Cruisers Forum

Go Back   Cruisers & Sailing Forums > The Fleet > Monohull Sailboats
Cruiser Wiki

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-08-2013, 09:49   #91
Senior Cruiser
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 11,239
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
How about requiring zincs at the corners, so they would sink over time?
The problem is not that the containers are water tight, in fact quite the opposite. I have shipped hundreds of containers and they are not sealed and sometimes leak even from rainwater.

The problem is cargo that is buoyant. Everything you can imagine is shipped in these containers included plastic toys, foam furniture, wooden goods, etc. These containers can be completely full of water and still not sink.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 10:06   #92
Registered User
RainDog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Varies
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 34 #142
Posts: 1,175
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Everything you can imagine is shipped in these containers included plastic toys ...

What can 28,000 rubber duckies lost at sea teach us about our oceans? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

RainDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 10:27   #93
Wayfaring Mariner
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,000
Images: 5
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

You should have a plan for stopping water from coming in, regardless the object collided with. It would depend greatly on the situation, but my first response would not be to empty my fresh water overboard, if you were offshore you could give your self another problem instead of solving one. Keeping a few different sized plugs, pieces of plywood, some small dunnage, and a couple of gallons of "Splash zone" are a good start. Some battery powered tools is a good idea as well as various lengths of sheet rock screws. A couple of blue tarps could help too, zip lock bags and electrical tape. Having a back up de-watering pump is always a good idea, something independent of the other systems. The immediate objective is to stop the big water from coming in as well as pumping out what has come in, once you have stabilized that much then you can work on eliminating as much of the leak as possible, and strengthen your repairs. Splash Zone will harden in the water, and 5200 will cure while submerged as well. At the same time start making radio calls for nearby help. Most bilge pumps are not designed to handle even moderate flooding, a broken through hull can be enough to sink your vessel, I keep a correctly sized plug tied on a string right next to their respective through hull.
I met a fellow who took a lightening strike in the middle of the night, that blew his grounding plate off the side of his hull, in the middle of the pacific, he dove over the side with a blanket and shoved it into the hole, and was able to hang on until daylight, once he got things as squared away; he sailed on in to Tahiti and got repaired. So what could have been a BOLO, ended up being a tale of adventure to be told in the bar by the person that was there.
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 10:40   #94
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,744
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Floating containers are also way, way down my list of collision worries at sea. If there were a lot of them out there, our beaches would be littered with the things floating ashore.

While I'm sure boats do occasionally hit containers, I also don't know anyone (including myself) who has hit one. On the other hand, its hard to find any sailor who lacks several dramatic stories of hitting (or almost hitting) large trees,massive warf timbers, oil drums, derelict boats, unsecured buoys, uncharted rocks, unlighted ships, or submarines (yes, I know two people who claim they hit a submarine in separate incidents).

Even with an AIS transponder, my biggest collision fear is still being run down by a commercial or fishing vessel at night (and I had a friend who almost certainly met that fate)
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 11:59   #95
Armchair Bucketeer
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Although a floating container not high on my list, nonetheless I do think being able to seperate the hull into watertight compartments (at least to above the waterline - Titanic style!) is prudent. By that I mean forecabin from Saloon from Engine Compartment from Aft Cabin....and maybe even also a few lockers. Don't have to be watertight 24/7, just if needed to be all thought through and gubbins in place / to hand (i.e to screw down the lockers)..........won't sort the hull breach (and a crack across a bulkhead would be a bummer!), but buys time which the Bilge Pumps won't.
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 16:46   #96
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: West Coast Canada
Boat: Windward 30 sloop
Posts: 20
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Originally Posted by NOMN View Post
I just watched this scary video here.

Apparantly, the guy's boat sank.

He hit a sunken shipping container.

That is MY WORST fear singlehanding, especially at night when making a 20 day ocean passage in the middle of the blue pacific [or other ocean.]

My question is: What would YOU do if this happened immediately, is there ANY WAY to repair it so the boat won't go down?!!

Imagine yourself out in the middle of an ocean, and suddenly you're hit with a loud THUD and water begins rushing in from a cracked bow or hull.

What steps would you take, and if you had immediate access to the crack, how could you seal it in time, and with what materials?!!

This answered a lot of questions for me mate! good luck, it is by far my worst case scenario..

