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Old 17-04-2021, 13:13   #1
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Adding Ballast

For example a Moody 27. It has displacement of 5750 lbs and ballast of 2530 lbs.

What can be done (without going way out beyond design) to improve the sailing comfort in heavy weather of this small boat?

Could you add a lead bulb to the keel to improve ballast or would that just drag the boat below the waterline?

Any other economic ideas?

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Old 17-04-2021, 13:23   #2
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Re: Adding Ballast

That ratio sounds fine to me. About 44% I guess. Why do you want more? The highest ratio boat I had was the wettest, 50%, but it was a narrow boat. That's why those have a lot of ballast. But they still sail heavily heeled.

Bulbs have been added to boats. There are various ways. You can through bolt (side to side) Zinc or lead bricks, (44# each) through the bottom of the keel creating a bulb of sorts. Fill and glass them for smoothness if you wish.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 17-04-2021, 13:43   #3
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Re: Adding Ballast

Reduce sail?
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Old 17-04-2021, 13:48   #4
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Re: Adding Ballast

Reason is I don't have budget to buy a 30ft plus boat which has better comfort ratio (on average) and smaller capsize ratio (on average).

The way covid is affecting travel combined with Brexit, it feels like spending money on a bigger boat to liveaboard solo is a waste of time if you can only stay in UK or make short trips in Northern Europe, coastal France and Spain.

I'm just thinking how to get more for less !
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Old 17-04-2021, 15:56   #5
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Re: Adding Ballast

IMO you don't have enough room to work with. Your bilge is so shallow and you have a pretty wide and flat hull. I'd be really wary of adding a bulb to a keel that was not engineered for it. I'd say just enjoy her the way she was designed, and yeah, in heavy weather just reef early. With that wide and flat hull she'll be a bit bouncy in short chop, but on the positive side you'll probably beat most of us back to the harbor.
What kind of weather are you planning to go out in?
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Old 17-04-2021, 16:09   #6
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Re: Adding Ballast

we added 250kg to the bulb of one of a 36' race boat i had a life time ago. the exisiting bulb was a semi-circle, with a flat bottom. the shoe we added complete the circle

transformed the boat and was a major success


the boat already had a seriously overspec-ed aluminium girder sub-floor that the keel was attached to, plus a sister boat had the same mod done a year earlier

this meant we were fairly confident in the engineering, and that we weren't going to rip the keel off

before adding any weight to your keel, you need to do the same : check carefully that the boat structure can handle the significant extra load. you may just add say 100kg, but this is whipping around at the end of a say 2m lever.

do your home work...employ a professional if necessary...and if in doubt - DONT DO IT


ps : more stability puts extra load on your rig too !
"home is where the anchor drops" light from medics and travels resumed...heading somewhere warmer.
maintaining social distancing !
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