Ballast

Bill Tripp designed the Javelin to carry 4,750 pounds of external lead ballast. This lead casting was attached to an external "notch" in the keel with 12 stainless steel bolts with 5/8"- 11 thread. The ballast was "sealed" to the hull with the same foam-in-place material used for core in the fiberglass deck. Apparently, when the lead casting was designed, there was an error made in calculating the ballast volume resulting in a casting that was about 700 pounds light. I don't know when the underweight error was discovered, but have found that my hull #8 was apparently corrected by the addition of 1 cubic foot of internal ballast in the water tank just forward of the sump tank. The added ballast was tapered from the baffle down to the base of the tank so the existing water pickup lines could be used. The added ballast was glassed over with woven roving to separate it from the fresh water.

The reports from skippers racing the new Javelins in 1961 indicated that the boats were far too tender and that additional ballast was required. In Souffle' (hull #5), about 1500 pounds of lead pigs were added to the water tanks for greater stability. I don't know if Souffle' had already had the additional 700 pounds added by the factory, like Jet Stream. Jet Stream had 900 pounds of ballast in the form of lead ingots, lead shot and polyester added to the aft water tank just ahead of the sump tank. That ballast was fiberglassed over with a single layer of 10 ounce cloth, that later became separated and allowed water into the lead and visa-versa. I also found 350 pounds of lead pigs stacked like cordwood in the sump tank.

Sump Lead InSump Lead Out
Lead Pigs in Sump TankLead Pigs From Sump Tank

Because the lead was wet, I elected to take the 900 pounds of ballast out so it could be either reinstalled or the boat sailed without the extra ballast. There are a few unknowns yet about whether the ballast should be replaced or should the righting moment be changed by using a lighter boom or some other combination. Taking it out was a real picnic that required an air chisel, sledge, crow bars, lots of sweat and persistance.

I also elected to drop the external ballast down far enough to check the integrity of the keel bolts and reseal it. I had to cut away the fiberglass caps over the nuts in the water tanks to loosen the bolts. I was pleasantly surprised to find the nuts in like new condition under the fiberglass. The ballast was sealed well enough against the hull that when all the bolts were loosened, it took some persuasion to get it to separate. The bolts turned out to be in very good condition, which is a good thing since they were likely cast into the lead ballast and thus are not easily replaceable. I only dropped the ballast down about 1-1/2" so the bolts still were in the mounting holes to make reinstallation easier. I had to make a special scraper to remove all the foam material in the joint. The reinstallation will be with 3M5200 polyurethane sealant. I better get it right the first time though and never plan to remove it again as 5200 is extra nasty to take apart. I plan to do a dry run with my hydraulic jacks and poppets to insure that I can easily get it into place before I commit to the 5200.

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