Lead ballast bolts - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 Old 08-23-2006 Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Lead ballast bolts

I'm building an all wood schooner in southern Thailand. Shes about 22 meters on deck and will have a 3 ton cast lead ballast hung beneath a largish solid wood fin keel (all a very traditional "grand banks" schooner design). I hadn't expected this to be a problem, but silicon bronze (my first choice) bolts or rod stock are not to be found in this part of the world (or are they, anyone?). So, the external lead ballast under the deadwood still needs bolting on, and I'm torn between two options. The first one is to insulate stainless steel keel through bolts using machined plastic bushings (glass filled nylon or another non-compressive plastic). The second is where my question lies. What about copper? Electrolytic erosion being the obvious concern, is copper reasonably compatible, in this sense, with lead? Given, of course, adequate tensile strength for the copper bolts and enough of them, is this a good option (e.g. is the likelihood of electrolysis as great as with a pairing of ferrous and lead)?
Any help or fwd. ing is appreciated.
Kind Regards -
Scott Carter
scottcarter is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 Old 08-23-2006
Telstar 28
sailingdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 16
Couldn't you use galvanized steel bolts instead.

They have been used on a fair number of production boats with a fairly decent record. They are considerably stronger and cheaper than the copper bolts would be, if you could even find copper bolts.

If you're using stainless steel bolts, you'd be best off using 316 rather than 304 stainless as 304 stainless has some issues in a low-oxygen high-chloride ion situation that can cause premature failure.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Last edited by sailingdog; 08-23-2006 at 10:30 AM.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 4 Old 08-24-2006
Senior Member
paulk's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Posts: 2,829
Thanks: 4
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Copper would be a dubious option. It might tend to elongate or bend under the load unless the bolts were absolutely huge. (Talk to a metallurgist, but this may be why you don't see many big copper bolts.) I'd also be concerned about the reaction copper might have with salty bilge water. Stainless has its issues, but would probably be better than copper. Another solution, ŕ la Fatty Goodlander of CruisingWorld, would be to look online for some silicon bronze bolts of the right size from a reputable manufacturer and have them air shipped to you. Though it might be expensive, it would certainly be less than having the keel fall off somewhere near Sumatra, and a lot less exciting.
paulk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 4 Old 08-24-2006
Senior Member
dorourke's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 163
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Think on this:
Copper and lead are used in batteries because of their effiency of conducting electricity. I would consult a metallurgist. I think 316 stainless would be a better choice.
dorourke is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Internal Ballast vs. External Ballast windship General Discussion (sailing related) 3 09-15-2002 04:33 PM
Iron Keels mogul11 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 3 07-08-2002 03:36 AM
Newport33 Keel Bolts thompsonkeith Gear & Maintenance 0 05-21-2002 11:37 AM
Water Ballast/Manufacturer RSJ Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 03-07-2002 05:59 PM
How to make and use a Leadline karlheinz Seamanship & Navigation 7 03-30-2001 01:38 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome