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Old 28-05-2008, 20:30   #1
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Surviving a Holing

What sort of gear do most of you carry to plug leaks in the boat. Of course there are circumstances where you can't save the boat and you are better off saving the crew but what sort of strategies have you all employed. Anyone with real world expereince caring to share would be awesome.

So far for coastal cruising we keep a set of soft bungs on board in case we have a seacock/throughhull issue.

We had a sinking here last year after a lightning strike. The boat was floated in an interesting way.

Simple modelling clay - think Play Doh, or plasticene for the Brits and Aussies - was laid in a thick circle on a light sheet of ply. The ply was fitted over the hole on the outside was drilled and screwed directly into the hull and remianed watertight.

We made something similar. We have two different sized circles of ply. We drilled the center and made a cross piece (for the inside), the cross piece and ply are drilled on center with a bolt and wing nut arrangement with rubber washers.

Obviously access to the inside and outside would be required to use it but it could be installed in seconds.

I am thinking that for a short period modeling clay is fine but for a longer period we might want something like the black goop used to seat car windscreens.

Unfortunately there is no way to perform a valid sea trial without risking the boat - LOL
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Old 28-05-2008, 22:22   #2
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I have had one through hull break off in my hand, and I simply drove the attached bung into the hole to plug the leak.

During my circumnavigation, I carried a big fist size gob of pliable wax that plumbers use to seal toilets at the base of the toilet. It's sticky stuff that doesn't stick to fingers, but will stick to the hull when wet. I never used it, but I figured it might come in handy if I lost a prop shaft with a gaping hole in the stern tube. I could cram the waxy stuff into the hole.

I carried underwater patching compound - also never used it.

One of the reasons I selected a catamaran to sail around the world was because of collision bulkheads. Mine have been tested. When my boat was delivered to the USA, the delivery captain knocked a six inch hole in the bow from striking something in the water. The collision bulkhead limited the ingress of water to only a few liters because the bulkhead is about eight inches back from the bow.

I also have five "watertight compartments" in each hull to isolate a leak from flooding that hull.

Patching a leaking hull in anything but calm conditions has a low probability of success. Most of the time, big leaks quickly overwhelm you before you can do anything about them.
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Old 28-05-2008, 23:32   #3
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I carry the toilet bowl wax and a collision mat by Pelican Canvas Products. Basically a triangular orange reinforced vinyl thing with 20 ft lines attached to each corner. Can be deployed from above the water
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Old 29-05-2008, 00:24   #4
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Anyone ever use underwater epoxy, or pool patch kits?
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Old 29-05-2008, 00:34   #5
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Underwater Epoxy, or more to be more accurate, Epoxy Putty is magic stuff and I recommend it should be in every boaties tool box.

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