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Where did it go???

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Neo » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:58 am

K9Kampers wrote:First verify that there is a problem - the symptoms must be repeatable under the same circumstances. Repeat your steps on the water to confirm loss of ballast, or duplicate them near as possible on land to observe an external leak.

Try pressurizing with air from a shop vac or such to force the water out. Possible leak at or around the transom valve, or the centerboard trunk, or crack in the hull.

Excellent K9 ... these are 2 great tips, Thanks.

Will follow up in a few days 8)
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Jimmyt » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:14 am

If I understand K9, I agree - I think your boat is fine. You didn't try to drain it until it was on flat ground. Then you drove it home with the valve open. Your assessment that there was a problem, was based on the flow out of the valve while the boat was on the trailer on flat ground. I haven't seen your rig, but mine won't drain in that configuration.

On your trip, you left the ballast valve open for a long time and filled until your ribbon indicator showed no flow. Your trip did not include speeds which would normally drain the ballast. Ballast won't come out of the tank while sitting or operating at low speeds. You did not have sufficient water in the bilge to indicate a large leak - the only place water could go at the speeds you were indicating is into the bilge.

Your test consisted of filling the ballast on flat ground and draining it on a slope. You found no leaks, but noticed higher flow out of the valve when draining on the slope - which should be expected.

Unless I've missed some of your information, I am fairly convinced that your boat is fine. Maybe next trip you can drain it on the ramp to make you feel better. Or, go back to using the vent plug and visual or finger level check...
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:12 am

Often when I'm draining my ballast, someone will ask where all of the water is coming from. I'll say that "I'm just draining my holding tank. Look, there's a brown trout".

I would not try to use any air pressure in the ballast tank.It may create a problem that isn't actually there now. Gravity should be sufficient.
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby BOAT » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:52 am

FYI - The M boat does not drain the ballast tank on the trailer unless you have it on the ramp sloping down - when the boat is on the trailer about half of the water gets trapped in the front of the boat. You need to really get the boat tilted up in the front to drain the boat with a "gush" - even draining the boat under power does not result in a "gush" because the front of the boat is not tilted up high enough to make a "gush" - that's why the factory manual says it takes over 5 minutes to drain the tanks under power - an operation that takes less than a minute on the launch ramp. Another thing - even on the launch ramp with the boat tilted way up high on the bow the aft valve will not "gush" unless the vent hole is open. One time I forgot to open the vent hole before pulling up on the ramp and the water came out "glug, glug, glug" instead of "gush" I have an electric vent valve in the bow so I just hit the switch at the helm and the water suddenly started to "gush".

So there are special things you need to do to make "gush" - it will not do that every time unless you do all the proper "gush" operations!

Perhaps you opened the rear valve with the boat on the trailer on level ground with the forward vent hole closed? That would cause a really slow drain from the boat. And even with the vent open the boat will not completely drain unless you jack up the bow real high. Look at the boat as it sits on the trailer and you will notice a huge part of the hull in the front that projects below the frame of the trailer - that part of the hull is ALL BALLAST!
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Neo » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:06 pm

Ok bottom lines are.... On the flat there was probably a lot of water still in the belly of the ballast tank and I didn't climb up and check the level through the vent hole.... I'd always assumed that the top tank water level is above the base of the valve but I guess I'm wrong .... So it's not a mystery, just a misunderstanding :wink:

Notes on the side....
    :idea: I now remember that when I was driving out of the car park that braking seemed less effective... mostly likely extra weight behind me in the form of ballast tank water!.... And braking was Ok later... Less water!

    I'm working on a system that alerts for low level ... will update you guys when I've tested it.

    I see nothing wrong with pumping a few (5'ish) PSI into that tank for whatever reason. If the tank can't take that it's not worth having ... Any defect that might occur would worth knowing about sooner rather than later.

My drive home from the Lake involves a few hill climbs on a freeway .... So a car behind the Mac would have seen lots of water gushing out of the vale ...I wish I'd seen the look on their faces :D ... Must get myself a stenview view camera :D


Thanks gents.
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Jimmyt » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:45 pm

Please DO NOT PUT 5 psi ON YOUR BALLAST TANK. That much pressure on a tank that size could cause severe damage. You found no noticeable leaks using water. Quit before you mess up your boat.

I'm speaking as your totally paranoid friend - who happens to be a registered engineer. Based on what you have told me, I would not be afraid to take my family sailing on your boat.

I think your idea for a ballast level monitor is great. Spend your efforts there and let us know how it goes. There have been a couple made and shown in this Board in the past.

Jim
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Jimmyt » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:57 pm

5 psi is equivalent loading to over 11.5 feet of water depth. Imagine extending the sides of your boat up about 8 feet, and then filling it up with water. Not a good idea.
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Neo » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:52 pm

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for the tip and just to clarify...I have no real intention or need to actually pressurises my ballast tank. Something I've previously considered was blowing air into the vent hole to 5-10Kpa (sorry not PSI) to assist emptying the tank but that would be with the Ballast Valve open anyway. I was thinking it would help if I've forgotten to empty the tank on my way back but I realise now it won't empty the tank unless the bow's high. So I can't see it being much use tied up by the Jetty.

I have high hopes for my new Water Level monitoring system ... so will report back in a few weeks. :)

All the best.
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby gyroplanes » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:18 pm

I found your ballast. It's in my :macx: hull :?

Seriously, every year, when I used to bring the boat home, It was still dribbling water out until I got to my house 45 minutes away.
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby Neo » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:49 pm

gyroplanes wrote:I found your ballast. It's in my :macx: hull :?

Hold it there! I'll come right round to pick it up :D
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby BOAT » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:28 pm

What's a gyroplane? Can I see one?
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Re: Where did it go???

Postby DaveC426913 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:58 am

Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL wrote:Often when I'm draining my ballast, someone will ask where all of the water is coming from. I'll say that "I'm just draining my holding tank. Look, there's a brown trout".

My boat comes out by crane (no ramp), surrounded by at least 20 volunteer workers (180 boats in 48 hours).

I always get a kick out of seeing their faces when it first sets down on the trailer, and 300 gallons of "Oh, that's just my blackwater" come gushing out.
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