Installing a hole is a nice concept
, but you would need some type of hydrostatic release that prevented the normal rain and storm spray from deteriorating them, and then you'd need to link the "hole" up top with the "release" trigger on the bottom. Even if you could figure out a way to design a "magic cork" you need to consider estimates that there are six million shipping
cubes out there with 10,000 lost
every year at sea. Six million at a buck each? And another twenty bucks to retrofit them with cheap
And then there's the problem of the cargo. Watch clips of "Will it Float?" from the Dave Letterman Show to see just how many unlikely objects can and DO float. You'd have to rig explosive shrapnel charges in the containers in order to get most of that stuff to sink in under a hundred years.
Ain't gonna happen, as long as international admiralty law says the shippers bear zero financial liability for leaving things the way they are. These are companies that run thousand foot long ships and try to get the crew down from six to three in order to save a couple of bucks on salary. And they'd put the ships on autopilot
and hire one beggar to wear the captain's hat if they could find a legal
way to do it.
Bottom line: forget thinking about the containers, get some laws passed with teeth in them and the shipping
lines will deal with the rest.
More pratical to think about damage control, because those laws aren't going to get passed either. Expanding urethane foam (Great Stuff) requires you to hold the can in place while it oozes. Better to buy a home insulation
kit which contains a lot more material in two larger cans (longer shelf life) and spray that into a weather
balloon or contracting bag stuffed through the gash, to help contain the goo as it expands and hardens. (Assuming you're not sinking in two minutes flat.)
If you have any "gym mats" or flat fender cushions
on board, or padded overheads, it is cheap insurance
to install some heavy grommets (sailmaker's kind) in each corner and the center of the sides, so they can be used as damage control mats. they'll conform and plug
better than sails
And if you can access you bow from the interior
...laying up some steel
tire belting has been suggested elsewhere. Kevlar or carbon fiber, vacuum-bagging onto the hull
, would probably be almost as good, but turning the v-berth or forward compartment into a watertight compartment would really be the way to go. Which, not so oddly enough, is often a requirement for major races: multiple watertight compartments.
Installing a bow tank (for extra fuel
, waste, etc.) that formed a structural reinforcement AND watertight compartment at the bow waterline might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone as well.
Or...perhaps we could give Somali sea pirates a couple of million cheap GPS
trackers, tell 'em to go slap on on any cube they like, and they can keep anything they find once it has gone overboard
? Good job, good wages, solid employment
. More likely to happen than any other solution.