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Old 30-09-2020, 15:00   #1
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Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

I am just preparing my emergency toolkit. Thank you for the help.

My boat has a fiberglass liner inside the hull. The liner forms the berths, partial bulkheads, etc.

If I get holed how do I get to the hole through the liner to make an emergency repair?


I already have a nice 5lb hammer, but I was thinking a saw would also be useful.


What do you use for this?
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Old 30-09-2020, 15:38   #2
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

I'd be thinking about a collision mat to seal the leak from the outside. It's a canvas piece made up with cringle's around the outside so you haul it over a breach in the hull. Getting at such a hole from the inside would be problematic trying to stem the flow of water against the water pressure. A hammer won't do you a lot good unless the liner is a chopper gun layup.

Through hulls should be accessible whether there is a liner or not.
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Old 30-09-2020, 17:13   #3
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Most hull liners are a close fit and are bonded to the hull with verry little clearance the hat bow sections forming stringers and floors should be solid foam or other materials,I would suggest a few cans of spray foam some of this will sit under water, just a thought.⛵️��
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Old 30-09-2020, 19:13   #4
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

I was told to wrap the hull in a heavy sail to slow the leak.
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Old 30-09-2020, 20:09   #5
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Hi. Boatbuilding in Rhode Island was a real nice world where everbody would visit other builders. You have a solid, extremely well built vessel. Looks like a Lyle Hess ...another great builder.
All I recall about your boat construction was that it was built like a tank.
It’s how I would build a boat in glass. I’ve been building boats for 60 years.
Totally a strong sea worthy vessel.
What in all the oceans do you think can punch a hole in your boat...the Kraken?
You are small as in hard to hit. You’ll bounce...literally bounce off stuff.
You might loose your rig but if you can keep the companionway shut you’ll be ok.
Forget about collision mats. Buy four toilet wax rings...maybe some foam in a can. Find the leak or crack from the outside and use rags, foam, wax...anything.
Time is the killer. You are not going to do much inside quickly.
Stop worrying. Maybe there are a few places to put in hatches or screw out plates to behind areas so you can use them for storage too. Just don’t cut out structures. PM me if you need help or post some sketch or photos about where you feel you need access.
Don’t worry ...the boat is great.
Happy trails to you
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Old 30-09-2020, 22:36   #6
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by acem View Post
I was told to wrap the hull in a heavy sail to slow the leak.

The term is "fothering". Described by Captain Cook:
Cook's Journal: Daily Entries, 13 June 1770
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:50   #7
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by esarratt View Post
I am just preparing my emergency toolkit. Thank you for the help.

My boat has a fiberglass liner inside the hull. The liner forms the berths, partial bulkheads, etc.

If I get holed how do I get to the hole through the liner to make an emergency repair?


I already have a nice 5lb hammer, but I was thinking a saw would also be useful.


What do you use for this?
Cutting liners is very easy with an oscillating multitool, such as those made by Fein.

One thing I'd suggest is forget the wooden plugs that seem to be the recommended way of plugging holes, they are all but useless. I broke off a through hull underway last year, and the wooden plug that was tied with a string at each one would not stay in nor do much to stem the inflow. What saved the boat was a magic eraser sponge, torn into pieces and stuffed in the hole. You need something that will conform to the shape of the hole, expand to fill the space, and stay wedged in place. Wooden plugs won't do that. Add a bunch of sponges, or some of those soft rubber cones, to your emergency kit.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:40   #8
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
Cutting liners is very easy with an oscillating multitool, such as those made by Fein.

One thing I'd suggest is forget the wooden plugs that seem to be the recommended way of plugging holes, they are all but useless. I broke off a through hull underway last year, and the wooden plug that was tied with a string at each one would not stay in nor do much to stem the inflow. What saved the boat was a magic eraser sponge, torn into pieces and stuffed in the hole. You need something that will conform to the shape of the hole, expand to fill the space, and stay wedged in place. Wooden plugs won't do that. Add a bunch of sponges, or some of those soft rubber cones, to your emergency kit.
What is needed are SOFT wood plugs. Everything I have seen for sale are pretty hard. Balsa would be a good choice. Someone makes vinyl covered foam plugs that would be a good choice.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:14   #9
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I'd be thinking about a collision mat to seal the leak from the outside. It's a canvas piece made up with cringle's around the outside so you haul it over a breach in the hull. Getting at such a hole from the inside would be problematic trying to stem the flow of water against the water pressure. A hammer won't do you a lot good unless the liner is a chopper gun layup.

Through hulls should be accessible whether there is a liner or not.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:24   #10
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
What is needed are SOFT wood plugs. Everything I have seen for sale are pretty hard...
Indeed. Those pretty teak plugs are near useless.
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Old 01-10-2020, 13:09   #11
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Your liner might be at least semi water tight? I wouldn't punch holes in it until you looked it over well.
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Old 01-10-2020, 14:45   #12
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Hi Esarrat

I hope you enjoy your boat.
Fothering is very difficult to perform.
Smashing fibre glass, with even an axe, is very difficult.
I don’t think you’ll ever hit anything hard enough to put a hole in your boat. If you do I would recommend “stepping up” to a liferaft. ( Be sure it really is sinking before you get off).
If you do get a hole in your boat you’ll find the water comes in really quickly and by the time you’ve found the leak it might just be time to get off.
Be sure that all skin fittings and all cocks and hoses are in sound condition. They’re the most likely to let you down. A bilge alarm might be a good thing to provide early warning. (Especially if a leak develops and you’re in the cockpit unaware). Apart from those items keep away from ships as they could run you down.

Cheers Woody
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:42   #13
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Skylark carries a collision mat. An octagon piece of reinforced vinyl about 9 feet in diameter with grommets all around. Also toggle bolts and large pieces of neoprene (exercize mat). Can use the toggle bolts through a wooden hatch from the cabin sole, then through the mat, then through the hull with the toggle on the outside.

Probably the most important component is a can of StayAfloat. It is similar to wax toilet rings, but it hardens under water. Can be smeared over a crack from inside or or outside and I read it needs a grinder to remove after it has hardened.

Old Boy Scout here...
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:43   #14
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

Had never heard of this Stay Afloat stuff, but it looks well worth having aboard. Watch the video:

https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...t.do?pid=63791
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:43   #15
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Re: Cutting fiberglass liner during sinking

There is a wax seal used for toilets that is very sticky, this will seal small holes until a plan can be made for a more permanent fix.
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