RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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Local Cruising RL24 Mods
I posted in a message about ballast dating from 2004, but it seems old messages don't update, so I'll ask here in a new thread.

I have acquired an old RL24 and have not yet sailed her, but want at least the same stability as an Embassy/Kestrel 18, Hartley TS18, or similar.

Looking at the hull shape of an RL24 I imagine adding 100kg to 200kg each side of the centreboard case is possible. It would only be 10 to 20 litres volume in lead.

Has anyone experimented? At first I thought it would ruin the planing ability of a great boat, then I saw pics of RL24 yachts planing with more than that weight in extra crew aboard.

I sail exclusively in Whitsunday waters where our usual sailing conditions are 20 knots +/- and 1.5 to 2.5 metre breaking seas.
A normal week's sailing is nothing like the post cards :-)



RossD 16-Mar-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
Hi Ross
Deb and Pete purchased "Kermit" from Micheal Skinner.
I dont know if Micheal added it or not, but Pete told me that she has 100kg of lead in the floor cavity
Try contacting those guys
Andy 18-Mar-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
During the early eighties an RL24 National championship series was held out off Airlie beach and the conditions were as you described.
At first I concluded that light displacement TS type boats were not suited for that area because that short chop made sailing unpleasant , but as the series progressed we found that some extra crew on the boat did make life easier, if not for the purpose of carrying sai but to ease the motion, and that extra weight was best placed well forward, unfortunately the boat did not perform better and the lighter boats were clearly faster.

I must reluctly agree that extra ballast in a cruising version of the 24 would be advantageous, but would only be a fraction of the righting moment of a crew out on the gunwale.

If you do procede please ensure that you do fit adequate extra floatation, and ensure that the added ballast is well secured.
Rob Legg 19-Mar-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
This is something I wondered about, although I was thinking if the centerboard is cast iron, a less than sane person could drill vertical holes up into the bottom into the board, and back fill with lead, being that lead weighs nearly twice as much. Less total weight, but would put the weight were you need it. I sail alone most of the time, and seldom have the luxury of rail meat.
Daveinet 21-Mar-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
'Kermit" had a piece of metal under the front berths which I assume weighed about 100kg. We weighed our boats for AMS and a near identical RL (two sail numbers off) was 100kg lighter. Not exactly scientific. I did sail it off Charles Point near Darwin which can get choppy with tide against wind and it handled it nicely. We were getting about 7.5 knots on a reach up Bynoe harbour and turned the corner into nasty chop on the way back to Darwin. Got a lot of wraps from other sailors at the bar later that week about how well the RL handled the chop. I wouldn't have added the ballast and it made the boat slower than the identical RL, but it was nice to have sometimes.
Mike Skinner 31-Mar-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
Thanks for the replies.
A couple of questions for Rob please:

Pacemaker is pretty old, but the hull around the centrecase and compression post seems pretty thick. If I added some weight ahead of and each side of the forward end of the centrecase, about where the Hartley 18s used to have their 4cwt of lead, should that strain the hull too much?

What weight would you consider excessive?

My initial thoughts were about 30kg ahead of the compression post and about 30kg each side. Combined with the 50kg of water on the centeline under the cockpit and the vee berth, and the weight of a battery under the cockpit step it would put everything heavy low and in the middle of the boat.

I'm happy to sacrifice speed for comfort, so I am quite happy to go smaller in the mainsail.
RossD 8-May-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
I've finally got Pacemaker home and have begun work on making her more of a cruiser, which will involve adding some ballast, but the plan is to use lead sheet, which can be moulded into place (by virtue of it being sheet) and secured in a manner that will make it removable if necessary.
I understand Rob's comment about weight being of more use on the rails, but I generally sail single handed for weeks at a time, so I rarely have to option of sitting crew high and to windward.
I'm hoping that 50kg to 100kg, right in the middle, will be some use.

The boat is really rough and will be cleaned and fixed on a tight budget, so it will be a while before she floats again.
RossD 30-Oct-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: Local Cruising RL24 Mods
Another little problem solved. I've been trying to work out where to put a PortaPotti in Pacemaker. Under the vee berth is possible and indeed where the previous owners kept one. But that is so wrong in so many ways. Even though we use NapiSan, so there's no real odour, the inconvenience of having to move when somebody wants to use it.

I looked at cutting into a berth somewhere, but that presents its own set of problems. Then I discovered I can fit one on the quarter berth and slide it under the cockpit when it is not in use. But that is just a little high for comfortable use, and I don;t want to be lifting it in and out of the cockpit. Also, if I have a guest aboard, usually it is a female guest, and they don't seem to enjoy doing their business in full view of bigger boats all around.

I was modifying the mechanism for the pop top today and realised there is no step when I come in from the cockpit. So I stuck a plastic soft drink crate upside down and stepped onto that. Then I sat on it to use some tools.

It dawned on me this is the perfect solution. A flat square of flooring on the starboard side. The portapotti sitting there, with a box built around 3 sides with a hinged lid, and a lip across the open front for obvious reasons. That leaves the floor on the port side completely clear.

When the porta potti is not in use, the lid/step is down and can double as a seat in the cabin. The starboard quarter berth is only for plastic storage bins anyway.

The Potti will be in an ideal place to remove for emptying. If the vee berth is in use and someone wants privacy, a curtain can be pulled across. if the cabin is empty the washboard can be slipped in or the companionway canvas can be popped up for privacy.

Problem solvered.
RossD 30-Oct-2013    Edit    Delete 

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