Author Topic: extra ballast  (Read 1747 times)

Offline bfelton

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extra ballast
« on: June 22, 2012, 05:39:12 PM »
Have any of you added extra ballast to your sun cats?

Bert Felton

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 10:57:11 PM »
Bert,

Not yet, 'cause I've had so many other more important boat projects, but I have considered it.

Thought it might be interesting at some point to add a few bags of sand forward, at the base of the mast stub, in an attempt to counterbalance all the weight most of us have in the after sections of the boat. In addition to some "human ballast" in the cockpit (the amount of which can certainly vary), we have an outboard motor hanging off the stern, anywhere from 1 to 6 gallons of fuel in the compartment just inside the transom, and assorted items (weight) stored in the cockpit seat lockers. And, in my case, practically NOTHING of substantial weight in the forward 1/3 of the boat.

The reason I'd like to someday "play" with moveable ballast is that I'm somewhat intrigued by reports of performance improvement in other boats when additional ballast was added, primarily in the forward sections of boats. Adding ballast forward, sufficient enough to alter the "trim" of the boat, can affect the relationship between the Center of Effort (COE) of the sailplan and the Center of Lateral Resistance (CLR) of the underwater profile. This can impact degree of weatherhelm and windward (pointing) performance.

I'd be very interested in your experiences, should you decide to add additional ballast anywhere in your Sun Cat.

capt_nemo

Online Bob23

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 08:39:43 PM »
I don't know about the Suncat but I used to own a Seapearl 21 monohull which had a total weight of 600 pounds. When I added 4 bricks as forward ballast, I could definitely feel the difference. She would point noticably higher. The Seapearl is  very sensitive to ballast placement and trim. I used to lash the tiller and "surf" the boat by shifting my weight from leeward to windward and fore and aft! Such fun!
Bob23

Offline Joseph

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:50:55 AM »
I'd be interested too... My impression is that the anchor and rode at the bow, the two batteries around the mast plus the mast itself do offer suitable balance to myself in the cockpit and the motor in the transom. The SunCat does not cut the waves, it merely floats above them (one of the secrets for its dryness). The keel and ballast in the SunCat are already a major departure from older catboat designs and more ballast may further increase the drag of the hull. But I am only guessing... you tell us.

J.
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Offline capt_nemo

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 09:08:24 PM »
Anchor and rode at the bow, and two Batteries around base of the mast?

Wow, if I had those to help provide some counterbalance, I too wouldn't be so inclined to add additional ballast forward unless absolutely warranted.

And yes, I do have a substantial anchor and long lead of chain on the rode - located, you guessed it, in a large rubber livestock pail down in a cockpit locker.

Portable battery powered Nav and cabin lights also serve quite well, being the minimalist that I am. (But I do like to add headsails!)

capt_nemo


Offline Joseph

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 05:04:30 PM »
Hi Captn_Nemo...

Love your foresails and the way the your SC looks with them...

The batteries are regular 12V deep-cycle batteries located at both sides of the mast. I charge them with a flexible solar panel (11W). I'm sure I'd miss them if I were to spend weeks at a time anchored in the boonies without them on board. And as for the lockers... I need them for my other anchors and rodes! (the bruce is in the front but the delta and fortress lie inside the locker... I like to sleep when cruising the wild. And even then, I have dragged anchor(s) on the odd occasion...

J.
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Offline Tom Ray

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Re: extra ballast
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 11:27:45 AM »
One of my enhanced performance ideas for future Sun Cat Nationals competition involves basically turning one of the old ones into a miniature Man O War boat.

For those not familiar, crazy Bahamians race these things with a GIANT rig on a little boat with almost no draft. The secret is a large board that is slid across the boat on each tack and on which several of the crew precariously perch themselves.

Still arguably a Sun Cat hull, so still well within the class rules!

Also considering the same idea with amas and/or lifting foils instead of moving humans, but I have to admit the moving humans would be much funnier to watch and the whole purpose of the Sun Cat Nationals is to amuse me! :D