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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-12-2010
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Sand in Ballast?

I have made lead pieces for my ballast and have the correct weight installed in my ballast on a 35' foot sailboat. I had planned on epoxying the whole thing in but now I'm thinking I could save some money and use sand to fill in the spaces between the lead ballast pieces and then epoxy and glass in the whole thing in once the sand filled up the ballast. Bad idea? Just use cement? or Don't be a cheap sob and use all epoxy to fill in the cracks and then glass over?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Karen
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Old 11-12-2010
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How much of a void do you have to fill? I don't know that a sand epoxy slurry would be a bad idea (definately not dry sand) but I would probably look for a more inert material to use as a filler if it was my boat.
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Old 11-12-2010
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The voids are very small...1/8 inch cracks here and there and then, at most, on the sides of the inner keel, 1/2 wide and 3 ft deep. Picture is here of keel ballast.
Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2010
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Frankly, it might be wiser and more efficient to use very small diameter lead shot (No# 12 shot has a diameter of only 1.3mm). I would assuredly not attempt to fill the voids with epoxy or polyester resin as the heat generated by the volume involved might damage the yacht's hull. Using shot, one would oly have to install a relatively thin glass and resin cap to hold things in place.

FWIW...
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Old 11-12-2010
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I thought the heat would be dispersed adequately due to the small spaces involved. Not true?

Appreciate your time!
Karen
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Old 11-12-2010
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I dont know if sealing is the right thing BUT epoxy is gonna keep on going into any void unless you fill the top with something like lead shot to make a dam

And even 1" of resin in a small space gets HOT
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My problem is that i have enough weight in the ballast so I don't really want to use lead shot (It's expensive). I'm looking for a cheap alternative to lead-shot and something that doesn't weigh a ton.
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Old 11-12-2010
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high density foam?
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Old 11-12-2010
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Epoxy is expensive relative to polyester resin, so why not polyester? Assuming your hull is poly not epoxy?


Having never done this type of thing I really don't know what I am talking about but with that said I would be concerned with the lead not being bonded in place.

Just my 2 cents
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I'd love the foam but the cracks are too far down and I need something that will spill into the cracks 3 feet down, where I can't reach. That's why I was thinking sand. I don't know why sand wouldn't work but I've never run into anyone using it just as a ballast filler.

I wish I had thought of polyester resin before I started. I already did the very bottom layer with epoxy, in order to hold the lead to the bottom of the keel. Will the lack of bonding to the bottom layer affect it that much? I wouldn't think so since I'll be glassing in the top. What do you think?

Thanks and I appreciate your 2 cents!
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Last edited by kjsailingSpring; 11-12-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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