Pouring of the lead ballast.

‘Waratah’ needs 4000 kg of lead ballast in the keel. It was quite difficult to get such an amount, because most of the scrap dealers around Welkom have long term delivery contracts with India and China. Well, Wynand did it, and finally the pouring of the ballast into the keel could begin. The first picture shows about 3000 kg of scrap lead.

There were some big chunks and ingots that were put in the keel first. The smaller lead was then molten on a specially rigged furnace and poured over the ingots. About 180 – 200 kg were molten at a time and then poured in. The 1 1/2 inch feed pipe of the funnel kept getting clogged, and had to be heated with a cutting torch to get the lead going. On the last picture ‘Waratah’ seems to be on fire, with all the smoke coming out of the hatch openings.

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About Stranded Mariner

Marine Engineer and passionate sailor and cruiser, working in the marine business in China.
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