I'm at : come check it out .. stay safe..
Benny241525 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 14:01   #97
Senior Cruiser
Ocean Girl's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In transit ( Texas to wherever the wind blows us)
Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
Posts: 4,115
Images: 2
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Good link about safety equipment
EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE - Outdoors Gear, Survival Equipment Review & Survival Information

Was trying to find the boat flotation air bags, I thought Steve Callahan designed one, but don't see it.

Anyways, just more info.
Mrs. Rain Dog~Ocean Girl
Ocean Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 15:47   #98
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Cairns, Queensland. AUSTRALIA
Boat: Cheoy Lee Clipper 42
Posts: 29
Send a message via Skype™ to Thackaringa
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

My answer is the same as the one given to me by my flying instructor. Whilst flying one very dark night over heavily timbered country I asked him a similar question. "What would we do if the engine suddenly stopped" He answered. " We would make the best of a very bad situation". Of coarse if you were sailing a modern designed "McYacht" my advise is, sit down, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.
Thackaringa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 16:33   #99
Registered User
neilpride's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in the world
Boat: csy 44 tall rig.
Posts: 2,688
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

If you own a boat fitted with a full internal liner , pluging a leak inside is imposible, the only feasible solution is from outside...
neilpride is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 17:57   #100
Nearly an old salt
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Worst case sceanario planning is ridiculous. All you can do is make the best of what you've got. Otherwise all air passagners would be handed parachutes. !
You prepare for the common issues , the freaky ones, you can do little about.

Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! -
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 18:06   #101
Registered User
Teknav's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas - USA
Boat: Twin Otter de Havilland Floatplane
Posts: 1,838
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Covering all possibilities...handing parachutes to sailors! That should do it!

Knows All and Sees All...Only a Dullah!
Retired - Don't Ask Me To Do A Damn Thing!
Teknav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 19:56   #102
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Paper Tiger 14 foot, Gemini 105MC 34 foot Catamaran Hull no 825
Posts: 1,491
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

My boat will definately sink if it gets a hole in it, It has a top and bottom hull,
Most of the inside is not accesible to the outside hull,

Yes. It is a Catamaran that will sink with a hole in it, Proven,

So filling a hole from the inside is near impossible,
In the dark, Finding the hole would be near impossible,
Same as swimming around the hull on the outside to find the hole, And that is very weather dependant,

I would have sunk just finding the hole, Time is of the essence here, You dont have much time before you have sunk,

I have now gone to quick inflatable air Bladders, Blow them up in a couple of minutes, It will keep my boat on the surface, Giving me the time to then fix the hole safely with out the fear of sinking,

I single hand, So dont have the luxury of many people with lots of idea's to try,

I have sunk my boat, So it does give me an insight into what went wrong and what I can do in future to make damn sure it dont happen again,

Even 3/4 submerged, I am still on a boat that wont sink, It gives me the time to fix, modify, Pump out, what ever is needed to get me and my boat on our way again,

Thru hull gets punched out on my boat, I have about 30 minutes to save my boat from sinking,

I did calculate out what sort of pumps I would need for a holing, Bilge pumps just dont cut it,

The air Bladders fold flat, so they dont take up any room like pumps would, and they are ready to be pumped up at a moments notice,

One other thing, In rough water, You might not notice that thump in the night, You might be dead to the world asleep,
You might wake up to find your boat half full of water,
You wont find a hole with water sloshing around every where in the hull or hulls,

Your bilge pumps might already be submerged and not operable, They are in the bottom of your boat,
Electric Air pump is kept up high to avoid this Scenario, Can also come with a foot or hand control in case of no power, These are not Toy or camping Air pumps,

I think with sailing, You prepare for the Worst, Because the Worst is out there, You just have to Minimise the risk associated with the Worst conditions,,

Sooner or later, Your gonna get caught with your pants down, I hope not for every ones sake,

Panic and Fear will kill you, Suppressing that Fear and Panic is extremely hard, Been there, Done that,
I dropped into a creek walking across a flat paddock in Japan, -30 C, 3-00 AM in the morning,
4 metres below the ground level,
Powder snow, It cant be packed down to step onto, I have about 20 minutes to live if I dont get out of here,

Fear and Panic ran rampant, I **** myself, Not Literaly, I was Bloody Scared for once in my life, I was seriously looking at Death within minutes,

