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Add ballast

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:51 pm
by fritz3000g
I have a Mac 25 which I love, trailer to fun destinations all the time, and have customized to fit my cruising needs. The only thing I don't love is the poor comfort ratio, tenderness, leeward slippage, and my fear of getting knocked down in a surprise squall on Lake Michigan.

I'd like to add some ballast to the bottom to fix all this. Looking at the trailer, it appears that I could fiberglass in a triangular-shaped area on each side of the keel between the trailer and the boat (on both sides of the keel) and fill it with some loose cast iron and cement to add about 700 lbs. If I extended this additional ballast further aft (and modified or replaced the trailer) I could add another 500. It's already got more sail than it needs (or than I need).

Together this would double the comfort ratio, reduce tenderness, minimize slippage, and improve sailing for everyone.

My one concern is that water could come in through the keel winch hole when heeled over with excess passengers, though I could make a sturdy fiberglass tube around the cable to prevent that.

I'm wondering if anyone has concerns about this, or has tried it?

If I were to get a different trailerable boat instead with a comparable comfort ratio, is a Balboa 26 the only option?

Thanks!

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:31 am
by dlandersson
It costs more, but a Seaward 26RK might be what you're looking for. 8)

https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues ... 095-1.html

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:06 am
by fritz3000g
Wow - yeah that would toast my price range. Seems not that different from a Balboa though.

Chrysler 26 looks pretty appealing -- heavier than a Balboa, and more headroom.

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:33 am
by dlandersson
It's only money :)
fritz3000g wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:06 am
Wow - yeah that would toast my price range. Seems not that different from a Balboa though.

Chrysler 26 looks pretty appealing -- heavier than a Balboa, and more headroom.

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:14 pm
by BestMACSailor
dlandersson wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:31 am
It costs more, but a Seaward 26RK might be what you're looking for. 8)

https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues ... 095-1.html
What he said

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:21 pm
by THE CUSCUS
I added a bag of sand under the v-berth for extra weight to pound through waves better. One could also put weight under the liner above and next to the keel trunk. Also, there should be a hose on your keel cable "guide" to keep water out when heeled over.
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Re: Add ballast

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:18 am
by fritz3000g
Thanks @The Cuscus. I could do that for sure, and it might help with adding tongue weight too.

@Others Any particular reason the Seaward is better than a Chrysler or a Balboa in heavy weather?

I'd assume they all suffer from the same risk of fiberglass breakage if the keel slaps back and forth.

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:15 am
by Tomfoolery
fritz3000g wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:18 am
Thanks @The Cuscus. I could do that for sure, and it might help with adding tongue weight too.

@Others Any particular reason the Seaward is better than a Chrysler or a Balboa in heavy weather?

I'd assume they all suffer from the same risk of fiberglass breakage if the keel slaps back and forth.
The Balboa has a steel keel (I think) with a bulb weight at the bottom. Someone on another sailing forum restored the swing keel on one a few years ago, and it was quite the project. Heavy, too. Other than that, I know nothing. :?

Found this short thread on removing a swing keel. It's not the thread I was looking for, but it is the boat and keel rework dude I was thinking of (I remember the pics). 1200 lb keel. Not fun to remove and repair. Don't know what the trunk looks like in there, but Coastal Recreation made some pretty tough boats, so I'd guess it's quite adequate, and with the ballast in the keel like that, I doubt it does much banging around anyway, once heeled of course.

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index ... el.181992/

Re: Add ballast

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:36 pm
by fritz3000g
Reading through some other forums and specs, and it looks like both the Chrysler 26 and the Ericson 25 have keels or centerboards with another 1000 lbs of lead in triangle-shaped cavities around the keel... which is exactly what I was thinking of adding to my Mac.

That said, just buying one of those would seem to be easier. And they're not that expensive.

It looks like the Balboa's weight is all in the keel.

It would seem preferable to me to have a boat where all the ballast isn't in the keel, so if it falls off or something the boat would still have enough ballast to sail.... assuming that it didn't rip a hole out of the boat while falling off.