Bilge Keel Balast Repair

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Ultimate Design, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Ultimate Design
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Ultimate Design Ultimate Design

    I have a 21ft Vivacity yacht that ran aground on stones and one keel was damaged and the balast came out,there were lots of 1 inch pieces of metal lying around the stones,does anyone know what can be used as balasto repair the keel,someone said concrete can be used but i dont know what the weight of the other keels balast is so i need information on the manufacture specifications.
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Lead shot is typical. collect all the pieces.

    How much ? better get pro advice.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    If you have lead ballast, you should consider replacing it with lead. If you had an iron or steel ballast, a mixture of concrete and "boiler punchings" or scrap steel will do. Identify the ballast type. If it's lead, the local gun shop can sell you 50 pound (23 kg) bags of lead shot. It's pricy this way, but convenient as sin. Get the smallest size shot you can, as it's easier to make a dense packing. You can just pour them into a hollow keel (my assumption) or they can be glue together with epoxy. You can also glue them together with concrete, but this takes up a lot more space, making the casting less dense.

    It would be helpful if you could provide some photos of the keel. Again, I'm assuming it's a FRP hull with hollow bilge keels, that have precast slugs for the ballast. If it's an external ballast, bolted to the keel stubs, then you'll need to do something else (casting), but though different, not as much trouble as it might sound.

    Is this your boat?

    [​IMG]

    The stretched version of this yacht (Vivacity 20) has an iron ballast, possibly pellets, but usually separate pig castings (small enough to manhandle), about 760 lbs. (345 kg) total (380 per keel). If you have the 21 (Vivacity 650) the ballast is about 1,100 lbs. (550 per). I'll assume they made these the same as the Alacrity 19 and Vivacity 20, but I can't confirm this.
     
  4. Ultimate Design
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    Ultimate Design Ultimate Design

    Thanks for the replies,yes that photo is similair to my yachts keels but i cant figure out how to upload photos of my damaged yacht keel and rudder.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Damn, that's a bad hair day for sure.

    Yep, that's the 21 (the 20 is shown above) and it's a dropped in iron deal. I don't know if they used punchings or solid cast ingots, but the weights above will get you done just fine. Of course after you fix the holes in that poor puppy. 550 pounds per keel. You'd be wise to repair the keels and use sand bags to insure this weight doesn't produce a list.
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Gee...why not just repair the keel with glass and epoxy...no lead shot... then use a shoe of lead or whatever on the outside to generate righting moment and give a more robust hard surface to dry out on. Lead is very easy to work with
     
  7. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Michael is correct that lead is easy to work with. It is also dangerous stuff to work with. You can melt it easily over a charcoal grill or even with a large electric hot plate. If you do melt some lead, make very sure that there is no moisture in places where you might pour it. It also has toxic fumes when in molten state. You can mold it into ingots by using small tins such as cake pans or even beverage, or soup cans if you make sure that there is no moisture within.

    You can find lead in scrap yards, plumbers supply stores, and sometimes you can get a lot of it cheaply from tire stores. Automobile wheel balance weights are usually replaced with new ones when installing new tires. That leaves a lot of useless old ones that you can buy. The ferrous metal clips will float to the top when the lead becomes molten.
     
  8. keith66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    keith66 Senior Member

    The Vivacity was a cheap production boat in the first place, built just down the road from here they used steel punchings set in resin. A lot of production boats used this in the 70's. A slow mix of resin woud be poured into the keel & the punchings poured in & stirred aound with a stick, voids were common as was styrene entrapment, beware cutting into a bulging keel as one guy i knew got badly burnt when he cut into a Snapdragon keel with a angle grinder the disc hit the steel punchings & ignited the styrene vapour which was under huge pressure.
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If the repaired fin has lead and the other has a punchings and resin mix, the CG in the lead fin will be lower, making for a good tack and a bad one.

    I agree and exteranl shoe would be best, as it's the easiest thing to fix if damaged and places the ballast as low as practical on a fin, but you'd have to reinforce the fin to accept the lead shoe and you'd be best advised to do this on both bilge keels.

