Sunday 8 August 2021

Ballast | Lots of Lead

As I thought about about turning the boat upside down I started to think ahead to completion of the build and when to purchase two vital items needed for launch day.

A lot of lead for ballast in the bilges, and a trailer.

The lead time for the trailer is about six weeks, so I decided to order that when I flip the boat right way up again.

But I might as well get the lead ballast now, since I didn't know how hard it would be to find a large amount of the recommended lead shot.

A call to the supplier of lead for the keel revealed that they could not supply any shot but they knew someone who could.

The new supplier did not make lead shot, which is apparently very expensive and I'm not even sure if you could get it in the UK now because it has been banned for use in shotgun ammunition. It's poisonous and kills wildfowl which ingest spent shot when feeding on mudflats and in shallows.

The good news though was that they can supply lead pellets, about 1cm in diameter. Ideal!

The build manual recommends a minimum of 36kg in each side of the boat, so 72kg in total is required.

The pellets are only available in 20kg bags though, so I purchased 80kg at £2.77 per kilogram plus shipping. I didn't think that was too expensive.

This is what 80kg of lead pellets looks like, in 4 heavy bags.

I'm not convinced it will fit into the compartments under the lift-out floorboards. We will see!

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