Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dedham, MA
    Posts
    874

    Default Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    I currently have 275 lbs. of bagged lead shot acting as ballast in UNA. It was originally built to carry 4 lead pigs.
    I suspect that this is probably overkill. Any thoughts? Is there a standard. a formula?

    Your thoughts, please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,145

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Might depend upon what kind of a boat it is.
    Dingy?
    How much were the lead pigs supposed to weight?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,609

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    I judge the need for ballast in a small boat by feel. If she were mine, I would try removing shot 50# at a time until she had the feel I wanted in a range of conditions.
    Good luck, keep us posted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,234

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Depends also on what sort of sailing you want to do. Lounge about the cockpit or keep everyone up on the weather rail? To be sure, the bags make it easy to adjust depending on weather conditions and how many crew are along.
    -Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dedham, MA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Might depend upon what kind of a boat it is.
    Dingy?
    How much were the lead pigs supposed to weight?
    That is what I am trying to discover. What was the standard weight of a lead pig in 1852?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dedham, MA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Might depend upon what kind of a boat it is.
    Dingy?
    How much were the lead pigs supposed to weight?
    4 pigs of lead were listed in Dixon Kemp's Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Winter Harbor, ME
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Not sure about then vs now, but I Googled "lead pig" and it looks like they are either 50# or 100#, with 50# being the more common size. The normal use is to melt and cast for ballast, not to use as-is.
    Everything changes . Everything is connected . Pay attention

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dedham, MA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by WHYankee View Post
    Not sure about then vs now, but I Googled "lead pig" and it looks like they are either 50# or 100#, with 50# being the more common size. The normal use is to melt and cast for ballast, not to use as-is.
    Those weights are for "modern" pig lead from Mayco. I'm looking for their equivalent circa 1852.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,625

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    another way to approach the problem is with a sand alternative. Cut a tire inner tube into thirds sew up an end then fill with sand and lace closed...

    these are soft and maleable ballast that does not shift easily.



    one week and counting!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,251

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Those weights are for "modern" pig lead from Mayco. I'm looking for their equivalent circa 1852.
    My understanding is that a "pig" is just a cast ingot, of indeterminate size. Around Ralph Stanley's boatyard, all such chunks of lead from 5# to 40#+ were referred to as pigs regardless of weight. Likewise, in the boat-oriented community I grew up in, any cast chunk of lead used for ballast was a pig. Size was irrellevant.

    From the book "Swallowdale", 1932:

    "How much [lead] is there?"
    "Six pigs of lead, five little ones and a big one."

    So I suspect the "four pigs" referred to by Dixon Kemp is, without any specific weight given, incomplete information. They might have been 50#ers, or 40#ers, or...?

    You probably need to just trial-and-error ballast her. In the end, that's what I did with Bucephalus anyway --and continue to do, year to year, as her equipment list changes over the years.

    Alex

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    2,275

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by G.Sherman View Post
    That is what I am trying to discover. What was the standard weight of a lead pig in 1852?
    Googling lead pig civil war got some figures. It seems to vary with the smelter. I found one pig recovered from a shipwreck at 110 lb and a book that mentioned 81 lb from Kennett & Blow and 70 lb pigs from Flemming.

    Another book from 1871 on ship stowage gives numbers of pigs and weight in tons. Some of the figures are off by a decimal point unless you can really ship 900 tons in a 600 ton ship. The figures using long tons are:
    pigs tons 2240 2240
    300 22 164 164
    1289 902.7 1569?? 157
    435 304.5 1568?? 157
    Last edited by MN Dave; 07-19-2018 at 10:27 AM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    21,625

    Default Re: Ballast for 16 ft. sailboat

    I once dove on a wrecked mailboat in Lake Winnipesaukee and recovered the lead pigs that were ballast. (shallow water, that and the keel/floors was all there was left) They were 25# each, definitely from the 1800's there was an oral history. They had the mark "Bunker Hill" stamped in each one. This was about 1960.

    (After much experimenting with ballast in small boats, I came to the conclusion it was unneccesary, unless... it was required to keep it upright while unattended or was "trimming ballast" to keep on the waterline. As a righting moment it doesn't amount to much because it is not deep enough, you can just scoot your butt over a little and gain that back. Generally speaking it actually slowed the boat and I had better performance without it.)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •