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Salopgal

Boat Listing To Port Side

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My boat is listing slightly to the port side; I noticed it first, then a fellow boater confirmed it at the weekend - a fresh set of eyes and senses!

 

Boat is a 20 year old trad, with absolutely everything heavy on the port side i.e. cooker, fridge, all galley cupboards, wood burning stove, bathroom and loo (don't use the pump out toilet so it's not the tank but that is on port side) cabin bed and wardrobe, engine and main fixings and fittings in the engine room (batteries et al). I haven't even moved aboard proper yet so all my clothes, books, and posessions that are needed aboard would also all go in the storage on the port side. It seems like an insane design but it's all I have to work with.

 

I have no boat plans, I have no inspection hatches that we can find.

 

Apart from increasing the small amount of visible ballast that's already under the cratch on the starboard side, I'm not sure what I can do to trim the boat when all my stuff is onboard. Corridor from galley to back of boat all runs on the starboard side and no room for significant storage on the very narrow shelves.

 

Any advice on what I should/could do to remedy this, please?

 

Thanks!

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Shifting ballast is the only way. Long term I guess you could think about moving some heavy stuff over.

 

Don't forget you can also remove ballast from the port side to the starboard side doubling the effect.

Has it always been like this? Has something changed?

 

Weight on the roof will have a disproportionate effect. Do you have anything on the roof?

 

Are you tied tightly on the left? (it's not port on the canal)

 

and could you be on the bottom on the right?

 

Are your tanks full or empty? Does this make a difference?

 

Toilet tank?

Edited by Chris Pink

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Years ago i put paving slabs on starboard side of weed hatch and front locker plus bags of coal down one side of the roof, Chris has given you the proper answer.

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Where are the water and diesel tanks?

My boat too was a very one side heavy design when I got it (remodeling since has made it more balanced) and adjusting ballast was the only way to alter it. You may have ballast under bench seats or under the cabin floor?

 

I can't remember if you had a survey- if you did, then getting the boat in and out of the water may have shifted some of the existing ballast, leading to the list, and possibly needing adjusting.

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It does sound like a slightly silly layout, though not that uncommon.

The best solution is probably to lift some floor sections and move some ballast..remove some from the heavy side and get some lumps of led on the light side.

However this is probably not viable....and expensive.

Get a very big and put its bed on the light side?

Could you find space for some 56lb weights???? Problem is you would probably need quite a few...could maybe incorporate them into the bottom of a thin shelf unit????

Would it be possible to relocate the batteries to the light side????

We have a similar problem but only in the summer when we arrange the furniture into its summer position!

A list of just a degree or so is quite noticeable when you walk through the boat!

 

..............Dave

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No cabin bilge inspection hatch? Ours was under the laminate floor in the rear bedroom just before the step into the trad cabin.............our boat is 20 years old too.

 

You could always chuck a few bags on coal on the starboard side of the roof.................

 

biggrin.png

Edited by tillergirl

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Shifting ballast is the only way. Long term I guess you could think about moving some heavy stuff over.

 

Don't forget you can also remove ballast from the port side to the starboard side doubling the effect.

Has it always been like this? Has something changed?

 

Weight on the roof will have a disproportionate effect. Do you have anything on the roof?

 

Are you tied tightly on the left? (it's not port on the canal)

 

and could you be on the bottom on the right?

 

Are your tanks full or empty? Does this make a difference?

 

Toilet tank?

 

Hiya Chris! Thanks for responding so quickly - really appreciated.

I spoke to an engineer at the marina, who shall remain nameless (!) and he didn't think that it would be too easy getting to the ballast under the floors and shifting it. Not sure why, unless it's the lack of hatches or even inspection holes. The carpet throughout is firmly tacked down but I eased it up with a knife in the cabin to see if there were any hatches. Hopefully, marina engineers could move ballast if it was absolutely necessary - after all someone put it in there!

 

I don't have plans for the boat at all, so sadly I just don't know at the moment whether the diesel and water tanks reach across evenly across the centre line of the boat - I think the water tank might, judging from the sloshing sounds when the boat moves, and when diesel and water tanks are full, the list is still there slightly.

