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I have a 'WaterBaby' 25" R/C Pond Yacht built to a 1950s designed by Vic Smeed. I'd like to hear from fellow 'Water Baby' owners. One issue of interest is the keel weight which seems a little too heavy so the boat lies a little too low in the water. Has anyone made modifications to the keel? What is the best way to do this and how do you maintain good fore and aft trim?
More photos would help in particular the keel. Can you identify which parts of the keel are lead? If you can then you could just drill holes into it (as close to rear as possible) to reduce its weight. Keep drilling and doing buoyancy tests until you are happy then leave it to dry out before filling the holes with car body filler.
Many thanks for your helpful reply. The line between the wooden hull and the lead part of the keel is very clear so knowing where to drill will not be a problem. Do you think a fostner drill bit in a hand drill (slow speed) will be best for drilling lead. Its something I've not done before so any advice would be much appreciated. I will put some more pictures up hopefully tomorrow.
I think a Forstner cutter would be a bit vicious for lead and a bit big. Use say an 8mm drill and use a drill with a decent speed control. Start the holes by hand to ensure they go where you want. I would say start by drilling in the aft part of the keel as the boat appears to be arse down a bit. If there's any internal ballast , move it forrard.
As Westie said don't use a Forstner it will take out too much at once. Use the 8 mm evenly both sides. Go gently.👍👍 Also see if any ballast has been added inside. This was often done to reduce heeling . It defeated it's own object as reducing the freeboard still put the lee rail under when heeling. Also what batteries are you using? A change to lighter ones may help. Lipos maybe but they may reduce duration.Nimhs may be a compromise. Or the ABC types All this assuming you are using R/c.
Thanks for the advice. I have changed to a smaller battery and moved it fwrd (it is R/C). I have also tried to see if there is any internal ballast but that's not easy without removing the deck. I think its time to drill the lead keel as suggested. I have found a local expert who says he will do the job! Will report on progress. Many thanks. John