My thoughts have been turning to Chertsey's ballast situation. At the moment we're carrying something in the region of three tons of canal water (possibly less as some has slopped out or evaporated over the past year...). This takes up an awful lot of space, being as it is kept in three large tanks sitting in the middle of the hold, necessitating squeezing through an 18" gap to get past them.
So I am thinking of using a combination of steel, under the floors, augmented by smaller drums of water. This will give greater flexibility as they can be moved about depending on circumstances. Also of course there are the freshwater tanks in the back end, which when full add another ton. These can be emptied in emergencies (we started to do so when we were stuck on the northern Shroppie on the way back from Ellesmere Port, but then BW magicked up some water and we were floating again without needing to empty the tanks). There is also the possibility of having a ton or so of coal, although that would of course diminish over the course of the winter...
I have got my movable ballast for Braunston sorted out though. It comprises:
Bill and Michelle (Shilling)
Tony and Patti (WotEver)
Casper Ghost + daughter + brother
Bones + Bones's friend's dad
Adrian and Linda (Warrior purchasers)
Any more and I'll be needing a Boatmaster ticket!
I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. You're all very welcome, and there are two parades, so I'm sure there'll be room for everyone.