Originally Posted by Yankee
In addition to the valid points made above, two items occur to me about water ballast:
1) To have anyting near enough righting moment with water ballast being carried so near the surface of the water, MUCH more weight has to be pumped inside the hull. At best, your sails create just a few horsepower to propell your boat. Remember that you have to accellerate the total mass of your boat (including water used for ballast) with that limited power every time you tack.
2) Being able to tow a water ballasted boat with a smaller vechicle dosen't seem valid. Unless there is a pump to evacuate the water used for ballast while the boat is still in the water, the weight must be pulled up the ramp to drain by gravity. While you might not need a Power Wagon to tow down the road, you will need it for that first few feet up the ramp. A smaller, more economical tow just isn't likely to do it.
The main advantage of water ballasted boats has always looked to me like it is mainly for the builder. They are selling you empty space inside the hull and a couple of valves instead of lead.
Are these boats any less expensive?
Your #1 sounds resonable but with the water in they weigh about 3000 lbs. unless you weigh them down like we have for extensive long term cruising. 3000 lbs. is still light for a 36 foot boat and their ratings relate that they are not slugs.
As to the #2 it doesn't take that much HP in low gear to pull a 3000# boat up and most people still like to have 4 wheel drive but a lot don't. If you want you can blow the ballast in about 15 minutes while in the water with a $20 mattress inflator. Handy also if you were to run aground and need to be higher in the water to get off.
There were thousands made so you can get into a D for under $5000 and a S for under $8000,
Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both