I'm tied up on the right hand side of the boat, currently and mooring ropes are not too taught I don't think...

 

Nothing on the roof other than the pole and plank and they are situated on the right side.

 

I didn't notice the listing until quite recently, around about the same time I found the water in the cabin bilge. We didn't get it all out but quite a lot of it and none of it has come back so we've ruled out a leak.

 

The only change I've made recently is putting a bit more stuff in the cupboards and fridge, but nothing else and the combined weight of those items is quite small. I do have two mattresses on the bed - one old one covered with a memory foam topper, but again, not much of a combined weight.

 

No cabin bilge inspection hatch? Ours was under the laminate floor in the rear bedroom just before the step into the trad cabin.............our boat is 20 years old too.

 

You could always chuck a few bags on coal on the starboard side of the roof.................

 

biggrin.png

 

No, no hatch at all. I could pull up all the carpet to have a look but the previous owner said he was not aware of any hatches or holes at all. He was a very thorough guy so I think he'd have known if one existed. Wish I had plans for this boat....

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it doesnt take much to change the list of a narrowboat. The first thing to look for is a place you could put some balast on the right side. This could be a simple dead weight which you leave sitting on the stern deck. Perhaps some concrete slab or a box of bricks fitting under a bench somewhere. You need to be creative. Some bricks are heavier than others and shouldnt cost too much. Balast can be hidden well with a bit of creativity.....fitted under a kitchen shelf...or against a wall behind the sofa etc.

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it doesnt take much to change the list of a narrowboat. The first thing to look for is a place you could put some balast on the right side. This could be a simple dead weight which you leave sitting on the stern deck. Perhaps some concrete slab or a box of bricks fitting under a bench somewhere. You need to be creative. Some bricks are heavier than others and shouldnt cost too much. Balast can be hidden well with a bit of creativity.....fitted under a kitchen shelf...or against a wall behind the sofa etc.

 

 

Thanks Dean! There's a good space under the cratch and someone's put a little bit of ballast there (looks like garden paving but heavy, but not much of it) and there's room on top of it for more. I've got bricks and slate here so I could take a load down and put it in. As it happens, even when the water tank at the bow is full, the boat is still noticeably stern heavy, bow light, so engineer agrees that ballast at the front is possibly best. The only other place is in cupboard under dinette seating, again at the front, although it's currently full of tins of paint and that's not making much of a difference. I'll have to do a sketch of the layout and post it here if I can. Thanks again!!

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A huge shelf of books , fitted under a gunwhale, can also make a huge difference. :) Good luck.

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Well, as a watercolour artist with a dedicated studio where I live now, I've got a ridiculous number of very heavy books and equipment. I was going to shove most of it into storage but think I'll store the paint cans and fill the two cupboards with books at the weekend and see how it looks then.

I really, really do appreciate everyone's help here as the boat still belongs to my Mum and I'm caretaking it for her until I can afford to buy it off her!!

 

Bless you Dean!

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You say you don't use the pump-out, but are you sure it is empty. There was a posting on here where the OP discovered her new boat (to her) had a choked tank caused by the previous owner just pumping off the liquid, leaving the tank choc-a-block with solids, not a nice thought, but it would certainly give the boat a list.

ps. An extra battery in the right place would help.

Edited by Kwacker

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No, no hatch at all. I could pull up all the carpet to have a look but the previous owner said he was not aware of any hatches or holes at all. He was a very thorough guy so I think he'd have known if one existed. Wish I had plans for this boat....

It's worth leaping about a bit as well. Your weight is quite an effective indicator of how much you need to shift.

 

If you stand on the right side gunwale and lean out can you tip the boat back to central / over the other way? This will give you some numbers to play with.

 

And this water? Are you sure you got all of it out? It doesn't take much to make a bit of a list - it will tend to exaggerate any existing tendency.

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You say you don't use the pump-out, but are you sure it is empty. There was a posting on here where the OP discovered her new boat (to her) had a choked tank caused by the previous owner just pumping off the liquid, leaving the tank choc-a-block with solids, not a nice thought, but it would certainly give the boat a list.

ps. An extra battery in the right place would help.

