Hunter 23.5 and water ballast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-17-2007 Thread Starter
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Hunter 23.5 and water ballast

I am looking at a Hunter 23.5 for use only on Lake Erie. I am interested in hearing about others' experience with the water ballast. With the swing keel up, there is only 18 inch draft which makes the 1000 lb water ballast fairly high up in the water, and I am wondering how this affects the stability of the boat. Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-17-2007
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Lake Eriwe is a big body of water, I believe similar in charachteristics to the ocean. When a boat like this is referred to as a lake boat, I think people have in mid big ponds...I sugest you look at boats with permanent ballast...
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-17-2007
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Cll me old fashioned but I've always tried to keep the water outside the boat...
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-03-2007
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I don't have a link, but I was under the impression that the capsize ratio of the 23.5 water ballast was the same as the comparable Hunter with a keel. That's assuming that you leave the swing keel down, which you are supposed to do anyway.

The water ballast is carried higher than keel weight, which makes the boat more intially tender, but I believe that it's ultimate stability is the same. If someone has contrary info, please post.

Now whether to sail on a Great Lake with only a 23-foot boat of any type; that's another question. Certainly that is not a big enough boat to handle any serious weather. It should be considered a fair weather day-sailer only.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-03-2007
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I used to work at a Hunter dealer (rigger not salesman) and even in the sales pitch video...She was quick to show ALOT of belly and that was in milder winds... Hiking straps?? As mentioned above a reasonable fair weather boat.
Thats all I have to say about that.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-06-2007
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Sorry I'm Late

I'm late on this thread but I have 15 years and hundreds of miles of experience on a water ballasted boat on the Great lakes and elsewhere.

My boat was an older Macgregor 26 (for which I have been abused without mercy on this board even though it wasn't the 26X powersailer) and it stood up to any punishment and all winds that I encountered.

Water ballasted boats are easy to trailer. The swing centerboard is light and easy to lift. The board adds nothing to the righting effect and doesn't have to be all the way down so you can sail in shoal water.

I crossed all but Ontario in the Great Lakes in this boat as well as sailed most of the east coast in a variety of conditions.

You will need more of a weather eye in a smaller boat but don't let water ballast dissuade you.

We have a 32 footer in the Chesapeake but we can take our trailer sailor to the Keys each winter. How many sailors can do that?
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