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Old 04-15-2013, 05:36 AM   #1
Al
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Smile Update on ballast thread

Greetings Forum,

About two months ago I started a thread on ballasting our 27' Marben pocket trawler, There were a couple of posters who wished to be appraised of what action and results were had. Several positive suggestions were made. Of course the most logical solution is lead. Estimates had a weight of 400# to be effective.Cost was the next hurtle. Locally the only commercial access to that weight is with commercial salmon trolling "Cannon Balls". Storage space would accept 8- 50# cannon balls. The cost of each ball is close to $165.00 or $3.30 per #. Sucked it up and was ready to buy when a retired commercial salmon troller hear of my plight and offered the name of another retired fisherman who had in the past, melted down a supply of old lead pipe into 55# ingots. He was willing to sell these ingots at $1.40 per pound. I purchased 13 (715#) and placed them on center line as they would fit where the estimated 400# of cannon balls were destined.
Took the boat out into 2 foot chop with whitecaps and 15 knot wind. Not rough but enough to reflect the wisdom of waiting for the lead ballast to appear. The boat rolls very gently, it has stopped the "Hobby Horse" when in head seas and trails very much improved in following sea. In fact, in the trough the boat rises and falls on keel pretty much with a soft roll.

There the completion of a project.

By the way, not to confuse, we changed the name of our boat from "HAPi" to "SLO'~BELLE. Seems to fit better for a 6 knot boat.
Cheers,
Al Johnson
27'Marben- Ketchikan(Bridge to Nowhere) Alaska
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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Why did you use lead instead of cement which would have been cheaper and more secure. The Eagle keel and bilge is filled with cement. There are a couple of areas that are not fill level that I being think about leveling with cement, and then fiber glass over to secure it from moving.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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How did you secure the ingots?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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Did you do the roll test before and after?
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:29 AM   #5
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Hi fellows,
Thanks for the interest. As to cement. I did give thought to purchasing several 60# concrete premix placing in garbage bags, with the idea of placing in stegicit locations and allow natural moister to set the bags solid. The size of a 60# bag to a 55# ingot is a huge difference. that an I have a 27 foot boat so a few bags makes for a large dent in the available space. At the time I could calculate space for about 6 bags or 360#. The space under the floor board is 6 inchs wide by 7 inches high by 48 " long. I was able to stow 9 55# ingots in this space 3 high by 3 long. or 495# and you don't even see them with the floor board back in place. The additional 4 ingots are laying alongside the engine stringers.
As to cost- I have to think that $1.40 is a fair price for lead in any market, just saying.
The ingots are really not secured with any permanent fittings. I cut a 2"x2" diagonal and wedged the ingots under the floor boards, the four along side are wedged with articles that serve to jam them in location. I did gorilla tape them as backup.
Norther Spy: I recall several folks offering the process for roll testing with tape on the side and having timing the rolls for three or four cycles. No- I didn't. I took the boat out as I indicated and performed a all points of the compass in the 2' chop and 15 knt wind which I am the first to admit is not severe weather by any stretch.
However, I have been in enough weather to know what the boat felt before and how it reacts now. Huge difference.

Again, fellows, nice to receive your comments.
Al
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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Isn't cement more degradable and corrosive than lead?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
Why did you use lead instead of cement which would have been cheaper and more secure.
this was taken from SailNet.


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Old 04-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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I had concrete and steel punchings in my lazerette bilge as ballast.

Water got in (it's a boat right?) and rusted/corroded the steel punchings. Steel punchings are donut holes from sheetmetal fabrication. After some time the rusting steel began to expand. Shortly after we bought Willy I noticed the lazerette bulkhead was not straight. It was bulging ... the expanding steel was pushing the bulkhead fwd.

Had a cracked stern tube that allowed the water in. Had to jackhammer all the concrete/steel ballast out of the laz. WHAT FUN!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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Had a cracked stern tube that allowed the water in. Had to jackhammer all the concrete/steel ballast out of the laz. WHAT FUN!
Reminds me of the swim step problem I had a few years ago. The swim step was plywood and aluminum (Used for threaded holes for mounting bolts) encapsulated in Fiberglass. Water intruded into the interior of the step. The aluminum expanded and cracked the entire perimeter of the step. Had to have a new (all teak) step built.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #10
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Yes Walt. VERY often dissimilar materials have problems together.

There was/is a boat in our yard (boatyard) that I was looking at trying to figure out if it was metal or FG. It was a FG covered steel boat. It looked metal but was too fair .. And too smooth looking. A very rounded hull form. I can't imagine there not being troubles caused from expansion and contraction. The owner had just bought the boat.

My trouble was caused by expansion .. But not from heat.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #11
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I used plumbers tape to secure my ingots. Worked pretty well.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:34 PM   #12
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In the two boats I built from a bare fiberglass hull and deck, I added ballast using lead ingots with the space in between filled with a lead shot putty using polyester resin. I filled a 2 lb coffee can (that was about all I could handle.) about a third full with resin and then pour the lead shot in and stir it all up and "poured" it in. Not easily done I assure you.

I got the lead shot for a good price from a local skeet shooting club. They would rake the grass periodically for the lead shot and bag it in 25 lb bags and then sell it. I got the ingots from a local Seattle guy who cast them and delivered them right to the boat. The last boat I built had about 8000 lbs of ballast. It took me a few months to complete that job.

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:05 PM   #13
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I didnt think their was any ballast in my boat until I looked under the vee berth and found an 8" screw cap. I unscrewed this and found the compartment filled with what appears to be "powdered lead". I have no idea what the volume or weight is, but it I will investigate it more when I get a chance.
It sounds like a good idea of installing ballast safely and securely without making it permanent. I suppose I could suck it out with an industrial vacuum if it ever had to be removed.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
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My previous boat, a pocket-cutter sailboat, had sand ballast.
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