how much ballast? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
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I am: Eric A
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how much ballast?

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I'm a model aircraft flyer, but recently picked up my first boat to join my brother with his trawler on the water.

I have a Stirling American Scout that was built in 1975, but has been unused for decades. The seller gave me some lead bars to put in the boat for ballast, so I figured that would be easy enough. After filling the bath tub, I was shocked to see the model sitting really high, so high that the slightest push would have rolled her over. I started adding lead, then put in and on top everything heavy I could find. It floats just about on the painted waterline, but it needed 10 pounds of weight to do so.

All I know about boats is what I've read on the internet in the past few days, so that makes me just smart enough to be dangerous. I figured the best plan of action was to post here and see if some of you knowledgeable fellows would take pity on a complete newbie. It would probably take another pound or 2 just to make her sit down to the waterline.

As close as I can tell from the bathroom scales (my postal scale only goes to 5 lbs), the weight of the unballasted model is about 6 pounds - seems like twice the empty weight is a lot for ballast.

Does this amount of weight seem right? And if yes, how do I get that much weight inside and low down? Help!


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Old 05-01-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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I am: Barclay R.
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hamilton On. Canada
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Re: how much ballast?

Sweet looking ship.

but holy crap . 10 lbs
My 48" Zenoah gas boat weighs 17lbs dry
shes going to be slowwww
maybe it was just a display model ?

tell us more about it. engines and any details more pics pls
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: how much ballast?

I would not be surprised at all if it needed that amount of weight. Comparing to a tugboat model that I had several years ago that was about 35" or so in length the correct ballast was a full size car battery which was also the power supply for the electric propulsion system. It was not a fast boat of course but drafted about 10 or so inches of water and was super stable. Used to be fun hauling around a 20 foot 10 inch log that we found on the beach.
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Electric flying is pretty much seeing how close to a dead short you can run without setting it on fire.

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Old 05-03-2014, 11:01 PM   #4
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I am: Eric A
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mt. Albert, ON
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Spectrum DX9

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Posts: 29
Total Props: 1
Re: how much ballast?

The seller told me he built the model in 1975 for an elderly relative, who only sailed it a few times before becoming ill. That makes it nearly 40 years old, but its in excellent shape. I've seen videos of the same ship on YouTube and she sails very well, definitely not a display model.

The electronics are, of course, ancient as well - the controller is an Ace ET 1210, the motor a brushed Pitman and the single servo is a Futaba FP-S148. All work perfectly.

I've converted the radio system to 2.4 so I can use my computer radio and am powering the motor with a 2s lipo. Other than that, I've made no changes.

The boat was bought so I can kick around with my brother who bought an RC trawler. I don't think it will be slow, it will be positively glacial, but do I care? Nah, I'm just in it for the fun.

I'm an aircraft flyer with 26 flyable planes of all types from 1.5 oz indoor stick & tissue to 100" span gliders, so this will just be a way to spend some quality time with my brother and have a giggle.

Here's 2 more pictures; excuse the messy bench, but I still haven't cleaned up from converting a 50 year old Sal Taibi Powerhouse to electric power. Isn't RC the best hobby ever?

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