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  • The BTI Team

Why Use Permanent Ballast?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Permanent ballast is an essential component in maintaining the balance and stability of a vessel. Permanent ballast can be found in different forms and materials. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of permanent ballast as it relates to vessel stability.


Vessel stability is a critical aspect of a ship's design, as it refers to the ship's ability to maintain its position and balance under various sea conditions. Achieving this ensures proper distribution of weight throughout the vessel which is essential to the vessel and its contents, crew and cargo. An unstable center of gravity can easily cause the ship to capsize or list.


Permanent Ballast is installed in the lower parts of the ship, such as the keel or the bottom of the hull. The placement of the ballast is strategic, as it helps to lower the ship's center of gravity, providing a counterweight for the ship's cargo, fuel, and crew. Ballast also helps minimize external factors such as waves and wind preventing the ship to roll or pitch.

The type of permanent ballast used depends on the size and purpose of the ship, as well as cost, weight and space availability.


One disadvantage of permanent ballast is that it can add significant weight to the ship, which can affect speed and fuel consumption. To compensate, some ships use movable ballast. Movable ballast is weight that can be moved around the ship to adjust the center of gravity according to current sea conditions.


In conclusion, when used properly permanent ballast helps maintain the stability of a vessel. It helps lower the ship's center of gravity, provides a counterweight to the ship's contents, and reduces the impact of external factors. While it does add significant weight, it is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of the crew, cargo, and vessel.


For over 35 years, Ballast Technologies, Inc. has been the world's premier permanent ballast supply and installation contractor. Please contact us if you have any questions about permanent ballast.







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