #7
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Do you want to still have some sailing performance? It's all a trade-off that you have to make.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:16   #8
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Use this formula as a "ball-park estimate" on how much weight you can load into a boat, in addition to its original weight/factory delivered weight: Length (ft) x Width (ft) x 7 = distributed weight (lbs).
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:30   #9
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Note that some of the weight has already been designed into the boat. The designer would expect tanks to be full and there to be ground tackle. The problem is the extra stuff that you need/want. We had a friend who went cruising years ago with wife and two kids on an Ericson 29. I am sure that the designer did not allow for 300' of chain.

Try not to overload and you should be OK.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:42   #10
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Use this formula as a "ball-park estimate" on how much weight you can load into a boat, in addition to its original weight/factory delivered weight: Length (ft) x Width (ft) x 7 = distributed weight (lbs).
Mauritz
Hmmm...
My boat is 33'x11'. Using your formula I get 2,541 lbs.
The CE category "A" placard on the boat states the carrying capacity to be 3,950 lbs.
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Old 04-06-2013, 18:29   #11
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

You guys are all so helpful. Quite frankly I'm overwhelmed.

Such a great community we have going here.

Thanks a ton.

I do wish for sailing performance, but I'm taking her to the freakin' South Pacific so I'm gonna need a lot of water, food, fuel, spare sails, tools, equipment, and a bajillion other things. :F

Quote:
Try not to overload and you should be OK.
I'm just trying to figure out what that is *_*!
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Old 04-06-2013, 18:42   #12
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

cape dory 26? 5400 displacement. It's a great question, dont know if there's a rule of thumb or not. I'm thinking 1000 lbs max (not including tankage) would feel ok to me. or 1.5-2" on the water line... just guessing from gut feel, not sure those two numbers jive... Think light: plastic dishes, 2-3 hp dingy motor. only essential pans etc. Plastic head instead of that good old bronze one? A 26 footer doesnt need a bunch of extra stuff to have fun cruising. 150 ft of chain max? You can nest in closer to shore anyway. Or consider a small water maker in lieu of storing a bunch of water.... tough decisions... I assume it's an inboard diesel? Although not the popular trend, just put a 75-100 amp altenator on the engine and get out of the cost and weight of solar panels, wind gen etc. None of my boats had solar and only one had a wind gen. I survived fine as did my diesel engines...
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Old 04-06-2013, 19:07   #13
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

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....
I do wish for sailing performance, but I'm taking her to the freakin' South Pacific so I'm gonna need a lot of water, food, fuel, spare sails, tools, equipment, and a bajillion other things....
You didn't mention the SP earlier. You need to start with the essentials: how much water, fuel and crew. If you are single handing then the gear is less and the food is less. A decent set of tools, a lightweight dinghy and OB, wind vane, and anchor gear. The basics in spares, such as minimum rigging and engine replacements. The rest you can live without or spend more on shipping when you get someone where. As mentioned already, your boat should drop about 1 in per 560 pounds. It's probably practical for you to go as far as a 4 inch drop or so. It isn't going to help your sailing any, but you need gear and supplies to cross the Pacific.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:39   #14
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Okay, sweet.

Yeah it's just me so that will help with weight A LOT, lolololl!

I might be able to make it under 1000.

I kinda have a music studio on the boat (I know wtf) so I need my panels and windgen. ;D And yeah inboard diesel. Thing weighs a ton. x_X
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:38   #15
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Re: How Much Weight Can I Load My Freaking Boat Up With?!??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOMN View Post
Hey dudes and dudettes ,

I'm a little confused about how much realistically I can load a 26' sailboat up with.

I know a full 60G freshwater tank is around 750-1000lbs yeah?

I have A TON of gear I want to put in her, but I'm not sure if she can take everything. Is "watch the waterline" enough of a accurate measurement, is there a general estimate you could give? Like 2000 pounds?
In related queries, how long is a length of rope?

Two tons of gear low in a Contessa 26 is typical. Two tons in a Hunter of the same size is going to be radical.

The only rules of thumb are "keep weight out of the ends" and "stow low if you want to go". I personally would add "make sure all gear is well-secured, meaning it won't drop on your head when, not if, the boat rolls".
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