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Old 18-10-2021, 08:15   #1
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Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

If you were to make a sailboat that was 100% watertight and made of say, steel, could that boat theoretically survive any potential storm at sea? Was just curious about this.
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Old 18-10-2021, 08:23   #2
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

Barring an exceptionally large wave breaking right on the boat, yes.

The occupants inside surviving a tumbling would be more problematic. As would the whole needing fresh air occasionally.

Once the mast is lost the boat will be more “stable” but also more prone to rolling over. Counter-intuitive but true.
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Old 18-10-2021, 08:32   #3
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

You mean like a submarine? Yes, but as Adelie said being inside in a tumble dry mode with broken bones would be no fun. Hamster ball might be better, but I would think vomit might be a problem.
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Old 18-10-2021, 08:38   #4
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

The answer is no. You could not make a sailboat completely watertight.

Even if you did, the sea can create new holes even through steel from breaking waves, or especially if there is a collision with solid objects. steel also rusts over time.
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Old 18-10-2021, 08:47   #5
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

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Originally Posted by Arthurgifford View Post
Could you make a sailboat completely watertight?
Yes.
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Old 18-10-2021, 08:47   #6
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

Large ships now use life boats that meet this standard, but they are engine powered, not sailing. They launch off the stern in what must rival any water park ride.

Don't forget the Doubloon, which in 1963 off Charleston, SC, did two complete rolls:

https://vault.si.com/vault/1964/06/0...and-over-again
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:10   #7
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

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Originally Posted by Arthurgifford View Post
If you were to make a sailboat that was 100% watertight and made of say, steel, could that boat theoretically survive any potential storm at sea? Was just curious about this.
Sure, but put your cat in the tumble dryer for several hours and let us know how the inhabitants will do!
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:19   #8
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

Boats tend to survive storms anyhow. The crew tends to be the problem.
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:25   #9
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

Quote: "If you were to make a sailboat that was 100% watertight and made of say, steel, could that boat theoretically survive any potential storm at sea? Was just curious about this."

Yes, of course you could. That would be a rather trivial engineering problem. What is a more difficult problem is to make such a boat manageable when under sail.

Similarly, the problem of making the boat survivable for the crew is a separate and more difficult engineering problem.

Lifeboats on modern commercial vessels are designed to be watertight, though they are, of course, engine powered. They are carried on rails at the stern of the ship and ejected down those rails for a distance of about their own length. Then they free fall something like 40 feet before they hit the water. I doubt that their engine power can take them very far, and their purposes is really only to stay afloat long enuff for rescue arrive.

If that's what you want in a sailboat, have at it - hit the drafting table! We'll guide you as you proceed :-)

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Old 18-10-2021, 09:35   #10
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

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Lifeboats on modern commercial vessels are designed to be watertight, though they are, of course, engine powered. They are carried on rails at the stern of the ship and ejected down those rails for a distance of about their own length. Then they free fall something like 40 feet before they hit the water. I doubt that their engine power can take them very far, and their purposes is really only to stay afloat long enuff for rescue arrive.
If you start motoring you need to open the air inlet, and then the lifeboat is not completely watertight anymore.
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:37   #11
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

Suggest other way round, take a submarine and add - motorsaileralike, a rig. Once the storm hits you, dive, a few feet below the waves it is calm, use your mast as periscope. To go the way you are thinking is very cumbersome and you are still exposed to the elements
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:49   #12
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

MarinR said: "If you start motoring you need to open the air inlet, and then the lifeboat is not completely watertight anymore."


Selbstverständlich :-)! Thot it would be a salutary lesson for the OP to work that out for hisself ;-0)!

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Old 18-10-2021, 09:54   #13
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

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Once the storm hits you, dive, a few feet below the waves it is calm
Nope.

I was in the north Atlantic on a sub in a storm, in the early 70's. We were taking constant 15 degree rolls... at 200 feet. Had to go down to 350 to get below the wave action.
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:56   #14
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

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Originally Posted by blubaju View Post
Suggest other way round, take a submarine and add - motorsaileralike, a rig. Once the storm hits you, dive, a few feet below the waves it is calm, use your mast as periscope.

Actually, in a submarine it's not calm a few feet below the waves! I have a friend who was a Captain on a nuclear sub. He said he remembered one time in the North Atlantic where they were at 150 ft and were still rolling from a storm on the surface!
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Old 18-10-2021, 09:56   #15
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Re: Could you Make a sailboat completely watertight?

If the boat is watertight...would that not also stand to reason it would be airtight ???

Farting would be strictly forbidden !!

Breathing only allowed with prior permission from the captain.
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