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Old 21-02-2013, 22:37   #16
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

I just bought a "Collision Mat" from someone in the classifieds. It is a triangle of plastic-coated fabric, about 4' per side with 20' lines attached to each corner. It appears to have been sold from WM. Hope I don't have to use it, but it gives me one more thing in my arsenal.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 22-02-2013, 02:32   #17
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Unless your boat has watertight compartments and / or sealed bouyancy then IMO (on something the size of a yacht - not a sqaure rigger!) if the hole needs something the size of a sail to fix it then you are very likely sinking!......and will have sunk by the time the sail is deployed (leaving aside how practical that really is).
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Old 22-02-2013, 04:53   #18
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Hop Car. Hornblower was 'the man'. And yes fothering a sail under a holed vessel is as relevant now as it was then. In fact it was recently suggested as a fall back position during an 'Elements of Shipboard Safety' which is a pre-requisite course for Master 5 in Australia. The guy that mentioned it had been at sea for 40 years driving dredges, tugs and offshore support vessels.
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Old 22-02-2013, 06:27   #19
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

I think DOJ nailed it! Considering the critical volume of what most of us sail around, a below the waterline hole big enough to shove a salvage patch through will not matter.... a hole the size of your fist will sink you in 5 minutes!

One of the handiest things I've found for plugging holes is plain old plastic shopping bags.... a LOT of them stored in an old sock with a paint mixing stick. With big holes, just stuff the entire sock into the hole; for smaller holes use individual bags and the paint stick to jab them in. Individual bags work great on wood hulls with a bad seam. I've used several socks to seal up a six inch exhaust on a powerboat that blew a hose.

Another handy thing is a plain old blue poly tarp and the handy snap in grommets from Harbor Freight instead of an old sail; folds up smaller, is lighter, and has several other uses besides salvage.
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Old 22-02-2013, 09:15   #20
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
thanks for those links, very useful and interesting to watch. they had some others for the "crash test boat" as well that were good to watch.

What I think is clear though is having boat design with hulls that have watertight compartments is what you really want!
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Old 22-02-2013, 10:00   #21
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

In the aftermath of Huricane Ivan in 2004, many boats arrrived in Trinidad from Granada with allsorts of jury rigged patches to their hulls. Everything from scrapes of sails to 4'x8' plywood epoxyed on. I seen one boat (a 60 footer)'at the yard at Power Boats which had a 3'x5' hole in its side, it had been "dewatered" before the passage.

We cruisiers took our dingies out into the waters between the two islands to assist as several boats sunk during the passage. Cruisiers also sent up a 24/7 SSB net to monitor their progress. The boat yards in Trinidad maintained a free travel-lift service 24/7 for boats when they arrived.
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Old 22-02-2013, 10:29   #22
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Old sailing ships were convex, modern boats when you include the keel are concave. The hole needs to be in a pretty good spot for it to work on a modern boat.

But try everything!
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Old 22-02-2013, 11:12   #23
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Damage Control Mat aka Collision Mat.

Standard advice in the older books (remember books?) on seamanship and cruising. If all you have is a sail, you use the sail. If you have a padded mat, like a thin mattress or flat fender pad, that works too.

These days? Folks would rather buy insurance and lose the boat, apparently.
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Old 22-02-2013, 18:22   #24
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Fothering procedure for concave keelboats:

Unscrew keel bolts. Boat will assume more convenient shape and orientation for patching hole.
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Old 22-02-2013, 18:29   #25
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Forgot to add 5200 cures underwater
:-)
Cures underwater yes but it does not stick to wet surfaces, i have tried on a3" hole on a prior boat. It stuck to the rubber plastic patch but in no way shape or form stick to wet fiberglass or wet bottom paint
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Old 22-02-2013, 18:41   #26
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

Captain Cook in 1770 did it too when he went aground on the Barrier Reef.

I will be fitting out in about a year and intend to:

  • Get a dedicated collision mat with ropes on 4 corners, (Probably cut from an old sail, probably about 1.5m x 1.5m)
  • Set up the boat (Lagoon 400) so that it can be quickly deployed externally. I have no confidence in successfully deploying from inside.
  • Practice using it.
Setting up will include having some additional fittings and ropes permanently on the boat. The tricky places to deploy a collision mat are any hull surface under the bridgedeck and concave surface between the hull and the stub keel. It is not horribly difficult but you don't want to be working it out if you have to use it.



I noticed recently that a 44' cat being delivered somewhere in the Caribbean was lost because the hull was punctured. A collision mat and the preparations described above would probably have saved it.


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Old 22-02-2013, 18:52   #27
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

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if the hole needs something the size of a sail to fix it then you are very likely sinking!......and will have sunk by the time the sail is deployed
Bingo!
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:00   #28
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

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Old sailing ships were convex, modern boats when you include the keel are concave. The hole needs to be in a pretty good spot for it to work on a modern boat.

But try everything!
As I understand it, the fothering technique works because the water pressure is what pushes the material up against the hole, so the hull shape isn't a big issue, the ropes just hold the material in place, they don't hold it against the hole.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:04   #29
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

The vidclips off that crashtest boat show that you'd better have drilled the procedure before needing it in earnest. Btw, is there something like builder's foam that works underwater? If not, invent it.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:18   #30
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Re: Save Holed Boat By Draping Sail Underneath?

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Cures underwater yes but it does not stick to wet surfaces, i have tried on a3" hole on a prior boat. It stuck to the rubber plastic patch but in no way shape or form stick to wet fiberglass or wet bottom paint
Hmmm. This boat that I and another crew were trying to keep afloat was wooden. She did have bottom paint but it was well worn. We started out with copper sheeting with tacks and covered with 5200, but the more we tapped the tacks into the hull the more panicked feedback we got from the person manning the bilge. So we tried just sticking the sheets covered in 5200 to the hull( no hammering the tacks into the hull). On deck, the captain just lined up the sheets with 5200, so all we had to do is surface, grab another sheet and dive back down. I had 5200 in my hair, on my suit, all over the place, little bits of 5200 floating in the water. I don't remember having a hard time getting it to stick. When she made it to haul out(isla mujeres) I ran to the yard the next morning to check on her, they were using a crow bar to get the sheeting off.


This boat had spent too much time up the Rio Dulce, got fresh water logged. The owners thought she would bounce back once in the sea but she was too saturated by then, that put an incredible stress on her hull/keel section. A crack developed, though it was never truly apparent where the water was coming in.

** But you do have a very valid point, I just assumed since it work it my situation it would work in others.

Erika
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