Preparing the Ballast

  1. We try to secure a ballast evenly distributed to the bottom of the mast but it depends on what mast and flotation you have:
    • wooden Eddies have at least 5 lbs on either side of the 2x4
    • aluminum Irinas may not need much ballast at all.We started by jamming a small 8oz fishing weight in the bottom (see photo below) but, as of the Fall of 2014, have stopped adding this ballast. If we use 5 lbs spar, we need add 1 lb.
    • bamboo:
      • 3" mast drifter have the single small sash weight fits nicely in the bottom of the bamboo but you need to choose the bamboo sections that have space for the weight.
      • star-shape frame have to put the smooth rock in a bag, and then tie the bag to the bamboo.

  2. If you have window sash weights, break them with a sledge hammer to make a pair of approximately 2.5-lb pieces. If you live near a dive shop or a bait shop, you can buy a pair of 2-lb weights and then add a 1-lb at the bottom. In the wooden mast case, you can secure one weight on both sides of the mast using either a hose clamp or heavy-duty tie wrap. See photos below.
ballast ballast 3 ballast 2

Figure 1a. Ballasting options for wooden masted drifter.


Figure 1b. Optional ballasting option for the aluminum masted drifter where we jam a 8oz fishing weight into the square pipe. Most Irina's deployed to date have not included this ballast.

Note: We often secure the weights above the bottom spars with a stainless or galvanized bolt (Fig 1a mid-panel) rather than threading it through the spars (Fig 1a right panel). In either case, we always wrap the other end of the weights to the woods with a tie-wrap, tape, or hose clamp.

Note: Depending on what you are using for flotation, you may have to adjust the weight of your ballast. This is determined when you do a float test of the entire assembled unit.

Note: We often use of a small rubber sheet in between hose clamp and weights to prevent slippage.

Another option in the case of the wooden framed-drifters is to lash a 2 and 1/2 pound weight to the drifter but the you may want to use more than the thin tie-wrap shown here to secure it.

vertical mount