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Old 09-12-2012, 14:09   #1
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Damage from fresh water submersion ?

Boat Sank
I realize that this may be a dumb question BUT does immersion in fresh water necessarily mean that all the electronic components,which were unpowered at the time,will be rendered useless i.e.:
1] main electric circuit switch panels
2] battery chargers
3] T.V.
4] GPS chart plotter / Radar screen
5] fridge
As to the motors they were fresh water cooled so shouldn't one just be able to change all filters and the oil to render them operational.
The upholstery throughout was totally inundated as there was several feet of water in the Salon of this Sun Bridge cruiser for several days.
No power has as yet be restored to the vessel so nothing has been turned on or tried yet.
Please give me your opinion as to it's restoration viability.
Thank you
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:51   #2
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Toast. If they did power up, and were sold on Craig's List or eBay, would anyone want to buy them?
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:55   #3
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Re: Damage from fresh water submersion ?

With fresh water, I would be concerned about the wood and other fiber products. The boat needs to be dried out 100%, and as well an antimicrobial chemical atomized into the boat while it's drying.

Some electronics can be save if submerged in alcohol.

Engines/gear boxes can be saved by changing out oils and filters. Run them until up to temp and then change oil and filters again.

But everything is urgent. The longer it sits the worse things will get.
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Old 09-12-2012, 15:00   #4
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Re: Damage from fresh water submersion ?

The electronics are not necessarily dead. Remove them and throughly rinse them with rubbing alcohol. the alcohol will carry off remaining water. Dry them with a hair dryer or in an oven on low or just the pilot light. Power them up with your fingers crossed. What usually kills them is a build up of salts which short out the circuit boards.
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Old 09-12-2012, 15:14   #5
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Re: Damage from fresh water submersion ?

It's the salt that does in electronics. If you can thoroughly dry out the stuff before powering them up, they may be okay. If possible, put them in a plastic bag filled with rice. It will help draw out the moisture. If not, placing them over a heating air duct for a couple of days should suffice.

As far as the engine(s), they should also be fine as long as you soak them down good with Miracle Oil or WD40. After emptying the oil pan, pull the plugs, squirt lubricant in the cylinders then turn over by hand. Probably best to drop the oil pans and thoroughly clean it/them out, refill with oil and turn engine(s) over by hand again., A large hand drill with the proper socket will do a nice job with this. Spray down the alternator, starter and any other electronics/electircal on the the engine with WD40, probably the first thing you
should have done. Let everything dry out. Once your sure it's dry, try and turn the engine over with the starter. If it works, run the starter intermittantly for a couple of minutes, 15sec on and off. Reinsert the plugs and test for spark. If you've got it, try and start the engine. No spark, and it's time to call a mechanic as i'm over mu head. If the engine starts, run it till it's good and warm, shut down and change the oil and filter. Start it up agaion and let the engine run for an hour or so, shut down and change the oil and filter again and you should be fine.

Freshwater doesn't hurt things unless they are left in it for a goodly length of time. Residual oil will protect the engines internals for quite a while. Electronics can take a bath and still work fine as long as they are not turned on while still wet. Some will even work if abused that way. It's that nasty salt water that rust things up right now and shorts out printed circuits.
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Old 09-12-2012, 21:31   #6
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Re: Damage from fresh water submersion ?

One of the problems is that there is no such thing as really fresh water in any river or lake. It all has salts and other contaminants.
Best procedure is to rinse items in clean demineralised water, then alcohol before allowing them to dry well in a low humidity environment such as an airconditioned room or vehicle.
No guarantee of success though.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 09-12-2012, 22:06   #7
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Re: Damage from fresh water submersion ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
One of the problems is that there is no such thing as really fresh water in any river or lake. It all has salts and other contaminants.
Best procedure is to rinse items in clean demineralised water, then alcohol before allowing them to dry well in a low humidity environment such as an airconditioned room or vehicle.
No guarantee of success though.

Regards,
Richard
A product called Salt-Away could be good for this if its brackish water.
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Old 09-12-2012, 22:15   #8
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The advice given here is useful if a used car salesman is bidding on totaled cars from a flood, hoping to flip them for a quick buck. Who here hopes to someday purchase such a fine automobile?

On a flooded sailboat, wood dries out and you have what you get. Electronics, is toast, sooner or later. An insurance company does not tell you how to dry electronics out and try the stuff. They total electronics in that case
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