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Ballast


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I need to add some ballast to my boat, as without anyone on board, it has a slight list to port.

The reason for this slight list, is that the three batteries, the fridge (which is quite heavy), the cassette toilets holding and flush water tanks, and the double helm seat, are all located on the port side.

Although the hot water tank, gas bottles, and cooker are located on the starboard side, they don't balance out the weight of the gear on the port side.

The fuel tank, and 150L fresh water tank (in the bow), are both located amidships, so no problem there.

My thinking is to introduce some weight (ballast) in the space beneath the salooon seating, on the starboard side.

The question is what to use, to give the most weight for minimum volume?

Some nice big mudweights would be good, but expensive, as would be any sizeable lump of lead. With water only weighing 10lbs per gallon, a container to provide a reasdonable amount of weight, would be quite bulky. I have thought of using some 17"x8"x4" concrete building blocks, as these are quite heavy.

Any thoughts?

Dave

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I did have some but think I may have got rid of it, The boat builders use tiny ball bearings of pig Iron, seriously heavy and they can even glass it in. I had a small bucket of it that you could hardly lift, will have a look next weekend and if it is still there I will drop it off for you weather permitting as I will be going to WRC.

One small bucket offset a very full holding tank that I thought was empty, our tank is in the engine bay right over to the starboard side and is about about 12 Cubic feet.

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Yes, metal is far heavier than water, gravel, or sand.

I'd be a bit nervous of concrete blocks for another reason, being angular, and the bilges being less so, there's a danger of point loading, especially if they shift.

The specific Gravity of sand and gravel is between one and half and twice the weight of water, whereas iron is seven and a half, and lead is eleven and half times heavier than water.

To maintain trim on my boat, for when the very large tanks are empty and full, (as between winter and summer etc), I use easily movable ballast.

I have some metal "punchings" from a scrap yard in strong synthetic cloth bags, each weighing around 10kg each, that are about the size of a flower bag.

I also use old lead tyre balance weights poured into 4 litre plastic milk cartons. These weigh about 15 kg each and are very clean and easy to move, with no hard edges to damage the underfloor bilges. Tyre dealers sell them very cheaply, as they are not usually reused.

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Thanks guys, some very useful and practical solutions :clap

I never thought of 25kg bags of sand or ballast, albeit I went to B&Q yesterday and bought a couple of bags of sharp sand for a little job in the garden. Having carried them from the car to the back garden, I should have thought they would be usefully heavy enough for ballasting the boat :roll: . Put it down to a 'senior moment' :lol:

The Pig Iron ball bearings also sound like a very good option, and if you do find them, I will gratefully accept your kind offer.

If not, the a bag of sand sounds like the way to go, and has been said, will mould to the shape required.

Thanks again :grin:

Dave

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Personally I would look at the practicallity (if it is indeed practical) of moving some stuff you already have before adding any more weight, remember if you shift 50kgs from one side to the other it has the same effect as adding 100kgs. On a smallish boat batteries are the best candidate and often little extra cable is needed.

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Our boat was fitted with a toilet holding tank by a previous owner, and they introduced a couple of bags of sand on the opposite side to balance her a bit. Trouble is when the tanks empty we still list to port, but when full of sh*t, list to starboard :lol:

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'some you win, and some you lose' Mark :lol:, but then you could be talking a load of crap :lol:

As for the batteries, they are located in purpose built enclosure, beneath the wrap around seating in the cockpit, so other than move them below deck, next to the petrol tank :o , there's no place to move them to really.

Dave

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There is space Ian, but on either side of the fuel tank (Petrol), which then doesn't site them amidships. I could move the fuel tank further back, and put the batteries in front of it, but that means putting in a longer section of filler pipe, and extending or replacing the copper fuel line. So, a lot of messing around when a bag or two of sand to starboard would likley solve the issue. In fact these could go on the starboard side of the fuel tank.

Dave

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