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Boats bow heavy - adding weight to an Armstrong Bracket?

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Boats bow heavy - adding weight to an Armstrong Bracket?

Old 03-18-2019, 06:25 AM
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Default Boats bow heavy - adding weight to an Armstrong Bracket?

Boat is bow heavy. Its a custom made express with twin outboards mounted on an Armstrong bracket. Armstrong bracket is empty. Looking to add something into the Armstrong bracket to bring the stern down and bow up. Nothing in the bow, that I can remove. Biggest concern is that water in the bilge runs forward, not aft to the bilge pump. Engine brackets are completely out of the water. Boat is noticeably bow heavy when your sitting on it.

Repowering boat with larger engines which will weigh more in the next year or so. In the meantime, I want to add weight to the bracket.

Thinking about...
- water bladder in each side?
- bags of rock?
- bags of sand?
- crushed up granite?

What weighs the most, that can be removed?

Bracket has inspection holes in the top, one of each side of the partition in the middle, believe they are 10". Whatever I put in the bracket, must fit in the holes.

Thoughts for temporary fix? Boat pic below...

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Old 03-18-2019, 06:30 AM
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My thoughts after reading that it is a "custom express" are that the main fuel tank may be too far forward. Maybe add an auxiliary tank further aft so that you're not only adding weight but usable fuel. Then if you re-power with larger engines you'll have more fuel too. Or shift the existing tank further aft.
I don't think it is a good idea to intentionally add weight inside that bracket that is only held onto the boat by bolts. Creates unnecessary pressure. Put the weight in the hull of the boat.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:31 AM
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Has it always been bow-heavy? Any possibility of water-logged foam up front? (no idea about the boat but figured I'd ask)

Whta is the boat rated for?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:32 AM
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Might try to quantify the problem by adding temporary weight to see how much it takes to balance the boat. Get a bunch of 5 gal. buckets full of water back there. They are about 50# ea.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:36 AM
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Those are not light motors on there now. Personally I would not want to add weight to/in the bracket. Seems like a bad idea to have lead/sand/stone with the added force on the transom and moving around in there.

Is that pic full of fuel? Is the fuel tank in the center? Batteries under console or in stern? Do you have a lot of chain on anchor? Can you fasten/glass lead in the bilge at the stern? Great looking/beamy boat.

How about a 50 gallon live well in the cockpit?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:40 AM
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is this a custom built boat from ground up with the plan of outboards from the start? if so then it was built completely out of balance from the start! or was it a boat built for big inboards and you modified it for outboards?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:43 AM
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Twin 250 4 strokes. Fuel tank is just over half full. It sits just under the helm, basically where your feet are. She's not small. 12,000 lbs. 14' beam.

Chain is currently in a milk crate on the stern.

Aux fuel tank is an option.

Boats been on the hard for the past 5 months.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:44 AM
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Not sure to be honest. Its a possibility. I bought it with the outboards on it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:24 AM
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Yamaha 425s. Done.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:27 AM
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How does it run?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:39 AM
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Move the fuel tank aft.

That is correct way to resolve the issue and if you ever go to sell the boat what the buyer would want to see.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:42 AM
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I agree with finding out how much weight you need to add to get it level first then formulate a plan from there.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:10 AM
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Judging by the bottom paint, it was balanced right at one time, what changed?
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:28 AM
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Get a bunch of friends to sit in the back and see what it does. Are trim tabs all the way up? Are you trimming your engines? Are your engines straight up and down when in the down position? If tucked under too much you will run bow down and may need shims on the bracket as the angle on the bracket is not correct. All this assuming you have checked the bow for water pockets or wet foam. Another thing after you have checked that and all is well call b-blades and go over your props with them. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:07 AM
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Clearly something has changed with the way the boat sits, otherwise the bottom paint would have never been done with those lines. It seems likely you have water trapped in the Bow somewhere. Time to get into the compartments start test drilling. If you try to add weight to the stern and then you just continue collecting water in the Bow you're just compounding your issues. Try and contact the company who built the boat and find out the best way to get to the areas where water may be trapped.

Last edited by hensleyfish; 03-18-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:19 AM
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How does this hull perform when under power both at low and high speeds with the bracket twin engine setup ? When the boat is at the dock have you put a 6 foot level on the cockpit sole to see what the pitch per inch is and in what direction it go . Does the transom have thru hull scuppers and when it rains with way does the water drain.on the deck fore or aft. What is the thru hull fitting on the starboard side just above the water ? If that is a thru hull drain the height above the water looks good what looks wrong is the way the bottom is painted to the water line. If you add weight to the back of the hull then the thru hull will be below the water and it wont matter were the bilge pump is your only concern will be that it works. You said this is a custom hull what is the builders name?.From the looks of the engines they are only 25 inch shafts which means the hull has a deep forefoot and a shallow aft deadrise ( like 14 degrees) just from the way it looks. Its not unusual for a hull like this to sit at rest with the bow area deeper then the aft, This is why the bilge water sits forward. It also sounds like you are relying on 1 bilge pump, if this was my hull I would have 1 bilge pump forward 1 bilge pump aft and 1 bilge pump mounted midship 6 inches higher as a backup high waterpump in case the other 2 fail.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:46 AM
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this may sound obvious, but have you checked the forward bilge for water. most custom boats, mine included, while at the dock, drain to the forward bilge.
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:13 PM
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As mentioned by others, there are many details and variables that you left out that influence the answer, or even allow for an answer to be given.

Last edited by ondarvr1; 03-18-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:06 PM
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Biggest concern is that water in the bilge runs forward, not aft to the bilge pump.
this is a correct concern, install a additional bilge pump in the bow area to deal with that

- bags of sand?
usa the most heavy material (usually lead shot) or cheaper fine sand, small sferes make it more flexible and will do less damage to the bag
I used - due the lack of lead shot here- sand in pvc tarp material drybags, they are cheap and sturdy and i have 5 of them in my bow locker to correct stern heavy behaviour

Use either a verified weight (person or 50galon drum filled with water) to determine where to place how much weight that antifouling line is level with water.
Check level of floor with a spirit level to make sure that AF line is at level before you make any adjustments as boat don't look very bowheavy, the AF line may be too low on the bow.

I personally would not add any weight to the bracket, add it inside the hull as much sternward you can

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Old 03-18-2019, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for your comments. There's currently only one bilge pump onboard. Adding a second is a good idea, esp the way she sits. The thru hull you see aft is where all the decks drain, theres a similar one on the other side for the deck drains on port side. Bilge discharge is forward and well above the water line, on the other side of the boat.

A lil more comforting hearing that some custom/non big box builders boats sit a little bow heavy.

Considering moving fresh water tank aft or adding an aux fuel tank after, as that would help.

Boat manufacturer was Cayman Yachts out of Lauderdale in the late 90's from what I can find. Hull ID comes up VAD which is Rio Mar. So not 100% sure about the history of her.

She was listed as a Cayman.

Thanks for all the assistance...
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