As Bob wrote cement is not a good candidate for ballastI'm looking at a boat that is claimed to have a cement ballast. Is this something that should concern me? The boat is a 1987 Com-Pac 23-2
Thank You for any input!
Perceptions like yours were precisely why I suggested that the OP contact Hutchins to hear it direct from horse's mouth. My sense is that the Com-pacs were simply but reasonably well constructed.Compac sailboats by Hutchins Company is a well built boat and the numbers that are still around can attest to that. I am restoring a compact 16 as I write this and from everything I have read as well as confirmation from Hutchins the 16 has lead pellets for its ballast and a cement cap is poured over it with a layer of fiberglass over that. There is a strong forum for compac sailboats at:
Com-Pac Yacht Owners Association - Index
I have seen one Island Packet (40' 1994) keel opened up by a grounding. It was not built that way. it was filled with rusted scrap metal of various shapes and sizes embedded in poured concrete that had been largely turned to powder by the expanding rusty rebar, angle iron and various other junk. this boat is still on yachtworld and advertised as "rebuilt" .Island Packet uses a layer of concrete in it's ballast, not exactly confidence inspiring. It is separated from the metal ballast (I believe depending on year can be lead or iron) by a layer of epoxy. I think in a Compac 23 if used in sheltered waters should be fine. I would not want to take it out in the open ocean. If it is over lead that should be fine, but if over iorn I would be worried about corrosion as Concrete holds a lot of moisture, especially if not separated by some epoxy.
Don't be afraid of an iron keel. Our Beneteau 50, as well as many sailboats made in Europe use iron keels as lead is expensive over there.A lot of good info here - Thanks. I'm partial to lead also but finding good boats 24' - 30' in my price range with lead ballast has been a challenge.
I respectfully suggest that is an oversimplification. While it is true that Compac has built a lot of boats, and they were designed by Clark Mills who was and ingenious designer who was a master of designing affordable boats, it doesn't change the reality of using concrete for ballast.Concrete is a relative term. To me the point here is this is not an after market diy or unkown builder. The ballast density and construction on the CompaC were worked out whith Clark Mills the designer. Compac has built tens of thousands of hulls and has a fantastic reputation for durability. It is in this case an engineered and proven application.