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Adding extra Ballast to an RL28 - John Brooker

I put more ballast in the hull of my RL28 but it was not easy.

With the older boats, apparently there is a gap between the hull and the inner floor, and lead can be run in there as small shot, usually in an epoxy paste so it will harden and stay there). However, with the newer designs (mine was build in 1985), there is no gap to speak of. Hence I was only able to lay lead blocks in the bilges, both stern and aft, as well as building a raised floor in the galley area, and fixing lead under that. It was as low as I could get without attaching the lead on the outside of the hull (which would cause all sorts of turbulence problems). In total, I put about 160 Kg of lead in the hull, as well as keeping the 200 L forward water tank full. I did look at the option of rebuilding the keel. However, it is quite thin cast iron (about 30 mm) and would have been difficult (impossible) to attach lead to that without it cracking. A new keel would be needed, but for lead it would need to be at least 70 mm thick. Hence a new keel casing would also be needed ie, this was getting too expensive.

The extra ballast has increased the stability of the boat, but in a stiff breeze (>15 kts), it is still advisable to reef the main. Otherwise the weather helm and heeling become unmanageable.