Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-03-2021, 13:01   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2020
Location: Virginia
Boat: Noord Nederland Seahawk 31
Posts: 212
How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

So, I've been cruising on my restored steel sailboat since January and have gone over 1000 miles from Maryland to Florida. On Tuesday, I started my return trip back north- upon pulling into Marineland, FL, I realized I had water nearly over the floorboards. Spent the evening tracing the leak, and discovered that it was coming from something that I can only describe as a "stern tube"- basically, my entire prop shaft is inside of a steel housing instead of being supported by a strut, which is nice because it's significantly more protected and also inside the hull. Inside of this housing, between the cutlass bearing and the shaft seal, is the "stern tube," which is a steel pipe that is bolted and sealed to the aft end of the compartment and open on the other end so that the shaft seal can be attached to it, and the prop shaft runs inside of it until it exits at the seal. Way aft on the stern tube, in the most inaccessible corner of the entire boat, I discovered several wraps of emergency tape on it that I somehow did not notice when I was restoring the boat. It appears there was a pre-existing leak through the steel and a previous owner must have wrapped it, and after all that time and the heavy use I've been putting the boat through, it has failed. This tape has got to be at least 30 years old considering the boat was on the hard for 20+ when I got her in the spring, so I am shocked that it held for this long in the first place.

I have since moved the boat to a yard in St Augustine and am awaiting haul out on Monday- I considered many options for a temporary in-water repair that could safely get me the remaining 800 miles back north to haul out there, but threw out all those options for various reasons, the main one being that I simply can't get in there with enough leverage to patch it well, and another one being that I'm worried that the initial corrosion that started it has likely been expanding, or even worse (but I think unlikely), that it is a crack in the steel that may be on the verge of propagating.

But, I was curious what everyone's opinions are on the trustworthiness of various emergency patching and taping products. I've heard of people crossing oceans with nothing between them and sinking but some flex seal, some rubber inner tubes, and some hose clamps. I'm already committed to the haul out because the ultimate repair for this is a weld job and I may as well just get it over with, but if I hadn't been able to get myself to a yard, what might I have done? I would have needed something that could adhere not just to the steel but to the pre-existing tape repair because I wasn't inclined to remove it in the water lest it's holding back more than I thought, it would need to adhere while wet, and it would need to be able to be slapped on quickly without looking (I can either see the leak or touch it, not both simultaneously) and not require the kind of leverage that most self-adhering emergency tapes require. I was thinking some sort of large square patch that I could slap on like a band aid, but I'm not sure that exists. Any thoughts?
KelseyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 14:40   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Clear Lake Shores, TX
Boat: 2000 Catalina 470 #058
Posts: 976
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Obviously the right emergency tape used the right way will work... for some period of time. In your case, it is time to fix it fully. There are other types of leak plugs (google will find these) including some that will set in water. Having some of each is probably a good idea. Making full repair at the next closest port is always best.


Good luck!
__________________
Sailing a Catalina 470; Working hard
GreenWave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 15:01   #3
Registered User
 
Spot's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Minnesota, USA
Boat: 21' trailer sailor & 8' sailing dinghy
Posts: 1,597
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Hey KelseyB,

Glad your hear your trip is still in process, glad to hear your are taking a minute to sort this out. I tried sinking my speedboat a couple times by not replacing the transom drain plug so I know that 'wet floor for no reason' feeling...

This reminds me of the movie 'Rocketeer' where chewing gum is both used to save the hero (patching a hole in the fuel tank of the rocket-pack) and to dispatch the villain (by un-patching the same hole after the pack is taken). I carry some Flex Tape but have yet to use it. Since I 'trailer sail' close to home, any failures that cannot be sorted or rigged are dealt with at home.

Can you stick a phone or camera in back there and get a couple pics of the situation? Hopefully the folks who know about these things will comment. Did you check engine and transmission and related for water ingress?

All the best!
__________________
Big dreams, small boats...
Spot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 16:07   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New England. USA.
Boat: McCurdy & Rhodes Custom 46
Posts: 1,368
How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

I used cheap pvc electrical tape to repair a burst radiator hose on a car. I got around to replacing the hose three years later.
It wasnít a leak that would not kill me but I was always uneasy about it.
Iíve used many temporary repair products over the years. Some have been utterly useless. Others impossible to apply in the tight space involved. Others worked really well til a proper repair was possible.
Whatever gets you home is perfect!
I carry that self amalgamating silicone tape, epoxy, duct tape, gorilla glue, etc aboard. In the same category are crimp electrical fittings and terminal strips from #24 to 2/0. And steel rope clips and scrap wire and spare line. And scrap wood.
Anything to get you home in one piece.
dfelsent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 16:14   #5
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 13,433
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

It amazing how temporary repairs can become permanent repairs -- just so long as the fix holds.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 17:42   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New England. USA.
Boat: McCurdy & Rhodes Custom 46
Posts: 1,368
How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
It amazing how temporary repairs can become permanent repairs -- just so long as the fix holds.


