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Old 21-11-2013, 09:02   #1
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For those more Experienced (Unsinkable?)

I know nothing about marine architecture or boating for that matter. I'll never have enough money for a boat, let alone a cruiser. BUT, I was reading through some posts and got an idea that created a question...
Would there be any benefit to creating some sort of mounted canister in each compartment of a boat that could manually (or automatically) release liquid expansive foam in case of a hull breech? It would take up space unless it was needed. Then, if you save the boat all you have to do is remove the foam, clean up, patch the hull and you're back on the water.
Thoughts? Please keep criticism to a minimum. I don't come to the forum that often.
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Old 21-11-2013, 09:07   #2
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Water tight bulkheads are mans attempt at keeping a breeched hull afloat. They work but the hatches have to be closed and any bulkhead penetrations properly sealed.
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Old 21-11-2013, 09:11   #3
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

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Originally Posted by trefall View Post
I know nothing about marine architecture or boating for that matter. I'll never have enough money for a boat, let alone a cruiser. BUT, I was reading through some posts and got an idea that created a question...
Would there be any benefit to creating some sort of mounted canister in each compartment of a boat that could manually (or automatically) release liquid expansive foam in case of a hull breech? It would take up space unless it was needed. Then, if you save the boat all you have to do is remove the foam, clean up, patch the hull and you're back on the water.
Thoughts? Please keep criticism to a minimum. I don't come to the forum that often.
what happens if your down below when the foam canister automatically releases?
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Old 21-11-2013, 09:18   #4
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Like the movie 'Demolition man'' and the car? Explosive foam and all? It would have to fight water pressure and stay unmixed from water to keep it from forming and dry. May be possible not a scientist but adhesives dry in water anyhow but to make it a solid expanding material that can force pressure against water at the same time would be difficult to manufacture.
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Old 21-11-2013, 12:16   #5
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

Macn,
Not much of a Stallone/Snipes fan but it's good to know it's been thought of.
The idea came to me when I was mixing salad dressing after I read a post on here about unsinkable boats. I'm no chemist either but I was thinking there must be something that won't disperse in water. Maybe something in the canister where the two chemicals mix as they're being ejected.
Thanks for the replies.
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Old 21-11-2013, 12:20   #6
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

A friend of mine had a patent years ago on gas charged air bags for boats that would accomplish the same thing. A lawsuit over an unintended inflation caused him to run for the hills ..... hasn't been seen since.
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Old 21-11-2013, 12:22   #7
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

I don't really see some amazing value in a mostly-sunken hull. It will be filled with sea water, oils, and debris sloshing about, the roll will be hideous, and it will be dangerous to be inside.

If it's either that or death than obviously have fun in the slush bucket. But if the decks are awash and the boat is otherwise "afloat", I'm going into the life raft.
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Old 21-11-2013, 12:28   #8
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

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...all you have to do is remove the foam, clean up...
Yeah, that's "all" you have to do. Reminds me a little bit of Steve Martin's old routine entitled "How to Be a Millionaire and Never Pay Taxes." He starts out with "All you have to do is, get a million dollars..."

Well, obviously, it's not that easy. Have you ever tried to clean that expanding foam gunk off of something? You may have saved the boat, but to what end? It is going to take years of time, and thousands of hours, to clean it out and make it useable again. You'd be time and money ahead to just let it sink and buy another boat.

Now, of course, if it is cheap enough, then this would certainly be one way to turn your doomed boat into its own liferaft. Stay with it until rescued and then let it drift away.

But I wouldn't count on anyone ever being able to actually use that boat again.
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Old 21-11-2013, 13:11   #9
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

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I don't really see some amazing value in a mostly-sunken hull. It will be filled with sea water, oils, and debris sloshing about, the roll will be hideous, and it will be dangerous to be inside.

If it's either that or death than obviously have fun in the slush bucket. But if the decks are awash and the boat is otherwise "afloat", I'm going into the life raft.
Which will be mostly filled with sea water sloshing about, and the roll will be hideous......

Ever actually BEEN in a life raft?
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Old 21-11-2013, 14:40   #10
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The older monohull wellington 44 and 47's had enough foam built into them that if the were holed they would only settle 8" and still be sailable, driveable.
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Old 21-11-2013, 14:50   #11
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Re: For those more Experienced (Unsinkable?)

I think all these "sinkability" discussions are funny, given the numbers of frightfully decrepit derelict boats that populate anchorages, and damn sure we'd all like to see THEM sink, and they don't…
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Old 21-11-2013, 18:50   #12
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Re: For those more experienced (unsinkable?)

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Which will be mostly filled with sea water sloshing about, and the roll will be hideous......

Ever actually BEEN in a life raft?
STCW-95, US Navy boarding parties in skiffs in the Atlantic, SERE, submarine escape trainer, and various other training stuff.

But no, no Steven Calahan level experience.

I'm still picking life raft over some will-drown-you-soon tub full of acids, oils, sharp objects, and flotsam.
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Old 22-11-2013, 00:55   #13
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Re: For those more Experienced (Unsinkable?)

Only training courses for me too, but that was enough to make me absolutely certain it's a place I never want to go.

Even in a swimming pool it was horrendous, and while there may not have been oil etc sloshing about, there was plenty of vomit. I can't imagine what one would be like in rough seas. But Steven Calahan does know, and now sails a boat that can't sink.
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Old 22-11-2013, 01:08   #14
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Re: For those more Experienced (Unsinkable?)

Two-part polyurethane expandable foam expands in minutes, but it takes it a while like an hour or more to dry into a hard substance that water would not breakup.
It also sticks to everything and is impossible to remove.
So it would not work at all like an airbag for a sinking boat.
A slowly sinking one it might come in handy, probably want to expand it into bags,
could be yet another tool, and might be useful in other non-immediate-emergency situations, like a dinghy that won't hold air, etc.
A couple quarts or gallons doesn't take up that much space in liquid form.
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Old 22-11-2013, 06:02   #15
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Re: For those more Experienced (Unsinkable?)

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I think all these "sinkability" discussions are funny…
It's a fear that an awful lot of newbies seem to have. The odds of your boat sinking out from under you are extraordinarily small. On the other hand, if you win the lottery, and it does happen, then the consequences are pretty dire.

I always thought the inflating air-bag idea was a pretty good one. Minimal amount of space and turn your boat into its own liferaft. I find it hard to believe that liability issues would be that big of a deal--they don't seem to be a problem for liferaft manufacturers. Certainly seems to me that air-bags would work WAAAAAAAY better than expanding foam.
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