Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Corrosion In Ballast"
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Post: "Corrosion In Ballast"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Lawrence and Mayumi Wheeler

Hi, Bud,

As you know, it was my fate to have the grandlady of them all: W32 #32. The ballast is mostly steel punchings which have corroded in two places that I can see. One is the area under the teak grating between the head and the hanging locker: i.e. the kingpost and the area forward of that. The other is the area under the companionway steps, between the main cabin bilge and the engine room: another area that looks like a ballast barrier between the engine sump and the main bilge.

I doubt whether it is true of the later boats, but these two areas are built up to a level just under the sole. Oddly though, these are the only two areas where the punchings show evidence of water intrusion and severe corrosion. The outermost punchings have expanded and separated from the pack. The upper surface of the main ballast that forms the bottom of the bilge is intact and relatively smooth except at its lowest point. My boat does not have a deep sump.

Last haulout, late in 2003, when diesel fuel was sloshing around in the bilge, we removed the rudder only to find diesel "fuelish" water coming out the holes to fasten the gudgeons. Does this mean there is water throughout the ballast?

I have read your comments elsewhere about grinding off the rusted punchings in the ballast, filling with epoxy slurry, then glassing over...but you advise that that be done during a haulout. Since the areas affected are high and dry, do you think I can accomplish this while the boat is in the water? Will epoxy remain adhered to rusted ballast material? What number filler should I use with the epoxy resin? Must I use glass mat before a layer of woven roving?

Thanks for you help.

Chip Wheeler
s/v Evangeline

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