water ballast question - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 01-13-2009
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water ballast question

Just wondering if its ok to have 26 macgregor boat water ballast full at all times.
The more I read, the more I find that macgregor boats are too light.
So if I wanted it permanently docked at the marina and live aboard, can I just keep her water ballast full all the time or would it do some damage to the boat having it inside all the time???
Any recommendations? I just do not want the boat bouncing all over the place when there is a little wind in Tampa Bay.
Havent bought the boat yet, just a part of my research.
Thanks guys.
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Old 01-13-2009
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Water should be whenever the boat is in the water.

on the clasics
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Old 01-13-2009
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Ok cool, but is the boat designed to hold water ballast for years at a time? Does it go stail? Am I supposed to empty it regular and refil again?
Thanks
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Old 01-13-2009
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Ok cool, but is the boat designed to hold water ballast for years at a time? Does it go stail? Am I supposed to empty it regular and refil again?
Thanks
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Old 01-13-2009
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Kommy...you can leave the water in....but your reason for doing so makes no sense.
These boats make sense for some people but are about as bad a sailing boat as one can find and are quite lightly built. If this is your choice...no problem...but it sounds like you don't know much about boats and I am just pointing out some issues you may not be aware of.
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Old 01-13-2009
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Can also rotate the air in your car tires, but it doesn't make a difference

If you have that boat in the water, then the ballast NEEDS to be filled. It's the only real weight to counter the mast and pressure from the sails.

I looked at a couple of those boats in my search for a "learning boat". I wound up with an older Macgregor Venture 25 instead - because it has a weighted keel and I don't really like the idea of a water ballast system on a boat, especially not a sail boat (after I did some research).

Couple of questions - where is your boat, and where do you plan to keep it for "years" since it's really a trailerable boat.

Rick
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Old 01-13-2009
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I'm still in the process of researching.
Seems like I find lots of macgregors in really good price, so was looking into that possibility too. I thought hey I can live on it and when hurricane comes here I can trailer it to my buddies house and wait it over there.
I also understand that it is not a true sailboat, that's why I haven't bought it yet. I also read some blogs about living aboard macgregor, so I know it could be done.
I also understand that I need to use its ballast to sail. I just didn't know if that boat can take it sitting water inside of it for a year at the doks or am I supossed to cycle the water once a month or something like that. Just a research...
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Old 01-14-2009
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I'm not a fan of the 26 Mcgreg.. as they seem to be poor motorboats and worse sail. the interior is not that spacious and I would be concerned that the water ballast if left in the boat would "grow" some interesting biology.
There are several trailerable boats in the 25-30' range that don't have water ballast and are much better in many ways than the 26.
If constrained by financial considerations, the good news is now is a great time to buy a sailboat as many are becoming available due to the ecomomy .
Before the economy issue sailboats were cheap now they are almost paying to get rid of them ! I just sold a 24' bayliner Bucc for a couple hundred dollars just to be rid of it from my yard ! The guy wanted an inexpensive boat an I obliged. I still have the dual axle trailer for it, he didn't want it !
I thought it was worth more than the Boat!
The Bayliner Bucc's are extremely roomy and can be aquired for very little money. They are looked down upon by many sailors as they are not considered in the same catagory as Bene's and pearsons,etc.
However I found my 32' center cockpit at anchor in the same waters as many other boats worth 10-20 times as much and it didn't diminish the experience, keeping $20-100,000.00 in my pocket !
Actually, I was able to invest in the more important aspects of cruising-solar,generator,good dingy and motor,anchors, oven/stove,refrig,5cu. Ft. freezer,Icemaker,woodstove,Nav equip,radios,tv, and a host of other creature comforts.
I would guess it is probably a great ego boost sitting at anchor and cruising on a $100,000.00 or more boat. But when I traversed the northeast 2 years ago during the fall and met many cruisers/sailors w/ expensive boats many had limited creature comforts. No heat,no refrig,no generator, little or no enclosure for the cockpit. Not to mention the inconvenience of trying to locate ice every couple of days during the summer months.
My advice is buy a sound inexpensive boat in a size you can manage and spend money wisely after getting aboard . as you'll find that what you think you need will be different that what you actual use.
Have fun.
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Kommy, One would think that you would want to flush and refill the ballast water from time to time. Water that is in dark warm tanks over the summer can get nasty!!!
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Old 01-14-2009
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The main reason for dumping ballast is to trailer the boat, and perhaps to save some fuel while motoring, though I suspect that most leave the ballast in whenever afloat.

That said, assuming you're discussing the hybrid M26M/X, for similar money you can get a real nice real sailboat on the used market that will be a many-times-better liveaboard boat that will also happen to sail reasonably well.

Our son bought a nice Ranger 29 for the approximate cost of the 50 Hp motor found on these boats...... I'd much sooner live on that.
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