{Stus-List} mast climbing - Using water to heel the boat.

Colin Beckmann alchemist1 at rogers.com
Fri Dec 4 14:52:52 EST 2009

I remember seeing the original pictures.  The bags were initially shown 
hanging from the halyards on either side of the mast, all ready 
filled.   The next shot showed the boat starting to heel and then 
subsequent shots showed the boat farther heeled, until it passed under 
the bridge.

so here are my thoughts.

1) you want to try this without the bridge first....   just a thought.
2)  do some simple math, figure out how long the halyards have to be.  
You don't want to have to lift the bags after they have weight in the.  
This will be hard on the people doing the grinding, hard on the winches 
etc.   You also need to take into account the strength of the structure 
holding the blocks at the foot of the mast.   If that lets go you are 
going to have a mess, and probably major damage to all things that the 
halyards pass through and or connect to.   Like for instance it will 
probably rip the organizers off the deck.  You do not want them to touch 
the water because that will affect steerage. When performing this 
maneuver you want all the control you can have.
3) It strikes me that you need to fill the bags to a certain volume that 
can provide you with an initial heel.  I am not sure what the weight 
would be and it does not really matter.  It is a try try try try again 
thing.  Don't start with a lot.
4) Once you have a few hundred lbs of water into the bags you winch 
these out board. Which will give you some initial heal.
5)  Now add water via a pump to the bags until you have the desired heel.
6) Now drive the boat around a bit and see what it is like.   You are 
going to move slow.  If you are executing a turn and you change where 
the bags by them swinging, you are going to either increase or decrease 
your heel.  Results will vary.  After your comfortable you can set it up 
again and go under the bridge.


Bill Bina wrote:
> Couldn't you simply have a bag that was easily more than you need, and 
> tilt the boat however much you want by hauling up on the bag, which 
> would otherwise be barely submerged? I don't think too much bag would 
> be much of a problem. The bag really doesn't have to be completely out 
> of the water. It will affect steering, but you aren't going to be 
> looking for speed with this setup. Might even want top consider towing 
> with the dinghy. You also require less weight if you first use the 
> dingy to move the weight away from the side of the boat before  you 
> start winching.
> Bill Bina
> cscheaffer at comcast.net wrote:
>> I would theorize that the center of ballast is about a foot above the 
>> bottom of the keel and estimate you would need about 500# for a 30 
>> footer.  I haven't tested it, but I think you need more than that 
>> weight of water in the bag and adjust the halyard so the bag hits the 
>> water at about 40 degrees heel, where the excess would become neutral 
>> and loose weight.  The bags look like diver's lift bags that include 
>> a release valve activated by a rope.  These go for about $150 for a 
>> heavy duty 1000# lift bag.  This is a problem best left to trial and 
>> error testing, starting light and adding weight until the desired 
>> result is achieved.
>> Math can be used to predict the reduction in mast height and draft 
>> reduction, but it may be more direct to just draw it to scale and 
>> measure it.
>> Chuck
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