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First off, I would like to thank the designer/Alan and all the builders of the CS boats for sharing their advice on endless topics.  I am making good progress on my CS 20 MK3 #21, I've almost caught up to Alan on his CS 20 MK3 and am feeling a bit uneasy since I've been following his build on google photos and soon I won't have any visual reference other than the construction manual.  It shouldn't be a huge deal but Alan's pictures sure have been a nice reference.  Not to say that all of your pictures have been very helpful too, because they have. 

 

My question today is what is the best way to add and remove water from the ballast tank? I like simple, but at the same time convenience of operation at a the time of need is an important consideration as well.  I liked the idea of using two andersen bailers one forward and one aft, but the dewatering of the tank at a minimum speed of 4 kts is a problem and having to open and close the armstrong hatch I guess is a little cumbersome.  Personally I would think that the most common time to remove water from the ballast tank would be during low winds and thus slow boat speed and one wanting to row an empty boat. So I was thinking of using a bailer for filling and a manual pump for removing water, however the thought of taking the time to pump while trying to maintain course etc. when sailing short handed does not appeal to me.  So I'm thinking an electric bilge pump to remove the water and a bailer to fill the tank. I haven't been able to find a reversible 12V bilge pump either which certainly might be the most convenient method for adding and removing water as long as one had the 12V power available.  I went to the local Marine store to look at the Andersen Mini Bailer and due to the design of this unit I think it will only bail not flood?? It has a little flapper door on the front of the scoop permitting water from only exiting the unit not entering it. I guess maybe one could force the removal of that door now that I think about it? 

 

As a side note I have also been contemplating what type of auxilary propulsion to use, I am planning on having the oars available as a last resort option.  I've been searching the internet for a pedal drive system too which really interests me especially since there are a few non-motorized raid races I hope to participate in. 

 

Anyways, I was curious as to what all your thoughts were on the ballast tank operation was? before I make my final decision. 

 

 

20190307_102327.jpg

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Hi Mark, I have a reversible pump used by ski boats to pump water in/out of the ballast tank.  I have a bronze thru hull in the aft end of the center board trunk and the pump mounted in the port cockpit locker.  I also have some plumbing so I can use the pump to clean fish and wash mud out of the cockpit.  I have a 3/4 inch 3 way valve that I can direct the flow of the pump to the ballast tank or the wash down hose.  If you use a electric pump I seriously suggest mounting it in a rubber mounts.  The first year we went to the Messabout you could hear our pump all over the place!  Since mounted it in some rubber mounts and still loud doesn’t howl!  I have a 24 series AMG battery with 22 watts of solar cell and while now much, haven’t charged battery in several years. 

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I am completing my 20 and I really like Jay's setup. I'm kind of a luddite though so I am reluctant to put a bunch of permanent stuff in the boat. FWIW Jay is a helicopter mechanic and his boat is awesome. I plan on filling with a bucket after gravity does it's thing. As for emptying, I have what we refer to as a "pump stick". It's a 12V bilge pump on the end of a stick with a 12V cigarette lighter plug to get power from  my battery. I plan on putting it into the half empty tank (that gravity thing again) and pumping the rest on a light wind day.

 

I'm anxious to see what performance looks like full vs. empty. My water Balanced Sea Pearl is hardly affected either way. I'm likely to fill and just leave it until it's on the trailer.

 

 

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You won't necessarily need a reversible pump; a 2-posiion 4-way double angled "L" crossover valve could do the trick, like this: 

 

4-way-flow-valves.jpg

 

where the left side is overboard, the right to the tank, the bottom to the pump input, and the top the pump output.

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Makes quite a difference on our boat,  it carries sail a lot more confidently with water in the tank,  and sails like the anchor has fallen off the bow roller in light air with full tanks!  That is when the pump is handy.  The wash down feature is nice too. 

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Mark, the pump is a bronze body pump made by Johnson Pump called the  Ultra Ballast Pump from the ski boat industry. Salt water rated, 700 gph, takes about 5-6 minutes to fill or empty the tank.  The through hull is inside the trunk way aft where the board is thinner, no drag penalty.  I used 1 inch pvc piping,  I plan to redo the piping using PEX with bronze swedge connector fittings.  Loosing some efficiency with the hard turns of the PVC and wash down valve. 

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I'm using the two Anderson bailers method.  I don't think it is necessary superior to any other method; just different  (Jay's system works very well; I saw it in person at one of the Messabouts and it is very quick to fill and empty).

 

Yes, you do have to remove the flapper in the reverse-mounted bailer (hereafter referred to as the scoop).  It is very easy to remove; pliars and 10 seconds are all you need.

 

Filling

While sailing:  filling with the scoop does not take long at all, even at 1 knot

While motoring:  very quick and effecient

Not moving:  slow (I open both bailers to speed it up, but it takes awhile).  It will only fill the tank up to the waterline of the boat, so you will have to top it off after closing the bailers.  I use a folding bucket.  Any water spilled goes right out of the self-draining cockpit.

 

Emptying

While sailing:  need to be moving above 3 knots.  I haven't timed it, but it isn't quick.  It won't empty the last inch or so of water, but I don't think that is a big deal.  One disadvantage is situations when the wind dies down, you are moving slow, and you want to empty the tank.  It can take a while.  I need to buy a kayaker's hand pump for these cases; I think that would work well.

While motoring:  empties quickly and effeciently

Not moving:  only the portion of the tank above the waterline will empty (maybe 25% of the tank?).  I need to get a handpump for these cases.  

 

I wouldn't change anything if I had to do it again.  Yes, you need a handpump and bucket, but those are good items to have regardless of the ballast tank. 

 

I think the ballast tank is one the best features of the boat (love the low trailering weight), and whichever empty/fill technique you use you will be happy you have one.  I hit some steep chop close-hauled in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, put the water ballast in, and it smoothed out the motion of the boat.  I was amazed at how well it handled the waves.

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Chessie, my CS20.3, has two Bailers like Amos'.  Works fine for me.  And you can really notice the difference filled vs empty.  Mine empties to almost dry when I'm sailing solo.  But with three adults aboard it takes a lot longer.  On one occasion I forgot to empty prior to recovery.  Very hard to crank her onto the trailer -- later, to "relieve" herself (when I opened the bailers), she just did it on the ramp parking lot.  No sandbox.  

 

I think the tank volume is about 5 cu-feet, or a little over 300 lbs down very low.  That could cause some damage to trailer and/or boat hitting a big bump at highway speeds.

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