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Old 07-09-2011, 19:46   #1
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Wooden Plugs ?

I was chatting to someone about safety gear and they opined that they wouldn't put foot on a boat that wasn't properly equipped with a full set of wooden plugs. You know, the turned, tapered round thing that you're 'sposed to shove in the hole if your through hull broke off in the middle of the ocean.

I mean, you keep on seeing them in chandlers' catalogs, so lots of people must buy them but are they any use? What are the chances of a through hull breaking off leaving a neat round hole? Would they even stay in the hole?

I did see a reference to underwater setting epoxy being used, and having a bunch of rags somewhere near at hand could be useful, but wooden plugs?

The only reference I ever saw to doing emergency leak repairs on steel boats suggested Blu Tack was the go. I do keep a bit of that on board. Maybe I should get more.
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Old 07-09-2011, 19:50   #2
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Re: Wooden plugs?

The plugs are cheap and they don't take much space, so I carry them.
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Old 07-09-2011, 19:52   #3
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Re: Wooden plugs?

Wooden plugs are an old standby and a good idea...but lacks creative damage control. Anyone that said that doesn't understand the basic premise of staying afloat...no water in isn't the all time goal...it's getting the water out faster than it comes in that's way more important.

Heck..many recommend nerf foot and basketballs as a good alternative...
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Old 07-09-2011, 19:58   #4
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Re: Wooden plugs?

i have a bunch of plugs in my boat--even champagne and wine corks. they all do a good job of plugging holes and keeping water out. i have had to use the plugs one time-- they do come in handy.
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Old 07-09-2011, 20:03   #5
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Re: Wooden plugs?

Mind you, I've got no practical experience actually using the wooden plugs, but do carry them tethered to each through-hull (it's an ocean racing requirement, and probably a good idea.) It does seem that even if it's not a perfect fit, you should be able to pound the tapered plug into many types of through-hull-related hole and significantly reduce the rate of water ingress. You could always wrap a towel around a plug before hammering it in in order to better fill an irregular hole.

There are also soft foam plugs available from Forespar that should conform better to the oddly-shaped hole: TruPlug Emergency Leak Repair

For that matter, I've heard of people shoving an inflatable PFD into a large hole and pulling the "Jerk to Inflate" lanyard.

Bottom line, the wooden plugs seem to be very cheap insurance, and I think they are worth carrying. Your damage control plans and supplies shouldn't stop there though.
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Old 07-09-2011, 20:10   #6
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Re: Wooden plugs?

I have heard of a thru hull fitting failing a time or two locally. It does happen once in a blue moon. I have the tapper wood plugs attached near to each thru hull just in case. I'm still looking for a nerf football, which works well too so I hear.

When the water is rising, is no time to think about where the plugs or footballs are.
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Old 07-09-2011, 20:49   #7
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Re: Wooden plugs?

Plastic shopping bags from the grocery store work well too! I keep a set of wood plugs, grocery bags, assorted bits of wood shoring, drywall (self drilling) screws, urethane foam in a can, and a 20”x20” piece of plywood with a hole in the center and closed cell neoprene (like wetsuit mat’l but thicker) glued to one side.
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:47   #8
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Re: Wooden plugs?

Those TruPlugs look like they might work. I'll put them on my shopping list.
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:55   #9
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Re: Wooden plugs?

I recently saw the foam bungs. They looked like they would stay in there better than wood.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:29   #10
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Re: Wooden plugs?

This stuff looks interesting, and they say the shelf life is indefinate. Check out there video.
stayafloatmarine.com
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:20   #11
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Re: Wooden plugs?

That stay Afloat stuff looks interesting, but all of the examples look to be of low pressure only a few inches below the waterline.

I'd be interested to hear from any member that has tried it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:24   #12
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Re: Wooden Plugs ?

StayAfloat does look interesting. But like one of the comments on the video observed, it looks to me a lot like the stuff that toilet bowl wax rings are made out of. And as I think about it, one of those wax rings might be a very good thing to have aboard for sealing leaks. My guess is you could buy one of those at Home Depot for a small fraction of what they want you to pay for StayAfloat.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:42   #13
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Re: Wooden Plugs ?

I think they are a good thing for the minimal cost. Know where you put them! or do the tie in place method...
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:43   #14
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Re: Wooden Plugs ?

never leave port without toilet ring seal wax.is perfect but does stick to hands....i used gloves.. it worked for a year while i left the boat "to itself" and cruised the gulf of mexico. (was watched and cared for by good friends)
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:44   #15
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Re: Wooden plugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
I have heard of a thru hull fitting failing a time or two locally. It does happen once in a blue moon. I have the tapper wood plugs attached near to each thru hull just in case. I'm still looking for a nerf football, which works well too so I hear.

When the water is rising, is no time to think about where the plugs or footballs are.
Same here
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