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Old 07-05-2015, 10:41   #1
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Emergency Plugs

I was at a marine supply sore the other day and was looking at one of those emergency plugs (great idea) and as I was handling it, I thought that it felt just like a Nerf ball.............Why not just get a Nerf Football instead and that way it serves two purposes.........recreation and an emergency plug! Of course, the dedicated emergency plug has a better cone shape to it for fitting into various sized holes, but it won't throw worth a damn! A Nerf ball is fairly compressible and I bet would work in most cases, thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:36   #2
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Re: Emergency Plugs

Very possible, though I can't say as I've ever cut the cone apart to know what the interior is made of, whereas I've had plenty of finger holes in nerf footballs in my childhood. Plus, at the relatively inexpensive cost, I'd rather just keep the purpose built ones on hand (unless I already had spare nerfs around)
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:26   #3
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Re: Emergency Plugs

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post
I was at a marine supply sore the other day and was looking at one of those emergency plugs (great idea) and as I was handling it, I thought that it felt just like a Nerf ball.............Why not just get a Nerf Football instead and that way it serves two purposes.........recreation and an emergency plug! Of course, the dedicated emergency plug has a better cone shape to it for fitting into various sized holes, but it won't throw worth a damn! A Nerf ball is fairly compressible and I bet would work in most cases, thoughts?

Just be sure the Nerf football is rated for marine use not for RVs and is ABYC approved.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:43   #4
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Re: Emergency Plugs

These "nerf" plugs are pretty cool. I have some. So I tried one for real on our boat. I pulled the knot meter out and plugged the hole with the orange cone. It stopped the water until I took my hand off. Then it popped right out.

These things work but it's a good idea to keep some pressure on them to hold them in place when inserted from the inside of the boat. The external water pressure tends to push them back out.
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:02   #5
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Re: Emergency Plugs

I'm not going to dig up my old posts, but I keep a couple for emergency plugs, it was suggested to me by someone else, so I think there are quite a few Nerf plugs that look like footballs in boats
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:40   #6
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Re: Emergency Plugs

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Just be sure the Nerf football is rated for marine use not for RVs and is ABYC approved.


S/V B'Shert
Ha! Love it.............
Also, with the Nerf, you don't have to worry about "Deflate-Gate"........Tom Brady ought to start using them
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:19   #7
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Re: Emergency Plugs

There is a very interesting video on youtube, if memory serves me right "Monthly Yachting Magazine", where they poke several holes in the hull and use many different items to stem the flow, one of those nerf plugs was used, they rated it as fairly effective. Its a great video as it gives you an idea what to expect when faced with water pouring in and a sense of real time and what can be used at hand, think they even used a potato.
There is also a video for roll over and demasting, very informative!!
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:14   #8
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Re: Emergency Plugs

The problem with the foam plugs and the even less useful tapered wood plug is they only work well in a nice clean round hole - like a hose falling completely off a seacock. In the real world water usually comes in through uneven holes like a cracked fitting, blown hose or split seam.

Although I haven't needed it yet, I now carry Stay Afloat:




(No relation to the company)
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:19   #9
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Re: Emergency Plugs

There are lots of good ideas to help solve the hole in the boat problem. We keep a large rubber mallet on board to hammer the bungs in if required. That, has not been a need yet. We also have 4 or 5 toilet seals made of wax on board. You can mould that stuff any way you want and plug her home. It keeps the fecal off the floor at home for years. At 4 or 5 dollars apiece its a good bit for the lucky box.
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Old 08-05-2015, 16:23   #10
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Re: Emergency Plugs

The foam plugs work well on "tears" in fiberglass. The plug can be laid on its side and pressed into a crack with a batten and possibly a tap with a hammer. Then keep pressure on with some bracing. In this aspect the foam plugs are way more useful than soft wood plugs.

Stay Afloat is the same material as toilet bowl seals as far as I can tell. Get several sealing rings at any hardware store and keep them wrapped in wax paper in a well sealed plastic box. Keep the box with/in the damage control grab bag.

Whatever you put into a crack or hole usually needs pressure held on it from inside the boat. For example, use wood screws to fasten a seat back or other flat wood to the hull to hold the patch in place. Deck screws and electric screwdriver in the damage control bag is a one idea. A person usually cannot drive a screw into fiberglass manually.
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Old 08-05-2015, 22:08   #11
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Re: Emergency Plugs

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Originally Posted by nicholson31 View Post
There is a very interesting video on youtube, if memory serves me right "Monthly Yachting Magazine", where they poke several holes in the hull and use many different items to stem the flow, one of those nerf plugs was used, they rated it as fairly effective. Its a great video as it gives you an idea what to expect when faced with water pouring in and a sense of real time and what can be used at hand, think they even used a potato.
There is also a video for roll over and demasting, very informative!!
Here it starts, if this is what you were thinking:

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Old 08-05-2015, 22:24   #12
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Re: Emergency Plugs

CARLF - Thanks for the 'Stay Afloat' info - never heard of it but will be sourcing some. Looks like a great product for the 'oh ****' box.

On a similar note - may I suggest the inclusion of some 'knead it' (there is standard and aqua versions) in the box. It's gotten me out of trouble twice now - once with a holed sailboat hull, and just last week allowed me to repair a steering arm in my stink boat which held for two days and saved a long anticipated 'boys trip'. Quite amazing and versatile stuff.
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Old 14-05-2015, 08:00   #13
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Re: Emergency Plugs

In addition to the plugs, does anyone carry a de-watering(trash) pump? I thought of something like this would come in handy for extreme situations (powered by a Honda 2000 generator):
Zoeller M53 - 1/3 HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump w/ Vertical Float Switch

or maybe this Honda unit with it's own power source:
Honda WX15 Model Info | 1.5" Lightweight Water Pump | Honda Pumps

I would hate to think of relying solely on my bilge pump(s), especially if the batteries get flooded.
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Old 14-05-2015, 08:45   #14
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Re: Emergency Plugs

I like the idea of carrying a big emergency pump but I just don't have room on my little boat. I have given it a lot of thought and if you decide to carry an engine driven pump, I would convert it to run on propane. Gasoline engines don't like to sit unused for long periods of time and stored gasoline goes bad quickly. Propane powered engines don't mind sitting and propane can be stored forever without going bad.
The 110v pump run from the Honda gen isn't a bad idea. I'm sure the gen gets run often and is maintained regularly. Look at the Rule 110v sump pumps. Might be more suitable to carry on a boat than a big chunk of iron.
The emergency pump on my boat is my engine cooling pump. I have a power boat and my engine, and cooling pump, are larger than is usually found on sailboats.
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Old 15-05-2015, 01:13   #15
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Re: Emergency Plugs

One thing to keep in mind about submersible pumps is cooling. Most of them must stay submerged in water as part of their cooling design. If they are operated not fully submerged they can get smoking hot. So check the setup and be sure your dewatering solution does not become a fire hazard.
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