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  #1  
Old 11-19-2012
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Water Ballast

Anybody know about water ballast in small boats? I'm restoring a small boat and would like to add to the little boat. Bill
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Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Water Ballast

The MacGregor 26's and Hunter's 26' 'Edge' model all use water ballast.
Mmmm, how small a boat are you considering a water ballast system on?
A little more info on, or picture of your project might help.
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Re: Water Ballast

I could be wrong on this, but boats that have water ballast were designed to have water ballast. Boats that don't have it were designed not to have it and trying to add it is probably a mistake.
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Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Water Ballast

Definitely need to know more about this project.. esp what boat is under consideration.
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Re: Water Ballast

16' fiberglass, sloop rigged. I've cut off the cabin and all of the pop out glass fixtures, leaving the bare glass hull. I was reading an article in 'wooden boat' about a small boat
that had a water ballast. For some time the MacGregor 26 has intrigued me..the hauling weight and all. So I was wondering just how one could retrofit some kind if a system starting with the bare hull. Thanks for your interest. Bill
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Water Ballast

The most effective water ballast type uses water tanks outboard under the deck edges but that involves complex filling and transfer systems inappropriate for a 16foot daysailer.

But I think a boat needs to be designed around the concept. I'd also be a bit concerned about a loss of structural integrity with your having stripped the boat so completely...
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Re: Water Ballast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
The most effective water ballast type uses water tanks outboard under the deck edges but that involves complex filling and transfer systems inappropriate for a 16foot daysailer.

But I think a boat needs to be designed around the concept. I'd also be a bit concerned about a loss of structural integrity with your having stripped the boat so completely...
I own a Mac 26D. I doubt that it is very complex to add a water ballast to a smaller boat. (If MacGregor did it there's a reason... Fast, Cheap, Easy.)
I literally pull a plug turn a wing nut thing and wait until I can feel water with my finger in the hole. Then remove finger, close the wing nut thing and replace the plug. Then sail.
Take a look at the MacGregor stuff on line (Google images etc.) and you can find the hull plug with the ballast area just built in. (Make the shape first then glass it in.) Maybe put structure back inside the tank..)
I think its easier than it looks.
There's images and studies on line about the self righting characteristics of water ballast and solid keel boats as well as ballast placement. Makes for a great read. You will be surprised at what is the better ballast at different angles of heel....
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Re: Water Ballast

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I own a Mac 26D. I doubt that it is very complex to add a water ballast to a smaller boat. ....
I was describing the water ballast systems used in ocean racers - not a simple 'flood and drain' centralized water ballast such as used by MacGregor and Hunter.

I was trying to say that adding such (ie macgregor style) water ballast to an existing design that was not intended to have it might not work so well, and that adding the more effective but much more complex outboard ballast to such a small boat was overkill...
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Re: Water Ballast

The Mac26 system does work. That being said, it is a highly inefficient way of ballasting a boat, since the water weight is added very close to the CE of the boat. It will certainly help during a knockdown, but doesn't really add that much to the sailing performance of the boat. In one design racing a lot of guys actually leave them empty, since the boat is faster with the ballast chamber empty.

A true water ballast system like you would find on a Mini6.5 or the larger Open 60's puts the water tanks as far outboard and high as possible. This provides maximum righting moment and actually helps keep the boat level when beating and power reaching. This is a radically different concept than the Mac26, and requires significant complexity in the plumbing, pumps, and manifolds to do it right.
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Re: Water Ballast

Thanks for the insights. What I was thinking of was an inboard system placed against the center board trunk, but I can see that having it at the chine would increase the mechanical advantage in some tacks. I know it is overkill. Itís a hobby, both the design part and the building part.

The article that got me thinking about the idea was about Swallowboats in western Wales. The designer had been a Submarine designer so water ballasting was part of his background. I wonder where he put the water. I also wonder how he collects it and how it is discharged. swallowboats.com
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