So, you’ve made a decision to select and buy your first¬-ever recreational vessel among numerous boats for sale in Texas. You’ve also made every conceivable preparation prior to your decision—you earned your license, brushed up on your sailor skills, and acquired all necessary equipment.
However, beyond all of the fancy equipment and skills you now have, you still have to focus on one more: proper loading of your boat to maximize on-sea performance, and prevent it from sinking or capsizing prematurely. As BoatingMag.com contributor Pete McDonald writes:
While other forces such as wind and current factor in, weight matters – not only how much weight is brought aboard, but also where it is located. Knowing how to deal with weight can help your efficiency and safekeeping.
As your boat’s skipper, it is your responsibility to keep the load on board your boat appropriately distributed, way before you launch it for the first time (or in the case of used boats for sale in Texas, give it a taste at being seaborne again). So, how do you do it?
Balancing weight on a boat begins and ends with the vessel’s centers of gravity and buoyancy. The center of gravity is the single point on a boat where gravity acts upon, while the center of buoyancy provides the contradictory force that keeps the boat afloat.
If you have an aluminum boat, it can be trickier to ensure weight is evenly distributed. This is because aluminum boats have lighter hulls. However, righting the boat is still perfectly doable. For instance, if your boat is front-heavy, shift a considerable amount of weight to the backside to even out the load, and vice versa. This method also applies in evening out the boat’s left and right side.
The idea behind evening out the load is this: The centers of buoyancy and gravity intersect at what’s called the metacenter, which is technically the one responsible for keeping the boat stable. Think of the centers of gravity, buoyancy and metacenter as being aligned in a straight line. Once the metacenter breaks the alignment and leans at any direction, the boat is more likely to tip.
You can prevent this instability by exercising great caution, especially when guests are boarding your boat. Always tell your passengers to step low to the boat’s center while holding on to the sides, and keep themselves seated. They shouldn’t also jump from the dock onto the boat, as such sudden movement can upset the delicate balance. Once everybody is aptly settled in, it’s time that the boat take its journey from dealers like White’s Marine Center to the docks, and then out to sea.
(Source: Balancing Weight on Board, BoatingMag.com, April 10, 2012)