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Old 04-12-2009, 10:35   #121
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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 labor?

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 will.

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, water, 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.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:45   #122
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A typical 20-foot container weighs about 2.4 tonnes empty, but has a volume of 39 cubic metres - so conceivably displaces 39 tonnes. A container full of closed-cell foam for instance would float high and dry.
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Old 04-12-2009, 13:21   #123
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All solid steel containers leak. Average life span is about 3 weeks. Once you replace most of the air with water the flotation of the cargo has to overcome far too much. I suppose you could design a cargo that would displace most of the air, but items like that tend to cost more to ship that they are worth. Foam pillows water log pretty quick. I suppose something like a container of basketballs might displace some air but I doubt it is enough to float the container plus the water around the balls.
The sea water would not count in the determination of buoyancy in this example.
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Old 30-04-2011, 22:03   #124
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

I lived in Fiji or a few years and an old salt there used to tell about when he lived in a village in Vanuatu.

Supposedly after a hurricane went through and people were venturing out in the open again... the village spotted a massive container that had somehow washed up *over* their reef and was floating in the 'lagoon' in front of the village.

It was never going to get back out to sea again (unless a hurricane reversed this process) so all of the young men hopped into their outrigger canoes and paddled out to investigate. They bashed off the lock and opened it up (still floating around in the shallows!) and inside, it was packed full of crates of 16 year old single malt scotch!

My mate thought he had died and gone to heaven - because this village was dry and none of them drank alcohol... he dutifully offered to take it off their hand for them. One bottle at a time I imagine.

Come to think of it - I'm not sure how he managed to get away (for me to meet him in Fiji) at all!
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Old 30-04-2011, 22:53   #125
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Was his namme Bob?
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Old 30-04-2011, 23:22   #126
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

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Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
I lived in Fiji or a few years and an old salt there used to tell about when he lived in a village in Vanuatu.

Supposedly after a hurricane went through and people were venturing out in the open again... the village spotted a massive container that had somehow washed up *over* their reef and was floating in the 'lagoon' in front of the village.

It was never going to get back out to sea again (unless a hurricane reversed this process) so all of the young men hopped into their outrigger canoes and paddled out to investigate. They bashed off the lock and opened it up (still floating around in the shallows!) and inside, it was packed full of crates of 16 year old single malt scotch!

My mate thought he had died and gone to heaven - because this village was dry and none of them drank alcohol... he dutifully offered to take it off their hand for them. One bottle at a time I imagine.

Come to think of it - I'm not sure how he managed to get away (for me to meet him in Fiji) at all!
If your friend finds one full of beer, let me know. I think I could help him sink it. Just might take a while......
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Old 07-05-2011, 21:00   #127
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Great reading all the posts on the submerseables, pinicals etc. Wonder why forward looking sonars are not more popular. Not too pricy and if it can increase ones survival and colission rate by one percent well i guess it might be worth the investment.
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Old 07-05-2011, 21:44   #128
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Well Niel, that is why I have one.
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Old 07-05-2011, 22:55   #129
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

I have an easy solution. Lets manufacture everything in the states and then we dont have to import these boat sinking steel containers and we might get everyone back to work and the country could run a surplus. Imagine that
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Old 07-05-2011, 23:02   #130
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Now that's what i call good planning foamcore!
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Old 07-05-2011, 23:12   #131
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

That and coral
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:19   #132
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

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I have an easy solution. Lets manufacture everything in the states and then we dont have to import these boat sinking steel containers and we might get everyone back to work and the country could run a surplus. Imagine that
Will never catch on
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:54   #133
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Hello Sailor,

Now that's whole lot of meat on this bone!

And some of it tender too!
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Old 13-05-2011, 09:53   #134
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

Containers and debri floating in the ocean is not a myth! Nobody should shrugg this off as "More likely to be hit by a car" it seem a bit reckless. I just hope that when you see a container you would be in time to avoid a colission. In other threads i mention the use of a forward looking sonar which to my mind improve ones chances. It's not expensive, $1100 for missing debri and containers! These sonars are quite efective over a distance of 100 meters, more than enough time to avoid a hit! These sonars are manufactured by most known brandames such as Garmin and Raymarine.
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Old 13-05-2011, 10:33   #135
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Re: Floating Containers In The Ocean

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Originally Posted by niel12 View Post
Containers and debri floating in the ocean is not a myth! Nobody should shrugg this off as "More likely to be hit by a car" it seem a bit reckless. I just hope that when you see a container you would be in time to avoid a colission. In other threads i mention the use of a forward looking sonar which to my mind improve ones chances. It's not expensive, $1100 for missing debri and containers! These sonars are quite efective over a distance of 100 meters, more than enough time to avoid a hit! These sonars are manufactured by most known brandames such as Garmin and Raymarine.
How long would you have to react while traveling at 6 knots? Given that noone was below staring at the display.
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