Question Water ballast?


New Member
I've read about some dinghies having water ballast tanks, which can be filled, e.g. in heavy weather to provide some extra stability. That got me thinking... Could we flood the hull of a C14 (a little!) to achieve a similar effect? I mean, why put a drain plug at the stern? Obviously to drain the hull, but how is it expected to get wet in the first place?

The front cuddy area is sealed off from the rest of the hull, and there's floatation "stuff" under the benches, so it won't sink. Plus, we're talking just a few gallons. If the bench areas are sealed off from the area under the deck, then the water would stay there and act as a ballast... But I don't know if the seats are, in fact, firewalled from the area under the deck.

It's definitely a dumb idea, but water ballasts are a thing, so...
The water will run to the wrong (leeward) side, making the boat heel more.
If there are no stringers under the floor to keep the water in the center, sure. I don't know what the layout of a C-14 looks like under the surface, but if the compartment below the deck is sealed from the sides, then... it would work. What other reason would there be to have a drain plug?
None of the 14.2 s were designed for flooding the bilge. So, probably, any stringers are not resin impregnated or sealed, none of the under deck areas are totally sealed compartments and probably have weep holes etc so that any condensation or eventual leakage from external fittings (which may need periodic bedding replacement) can drain into the lowest part of the bilge. The drain plug in the stern allows for periodic draining of any moisture/water accumulation and drying out of the bilge area during storage. I also wonder how you would flood any areas and, more importantly, how you would evacuate the water before putting the boat back onto a trailer to prevent distortion to the hull when it isn't in the water. You would also be altering the depth to which the hull settles into the water when floating. These dinghys were simply not designed or constructed to carry additional water/weight inside of the hull. Just my thoughts....