American production boats got heavy this month. Newport, Rhode Island-based J/Boat announced the J-121. (Say “Jay One, two, one.” and you’ll be all the rage.) This 40-footer appears to be another step in a long line of powered-up, day and weekend racers from this serious production boat yard. Save for one tiny — seriously heavy — feature. Water ballast. For the first time, as far as we are aware, a major boat maker is placing a potential 400 kilograms (or about 820 pounds) of pump-able water weight in tanks near the sides of the boat. We will be digging deeper into the ups and downs of water weight for things that float. But we’ve championed water ballast short-handed daysailers and cruisers for a decade. They save on crew. They offer performance gains. And they’re cheaper — and safer — than complex canting keels. Stay tuned to this cutting edge of heavy wetness.