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Old 05-10-2008, 10:13   #16
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I have read all the suggestions with great interest but how practical are they.
If the hole is substantial, say greater than 4 inch diam, and much below the waterline how much time would there be. If it was on the stem below water most boats I have looked at dont have a watertight bulkhead this far back.
I can imagine if close to the waterline the boat could be tacked to get it out of the water and there may be time but realistically how practical are these solutions.
I was looking at building a mono before I changed to a cat and was going to build the entire front berth top, above waterline, to be a substantial horizontal watertight bulkhead with strong sealed access ports for just this reason.

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Old 05-10-2008, 16:23   #17
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Saving the Titanic with a beach towel...

All these disasters seem to anticipate a large smooth round hole. I would expect that this is unlikely, expecting more a smaller irregular break.

My current plan is to make sure that a few large beach towels are available to jam into any leak. They might also be helpful if the propeller shaft rubber breaks.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-10-2008, 17:44   #18
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Common logic says an impact is most likely to hole a boat near the bow. Unfortunately, my experience with boats that have ended up on the rocks shows a different story. Impact to the keel will likely result in damage to the hull at the aft end of the keel, to the hull with a fin keel. This is a very difficult area to access from the deck, and also very difficult to patch in the water. The other two weak points that I have seen are the strut, and the rudder. If the strut is impacted, the only cure to stop the leak will be jamming material into the hole, and using lots of epoxy in the hole. The shaft will likely be bent, and will hold the strut off center preventing pushing the broken pieces back into place. Same situation with the rudder. I have tried the sail over the bow idea, but for this type of damage it is useless. Shoving anything in the hole from the inside that is available is the best bet, then, if possible to get to the outside of the hull, plastering epoxy, such as Splash Zone, on it is the only solution. Since groundings on reefs and shoals are more common than hitting large floating objects with the bow, it will be more likely to have to deal with this type of damage.
FWIW, there was a report a couple of weeks ago of a trimaran that severely damaged an amma off Point Reyes Ca. they were still sailing on one tack, and were headed for Monterey. I never heard if they made it, but it sure speaks well to the unsinkability of a multi
Here is the link:
http://www.uscgsanfrancisco.com/go/doc/823/222441/
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Old 05-10-2008, 17:47   #19
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Ive found from experience (UGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!) a piece of canvas coated with 5200 blobbed over the hole and the excess squeegied out makes a dandy patch over a 2" hole . It held till I got to a yard for a haul and was hard to get off then. The 5200 dries well underwater the quick version would probably work even better.
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Old 07-10-2008, 17:30   #20
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Interesting idea just popped into my head...

I wonder about those nail guns that fire the nail, like its a bullet. Powder actuated.

Fiberglass doesn't really like to hold a nail, but given the plywood is thick enough, and enough funny angles I bet it wouldn't have a choice but to keep whatever is being nailed, stuck to the side of the hull.

Anyone have a big nail gun and some junk fiberglass?
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Old 07-10-2008, 20:43   #21
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Zach. most of those nail setters that use a powder charge are designed to fire a spike into CONCRETE SLAB or masonry. They're quite a bit stronger than a pneumatic or electric nail gun--and even more dangerous to fire if you're not firing them into a Real Damn Solid Object.

Even the home shows have gotten cavalier about firing nail guns into wood while someone is behind the target. Uh-uh, the nails sometimes go right through.

"Flipper, come quick, go save the boat!"

Or, just stuff a manatee into the crack. There's a reason they're made that way.<G>
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:32   #22
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Anyone have a big nail gun and some junk fiberglass?
My crew kept lifting her hand off the hole but once I nail gunned her hand in place we made another 2,000 miles...
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:49   #23
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Actually, the idea posed earlier about using canned foam has some merit too. If you had a hole/crack and could get the boat to tack enought to get the hole out of the water a while. Maybe stuff some plastic sheeting, garbage bag through the hole and shoot enough foam into it to mushroom on each side. Maybe the plastic sheet would keep the foam dry and the mushroom would hold long enough to get to port somewhere. Then again just carry a major assortment of wedges and plugs like the navy does in damage control.
It's all hypothetical anyway. The main thing is carry some variety of materials and tools and be quick as well as inventive.
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Old 08-10-2008, 21:13   #24
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My crew kept lifting her hand off the hole but once I nail gunned her hand in place we made another 2,000 miles...


Gee thanks guys... I guess I'll have to do my own stunts from here on out. (Really big grin)

Yeah, the powder actuated nail guns are overkill, though I guess they could be reloaded with half the powder.... Mainly looking for a power tool can be used on fiberglass in a wet environment. I'm not going to have a battery bank or inverter large enough charge the battery of a cordless drill. Even then it'd be a struggle to not have an electric tool shorting out early on.

