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Old 06-30-2018, 05:31 PM   #1
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Concrete ballast -- Willard Voyager

Hi,

We are searching for a boat and are intrigued by the Willards. I've found a 1973 30' Voyager for sale, but am concerned about what I've read about the concrete ballast and the potential for moisture, bulkhead movement and the steel used in the concrete mix. I'd love it if some current Willard owners would address this issue and give me some more information. Don't want to be frightened off, but also don't want to bite off more than we are willing to chew. Knowledge is definitely power at this stage of our search. Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:17 PM   #2
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melissar,
This problem is one to avoid to be sure but a good surveyor should be able to identify a ballast problem. I did have the problem and am a survivor. How I became aware of it’s presence was to observe my fwd lazarette bulkhead bending fwd in the center. We had to remove all the ballast aft of the laz bulkhead. One thing led to another and it was a big two size jackhammer job. Had a new FG stern tube made in Bellingham. No problems since.

Not the end of the world but still one to avoid. You can log into the Willard websites. The most informative is WBO (Willard Boat Owners) on yahoo groups. Much was written there even by myself concerning the ballast issue. Spending some time there will probably not be wasted time. PM me and stay tuned. My problem was 12-14 years ago so new solutions and experiences have probably evolved.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:58 PM   #3
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That's exactly what we want to avoid . Glad it turned out well for you -- good to know we might be able to pick up on a problem, prior to an expensive survey. Your boat is beautiful, by the way.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:09 PM   #4
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concrete ballast

Eric,
I understand your decision to remove the ballast on your boat .... I'm curious as to the structural reseason for the failure causing the movement? Was concrete used in all 30s in the '73-'76 production years? I understand the natural cracks overtime ... resulting in water intrusion & freezing perhaps while on the hard? Were most hulls subject to some type of failure in time ... if not handled in the manor you described?

Thanks in advance for your response. Bob
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:02 PM   #5
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Bob the corrosion/rust causes the metal to expand or grow. Enough of that and the concrete will grow too .. and crack. That's why my bulkhead was bending. And this expansion presumably caused the stern tube to fail. My boat was on the hard and freezing may well have been involved. But most all the bilge water goes into the "well" just ahead of the laz bulkhead .. but this could have been a "through the bulkhead" to the laz issue.

As far as I know all these Willards had the same concrete ballast. There is another Willard owner near me in the marina that has a W30 made in the mid to late 80's. I'll ask him if they have the same ballast.
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:32 PM   #6
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Eric,

Good information. Thanks,

Bob
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