The fine snow sticking to my bare hands was sucking the heat out of my body, No matter how much I brushed it off, I had runners on my feet, Jeans, Light shirt and plastic coat on, And a beany,
Walking along the road, I was sweating, Stationary in the hole, I was starting to freeze up all over,

First thing was to suppress the Fear and Panic, Reality and Reason kicked in for me, It overcame the fear and panic, as I was dead with out it, It did take some doing, Suppressing the Fear,

I finally clawed, packed, and made myself a few steps up and out of the creek,

Any hole in a boat, Must be thought out Rationally, Very Quickly, And repaired as quickly as practibly possible, If you can find it,

With most Mono's. You can see a hole, Almost any where in the hull, its simply whacking a plug in covered in rag. So it seals the hole, Easy fix in most cases,

But if you have an inner and outer hull, Your in deep Poo Poo, Finding the hole, might be impossible,

So the next thing in line, Keep your boat on the surface, reliably and safely, where it sits in the water is mainly irrelevant, as long as it floats, and will keep floating, It will keep you alive, And time is what you need on your side,

With the time, You can fix any thing, including holes in the hull,

My advice, Keep your Wits together and your Panic and Fear down, when the SHTF,
Mr B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 20:02   #103
Registered User
NOMN's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Boat: CD 26D.
Posts: 129
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

So I got a ton of this stuff:

JB Weld - Marine Weld

Underwater Epoxy Leak

In addition to a rubber dishmat that I'm going to slather the "hard putty" onto, then press the said hole with my hand, if it happens. It's like a tough dough that bonds underwater. I figure putting pressure on a hole will slow it down, as I run up and throw the collision mat down if it happens. The dishmat will allow me to reach "hard to reach spots" wooden patch boards cannot.

I'm also going with 4 max power bilge pumps. I've got a wind generator, so battery running out isn't an issue.. Anyone have any ideas how to connect them all? Should one hose thru-hull drain be enough?!

I just realized my hull shape is extremely angled in the front, and tough as steel - I assume the force will just literally slide OVER the container in the case of a direct hit, and I'll be grounded at worst.

Oh, and I ran a calculation. For the amount of surface area of ocean, the amount of containers lost, and the probability of them NOT sinking from corrosion or whatever, the chance of hitting one is less that that of getting struck by lightning.

And I'm going to have so much crap on board, I realistically don't see myself exceeding 4 knots. Doubt that will puncture her hull.

Stay safe all.
"I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else." -Captain Joshua Slocum
Check out my blog it's freakin' awesome!!**
NOMN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 20:07   #104
Long Range Cruiser
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in New York
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,206
Images: 25
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
My boat will definately sink if it gets a hole in it, It has a top and bottom hull,.... Panic and Fear down, when the SHTF,

I think you should stay at home. Really, I dont think it will be fun for you if you worry about all this stuff.
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 22:19   #105

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,083
Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

"If it is just beneath the surface, it will keep descending until it has found its final resting place."
Oliver, you are obviously not a SCUBA diver. Divers are trained to trim to a neutral buoyancy and "hover" at any depth they please in the water. Not all do this well, but the training is standard practice and you can ask at any dive shop. "Hovering" is indeed simple, and the same physical conditions and principles apply to a cargo cube as they do to a diver. The only difference is that the diver is actively adjusting his buoyancy, while the cargo cube is "set" randomly.

The most peculiar and unlikely things are buoyant, long term. For a while Dave Lettermen had a "Will it float?" challenge on his show. Bag of potato chips? Buoyant forever, until it reaches crush depth and pops. Food in jars, with lids sealed? Ah, you'd be surprised how well they are sealed. Waterproof binoculars? As good as pool floats. And then there's all the electronics packed in Styrofoam. Even when the carton sogs apart, the foam pieces are often wedged onto the product so well, they'd keep it afloat forever too.

You'd be surprised.

And as to modifying shipping containers, as I've said here and elsewhere before, they are all owned by businesses, in a cut-throat market. None of them are going to spend a nickel, much less a hundred bucks, retrofitting each of a hundred thousand containers. They have no legal responsibility for them, and "do the right thing" means ensuring the maximum profit for their owners. Ain't gonna happen, unless you can get everyone to sign a UN resolution requiring it. Oh, wait, we might sign the Kyoto treaty before then too, huh?

Which is why sailors are taught that holes happen, ships sink, and if you are afraid to deal with it, you open a landscaping business instead. Someplace where there aren't sinkholes. (VBG)

hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:43.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.