Fat Sacs and such to help with bridge clearance?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Smackledorf, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Smackledorf

    Smackledorf New Member

    18
    Oct 12, 2014
    Gibraltar, Michigan
    2001 Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
    5.7 Mercruiser w/Bravo 3
    Hi folks. I bought my 2001 240 sundeck last year after living in my area for a few years, learning the canals, seeing the sizes of neighbors' boats, etc.

    Now the water is up over a foot, the highest in nearly 20 years, and the highest bridge out of my canal is within inches of the searay clearance. I've kept busy with my pontoon (obviously no hard top), which A. Sits a smidge lower and B. Is cheap should I misjudge or get waked into smashing a bridge. My new boat is not something I want to risk like that. Plus a wind change can seriously affect water levels, so while I can measure exactly on my trip out, I have no great way to tell on the way in. Sneaking out with 3 inches to spare is one thing, but a wind shift could result in a broken windshield.

    All summer I joked about filling a bladder with water to slip under and my family laughed at my crazy idea. Turns out such a product already exists, albeit with a different goal in mind.

    Has anyone used a ballast bladder for such a purpose?

    If so, since I won't be needing to maneuver much, how far past recommended capacity should I be able to push things, as I really just need the windshield to be lower?

    Anyone have an idea of what kind of weight would drop the boat an inch?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Huddo007

    Huddo007 New Member

    12
    Dec 9, 2013
    Perth - Western Australia
    480 DB - 2001
    CAT 3196
    I had a similar problem with my old Maxum 3500 I used to make sure I had full fuel, full water, full cooler ;-), I have used fat sacks (water bladders) in a bay liner 215 for wakeboarding and dropped that 2 inches with just 2 bags, can't see it hurting by trying slowly on the dock filling bags and measuring as you go just make sure you position them properly on the floor with good support underneath never over a hatch
     
  3. Smackledorf

    Smackledorf New Member

    18
    Oct 12, 2014
    Gibraltar, Michigan
    2001 Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
    5.7 Mercruiser w/Bravo 3
    How many pounds of water was in each bag you used?
     
  4. Huddo007

    Huddo007 New Member

    12
    Dec 9, 2013
    Perth - Western Australia
    480 DB - 2001
    CAT 3196
    Will have to check it was a fair few years ago now but I know the guy who made them here so will ask and get back to you
     
  5. MrHappy

    MrHappy Member

    126
    Mar 31, 2011
    Indiana
    1991 Sea Ray 225BR
    5.7L
    Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon.
     
  6. Huddo007

    Huddo007 New Member

    12
    Dec 9, 2013
    Perth - Western Australia
    480 DB - 2001
    CAT 3196
    If my conversion is right it's about 570 pounds per bag (260 liters of water @ 1kg per litre)
    I used a bildge pump connected via cigarette lighter power point and had enough clear line to fill the sacs in situ after dropping the bildge overboard - that way we could drive down river to wakeboard, stop fill the sacs and once finished just drain this time into the boat bildge and drive back up river not carrying all the weight
     
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    A simpler solution might be to take a couple of extra passengers when you need to go under the bridge. These ladies would help a LOT.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Smackledorf

    Smackledorf New Member

    18
    Oct 12, 2014
    Gibraltar, Michigan
    2001 Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
    5.7 Mercruiser w/Bravo 3
    How did I know that pic was coming? :)

    Alternative to fatsacs: modifying the windshield?

    Back to fatsacs: if I strictly avoid all storage compartments there isn't a lot of places left, as the main storage compartment run the length of the boat down the center, and I was thinking having the weight center mass would be optimal for clearance change. If the bladder was distributing its weight along the center I want to say it should be less weight on said compartment than a single fat person, whose weight will all be on one shoe crashing down with an impact pressure.
     

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