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Old 03-05-2011, 13:09   #1
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First Boat, First Problems - Drain Hole My Wife Didn't Like from the Start :)

Hi,

I want to share my first "experience" with a boat we just recently bought..

It's Vivacity 650, 21", bilge keel, bought to learn sailing - you can't learn jut reading those forums, can you?

We delivered the boat to our brand new jettie, and moored it for the night. Because it's UK east coast, we do have quite a tide change here.

So night came in, and low tide came, putting the boat in the mud. Because we didn't know the relief below us, boat settled onto the slope, with the starboard side much lower than port..

So.. next morning we come to wait for the tide to rise, and find our poor boat lying on it's side. Not too dramatic, but still..

Finally the water starts coming in.. through the drain hole in the stern, into the boat. Yay! Well, we think, nothing wrong with it - She will start lifting from the mud when more water comes, and all the water will drain back.
But for some reason she doesn't - and more and more water .. We then open the cabin, and find that half of the boat is already flooded, and water now also inside the boat, and quite a lot of it !

So we start pumping the water out quickly, and somehow it finally lifts off the mud.. it took us almost 2 hours to get rid of that water from inside the boat then..

We believe what happened is, when the boat was on it's side, and water started coming in through the drain hole, water level inside rose to the level, where it was possible for water to go inside the hull, because there's a gap behind the storage boxes, which alowed the water to go down into the hull..

We've put a wooden cork now into the drain hole, just to prevent it happening when we're not there.. still doesn't look like it should have happened..

Kinda of design flaw..

I would love to hear comments on this..

Cheers
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Old 03-05-2011, 13:27   #2
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

Parito, that's not good news. Do you have the fin or bilge keel version?

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Old 03-05-2011, 13:29   #3
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

It's a bilge keel. it is worrying for us as well - we bought bilge keel expecting to let it dry out on the beaches without any issues, but this incident made us slightly worried..
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Old 03-05-2011, 13:48   #4
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

We have a bilge keels too and do dry out regularly. However, we do try to find a nice level surface. If your sitting on a mooring which was previously used by a fin keeler this could be your problem.

I am assuming the drain hole with the cork in it is between the cockpit and the sea somewhere at the stern. It's there to drain if a wave comes over the back or rain water builds up in the cockpit. By placing a cork in it you have stopped it sinking short term, but every time it rains like this weekend coming then she will start to fill up. I used to have the same problem when keeping a rib on a mooring, the amount of rainwater that would build up was astonishing. Every time it rained I would go down and pump her out.

You need to do something about the mooring or find another quick. She will dry out fine if you can find a level surface even if it's East coast thick mud.

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Old 03-05-2011, 13:57   #5
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

Is this the hole next to the fuel line bulb? And what happens at the bow with the anchor locker if she goes over that far. Is there a way water can go from the chain locker to the interior?
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Old 03-05-2011, 14:08   #6
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pirate Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

Not forgetting your sink drain if like on many old boats its just above waterline and no stop cock... easy run up the pipe into the sink if your that far over and stuck...
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Old 03-05-2011, 14:21   #7
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

If the issue is the cockpit drain & the drain opening is at the transom, one consideration might be to attach a flapper to the outlet hole, so that the cockpit can still drain, but water ingress is minimized.
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Old 03-05-2011, 14:46   #8
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Re: first boat, first problems - drain hole my wife didn't like from the start :)

Pete,

yes, the drain hole is exactly in the same place. Boat's bow is sitting way much higher usually above the water because of the shore, with the stern being low, so no way the water could have gone into the inside through the bow - it was stern for sure. We where there when it was hapening. We are almost sure that the water started getting into the hull, from the cockpit, through the wide gap, which is behind the storage boxes, on the right (seen in the photo)

And yes, there was a fin keeler before, so gap in the mud might not have helped.

It seems that our sink outlet has valve which can be closed.. but yes - it's the design with it being in water level..
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:03   #9
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Re: First Boat, First Problems - Drain Hole My Wife Didn't Like from the Start :)

Is there no seacock on the cockpit drain? You could have just been unlucky with the way the boat sat when the tide went out. I've had a bilge keeler Leisure 17 for many years, which had no seacock on the cockpit drains, but it never cause me a problem. Saying that it had two one at either side of the cockpit with the pipe crossing over above the outlet holes in the hull of the boat under the cockpit seats. This meant there was some anti siphon effect I suppose

Is the pontoon the permanent home for the boat? Can’t they find you a flat one? Or a swinging mooring (cheaper than a pontoon and a deep water berth in Beaumaris North Wales) Tides round our neck of the wood run to about 7 or 8 meters.
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