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Old 03-02-2011, 11:44   #1
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How Can I Stop My Boat from Sinking ?

Hi all,

We are planning a voyage where the possibility of hull punctures are very real! I wanted to ask everyones opinion on techniques and equipment we should have on board to respond to a small to large hull puncture. I have heard of people using wet cure epoxy, cushions, sails any suggestions???

Please check out our rare and remote voyage we would like your feed back at

www. belzebub2.com

Thanks !!!
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Old 03-02-2011, 13:16   #2
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I am surprised that I have not seen some sort of emergency floatation bags marketed for this purpose. What I'm thinking of is similar to a liferaft in operation. With a major leak just inflate one in the forward cabin and one in the aft cabin and live in the saloon while you creep back to port. Does anyone make something for that purpose? Sounds better than a life raft to me.

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Old 03-02-2011, 13:25   #3
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A self inflating bag as suggested by Greg would be easy enough to fit and are powered by a standard diving cylinder.

This is a UK dealer and a nice guy but there must be other manufacturers.

TIDEL : Self Righting Bags for RIBs and Inflatables : Dartmouth Brixham Salcombe Plymouth Devon Cornwall Torquay

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Old 03-02-2011, 13:28   #4
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I am surprised that I have not seen some sort of emergency floatation bags marketed for this purpose. What I'm thinking of is similar to a liferaft in operation. With a major leak just inflate one in the forward cabin and one in the aft cabin and live in the saloon while you creep back to port. Does anyone make something for that purpose? Sounds better than a life raft to me.

Greg
They have been sold in the past but not sure if they are still on the market. Sounds like a good idea but I think the problem was that the volume required to offset the weight of the keel and a boat filled with water pretty much filled all below decks space. Also they were costly, need large compressed air tanks so used up a lot of room and added a good bit of weight of their own.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:07   #5
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Don't read the language the website is posted in so only going on one photo. It looks you have other than a steel boat. If you are concerned about punctures, I wouldn't go on anything but a steel or aluminum hulled boat. Metal boats will dent and deform rather than puncture except in very extreme conditions. Sailing the NW passage just isn't the place for anything but the ultimate in strength.

Flotation devices would probably fill the whole interior of the boat on a typical monohull sailboat. The only way to get around this would be a total redesign of the interior of the boat around the flotation device so it's deployment would still allow some below decks living space. Failing that, a life raft is your best proof against hull puncture.

Assuming the damage will mostly be close to the water line from floating ice, water proof canvas commonly called collision mats. I think, are probably best way to deal with punctures. Made up before hand with many grommets so they can be deployed in a variety of ways. You definitely need to practice deployment practiced before it's needed to work any kinks. The ability to dive in the frigid water to deal with a puncture from the outside is a aslo a must have. Probably a dry suit and appropriate dive gear.

Epoxy and other chemical fixes may not work because of the temperature. Can imagine how long epoxy would take to go off in freezing water.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:10   #6
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Richard Henderson in "Singlehanded Sailing" recommends a collision mat or Simpson gear. Collision mats seem to be more common.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:13   #7
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Don't read the language the website is posted in so only going on one photo. .
Click the English flag in the top right corner
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:15   #8
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3 surplus 8' weather balloons and 3 Scuba tanks will do just as well.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:17   #9
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I have read about a device that works like an umbrella. Insert into the hole from the inside and open it up. Water pressure holds it against the hull to slow the leak. Of course you have to be able to access the damage site from the inside so if a bulkhead or floor is in the way you will need a plan B.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:18   #10
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Several watertight compartments and bulkheads.

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Old 03-02-2011, 14:23   #11
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I have read about a device that works like an umbrella. Insert into the hole from the inside and open it up. Water pressure holds it against the hull to slow the leak. Of course you have to be able to access the damage site from the inside so if a bulkhead or floor is in the way you will need a plan B.
It's called a Simpson gear.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:40   #12
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I assume you'll have a bunch of these foam emergency plugs on board:
TruPlug™ Soft Cone-Shaped Emergency Plug

Also, keep on hand numerous small-to-medium pieces of plywood in various dimensions, plus a cordless drill, screws, and wet patch roofing cement.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:45   #13
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It's called a Simpson gear.
Ok, I thought that might be what it was but I googled Simpson Gear and got nothing like that. Where does one find one of these?
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:52   #14
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hears an idea that I will keep aboard when I travel.

if you ever saw self repairing tires...on the inside its a soft silicone stuff that fills a poncture and keep the air inside...well if you take such a tire and cut in large pieces...you end up with very strong mats that can seal your hull from the outside in case of emergency...granted you may have to get wet...I am working on a similar product you can pass thru hull like an umbrella...once you puch it thru its spring loaded to open and seal by out side presure.
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Old 03-02-2011, 14:52   #15
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Watertight bulkheads

I would go for no less than 3 watertight compartments and bring lots of expanding foam, mats, simpson gear, and a lifeboat/sled.
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