Yes, the sand is ballast. I removed it (175lbs) and replaced it with 350 lbs of lead for Long Island Sound. I put a beam across the boat under the deck, under the mast and supported it on the ends with vertical wood struts. I filled all the storage and cavities with foam. Improved rigging, sails, installed large cockpit drains, etc.
There was a board that plugged into hinges at the front of the hatches to keep them open. The camper top just drapes over the top and snaps at the edges.
We have sailed it on its ear many times. If you are sailing in a small lake it should be fine, but I found it to be too tender for my liking, so replaced the sand with lead. We sail it in Long Island Sound. We have sailed it in small craft warnings many times, but it has been upgraded.
Three people is the most; one in the rear cockpit steering and two in the lower cockpit handling the jib.
There is a bracket on one side of the transom for an engine. I have a large electric trolling motor but have not installed it. We move it with two long canoe paddles.
If you Google T42, T for 2 and other variations, you will find others and at least one groujp.
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