    If it was me, I'd just repair what you have and pour, 550 pounds of pre-coated boiler punchings into the fin, topping it off with more resin and some fabric and call it done.
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    To avoid exotherm I recently used ChocFast to congeal 100kg of lead shot into bilge cavities. Medium viscosity, Easy to workwith

    http://www.chockfast.com/

    Commercial shipyards are a good source...I got it free from the yard because the 20 litre bucket was opened and they dont like opened buckets around
     
  11. Ultimate Design
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    Ultimate Design Ultimate Design

    My yacht is a Vivacity 650 made in 1973,i will post more photos just to make sure if you can tell me that 550 pounds is the correct weight for the balast.
     

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  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Displacement 2,500 lbs. (1,134 kg), ballast 1,100 lbs. (499 kg), divided by two bilge keels, 550 lbs. (249.5 kg) per appendage. This said, you'd be well advised to save 10% - 15% of this weight for "trimming ballast", which is loose ballast, usually cast into bricks, that can be moved around to trim the boat properly, for different loading conditions. I usually cast small bricks of lead for this, which typically are about 2"x3"x6" (51x76x152 mm) and these make about a 15 pound (6.8 kg) brick, which is an easy to handle size. For this boat, you'll need 7 to 12 of these and they can be placed on top of the existing ballast, within the bilge keel, maybe in a tray that has a top, that can be dogged down.
     
  13. Ultimate Design
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    Ultimate Design Ultimate Design

    Thanks for all your advice but things have become even worse,the harbour master tried to tow my yacht off the stone beach to tow it back to harbour but because its unbalanced with one keel balast gone it rolled over and now it is full of water,do you think he knew this would happen or not,now it is even more difficult to get someone with a crane or digger down to the beach,the harbour master had a digger but said it would be more expensive transporting by road and it was cheaper to tow it on water.
    -
    I have beached this yacht 2 times before and i just waited until the tide returned and used my anchor to pull it backward of a sand bank,but this time 2 people walking on the beach called the coastguard even when i told him not to,they arrived and one of them said they would use there boat after midnight when the tide came back in to tow me off the stones,but they never came back,another of them said force 6 gales are on there way and it too dangerous to stay on your yacht and insisted i sleep in my tent,the next morning there had been no gales and my keel had been damaged and im now kicking myself for allowing these incompetant people to inffluence my decision to stay on my yacht,i assumed they were proffessional coastguards.
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    https://www.gov.uk/wreck-and-salvage-law
    QUOTE FROM HALFWAY DOWN,- Summary of offences and penalties ---- S.246 (3) - impeding or hindering attempts to save a vessel, concealing any wreck, defacing or obliterating any mark, and wrongfully carrying away or removing any wreck carries a £2,500 fine on summary conviction
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    Now the Porthmadog harbour master says the only solution is to break up my yacht with there digger and take it to the scap yard,he says the 2 keels have now been damaged which i think would make it BALANCED AGAIN and could be towed after pumping the water out of the cabin,but they said the hull has been punctured where the keel joins to the hull,PROBABLY BECAUSE THEY DRAGGED IT ACROSS THE STONE BEACH AND WRECKED IT,IS IT SALVAGABLE?
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    I have a mooring 10 miles away from where my yacht is sinking,has the coastguard and harbour master got a legal responsibility to tow it back to my mooring,there excuse was if it sunk at sea on the 10 mile crossing i would be responsible for removing it from the sea bed.
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    I invested a lot of time and money doing repairs to the yacht traveling 18hour journeys from Scotland to Wales once a month so i could sail it back to Scotland,NOW THE DREAM is a nightmare.
    -
    I will try and down load photos but they were sent to me by the harbour master by email.
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    In this country you'd have a few avenues of pursuit in this matter, but I have no idea what's available to you. Clearly you have a claim against the harbor master and or coast guard. It's unlikely you'll get any satisfaction from the coast guard, if it's setup like most. The first thing I would do is get an attorney to make a few phone calls. Most of the time, people in semi official positions, think they have more authority than they actually do and use this as a bullying tactic, to do what they want. Call an attorney, if only to find out where you stand and to get an injunction started. I've found once the attorney calls, all of a sudden things get done professionally, with apologies and consolation quickly following, often with now much more expert advice, on how to proceed. This is unfortunate, but does happen occasionally. Hang tough and find out what rights you have left.
     

  15. dazbow2000
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: liverpool

    dazbow2000 New Member

    need some bits !! can't send message !

    hi there , need your number , 07752577803 regards Darren
    liverpool
     
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