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Old 19-09-2010, 12:02   #1
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Ballast Question

So sometime before I bought our boat...someone had removed the diesel..not that I have a problem with that, as i'm not too fond of inboards...trouble is, she is so light in the rear end that she is tender to the point of being uncomfortable on certain points of sail...any ideas on reballasting her? short of putting an inboard back in...
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Old 19-09-2010, 12:11   #2
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Figure out how much the engine plus tankage weighed, buy that in small lead pigs, lay them in until she is on her lines, fasten them down. I would not glue or epoxy or even tar them into place. Use battens or a sheet of plywood made to look nice, or perhaps a removeable cabinet/locker on top of them. That way, if you are ever in a tight groundout, you can lighten the boat pretty easily to float her off. when you go to sell the boat, you want to be able to remove the stuff so the next guy can put in his engine. There are not many of us nutcases out here who sail without motors....
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Old 19-09-2010, 12:32   #3
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Water ballast has been practical in some designs that don't allow much of a lateral shift in weight,- V-tanks. It depends on how you use the boat, but some would highly value an additional eighty gallons of fresh water availble. The downside, of course, is that you would consume your ballast; however, you could have a series of four V-tanks that you refill with sea water after use. Being a cruiser that values the water supply this would appeal to me, but without that need the lead pigs would do best.
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:31   #4
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hmm..'s a good point about the next guy wanting to replace the diesel..except I intend to
remove and plug the shaft..I'm gonna set a good outboard mount on her..she only goes 6800 pound dry when the diesel is in place. Let's see..lead is 708 lbs per cu. ft...westerbeke 2-3 cyclinder diesels with transmissions go between 3-400 lbs..she had a 20 gal tank..I think..no idea how big the water tank was..I intend to carry around 25-30 gallons of water plus an outboard..400 lbs ought to get me there....should be able to get enough laid down between the engine rails..as close to the CG of the original engine as I can..just lower.maybe deck over the center section and add a semi circular shelf around the outside...to store my portable water tanks..with dunnage to keep them put..battery banks aft on the centerline..might look at a container for the lead to keep it from shifting around and keep it from contaminating the aft bilge..say five or 10 lb ingots so I can trim the ballast as suggested. Any holes in that? aside from my lousy writing, that is..<G>
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:52   #5
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Leveling the boat is a calculation called 'moment weight.' (weight X arm)

If the engine is 400 pounds 100 inches aft of the mast and the outboard is 200 pounds 200 inches aft of the mast the moment is the same (40,000 inch pounds) although the boat is 200 pounds lighter and the boat should stay level.

To add additional 200 pounds to regain the original total ballast you can add 200# at the mast. if you added 200# of lead on the engine bed you would have the original weight but the moment would be 20,000 inch pounds aft.

Depending on the numbers you may want 100# of chain in the locker and 100# on the engine bed. You could add batteries - you could do a lot of things.

Measurements forward of the mast would be "negative moments" but there is no secret to establishing a datum, you could measure from the bow and everything would be positive.

I don't think you can do any real harm here, I am just tossing in some thought.

Racers would prefer all the distributed weight be located as low as possible in the center of the boat as a general rule.

It should also be easy to create a frame or platform using the original engine bed boltholes for a secure lead installation. If you have a "significant" amount of weight you really need to make sure the structure you attach it to can take the loads. You know the engine bed can take 300-400# pounding along day after day.
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:53   #6
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You might want to put on your outboard mount, engine, and a gas tank first. It will be further after than the inboard, so much more of a moment arm. Then you can add your batteries, water tank, spare chain, etc. Then ballast as required to trim her out.
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:57   #7
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I would place there:

- a water tank or,
- batteries or,
- anchoring supplies,

etc.

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Old 19-09-2010, 22:08   #8
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If you had the engine I suspect, it was about 300 pounds including transmission. Build an angle iron bracket to hold 15, twenty pound lead pigs and bolt it down on the engine beds. This places the weight right where it's supposed to be, so trim will be back to normal.
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Old 20-09-2010, 08:25   #9
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batteries, batteries !!!

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Old 20-09-2010, 21:46   #10
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Stillraining's idea of a Keg-o-rator would work here.
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Old 20-09-2010, 22:00   #11
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Don't ever add ballast to a sailboat unless it's in the keel. The suggestions above are very good: anchors, water, batteries, beer. Tomorrow, when the delivery boy comes, I'm loading 12 slabs of beer...220 pounds...50 US cents a can...Heiniken, Tiger, Carlsburg. This is the last duty-free port for a long while. Then my goal is to lighten the boat as fast as I can drink. Balance be damned.
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