Marine Ballast Weights

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Mars Metal supplies Marine Ballast Weight products, such as sheet lead, lead shot and ballistic shot bags, and lead ingots.

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Our talented and capable sales and engineering staff will work also with you to design a custom solution, manufacture the required weight(s) and deliver them to the site when you need them.

Our MarsKeel division specializes in all things marine…custom and production sailboat keels, internal ballast, custom prop shaft struts and much more. Please visit for more information.

Why use counterweights in the marine industry?

Counterweights used in the marine industry are used for two similar but slightly different reasons. When you build a boat of any size, you have to counterbalance the boat. In the case of a sailboat, you have to counterbalance it against the effects of the wind filling the sails. In the case of a motorized vessel, one needs to counterbalance the height and weight of the superstructure above the waterline in heaving seas and strong winds. Sailors might be heard referring to their boat as being “tender”. This is another term for improperly ballasted. Internal ballast is often how this is accomplished. Custom made, specially-shaped lead castings matching the shape of the bottom of the hull are placed at the deepest part of the hull and then distributed evenly fore and aft. Adding the right amount of ballast settles the boat lower in the water making it more stable and significantly safer. This ballasting process can also be accomplished by using standard lead ingots and/or lead shot to achieve the desired stability.

Another reason that you might need to consider marine ballast weight is to trim-ballast your boat. If you have just installed your new Corian countertops or that new water maker that you have always wanted, but now the extra weight has your boat sitting off level in the water. A few well-placed lead ingots or perhaps some custom-cast ballast shapes will do the trick to bring your boat back to a nice even keel.

Marine Ballast Weight Information Sheet