Removing Ballast

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Removing Ballast

Postby Rick West » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:15 pm

Do any of you have experience in removing ballast that was installed with a silicon based sealant?

...94 [8D]
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Postby Tim » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:19 pm

Try mineral spirits. Let it soak, then gently pry out starting in the bow.
Bob Dundinsky put me onto this method when I changed ballasts last spring.

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Postby Jon Luscomb » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:31 pm


3M adhesive r <ul><li> </li><li> </li><li> </li></ul>emover or Goof off. Both are xylene an naphtha.

I would rather wonder why I won than to know exaclty why I lost.
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Postby RMDJBD » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:53 pm


Stay away from 3M adhesive remover, it is to strong and will soften the Polyester resin.

Stick with Mineral Spirts.

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Postby Chuck Luscomb » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:04 am

If you use a thin putty knife with a somewhat sharp edge, you can work it back and fourth and it will cut the sealant without cutting the glass or damaging the lead.

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Postby Rick West » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:48 pm

Thanks, Guys.
I am not having ballast issues but looking into a whole new set up. I need to get a good ballast our first. I will report about it when I have had some shop. Rats...the priorities.

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Re: Removing Ballast

Postby MichaelJ2K » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:58 pm

I thought about doing that with mine but then there's a layer of polyester and glass holding it in. Oh well, there's always C4...... :shock:
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Re: Removing Ballast

Postby steve h » Thu May 03, 2012 10:04 am

I had very good luck removing mine with a retractable razor knife, a pair of plastic putty knives and a 1/8" xacto wood carving blade(looks like their chisel blade with a curve to push the blade away from the large handle. I used a retractable razor knife with the blade out 1/32-1/16" or so, and scored the material. Several light passes at different angles helped free it up. I further removed material with the xacto blade, in a large handle for control
. Mine was held in with liquid nails. After scoring it, i started working the small putty knife (1 inch) along the hull, wincing every time i hit a tough spot. I used the larger plastic putty knife to get any sealant that was further down in the keel.

Drill/thread a screw/bolt, etc into the lead, and use that to help leverage it out.

Definately a beer before, and 1-2 after...all to calm the nerves.
#1988 and #1858...aka Frank's boat
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Re: Removing Ballast

Postby s vernon » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:23 pm

Marc Smith has the problem of needing to remove a ballast that was epoxied in place. I have faced this problem and (you cannot tell from the pictures) but it went better the second time on the blue boat than on the yellow one that is not shown. ... rgeryOuch#

I used a reciprocating saw with a big toothed wood blade to make the cut. When planning and marking where to cut you can see where the top and ends of the ballast are by looking through the hull so marking the outside of the hull for the cut is pretty simple. I made the cuts so that I removed slightly more ballast than I wanted to at each end. Then I made about a 3/8 inch thick piece off of the ballast pieces that were removed from the hull, put masking tape on the outsode of the hull over the cuts and used Marine-Tez to epoxy those small pieces back into the hull right up agaonst the ballast. That gives good rigidity back to the hull at front and back of the ballast. Be sure to put epoxy under the piece and between the piece and the ballast.

One thing that is obvious from looking at the pictures is that the saw grabbed the hull and ripped it. I found that by putting 3M Tough duct tape from Home Depot over the place to be cut it prevented that ripping on the second cut.

Once you get the cut made, it says here you will be able to pry between the big and little piece of ballast to break the small piece loose.

You do what you have to do with these ebay boats to round them into form. This one weighed 24.8 pounds with the big big Brawner ballast before the procedure. I raced this boat at the 2012 NCR and was very happy with the speed and handling of the boat. Even with putty and sanding the hull is not totally fair due to the rip, but the boat goes fine. The end that did not rip is fair. The yellow boat weighed 25.1 pounds level at 42 inches with a full Carr ballast. And it was a nice fast boat at that weight. Oh, well.

I never wanted to publicly admit to this procedure, but if it will help Marc, then there it is.

I guess this does not really answer Marc's question on another thread about totally removing epoxied in ballast, but maybe this will be enough like it was for me.

The other way is to drill a half inch or bigger hole in the bottom just through the glass and start poundung on the ballast using that expendable drill bit and a heavy hammer, with the boat sitting on its deck. Pound on the pointy end of the bit. I was successful with one boat and was successful in beating a half inch hole all the way through the ballast on the yellow boat. Wear safety glasses as the bit might shatter. If you beat on the ballast near the front it will just curl up and that gets you nowhere.

Then you Marine-Tex the hole in the bottom of the boat.

This is why I need to own so many boats. :D
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Re: Removing Ballast

Postby greerdr » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:03 pm

Your surgical privileges are hereby revoked!
The patient recovered-as evidenced by how many times you passed me at Nats-but I am impressed in how far you go in reballasting.
Think lesson learned is put the ballast in with minimal "stick-um".
I like the "3-M' stuff that has an "undo".
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