Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cogitating Ballast

My boat used to have a through kitchen, i.e. there were units on each side.  In a moment of moments that I tend to have the kitchen copped it and the cupboards and cooker ended up on one side and the fridge on the other. This has left the boat rather unbalanced;l especially after another moment I had several years ago which ended up with the batteries and calorifier being on the same side (crazy!).  The same side as the solid fuel stove (which I am not moving again!)

I solved the resulting lob-sided problem by moving all the books to the lighter side and distributed them down the length of the boat. This works reasonably well, but I would now like all the books in one place – the sitting room. The only side they can go is the same side as all the other stuff.  I am toying with the idea of putting the chairs (which are lighter than the books) on the other side (the same side as all the other stuff) instead of the books but that means they are on the same side as the solid fuel stove which will make staring at the fire in winter dull… not to mention the close proximity of the chairs to the fire which may make the fire in winter far more exciting than I would hope if a chair caught fire.

So. What to do?  I was thinking of putting ballast under the front well deck on the lighter side, but as someone pointed out – my drain holes are low enough as it is so weighing down the front is not necessarily a good idea. I could put ballast in the engine room, but I wonder whether I should distribute the ballast down the length of the boat or not, and what sort of ballast.

The sensible thing would have been to take up a lot of ballast when I replaced the sitting room floor following the dry rot… but it all looked so neat and tidy under there so I left it.

Now I have written all this I think had better check that the chairs on the heavier side really would be too close to the fire, I bet they wouldn’t be.. and staring at books in winter is no bad thing – it means the kettle on the stove can be reached without standing up……


Blogger John Witts said...

We have got a lot of long thin cast-iron sash window counterweights that I pulled out of a skip in a similar "moment" of ballast-related lateral thinking.

You are very welcome to them if you think they will help.


John (wb Pippin)

8:17 AM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

Hello John
That could be fantastic! Thanks. I will bare it in mind... I am still totally undecided! I think I might need something that is very heavy and very small as the storage is rapidly disappearing.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Roger Smith said...

Heavy and small takes you into the realms of expensive and/or dangerous materials.

Mercury, but that is hazardous and would probably get out and flow to the wrong side making things worse.

Gold, too expensive but at least it would look pretty.

Lead, still pricey and only hazardous if ingested. I suppose all the pipes are on the heavy side which make another reason not to replace them with lead ones. Do you know any ex divers who might be persuaded to part with their weight belts or heavy boots.

As a lateral thought You could try helium filled fenders on the heavy side to even things out.

1:41 AM  
Blogger nb.bobcat said...

Take up weight lifting and casually leave them on the 'lighter side'?

5:35 PM  

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