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1204Re: [privateer20] Re:: Weight of the boat

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  • Aart van der Pol
    May 30, 2016
      In a Dutch brochure of 1978 I have the weight is given as 560 kg with a ballast of 30%.
      However in the same brochure the gaff version is given 665 kg with no ballast mentioned.

      2016-05-30 21:06 GMT+02:00 acapella13934@... [privateer20] <privateer20@...>:

      Page 4 of my copy of the manufacturer's brochure,  a scanned copy of which is on this site,  states "Trailing weight approx. 13 cwt (661.82 kg)";  it is not clear whether that does or does not include the recommended road trailer.

      Elsewhere I have seen a figure of 750 kg,  but I don't now remember where I saw that,  and I don't know how authoritative it may (or may not) be.

      It is also known that there are at least some constructional differences between early and late Privateers,  and there seems to be good evidence that the later ones had built-in ballast beneath the cabin sole.

      What is absolutely certain is that the boat is very light for her size,  and that has ramifications for both seakeeping and structural strength.   

      On the matter of structural strength,  if you walk on either the cabin roof or the forehatch you can feel it flex under your weight.   Although I don't regard it as urgent,  on my own boat I intend when convenient to reinforce the cabin roof,  and build a new forehatch.    

      I also used to notice that when dried out on a firm bottom,  if there is even the slightest swell as she dries or as she refloats I could feel the cabin floor boards move under my feet as the hull flexed.    That sensation has disappeared since I re-bonded the cabin floorboard bearers to the hull twelve months ago.

      On the matter of seakeeping,  during the course of my first serious offshore cruise in her in 2013 I decided that she was far too light for safety,  and that she was potentially capable of capsize,  and that it was my responsibility as skipper to ensure that she was never allowed to do so.   In no other yacht which I had owned or sailed previously had the risk of capsize ever even entered my thoughts.   It is fair to say that this is the smallest yacht which I have ever owned,  and the smallest bar two which I have ever sailed,  but I still felt that she is too light for her size.

      Based on the putative figure of 570 kg displacement,  this appears to be very roughly half the displacement of the 19-ft Cornish Shrimper (1065 kg) and the Cape Cutter 19 (1100 kg).   In the course of ensuing discussions on this forum I was greatly encouraged by a handful of owners who reported that they had added ballast and that it transformed the boat for the better.   I then added extra ballast to my boat for 2014,  and I did indeed find that it transformed her for the better.    I estimate my additional ballast as at least 157 kg,  and it may be significantly more.   

      I am not certain that I have the additional ballast optimised,  and I did originally intend to assess the result and consider adding yet more,  but having made that assessment I have decided that the boat is now not at all bad,  and I have not yet added any more.   Essentially the space beneath the cockpit sole is filled,  starting with 50 kg of scrap lead and then the remaining space filled with an estimated 75 kg of "gravel" (actually decorative rounded stones") bagged up into "sausages" formed by rolled rubble sacks and bound with gaffer tape.   I have also added a second battery,  100 A-h,  with a quoted mass of 24 kg,  in a solid oak box whose mass I estimate at  8 kg.    Those estimates are based on indirect data,  and are possibly on the low side.

      The designer stated that the boat was designed to float to her marks with two adults and two teenagers all in the cockpit,  and that if sailing single-handed one should add ballast (sandbags were suggested) beneath the cockpit sole.

      I do have data for my actual sailing displacement,  measured on a weighbridge on 28th August last year,  straight out of the water at the end of my summer cruise,  and en route by road to an autumn cruise in a different part of the country.   This was with the boat fully stored,  full fuel and water tanks,  moderately full food and liquor,  full navigational kit,  extensive toolkit and "bosun's stores",  comprehensively stocked grab bag,  full personal kit aboard,  and main outboard and outboard for the tender both mounted;     1429 kg,  which is getting more respectable.    This excludes the weight of my own person.

      Of course,  that displacement requires both a suitable heavy duty trailer,  and a suitably heavy duty towcar.    I replaced my trailer with a heavy duty one last year (which cost me almost as much as I had paid for the boat in 2009),  and I tow with a Landrover,  but not all owners have those advantages.

      Hope this helps,


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