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#1 Posted : 20 September 2018 17:21:57(UTC)
Rank: Administration

Posts: 269
Location: Fishguard, Wales

I've received the following query:
Hello, I am thinking about buying a Parker 235 my main concern is ballast, we have 2 Parker 235 at our inland sailing club with very different sailing characteristics: one can stand 15 mph wind OK the other will be over on its ear.

Did Parker add lead shot in the bilge of some boats and not others? I know in their larger boats a mix of lead shot and epoxy was poured into the bilge during construction. Or are some keels cast iron and others a lighter construction?

I've replied:

As far as I'm aware, all Parker 21's and 235's have their main ballast in the hull. So it may be down to

a) how good the sails are and how well they're set

b) how well the boat's being sailed!

However, I have a 21 so may be wrong about 235's

As I said, I may be wrong - am I?

Nigel Moon  
#2 Posted : 20 September 2018 20:02:25(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 7

Think you are quite right Geoff. I don’t understand the comments as the ballast is partly in the hull. Think something must have been amiss with rigging/sail setting. Over the last 6/7 years I have begun to appreciate that the boat will handle strong winds providing you reef in good time. I am quite happy singlehanded at sea in F4 ie. up to 16knots/18mph with a reef in. I have been caught out (let down by the met office!) at sea with no prospect of returning to our East Coast mooring in winds increasing well beyond that. In a steep sea with lines changed to the 3rd reef and main only we survived 4 hours at sea - my crew (wife) wasn’t comfortable but we didn’t take on much water - she just rides the waves. And at the opposite end of the spectrum with the keel up on the mooring 2 adults standing on the same side will not cause too much alarm. Great little boats - longest passage to date is 70nm.

Nigel Little Grebe P235 no.14

#3 Posted : 20 September 2018 20:50:09(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Posts: 49
Location: Warwick, Warwickshire

The 235 has a lot of sail for its size and weight so the key is to reef early. The good news is though that it doesn't slow down ! We sailed to windward into a F5 from Cowes to Lymington last week with 3 reefs in the main and jib and the boat kept punching through the Solent chop at 5 knots.

Experience of dinghy sailing is probably also useful.

Mike Ball

P235 No 36 "Juicy Blue"

Martin Watson  
#4 Posted : 21 September 2018 00:19:47(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Posts: 78
Location: West Sussex

It could be that the boat that is on it's ear has older, worn out (blown out) sails, and/or insufficient halyard/cunnigham/outhaul and backstay tension, all of which will help depower the mainsail (flattening the sail) and helping the boat stay more upright whilst still providing sufficient drive.
Martin Watson
Peter Scrivens  
#5 Posted : 21 September 2018 21:32:22(UTC)
Rank: Member

Posts: 11

Hi, I think the P235 does have some ballast in the lockers, about 25kg which is why it is fairly stiff even with the keel raised on a mooring However the cast iron keel weighs some 300kg and this is the primary ballast. So guess the main problem is sailing technique as others have suggested. it is true that I was surprised how well it sails with the third reef in strong winds but it is always necessary to reef early and the boat sails better flat and not on it's ear

Peter, P235 Zephyr

#6 Posted : 25 September 2018 08:15:22(UTC)
Rank: Administration

Posts: 269
Location: Fishguard, Wales

From John Dyson:

Ballast mystery solved, we have 2 Parker 235's at Carsington Sailing club, one of them had 75Kg of lead built into the bilge during construction giving it greater stability and certainly out performs the standard boat when the wind picks up.

For any one wanting more stability that could well be your answer, not sure how easy it would be to retro fit 75kg of lead but worth considering.

Edited by user 25 September 2018 08:16:37(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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