Beaching Legs

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Beaching Legs

Post by prjacobs » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:39 am

My new depth sounder transducer (through-hull type) has quit and I have to install a new one. I'd like to avoid the expense of a haul-out.
On my Vega I had a set of beaching legs that were very handy for changing zincs or doing any work below the waterline.
Has anyone done a similar thing with the Ballad?
Will she balance fore and aft resting on the keel?

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Bob McGovern
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Re: Beaching Legs

Post by Bob McGovern » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Ballad sits okay on keel, tho leans aft a couple degrees. When we lowered it with the forklift & set it on its timbers, it balanced upright in loose slings w/out any shoring at all! Wide bottom on the keel. That said, it's not as much contact area as the Vega & heavier, so you'll want some firm, level ground. Bet some British Balladeers are experienced with 'drying out' a Ballad.:)

Have you played with earth augers at all, Peter? They have surprising pull-out strength, even in dodgy soils. If it's not too rocky, you might twist a few 4x24" augers in & use ratchet straps to guy the boat upright while working beneath it. We use tie downs in conjunction with shoring to keep Fionn upright. Bucky Fuller would approve.;)


The only issue I see with beaching legs on the Ballad (moreso than the Vega) would be the danger of rotation. If the wind caught the bow or stern at all & it pivoted on it short keel.... Boom. Most tipovers in storage yards begin with rotation -- so a marina manager tells me.

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Re: Beaching Legs

Post by prjacobs » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:46 pm

Old post ... here I go again :lol:
In the end I found a beach site that I could dry out on, leaning against a couple of pilings, and changed the transducer.

I do a haul-out every second year, with a diver in between to give the bottom a scrub and to change the zincs. I liked the independence of having beaching legs when I had the Vega, so I'm re-visiting the subject and have decided to give it some more thought.

A web search turned up this video of a Vancouver 27 on legs that look interesting. I'm sure I can make something similar, maybe a plywood box section or a lamination to keep the weight down. I may go either all wood, or a wood and tubing combo.
The ones I made for the Vega (see pictures in first post) used 4x4 (100mm x 100mm) fence posts which were quite crude and heavy to handle.

The big question now is where to place the mounts on the boat: centre of the boat length or centre of the base of the keel?
The plan is to install a 3/4" (19mm) thru-hull on each side, between the gunwale and the recessed belt line, that can be plugged with a threaded cap from inside to keep water out when not in use ... which will be most of the time. The thru-hulls will have a reinforcing block inside the boat to spread the load.

Right now I think the more aft position (blue line in sketch below) would be best as it's closer to the maximum width point of the hull. The weight of the engine is another factor to consider for correct balance. When the boat was on it's trailer the keel sat in a metal trough and the boat seemed well balanced fore and aft. The legs will only be used for maintenance and not left on for longer periods of time.

I'd be interested to hear any opinions and experiences of other ballad owners.

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Re: Beaching Legs

Post by Arjuna » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:50 am

Hay man I remember seeing your Vega online years ago when I Was trying to figure out how to build a set for myself.

Have you had any luck with some legs for your Ballad? I also love the idea of being able to dry out from time to time.

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