(Fiberglass is just such a pain to attach anything of substance to with anything but an adhesive...)
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:32   #25
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Being able to fire in a fixing would be ideal (in some circumstances), but second best may be to simply punch a hole quickly through fibreglass so you could use something like a self fastening bolt:-



(Defied my descriptive abilities )

No idea how a nail gun works - did not realise they used "Powder"..............I wonder what else one could keep onboard that also used some form of powder, and maybe have a dual use?
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Old 09-10-2008, 13:49   #26
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Being able to fire in a fixing would be ideal (in some circumstances), but second best may be to simply punch a hole quickly through fiberglass so you could use something like a self fastening bolt:-



(Defied my descriptive abilities )

No idea how a nail gun works - did not realise they used "Powder"..............I wonder what else one could keep onboard that also used some form of powder, and maybe have a dual use?
For that one your power/powder hole maker would be 9mm minimum to about 44 cal. Will work on fiberglass or wood. Won't work on steel but then there won't be a hole anyway huh?

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Old 09-10-2008, 13:59   #27
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A toggle bolt is a slick solution. Good idea David!
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Old 24-10-2008, 15:04   #28
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I teach marine fire fighting and how to stop vessels from sinking to Navy, Coast Guard, Washington State Ferries and the fishing fleet.

You can make these yourself to use aboard your vessel, to whatever size you want and have them ready for an emergency.

First is the folding plate patch. Take a piece of plywood or metal and cut a 3",4" or 12" circle, the size is up to you. Now drill a 1/4" or 1/2" hole in the center. Now cut the piece in half, now put the two pieces back together with piano hinge. You now have a circle that folds in half. Where you drilled the hole is where you place a piece of line to length of your choose, tie a knot and put it thru the hole. The folding plate patch is designed to fold up as you put it thru a hole, once thru it will open, you pull on the line to bring the patch up to the exterior or the hole. Most folding plate patches have sheet rubber glued to them to make a better seal. This may slow things down enough for your blige pump to keep up or slow it enough to make some sort or epoxie repair. You do not have to go over the side of your vessel to apply something like this. This will slow the water down considerably. You can ever put rags or small pieces of clothing around the edges to slow things down ever more.

Another way to stop a leak with out having to go over the side. Fist have something that will fit thru the hole and it must float. Attach a line to this floating item you are putting thru the hole from the inside of your vessel. Have someone outside reach over and grab the floating object or use boat hook. Pull the floating line up to the vessel. Now the things you can attatch to the line to pull back under the boat from the piece of line that is still inside your boat are endless. You can punch a hole thru a pillow with a knife, grap a cubbie hole lid, that may or may not have hole in the center all ready. Now put your line thru the pillow and then the wood lid, tie a big knot. Now some one inside pulls the line, which pulls the pillow with wood backing plate up to the hole in your vessel. Pull tight, use a tounniquet, what ever it takes to slow this water down.. Now someone should be doing whatever it takes to stop water from coming in while things are being put together. Use a wood plug, pillow, whatever it takes to slow it down.

Sometimes a wood plug will not work from the inside. Again float a line out the hole to topsides for some someone to grab. Have eyebolts in all your wood plugs. Attatch line to eyebolt and pull the plug up to the hole, or a bucket or can. Something to give you time to get off or allow you time to get rid of the water you have, with very little coming in now, you can re-group and figure out what to do. Of cours a Mayday should have went out a long time ago. If your repair will work you can call it off and just check in as needed.

Another option is a Box Patch or a Bucket with T,J,L and folding tee bolts. These are wood, steel, or welded sheet metal boxes made to the size you want and they do not have to all be square. We use mostly wood with 3" to 6" sides. So the box can be as deep or shallow as you want and as small or as big as you want. The T,J,L bolts are made from all thread. Thats a steel bar completely threaded. Cut off one or two foot lengths of all thread. On one of them heat it up and bend a J shape, you now have a piece of all thread that looks like the letter J. To make the T and L hooks just cut small pieces and weld them to the end of the all thread to make the letters T and L. Once you have made your hooks it is time to drill a hole in the center of the box patch, pass the all thread thru the hole in the box/bucket. Now put a piece of rubber over the all thread and a washer, now thread your wing nut one. Box patch is now complete. Now put the box patch with T,J,L bolt over the bole or crack in your hull. (Type of damage determines the type of bolt in the box patch) Put the T,J,or L bolt thru the hole, spin it around to it will lock onto the outside of the hole, Tighted down on the wing not to bring the box patch up tight to the hull. This will stop almost all the water, You can use an ax to make the box patch shaped like your hull or you can put wood wedges around the edges to stop more water. Rubber can be put on the box patch endges as you are makeing it. You can use them inside the vessel without ever having to go outside. If it will not work inside it make work outside for you. You will not spend a much time under water putting one of these on.

They truely do work and may give you the time you need to get back to shore or the time you need to get more off the vessel before having to leave it.

My wife and I live aboard our Ericson 39B here in Bremerton, WA. Any questions or if you want to visit my school. It looks like a ship inside our burn building and the engine room is what we flood out. E-mail me at mtinder@olympic.edu , have a great day.
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Old 24-10-2008, 15:19   #29
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Some of that is now so obvious it hurts - but never even heard of them before.

Ideas definately into the tool kit. Thanks.
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Old 24-10-2008, 15:25   #30
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Sea Maid, I really like the idea of a float line. Had not thought of that before. I wonder how well one of those new "Self Inflating Key Buoys" would work for that purpose?
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