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Old 04-02-2011, 10:35   #46
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I've seen short lengths of chain used at the base of a collision mat to pull the base down when bringing it around.
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Old 04-02-2011, 13:20   #47
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The trick with the mat pays only with specific hull shapes. It is also time consuming - drag the mat out, rig it, position ...

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Old 04-02-2011, 16:07   #48
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We met this guy, Eric Forsyth, in the Exumas last winter. He took his Westsail 42 through the NW Passage in 2009. I haven't read everything on his website, but you may find some handy tips there:

Yacht Fiona Home Page - Yacht, Fiona, Forsyth, Sailing, Sail, Voyage, YachtFiona, Ocean Cruising

Sounds like an incredible trip and I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.
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Old 04-02-2011, 18:04   #49
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
The trick with the mat pays only with specific hull shapes. It is also time consuming - drag the mat out, rig it, position ...

b.
I suppose there may be some truth behind the "specific hull shape". It would be helpful if you were more specific. But it's unclear as to which other method isn't going to take some effort, whether it is as effective or not.

You might go back farther to make a mat look less attractive. Like start at.. start engine, weigh anchor, raise sails, make headway, collide with submerged object... then drag the mat out, ect. That is why Boatmans post (#44) jumps out at me.
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Old 04-02-2011, 18:58   #50
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realisticaly the best protection against hitting submerged objects in the higher latitudes is only to sail during daylight hours,about 20-22hrs per day during the summer and heaving too during the 2-4 hour of darknes,in any boat wheter steel or otherwise.

physically having someone on watch and actually looking forward has saved me numerous times over my 100 000 miles of sailing from hitting trees and whales etc.
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Old 04-02-2011, 19:30   #51
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realisticaly the best protection against hitting submerged objects ........

.......physically having someone on watch and actually looking forward has saved me numerous times over my 100 000 miles of sailing from hitting trees and whales etc.
Good point.

I nearly clobered a very visible piling in the harbor which was marking a hazard the very first time I tried my Autohelm. The fact that it was bent over because it had been hit by other boats was of no comfort for my... duh... failure to do the obvious..

Which brings to mind forward looking sonar as one that has not been mentioned yet.

The trouble is, there's no end to it. I'd think a steel hull would be a more justifiable than foward looking sonar, but the sonar would certainly be cheaper than a whole new steel boat.

You can make yourself crazy, or you can abandon the intimidation.
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Old 04-02-2011, 19:39   #52
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I put a hole in the center hull of my Telstar Trimaran once. The outriggers held up the hull, while I got undeneath patched the hole and then pumped the water out, and off we went.
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Old 05-02-2011, 20:06   #53
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Keep a couple of heavy canvas tarps on board. Good grommets, cheap enough to cut up if needed. Waterproof. Come in all sizes. Many uses, just not fancy enough for a lot of people. Take a black marker and write collision mat on it if it makes you feel better.

Don't discount the power of good duct tape in an emergency. To temporarily stop a small leak it can be applied underwater. It will give you time to come up with a better solution. They fly planes out of the Alaskan bush held together with duct tape.

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Old 13-02-2011, 08:15   #54
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Amazing information!!!! Thanks for the extended discussion. I have alot to consider. I will let you all know the technique we decide on!
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Old 13-02-2011, 08:52   #55
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I might be a bit late to the party here, but I'll offer a few more thoughts:

The Swedish-built Halberg-Rassy described on Exiles' website looks like an interesting design. H-R are known for pretty solid engineering and I doubt that they would have specified a hull and keel structure that couldn't take a moderately hard grounding. This doesn't look like the sort of light, under-built weekend racer that has no business beyond sight of shore.

The only way to protect a small boat from ice is to avoid the ice. It doesn't matter what material it's built in- if it wasn't engineered as an icebreaker from the start, a high-speed collision with a "growler" or "bergy-bit" is going to breach the hull. Even the big Russian and Canadian icebreakers, with several inches of solid steel plate covering the bow and waterline, will avoid the freely-drifting stuff if they can- they can only handle solid ice head-on at very low speeds. Keep a close eye on the ice condition reports from the Canadian, American and Danish governments as you pass through their respective waters, and stay away from wherever the ice is heading.

In a head-on collision with something at the surface, the breach will be in the forepeak, and a sturdy, watertight forward bulkhead might save you and your boat. The same goes for a hose or seacock failure in the engine room, which should have watertight bulkheads ahead and aft of it (a 1.5" seacock 1 m / 3' below the waterline lets in about 5000 gph if it fails). A watertight bulkhead ahead of the rudder stock would also be prudent. If the hull is breached aft of the forward bulkhead, the boat will probably be a loss- but your chances of being safely rescued are far better if you're on a crippled but mostly floating boat than if you're on a liferaft.

