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Old 12-07-2019, 09:18 PM   #1
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Ballast?

So I was crawling around inside the boat today (1998 Mainship 350 Trawler) and came across this in the port aft bowels of the boat. Not easy to get into. Grabbed a piece and it bent like butter, I suspect it is lead and it was put there during construction for ballast to level the boat. Nothing on starboard side.
Over the years and modifications it seems most if the heavy stuff is still on the port side; Frig, Stove, HW tank, 2nd stateroom storage, batteries....
The boat currently lists to port 1-2 degrees. My question is does anybody else have this in their boat/Trawler? And can I remove some of the plates and level my boat? Oh yeah is any of this toxic?
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:24 PM   #2
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Doesn’t look like it came from the factory. Probably put in by a PO. You could remove it and see what happens. Yes, lead is very toxic. Wear gloves and get rid of them afterwards.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:39 PM   #3
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Lead is toxic if any is ingested or any dust is breathed. To my knowledge it is not toxic just sitting there.

The sheets may create some dust from vibration as the boat travels which might create a problem. Mount it solidly or build/buy a box to contain it.

I used lead ingots, not scrap , to take most of a list out on my boat. I rearranged everything I could but finally reached the point where that was the only way to reduce the list.

My next step will be to build a platform, strong, to mount the ingots solidly.

It is very effective for balancing a boat that otherwise will not straighten up as it very heavy for the cost AND the volume needed..

Sure take some of it out to balance the boat if needed. I would store it away somewhere protected though as lists can change. It is not unusual to see boats that have some list one way or the other. ALl it takes sometimes is a seemingly relatively minor change.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:50 PM   #4
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Clark or Dave may know this. What about lead shot, used widely for ballast? It's attractive since it can fill voids that ingots or sheet material can't and it's very heavy. But what about the dust that comes off the shot?
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:14 PM   #5
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Lead shot will also work but it does need to be contained properly. Not only to ensure it stays put but to control any dusting. If the shot is loose then it could actually move making another problem. Contained would stop movement and control/contain dusting.

My ingots are simply in the open because unless there is abrasion there won't be dusting when clean.

I have used lead shot though many times for small projects such as my soldering iron bases which would not release from the irons when soldering. But it is epoxy encapsulted in my iron bases

Same for my radar base platform. The radar platform is lead and epoxy weighted and then fully enclosed in teak. The only time it will move is if I have more serious problems.

I didn't look up the figures but I remember it weighs something like 750 lbs. per cu. ft., far more than many other competitors and is yet relatively affordable. Just need to deal with it properly and safely.

Wear clothing that will be washed immediately, coveralls, or the white disposable coveralls and a respirator if you are handling shot or handling lead.

I will admit I have done neither but I was not cutting/fabricating or otherwise handling it except as described.

If you are going to use shot, any amount of it, then I would close it in and use the safety gear and dispose of it before going home.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:21 PM   #6
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I have used lead ingots in a previous boat. I went ahead and glassed them in so they would not move. But if you have some odd shaped areas that would work in leveling the boat then lead shot would work but I would absolutely glass it in so the dust would not get around the boat. You want to be very careful with lead, ask anyone in Flint.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:02 AM   #7
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I have lead plates attached to the starboard inside of the hull (11" x 10" x 1"). They were government surplus counter weights around 30 pounds each. The government specified them to be painted which I assume reduces lead contact risk. If I were going to buy additional lead, I might consider vinyl coated scuba weights. In block form (as opposed to bullet form) the lead is completely encapsulated and should remain that way for the life of the boat.

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Old 12-08-2019, 08:53 AM   #8
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Lead metal is harmful if you drop it on your foot. The oxides of lead are toxic if breathed or ingested. The white coating that forms on lead metal is an oxide. As previously stated, encapsulate it and no worries. Don't forget about other metal oxides, carbonates and sulfates that abound on boats when grinding and cleaning.

For real worries around boats things such bottom cleaning dust, paint volatiles and exhaust are common issues of well understood.concern as compared to passive oxidation of metals.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:21 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. D. Why is there a need to actually remove it from the boat? Move some over to the other side to cure any list. As noted, lists change so simply relocating it will give you the option of moving it again in the future if necessary. I would not encapsulate it in a fixed position but it's your call.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:44 AM   #10
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Take it all out. Glass in a flat surface. Then screw down storage boxes. Keep all the spare crap that you don’t really need but carry anyway. I carry a few 100 pounds for sure.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:52 AM   #11
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My Nordic Tug came from the factory with several 50 pound woven plastic bags of crushed granite. When I installed a Lofrans windlass with 200 feet of chain, I was able to move the bags around (mostly to the rear) to level the boat.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:31 AM   #12
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What is going on in the upper right of the pix? Looks like delamination of FG over plywood??
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:18 PM   #13
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I use lead shot sewn into Sunbrella bags. Each bag weighs 50#

I have 1000 pounds in the bilge, under the bed, to keep the bow trimmed down.

I have added, removed and relocated lead as equipment replacement and tender change caused the hull to list or get out of trim.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:48 PM   #14
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I have used lead placed in bags fixed in the bilge. Quite interesting that they did use depleted uranium ( high density material) earlier, one book about boat building even proposed using spent nuclear fuel. I do hope that it was error made in translation. That would have kept the boat warm all around theyear. E.g. Pen Duick VI designed by Andrť Mauric was equipped with a keel of depleted uranium.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:58 PM   #15
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I have several lead ingots - maybe 50-70 lbs each strapped down on the port side aft. I bought the boat that way and assume it was to remove a small list.

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