Re: [bolger] Safety of ballasted vs. unballasted open boats
- Id like to be in a Chebaco, with a few small, carefully placed water-ballast
tanks built in.
(And wearing an anti-design-altering flame suit)
>you rather be in - an unballasted Chebacco or a ballasted Romilly?
- Ralph Wrote
> The one major difference is that the Chebacco is unballasted, relyingThe sailing characteristics of these boats will be quite different and
> on form and crew weight for stability, whereas the Romilly has about
> 1300 pounds of lead ballast.
should be the biggest factor in your choice - a boat suited to local
conditions is always best and usually safest.
Romilly will have good momentum and will still sail well in windy, short
choppy conditions that will drive you nuts in Chebacco. In flatter water
(usually with less wind) Chebacco should be a dream and will sail past
There are heaps of ballasted open boats eg Dark Harbour Class, Bullseyes,
Herreschoff 12 1/2's, and they don't regularly drown people.
Lastly, when one starts their boating or building a boat they usually get a
bit obsessed with saftey/seaworthyness - I know I did. Symptoms are reading
all the "Survival at sea/Disaster" books, carefully studying the saftey
features of plans etc. etc. After a while the anxiety eases and you get on
with sailing. Its inportant not to let this faze unduly influence your
choice of boat or you'll end up doing what I did - building 2 boats before
the "right" one.
Regards - Foster
- To all,
There is another safety related design characteristic that is not yet
been mentioned here...it is the "self righting" capacity of the boat. When I
was faced with the choice, I went with a weighted keel design. This was
because the boat was also described as "self righting". (Bolger designed
Oldshoe) Is it possible to get "self righting" capability that will work in
most conditions in an unballasted boat? Here in Florida , USA, we must be
prepared for sudden afternoon thunderstorms with winds that have substantial
strength and unpredictable direction , but (in my sailing area) not
especially large seas.
- In a message dated 8/1/00 2:37:24 PM Central Daylight Time,
<< which would
you rather be in - an unballasted Chebacco or a ballasted Romilly?
>>IMHO - I'd rather be in a boat that floats! This advice from someone who
managed to sink a "Bolgeresque" boat in 3' of water not 2 miles for Port
Everglades (or whatever) with two elderly gentlemen aboard and ended up
seriously worried about the likelihood that hypothermia would be a problem.
Bill in MN
- at the risk of beating a dead horse,...
I sailed a completely open boat, a 21' Drascombe Longboat, for 20
years and I would rather weather a gale on her than on most 30
footers that I know of.
She draws 1', is lightly ballasted in the form of a galvanized steel
centerboard and has positive flotation in the form of foam laced
under the seats, but it is her rig that sets her apart. I've never
had to test her floatation even though I've sailed her through storms
in the Chesapeake with a double reefed main and furled jib and mizzen
eating a peanut butter sandwich while most of the big guys scurried
in to harbor (and done other stupid things besides).
In my opinion, the rig contributes most to a boat's seaworthiness,
sail shortening effectiveness being the most important. Next comes
ballast & hull shape. To contrast, I also sailed a Rhodes 19 with a
deep bulb keel when I was growing up, but the shallow, light,
centerboard Drascombe (21' ft) was easily 10 times more able in a
Frank San Miguel