A rock, log or container just below the surface is a different story; in this case, the damage will probably be between the forefoot and the keel root. A hull breach in this area would let in far too much water for pumps to keep up with. Most designers will beef up this area to reduce the risk of a hull breach, but a double bottom would be ideal. Forward-looking sonar, or even just a cheap fishfinder mounted with its beam pointing a few degrees below horizontal/forward, might be very helpful in areas that aren't so well charted.

Along the waterline, ice poses a new risk- the "can opener" effect- that probably wouldn't have been accounted for in the original design of a non-ice-rated boat. The suggestion of adding a metre or so of Kevlar laminate at the waterline would seem to be a good idea for a new-build or a boat that's already undergoing hull work, but on an already OK hull would be a LOT of work and money for a small improvement in the odds.

The prop and rudder are at very high risk in icy conditions. It does not take much to bend a prop shaft or P-bracket, or to twist a rudder shaft out of shape, and I can think of no effective retrofit to protect these parts. STAY OUT OF THE ICE. PERIOD.
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Old 13-02-2011, 12:53   #56
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I suppose there may be some truth behind the "specific hull shape". It would be helpful if you were more specific.
Hull shape - not flat and not hard chine, preferably no keel either.

Go for things like e.g.:

a) unsinkable boat, like an Etap,
b) watertight bulkheads, (retrofitting possible in most hulls),
c) auto-inflatable bags (retrofitting may be possible).

Also - a steel or alloy boat.

Try to avoid the damage, then have ways of remaining afloat should damage happens.

The amount of water from a broached hull will in many cases be rapid enough to render all attempts of patching the hull a waste of time. But I do not say DON'T. I think if patching is the vision then super duper bilge pumps are a must too. (The are a good idea anyway).

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Old 13-02-2011, 15:16   #57
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It seems to me, being a fan of Farley Mowat and his book "Grey Seas Under" and a marine salvage enthusiast from way back in grade 8, that if you are going to go messing around with boats that are sinking, then a honking huge pump is the order of the day.

Back in my teen years I did a stint as a forest fire fighter in Northern Ontario, and we had small portable pumps made by Wajax. Wajax is long since gone but there are others makers out there. Here's a good example.

Wildfire Fire Fighting Equipment Wildland Firefighting Hoses & Gear - DS-PFP-18HPHND-2D Model

If you were to have one of these lashed down on deck, you could run the intake hose down a hatch (maybe ever permanently install it), prime the pump and fire it up. 550 US gallons a minute. Priming it is no biggie either. The intake hose has a screen and check valve. Pump the hose end up and down a few times and its good to go. 550 GPM will certainly keep your boat afloat while you hunt down the hole and fix it. It would be pretty cheap insurance if you were to go off into the north and play.

I have no idea what this particular one costs, but for what its worth, you can rent a 2" centrifugal pump, gas powered at Home Depot. You can always return it on Monday.... or not.



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Old 13-02-2011, 16:45   #58
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add a 12volt electric bilge pump say 3700 gph thats about a gallon a second wire that direct to a dedicated house battery say 80 ah or better hook it to a small dedicated solar panel tiny to keep the battery topped a float switch well above exsisting bilge pump levels and manuel swich that pump will pump thousands of gallons at a good rate joined by the boats regular pumps a good manuel edson gallon a stroke is a nice back up add full damage control and repair gear and good luck
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Old 13-02-2011, 17:10   #59
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... Back in my teen years I did a stint as a forest fire fighter in Northern Ontario, and we had small portable pumps made by Wajax. Wajax is long since gone ...
Wajax lives! ➥ Wajax
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Old 13-02-2011, 19:12   #60
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As far as big pumps go: At the moment, Princess Auto has a 9900 gph Pacer/B&S for $350, a 9500 gph Honda for $500 and a 13700 gph Honda for $600 (Canadian or US dollars, all gasoline powered, the latter two being "semi trash" rated to handle a bit of soft debris along with the water). A 12 volt Rule 8000 (actually two 4000 gph units sharing a single discharge hose) is about $550 or so. You could also buy a Pacer or similar centrifugal pump for about $150 and couple it to the 4-8 hp diesel engine or hydraulic motor of your choice to get something like 8000 to 12000 gph. Don't forget that the flow ratings will go down quite a lot thanks to head and the resistance of the outlet hose.

Having at least one awesomely powerful water pump on board is a Very Good Idea, but it's only a temporary emergency measure while you find the hole and stuff it full of blankets, canvas, Stay-Afloat putty, peanut butter, etc. and it's no substitute for preventing the hole in the first place.
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