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post #1 of 12 Old 04-25-2013 Thread Starter
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More ballast

I'm lake sailing a Neptune 24 that lists at 3400 lbs w/1200 pounds on a true shoal keel (with an extra 18" of centerboard) that draws 3'10". With 2 sailors and gear (motor,fuel, rum, some water,etc.) it's closer to 4200 lbs.
Here it is...
I keep the water storage tank (15 gals+-)under the forward berth full just for extra weight (helps noticably).
I'm thinking of removing the water tank and replacing the space with 3 UNOPENED 80 lbs bags of concrete which will give me about 60 lbs more weight up front...then put the same in my bilge under the floorboards. They fit the space perfectly so there is no shifting and since they are directly over the keel...What will it hurt???
Thoughts, please....

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

It's best to keep the extra weight in the center. That helps when either end of the boat pitches. Weight in the ends bakes the downward part of that end's motion worse than without the weight. I keep my tools and spare starter, alternator, chain, etc., down in the bilges as near the center as I can and it helps both pitching and rolling. My boat has huge bilges, it's a pilothouse, so you surely have a lot less room to work with.


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post #3 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

You don't say why you think you need more ballast. My guess is someone doesn't like the boat heeling.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

What happens when the bag springs a leak and then gets wet?

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

Why, Jim, then we all know what happens then. His solution becomes set in stone!

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

That was REALLY bad.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

He has form fitted ballast blocks. The paper and plastic that will slough off the bags will eventually plug up the bilge pump though.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: More ballast

Fiddler:
Want some reality?

If your weight forward is about at the DWL height. Changing that weight will probebaly have little effect on your stability.

Now if you can add some weight in the bilge ( Let's for a moment pretend your VCG is about 3" above the DWL) then it will lower you VCG and help your stability. But my bet guess is that what you are proposing will have no noticable effect on your stability. But it is fun to experiment. I encourage that.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-26-2013
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Re: More ballast

Bob,
I can understand your point. If you think of the boat as a fulcrum and lever, if he's putting the weight at/near the DWL height, he is essentially putting the weight over the fulcrum, where it won't do much good. Putting that weight farther out on either "arm" of the lever (e.g., putting it in/near the bilge) would be more effective. That makes a lot of sense to me when you're looking at counteracting heeling.

But what about the idea of simply adding mass to the boat? Won't that increase the inertia of the boat, which would make it less susceptable to things like small-height chop, or the wakes from passing motorboats? I can see where having the weight lower in the boat would also help with this kind of stability, too (essentially fore/aft rather than lateral), but wouldn't the added mass, in general, help change the boat's characteristics in this regard?

Sorry, if this I'm missing something fundamental. I'm an electrical engineer, not mechanical or Naval Architect, and haven't been around sailboats long enough to have played with these kinds of things, either.

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-26-2013
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Re: More ballast

Jim:
Got to run to the dog groomers now but I think you have it correct. Generally, adding displ will increase stability so long as you are not adding th weight on deck or half way up the rig. If VCG stays constant then more displ will give you more Rm. It's righting arm times displ. As for reaction to chop and wakes I think that is more a function of initial stability and that has more to do with hull shape than it does displ. and VCG. A heavy boat with high initial stability will react to waves more than a heavy boat with low initial stability. All else being equal, and it never is.
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