Or maybe the toilet is slowly leaking water into the tank and its nearly full. If the list has only started since you owned the boat you should try and find out why, not treat the symptoms by adding weight to the other side.

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I see you're not sure about all the water. This will make more difference that it seems it should. It may be worth cutting a hatch on the left hand side rear of the cabin and getting more out - is that possible?

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It may be a good idea to cut some inspection hatches into the floor any way so that you can keep an eye on the bilge (I'm still used to sea boats and can't cope with not checking the bilge!)- this would have the added bonus that you can reach some of the current ballast and shift it over, it's amazing what difference shifting a couple of paving slabs can make and might be better than cluttering the boat up with more ballast. Although books sound far more useful than paving slabs.

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it doesnt take much to change the list of a narrowboat. [snip]

Very true - I removed my 4 batteries recently to paint inside the box. I was very surprised how much effect it had on the boat!

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We had a list to port and after slipping some (4) mudweights in fore and aft lockers the situation improved but still listed. Our galley is central and my solution was to take off the plinth covers at the base of the kitchen units and slide some concrete blocks underneath. I used mag catches to fix back the plinth covers. hope this helps.

 

Phil

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Our (much smaller) boat is also designed with all of the heavy stuff to port. It took us an age to get it levelled up again by moving stuff around, adding extra batteries to starboard, shifting tool boxes around, placing heavy items in starboard side cupboards etc, etc.

 

We did finally manage to square her up though.

 

Being a small and light boat though NC is very sensitive to any uneven weight distribution, water tanks, black water tank and fuel tank levels all make a pronounced difference to how she sits in the water. As does how full the beer fridge is, which is also on the port side!!

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Our (much smaller) boat is also designed with all of the heavy stuff to port. It took us an age to get it levelled up again by moving stuff around, adding extra batteries to starboard, shifting tool boxes around, placing heavy items in starboard side cupboards etc, etc.

 

We did finally manage to square her up though.

 

Being a small and light boat though NC is very sensitive to any uneven weight distribution, water tanks, black water tank and fuel tank levels all make a pronounced difference to how she sits in the water. As does how full the beer fridge is, which is also on the port side!!

But if you now developed a list to starboard would you just remove the tool boxes etc. or try and find out why you have developed a list.

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Shifting ballast is the only way. Long term I guess you could think about moving some heavy stuff over.

 

Don't forget you can also remove ballast from the port side to the starboard side doubling the effect.

Has it always been like this? Has something changed?

 

Weight on the roof will have a disproportionate effect. Do you have anything on the roof?

 

Are you tied tightly on the left? (it's not port on the canal)

 

and could you be on the bottom on the right?

 

Are your tanks full or empty? Does this make a difference?

 

Toilet tank?

 

Why ??

 

Left can be a meaningless term dependent on your orientation. Port/Starboard are definitive.

  • Greenie 3

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Why ??

 

Left can be a meaningless term dependent on your orientation. Port/Starboard are definitive.

Have a greenie, well said.

 

Phil

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Why ??

 

Left can be a meaningless term dependent on your orientation. Port/Starboard are definitive.

 

Any suggestion how she can deal with the list, or are you more into just nitpicking other peoples' posts?

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Any suggestion how she can deal with the list, or are you more into just nitpicking other peoples' posts?

 

Any suggestion how she can deal with the list, or are you more into just nitpicking other peoples' posts?

 

(You asked for that, didn't you!)

 

 

MtB

:)

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Where are the water and diesel tanks?

My boat too was a very one side heavy design when I got it (remodeling since has made it more balanced) and adjusting ballast was the only way to alter it. You may have ballast under bench seats or under the cabin floor?

 

I can't remember if you had a survey- if you did, then getting the boat in and out of the water may have shifted some of the existing ballast, leading to the list, and possibly needing adjusting.

My first boat used to list to the right (Chris Pink is correct), due to the fuel tank being on one side.
I had a 56 lb weight that was gradually moved across the boat to keep it level.
The only good thing was, when the weight was as far over as it would go, I knew it was time to refuel.
Rob....

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