Cepheus, a Quest 33S, has some unconventional features compared to traditional sail boats. One of the intriguing ones for me is water ballast. Two water tanks, one located in each side of the boat, can be independently filled with sea water to change the righting moment of Cepheus. As the wind speed increases the boat heels (leans over). On a boat there is an optimum heel angle to sail efficiently. If the wind is too high, causing too much heel, one can pump water into the high side of the boat (~100 gallons, 800 lbs) to counteract this heeling angle and return the boat to the optimum sailing angle. When boats are fully crewed, you ask some of the crew (also known as rail meat) to sit on the high side of the boat, which has the same effect. But when sailing either solo or double-handed, all hands are needed to control the boat. In this case one can use the water ballast to great effect.
How does one operate the water ballast? In the bottom of the boat hull is a scoop which one depresses so that it sticks through the bottom of the hull and when underway, water is scooped up and fills the water ballast tanks.
With the use of two valves one then controls which tank is filled.
In the pictures below, you can see a test of the the water ballast system in 2019 while at the dock.
The video below shows the path of the water in our ballast system.
After replacing the leaky valve, the water ballast system is ready to go for the 2020 sailing season!