It’s a dillemma: gain weight personally, or ballast the boat….Many of us are finding that, when the winds are moderate to strong, 20-40 lbs of lead transform our skittish thoroughbreads into calmer steeds, and boost our confidence in pulling the sheet that last little bit.
if you don’t plan to gain seasonal weight during the iceboat season, scour the house for weighty objects: old roofing lead, lead shot, maul heads, dumbell weights, etc. Load them on a scale until you reach the desired weight. I made two 20 pound packets, for balanced carrying. Then arrange the weight into a convenient size, pounding the lead with a rubber hammer over an anvil.
lay the weight assemblage over a folded piece of heavy canvas, and cut the latter to size. cut two hand holes in the open ends, and sew up the sides doubly with a hefty sewing machine. Turn the pouch inside out and fill carefully with the weighs. Then supporting the packet with one hand so it doesn’t bind the sewing machine, doubly sew the pouch closed both above and below the handle holes.
then find homes for the packets on the iceboat. confine them sideways with fiddles, and secure them down with a web strap and buckle. moderate wind = one packet; heavy wind = two packets if you’re tempted to forego this step, watch:
(thanks Bunting for this)
Notice that when the DN drops a runner in open water, how the broken plank and sharp runner fly high thru the air towards the cameraman! this could be your ballast.
and of course if you’re in an official race, you’ll have to put these packets in your underwear. Ballasting a DN is illegal! i have extra lead, if you need it….jory