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Old 12-04-2021, 06:33   #31
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Re: Stolen ballast, how important is it really?

No one goes to the trouble of custom casting lead ballast when changing engines. That ballast was likely put there when the boat was new. Probably at Bob Perry's direction to put her on her lines.

A 28' boat with an "IOR rule" shape is quite sensitive to weight placement for best sailing performance and comfort in a sea.

Securing it is really no problem. I would just glue it down with epoxy putty or casting resin (obviously keeping any keel bolts accessible and provide ways for bilge water to flow to the sump)

It wouldn't be a bad idea to buy an hour of Bob Perry's time. He might recommend putting back 600lbs to compensate for the new engine.
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Old 12-04-2021, 15:56   #32
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Re: Stolen ballast, how important is it really?

Originally Posted by Elleroo View Post
There was a mention about the 79 Fastnet. I was there, on an Admiral's Cup team boat. No raceboats were lost, but a few were forced to be abandoned then picked up by local trawlers. The couple of boats that were lost were cruisers of poor design, and took on water when excessively heeled but not as far as 90degrees.

In IOR raceboat days, lead ballast, sometimes in large amounts, was used to trim the boats to affect immersion depths, thus affecting rating(or handicap) Bow down trim was encouraged by the rule, but made the boats pigs to sail.

Your recollection of the 79 Fastnet race differs remarkably from the report in the Independent UK?

In the 1979 race, five boats sank, 100 were knocked over so far that they put their masts in the water, and at least 75 were rolled upside-down, most of them losing their masts in the process. Many boats also had their flimsy rudders snapped off by the gigantic seas.22 Oct 2011


That the disaster happened at all seemed at first to be a blanket indictment of the modern ocean‐racing yacht, which some have criticized as being too light. However, the boats that were abandoned or sunk represented no particular type custom or production, old or new but rather were a cross‐section of the fleet, said a spokesman for the Royal Ocean Racing Club, which sponsored the race. Yet, those hit hardest were the smaller boats, from 30 to 36 feet.(NY Times_
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Old 13-04-2021, 04:35   #33
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Re: Stolen ballast, how important is it really?

Yes, I really was there. PM me if you want the details.

As journalists say, don't let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

It's now 42 years, so some of my memories of the other boats may be fading, but as I recall, those who died did not come off boats that sank. People were panicking, jumping off floating boats into life rafts, and the rafts were blown off waves, rolled around, and those inside lost.

A number of raceboats were abandoned, but not out of wanting to.

The rescue helicopters were telling crews that they had one chance, get off now because we're not coming back. Or stay with the boat and hope. This is the scenario presented to Golden Apple of The Sun, as they had a crewman with a broken arm and they had a broken rudder. They were rigging the (compulsory by RORC rules) jury rudder when the chopper turned up. Golden Apple was towed into Ireland by a trawler. It wasn't the only one. Others were taken into Cornwall.

The broken rudders that I was familiar with, were due to the carbon fibre being sold to the marine industry at the time, was little better than black string. Seconds. This has never been widely published, but was written in design journals.

The boat I was on was listed as 'unaccounted for' until we rounded the last point and headed for Plymouth. Only then did the Coast Guard record our presence. All this despite the choppers flying over us at least twice a day! My family in Brisbane were thinking I was dead until I hit the dock in Plymouth and filled a payphone with coins.

I still recall saying to the guy on the helm in the worst of the blow( I was sat on the port aft side deck helping the helmsman) 'what silly bugger is letting off fireworks in the middle of this?) I was pointing aft and to leeward. Only after did I realise that the fireworks were flares, from the smaller boats well behind.

I still carry the scars on my fingers from them going into the port runner block on one of the many masthead in water moments in the middle of the storm.There was a number of injuries on board, and luckily we had two of the top Irish surgeons on board.

I've been through worse since. People keep telling me that I should write a book. Maybe when I stop and look for something to do.

So, believe the press if you want, but, yes, I was there.
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