Building the Ballast Tanks
from start to finish


Sunday, June 15th, 2008

The water ballast system requires a pump to pull 290 litres of seawater into a ballast tank and a means of dumping the windward tank contents to the leeward tank just before tacking the boat.

This picture shows the three inch valve (in front) which is used to dump ballast water from one tack to the other, and the inch and a half valve (green hose) which pumps sea water to a chosen ballast tank on port or starboard. The grey tubes are solid plastic and lead to control handles on deck just underneath the tiller. The large grey tube in the background is the rudder stock wet tube.

plumbing 1

This next picture shows how the three inch and inch and a half pipes are connected to a sump tank aft of the main ballast water tanks on each side. Here we see the port side. Another layer of unidirectional glass tape has yet to be applied to help bond the sump tank to the inside of the hull. The red lines are the engine controls, the sagging black pipe is engine water overflow.

plumbing 2

Here is a view to the starboard sump tank, the grey pipe is three inch for changeover from one side to the other, the green hose is seawater inlet from a thru hull fitting. Again, the grey rods lead to control handle on deck. The rods are 30mm diameter, shaved with Mr. Dremel to fit an inside diameter 28mm dinghy spinnaker pole aluminium tube and locked with two M6 bolts and nylock nuts. The black yoke is the Raymarine linear drive to control the rudder, glassed with epoxy to the underside of the deck. The red yoke is the gas-powered hot air cabin heater–there will be warmth!

plumbing 3

Testing the ballast tanks

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Take a deep breath, switch on the pump and let’s see what happens…

tank 1

It takes just over three minutes to pump 290 litres of sea water into the tank. The forward perspex hatch let us look for Nemo. This next picture shows the boat heeled over with the starboard tank filled.


Overflow openings in the tanks show when the tank is full of seawater, there are two: one to evacuate air and the other (the clear plastic pipe) to show the tank is full.


We had three minor leaks down below, easily repaired with epoxy resin.

A boat, not a building site

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Finally finished. All of the tools have been removed, all of the work has been finished, all of the cushions installed.

Here we can see the control panel:

From left: Adverc battery monitor with Ipod and Screaming Meanie alarm clock below, then the Navylec control switches.

Three 12 volt “cigar lighter” sockets with cabin heater and AIS controller beneath and SeaMe active enhanced radar repeater below, then a Standard Horizon DSC VHF above a Pioneer stereo (there will be music) and fore and aft automatic bilge pump switches.

You can see an Icom hand held VHF radio in its charger and the laptop with SeaPro navigation and chartplotter software. Of course, there is a large collection of paper charts

interior 1

The aft cushions are in place and all of the tools and materials have been removed.