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Ballast

Share or ask any marine related technical information about not just Norfolk Broads boats but all vessels in general and help others to fix their boats.
JohnS
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Joined: June 1st, 2017, 6:55 am

Ballast

Post by JohnS » March 2nd, 2018, 4:11 pm

Just wondering what you all use as ballast weight on your boats? I have a few iron bars in the centre of the boat(they were there before I bought the boat). The deepest part of the bilge is under the engine, which for the last few years has had water sitting in there. I recently decided to pump it out as I knew it'd have oil/antifreeze/fuel mixed in it with any probability.
Anyway, the other week I sucked it all out and removed about 30 litres. Happy it was gone and looked clean I took the boat out and I was amazed the difference that approximately 30kg of bilge water made to the handling! For the worse I may add.
Now thinking on getting some extra weight in there, but can't think of what's best. Iron bars would need to be short to. Squeeze them under the engine and are not space efficient. Obviously a water fills all the nooks and crannies and gets the weight exactly where it's need for a low centre of gravity.
If you could tell me what you use and the reason for it?

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Dances With Otters
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Re: Ballast

Post by Dances With Otters » March 2nd, 2018, 10:48 pm

Personally, I don't use any ballast but I have seen folks use garden gravel bags about the size of sand bags. Fits nice. Also sash windows weights I've seen.
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JohnS
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Joined: June 1st, 2017, 6:55 am

Re: Ballast

Post by JohnS » March 3rd, 2018, 3:36 pm

Huh, the ballast weights I have might even be sash window weights now you mention it!
Due to how the engine is mounted the only way I could get gravel in the bilge would be to pour it in loosen
I might just fill it back up with water, it eeem to do the job before. I guess a bit of antifreeze in it to stop it freezing might be a good idea. Hopefully that will make it more stable if I can lower the centre of gravity.
It’s also not the best steering boat, so if it’s more stable and sitting lower that might help in handling as well as stability 👍

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Dances With Otters
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Re: Ballast

Post by Dances With Otters » March 3rd, 2018, 4:37 pm

Sounds a bit dodgy to me plus you create the source of condensation.
Can you not put something in the bow?
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JohnS
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Re: Ballast

Post by JohnS » March 3rd, 2018, 5:19 pm

Yes, condensation is a risk, however the engine bay is under the cockpit/him area which is separated from the cabin by a water tight bulkhead so any extra condensation shouldn’t effect the cabin area. I might try putting extra weight in the bow, although I suspect that might make the boat sit wrong in the water.
Thinking on it, I’m guessing it’s had water in the bilge as ballast for some time, maybe since the boot strap was painted around the water line which was perfectly level with the water.
I’ll look into it further and try and find out if anyone else has used bilge water as ballast.
I’ll keep you updated if I find any more info 👍

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Dances With Otters
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Re: Ballast

Post by Dances With Otters » March 3rd, 2018, 6:29 pm

There are loads of sailboats that use water as ballast. Let us know how you get on.
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JohnS
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Re: Ballast

Post by JohnS » March 3rd, 2018, 6:45 pm

Will do, thanks Miles

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Dances With Otters
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Re: Ballast

Post by Dances With Otters » March 6th, 2018, 7:28 pm

My friend with a Hampton Safari just told me he has a pavement slab in his so I guess it's whatever works is good.
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peterboat
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Re: Ballast

Post by peterboat » March 6th, 2018, 9:20 pm

I have gutted my broads cruiser and it has gravel in bags as ballast, in the future it will be still gravel in bags and 8 x lithium batteries :lol: Also when its fitted out I suspect it will float higher in the water than before so wonder how it will handle then?

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Re: Ballast

Post by Dances With Otters » March 7th, 2018, 4:59 am

It's an interesting topic this actually and certainly one I would like to see more variatuons of. I can see small granite bags and sandbags being a preferred option mainly due to the snug fit you could possibly get in the bilges.
Stuff moving around could be an issue and potentially dangerous and I would also be cautious of placing too much load in any one area.
When I had my mast down the boat was so steady, it felt almost like a narrow boat. With the mast up now, it acts like a pendulum and the added movement also counter effects it too. Obviously different dynamics are at play with sailing boats.
I ultimately would like to go over to electric and often thought that the weight of my current BMC would equate to an enormous battery bank. I think these old BMCs could weigh in at least 500kgs as I did scrap an aluminium diesel engine once and that was 300kgs.
⛵ Life is short, even on its longest day ⛵

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