Lead weights for ballast?

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WASP18
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Lead weights for ballast?

Post by WASP18 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:19 pm

Lead weighs 707 lbs per square foot according to a chart I found on the Web . If it were possible to install 3 or 4" (diameter) dowel shaped lead weights into the water chamber of our Macs, what do you think that would add to stability? We would then add water to stabilize the weights as ballast, maybe? Radical idea?

Perhaps the lead would be too heavy for the fiberglass to support?? What do you all think?

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kadet
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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by kadet » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:19 pm

Why :?: They were designed as a water ballasted trailer sailer all that lead makes them too heavy to trailer on a stock trailer and I have not found my :macm: unstable compared to other trailerable boats.
Last edited by kadet on Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bilgemaster
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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Bilgemaster » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:02 pm

Just out of curiosity, what is the standard swing keel of a 26X made of? A recent craigslist ad for a rather superb looking 26X for sale near Annapolis with many rather desirable and seemingly well-executed mods, which appears to have already gone to some lucky new owner in just days, mentioned some sort of additionally-weighted swing-centerboard. I had mentioned this feature in an earlier posting to this forum.

Although I am still an utterly virginal nØØb 'til Spring as far as sailing my own 26X is concerned, rather than placing leaded ballast higher up in the water ballast chambers, would it not be even more effective pound for pound to utilize the deeper placement (and even additional leverage when lowered) of the swing-centerboard if enhancing righting stability is the goal? It seems to me that an inch or so of well-shaped lead attached along the leading edge with perhaps a chunk somewhat thicker than that along the lowest part of the board and/or poured into voids drilled into it might serve a two-fold purpose: maximizing stability per pound used while that soft lead might also provide a bit of more forgiving "give" for any inadvertent groundings or debris strikes, especially when the board may be down.

Frankly, I don't plan to do anything like this to my own boat just yet, being happy for now just to see how she goes as-is, but if I ever had occasion to drop out or otherwise repair or replace the centerboard later, I might consider it, having had by then the benefit of some experience in the matter.

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by yukonbob » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:27 pm

If you add additional ballast make sure it is secured in place very well (not wedged in but glassed or bolted in place) or it will shift and could cause serious problems. As for the weighted keel i think Ixneigh has done it with lead shot. But be careful adding too much without beefing up the attachment point and possibly the keel (depending on how much you add). As mentioned above trailer, trailering etc become and issue, as does gas mileage while powering, positive foam floatation is another to consider. Also don't forget that these boats already do have permanent ballast as well as the water ballast.

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Seapup » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:45 am

Although I am still an utterly virginal nØØb 'til Spring as far as sailing my own 26X is concerned, rather than placing leaded ballast higher up in the water ballast chambers, would it not be even more effective pound for pound to utilize the deeper placement (and even additional leverage when lowered) of the swing-centerboard if enhancing righting stability is the goal? It seems to me that an inch or so of well-shaped lead attached along the leading edge with perhaps a chunk somewhat thicker than that along the lowest part of the board and/or poured into voids drilled into it might serve a two-fold purpose: maximizing stability per pound used while that soft lead might also provide a bit of more forgiving "give" for any inadvertent groundings or debris strikes, especially when the board may be down.
The bottom 6" or so of the :macx: board is hollow and then there was a small hollow channel running up to near the top where it flared out and became hollow again if I remember right. I wanted to experiment so filled the drain holes with 5200, drilled a hole at the top and dumped in #8 lead shot. 2x25lb bags fit almost perfect in the bottom 6" void and about 20 additional lbs fit in the channel going up the board. My thought was if I didn't like it it would be a 5 minute job to drill out the 5200 plug and drain the shot back out. I liked it and kept it weighted. I left the rest of the board/hanger stock and used an 8:1 purchase so it was about the same effort to pull the board up as original.

Pic from setting up the lift line- Only issue was after a few seasons was the doublebraid would chafe quicker where it bent to go through the deck, dyneema seemed to take care of that and had less friction.

Image

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by SENCMac26x » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:10 am

Have you noticed any improved performance under sail since you added the additional weight to the keel? Better upwind performance? (I've been thinking of doing that myself)

Has there been anymore strain on the pivot points?

How under power, any issues there?

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Seapup » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:19 am

Have you noticed any improved performance under sail since you added the additional weight to the keel? Better upwind performance? (I've been thinking of doing that myself)

Has there been anymore strain on the pivot points?

How under power, any issues there?
I can't in good faith comment on upwind performance since I don't have instruments with before and after recordings.

The largest difference I noticed is the boat seemed to stick to an angle of heel much steadier, and small gust have less effect. Originally the boat felt fast to heal initially and slower after that. With the weighted board it is a more uniform motion. It also seems to heel much less than before with no sails up in nasty gusts.

In the calm sections of the ICW I have frequently dropped it right into the soup mud in 3' of water to hold position vs messing with an anchor when stopping for a break, which was a nice bonus 8)

More weight has to have some amount of additional wear. I have removed the board each winter (floor jack) since adding the weight and have not observed additional wear to the hanger or board.

Doublebraid frayed where it bent to go through the deck so I replaced that section of line each year. I was told amsteel would fray worse over a sharp bend, but have not noticed it wearing quicker and it is smoother.

I had it with the DF90 outboard for 3 years and never observed problems when motoring at high speed. I think weight is the enemy of top speed on the mac and would expect to loose about 1mph for each 100lbs added onto the boat.

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Erik Hardtle » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:18 pm

I did add weight to the centerboard... here are some posts about it... (oh, and my boat is for sale... see classified section)
Here are the posts:

http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... f=8&t=1495

http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... =8&t=20704

or click on the world icon to view my mod section of my website.

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by RussMT » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:32 pm

Erik Hardtle wrote:(oh, and my boat is for sale... see classified section)
You're selling your boat? Why?
What's next?

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Erik Hardtle
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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Erik Hardtle » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:27 am

Downsizing our lives, and upsizing the boat for a liveaboard. Not in a hurry, will still be using the boat as much as always!

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by SENCMac26x » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:05 pm

Erik Hardtle wrote:Downsizing our lives, and upsizing the boat for a liveaboard. Not in a hurry, will still be using the boat as much as always!
NICE!

You're ahead of me; however, the wife and I agree on a 5yr plan to move up to 30-35 foot Catamaran to enjoy with our growing family, and hopefully retire on one day.

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by cptron » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:04 pm

SENCMac26x wrote:NICE!You're ahead of me; however, the wife and I agree on a 5yr plan to move up to 30-35 foot Catamaran to enjoy with our growing family, and hopefully retire on one day
Your still going to need the Mac to keep the growing kids happy. :wink:

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Catigale » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:53 am

Erik Hardtle wrote:Downsizing our lives, and upsizing the boat for a liveaboard. Not in a hurry, will still be using the boat as much as always!
Uh oh..I need a new emergency trailer partner..... :D

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Seapup » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:42 am

NICE!

You're ahead of me; however, the wife and I agree on a 5yr plan to move up to 30-35 foot Catamaran to enjoy with our growing family, and hopefully retire on one day.
davesisk who used to be a member on here has his 1990 endeavourcat 30 for sale in Wilmington for 25k.

http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/55373

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Re: Lead weights for ballast?

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:54 am

Catigale wrote:Uh oh..I need a new emergency trailer partner..... :D
Well, I'm 3-1/2 hours away from Albany via the Thruway. Not great, but better than nothing. :|

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