Many sea boats benefit from having some ballast added, especially if they are being paddled unloaded - people often find the addition of some weight helps provide a little more stability. A variety of ways of doing this exist, ranging from taking a bit of extra kit even on a day paddle, to using water bottles, sand bags, or even filling a BDH bottle with lead. As long as the ballast is well secured so it can't move, all these are excellent solutions.
But there is nothing like an elegant, and easily installed and removed solution. Which is just what Scott Lovrien, from the States, came up with for his gorgeous 2010 Nordkapp Classic.
He recommends using 10lb divers belt weights for this purpose. The cool part is that not only are these are coated with “rubber” or "plastidip" (he thinks) to make them softcoated so they will cause less damage, but they are shaped to contour to a divers body, and this means they contour to the hull!
He says he can just carry them down to the boat at the water, strap them in using velcro straps glassed into the boat, and then launch. He thinks they will put the hull a bit deeper but also greatly add to the stability profile – while also making it easier to static brace or roll. It would seem that 20lbs so low in the boat will really help in both those areas. Pics speak for themselves, so here are the pics -
This discussion on the forum offers feedback on the concept, and some alternative ideas.
Mike Buckley - May 2010