Just got this question from the new owner of an American Fiberglass 16-foot daysailor…
I am hoping you can help me by answering my question or pointing me in the direction of someone who can. I recently purchased a 16’ 1975 American Fiberglass daysailer that has a water ballast system that I am not sure how to operate. The boat has a hole/plug in the lower transom and two hole/plugs in the cockpit. It would seem to me that I should open the plug in the transom and the plugs in the cockpit until water begins to come in the cockpit holes and then replace the plugs in all of the openings. This would fill the water tank and be certain the air was removed from the tank. The previous owner told me just to leave all of the plugs in place and the water ballast fills itself through some valve. When I leave all of the plugs in place I do get water in the ballast tank however I can not find a valve anywhere unless it is in the centerboard area. I am thinking I have a leak into the water ballast tank which I can not find.
I can not find much information about these water ballast systems and the company that made this boat is out of this business. I was hoping that you may provide some insight or point me in the direction of someone who can.
Here is a picture of a sistership…
The interesting thing is that I can’t find any information about this boat being fitted with water ballast! Bouancy tanks, yes. Water ballast, no.
Can anyone out there shed any light on this question?