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post #7 of Old 09-24-2004
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water ballast

we sail a hunter 260 - a 26'' water ballasted boat. i started on a sunfish, moved to a 17 footer, then onto this boat. she draws, i believe, 18" with the board up and 6'' with it down. the keel and rudder both "kick up".

when you launch the boat, you open the ballast tank. she weighs approximately 3000 lbs. sitting on her trailer and takes on approximately 2000lbs of water. the water tank spans the bottom of the boat under the floor. at least in the pictures i''ve seen that appears to be the case.

imagine holding a bag of water. in the water it doesn''t weigh much at all. take it out of the water and it is much heavier. the same principle applies here. the boat is initially tender, but when she reaches 10-15 degrees of heel she digs in. the water on the "up" side of the boat gets heavier and wants to pull the boat back into the water. we find that she sails quite well. she''s obviously not a speed racer, but for crusing around the sound, not bad at all.

we take week long vacations on her during the summer and spend most weekends (friday night to sunday night) on her.

hunter makes a 24'' water ballasted boat which appears to be similar to the 260, but smaller.

our neighbor has a macgregor 26 which they bought at the same time we bought our boat (4 years ago). they don''t even bother with the mast anymore. they just use her as power boat now.
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