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Old 11-09-2019, 07:36 PM   #1
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Ballast

How much ballast was built into the Bluewater trawler? Mine has a dozen or more ballast bars in the bilge and elsewhere. Each is steel or iron and about 20-24” long and about 3x4” in profile. I haven’t tried to move one but I’d guess they weigh 150# or more each. Are these generally needed?
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:42 PM   #2
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If they are 20”X3”X4” they weigh just under 68 pounds. I added some lead ingots to a previous boat as ballast. They were a bit smaller and weighed 66 pounds each.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:21 PM   #3
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Ballast keeps the center of gravity below the center of buoyancy for stability in roll. I've got a bunch of "Alaska sleeping pills" on my boat for that! Removing them will increase roll. If you have a list to one side or the other you could move them around to get the boat back to level. My boat has some of that, just the way it works out.

I used to know a sailor who managed the bilge tanks of the USS Enterprise, the nuke carrier. He has some interesting tales about that, and about keeping the boat level for aircraft work.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #4
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On boats that I owned that listed that I couldn’t keven out by moving stuff I resorted to lead bars (no rust and cheap) to be placed in the bilge to solve the problem.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:38 PM   #5
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Yes, I added about 1000# of lead in a previous boat. We glassed it in to secure it. It had a 5’ cockpit that added too much buoyancy aft and nothing drained right.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingBuffalo View Post
How much ballast was built into the Bluewater trawler? Mine has a dozen or more ballast bars in the bilge and elsewhere. Each is steel or iron and about 20-24” long and about 3x4” in profile. I haven’t tried to move one but I’d guess they weigh 150# or more each. Are these generally needed?
Those were probably added by a PO.

When we bought ours, there were chunks of steel and lead under the V berth that the PO added to correct trim. Took them out and the boat was low at the stern. I bought 1000 pounds of lead shot, sewed 50 pounds into 20 Sunbrella bags and placed them in the bilge under the V berth. That corrected the initial trim.

With 400 gallons of fuel and 300 gallons of water in the two tanks in the stern, the back of the boat goes down and the bow comes up. When we leave for the summer with 400 gallons, we leave the two rear water tanks empty and use the 100 gallon water tank in the bow. By the time we get to Nanimo, we have used around 400 pounds of fuel so we start using the rear tanks but not fill completely. Blind channel is the last stop with clear water so we fill the three tanks completely.

The three water and two fuel tanks has to be monitored and valved in order to keep proper trim and list. It gets tough when the 600 pound tender is loaded on and off the boat deck. We start out the summer with prawn pot puller, pots, downrigger and other heavy equipment under the V berth. As we consume fuel and the stern gets lighter, we start moving the equipment to the lazarette.

The keel of the Bluewaters have ballast in the keel. How much? No record of ballast weight exist. I was told by a former Bluewater dealer and owner of Bluewater "Camelot" that there was 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of lead shot in the keel encapsulated in resin. I have made no attempts to verify.
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