Hidden deep in the discussion on Heavy Weather Sailing are couple of comments on the moveable lead ballast in the GRP Romilly and there have been other comments about moving this ballast to reduce weather helm.
I suspect that some owners have experimented with this ballast over the years and would very much appreciate a sharing of ideas and discussion of the pros and cons of moving the ballast.
Nigel Irens said “Finding the right fore-and-aft trim is important to find the right balance between the dryness of the ride and sailing efficiency upwind. Moving crew-weight aft is the instinctive reaction as the bow rides higher and lifts more easily to a sea, keeping the crew dryer. The downside is that the fore-body can start to slam in certain sea conditions, and I suspect the boat is a little slower (any observations on that?). We ended up (by trial and error) with about 80 kgs of lead ballast, secured under the bunk forward.”
David Collin said “Nigel’s point about moveable ballast interests me greatly. I have always sailed with all three lead blocks of ballast under the forepeak berth, but I have sometimes wondered if they are there to counter the weight of a full crew in the cockpit. I have sometimes been tempted to take them out, on the theory that as I am always single handed, I may be carrying needless weight, and affecting the fore and aft trim adversely. Would removing them or reducing them be sensible, and could that reduce weather helm?”