^^^^^ this

Itís all temporary.
dfelsent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 20:06   #7
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 26,231
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Kelsey, we've used underwater epoxy to keep the water on the outside, when we couldn't see how it was getting in. Did not leak between Fiji and Oz. (previous boat)

Had an aluminum fuel tank, got a leak in the bottom, outboard corner. Jim patched that with an aluminum beverage can (I believe it was beer ;-) ) and used epoxy there too. Was there years later.

For things that you can open up hose clamps and wrap in inner tube, that works pretty well, too.

I notice dfelsent said "steel rope clips", I may be mistaken, but I think he means "bulldog clamps." We made a very temporary rig repair, one time, using bulldog clamps: they're designed to clamp wire very tight. It held long enough, but we didn't trust it 100%...but then it takes time to earn trust, ya know?

Too bad about needing the weld, but good on you for doing it right.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2021, 05:17   #8
S/V rubber ducky
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Florida cruising currently
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 19,274
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Last year I had to "repair" a crack on my engine seawater flange. It held just fine for 2 months and around 100 engine hours. I NEVER trusted it and as always checking. I didn't have much choice and was just happy it held long enough to take the thing apart later and replace the flange, which took a couple of weeks.
__________________
It is OK if others want to do it different on THEIR boat
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2021, 05:47   #9
Moderator
 
tkeithlu's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Fiberglas shattering 44' steel trawler
Posts: 5,679
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

You own an old boat. You know it intimately, but apparently missed one problem, and may have missed others. Be aware that people who own new boats can trust that it will be years until a hose pops or smoke rises from the DC panel, and basically ignore the problems of old boats. Blissful ignorance, I think.

You've dealt with the present emergency, thankfully. Now it's time for inspectiion, threat assessment, and preparation for the next time...which will happen.

Now you know to inspect this old boat very carefully, with emphasis on ways water can get on the wrong side of the steel. An owner who used tape to stop a hull leak and then forgot about it may have done that more than once in more than one system, so while seacocks and transducers may be first on the list, exhaust and electrical connections are also a threat. Take the time while you've got her out to check everything, and repair/replace.

Now, what are the most likely failures that could really spoil your day? Most lists would include pump impellers, hoses, and clamps (for example). List your own.

OK. What do you need to carry, in plugs, tools, fire extinguishers, grease, tape, impellers etc. to be able to solve the most likely problems on the water? Buy it and carry it.

It's wonderful that you restored an old seahorse. Bet she's glad to be back on the water. Be proud of her and your work. Just recognize that's she's old, and needs extra attention from her devoted owner.
__________________
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2021, 06:02   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2019 Seawind 1160 Lite
Posts: 2,118
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Run your watermaker around mid day to early afternoon, when you have maximum solar output. Solar should meet the extra load without any draw from battery bank. Thats what we did with our 8 amp DC watermaker and 240 watts solar of previous boat. All at 12 volts.
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2021, 08:56   #11
Registered User
 
sowwaninii's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: sabre 456 and leopard 42
Posts: 145
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Had a pvc pipe joint leaking from my holding tank and wrapped it with rescue tape. Was still holding after 4 years when I finally got around to replacing the pvc pipe.
sowwaninii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2021, 07:28   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Boat: 1988 Wilbur 34
Posts: 281
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

A relatively new water hose on my boat's engine began to split where it slipped over a pipe. An application of the stretchy yellow rescue tape provided a secure seal for several weeks until a replacement hose was obtainable.

In my situation, it worked great. Probably would have been difficult to apply in the situation you describe.
Seighlor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2021, 08:45   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Half way towards Nassau from The Berries, in the Tongue of the ocean, a routine engine check revealed spraying salt water coming from somewhere on the engine. Turned out to be pin hole corrosion on the oil cooler. What to do? Rescue Tape to the rescue! Arrived in Nassau at reduced rpm and located Perkins dealer with the required part. Mechanic arrived with the part and hand tools in a plastic bag. Successfully installed. Gotta love the cruising life!
Dennstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2021, 09:00   #14
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 13,433
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

Had a similar event happen with our transmission oil cooler. Routine check, look in, see water shooting across the block. Cooler sprung a leak. In our case a layer of epoxy putting which was then wrapped in amalgam tape did the job till we could replace it once we hauled out.

I mused about leaving the temporary repair in place, but my better angels talked me out of it.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-03-2021, 03:24   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 114
Re: How much do you trust emergency tape/temporary repairs?

I found a fiber fix repair tape at the hardware store. It cures with water so thatís helpfull. I fixed a broken steel handrail at a loading dock and a shovel handle. Both have held up for several years. It could come in handy for a repair as described.
keyway is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
emergency, enc, repairs

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Temporary fixes, bodges, and repairs. mikedefieslife Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 19-07-2017 05:48
Hospital casting tape for emergency repairs? MarkJ Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 30-04-2009 08:57
How much do you trust the weatherman? BBWolf The Sailor's Confessional 29 10-02-2008 17:14
Best emergency repairs sneuman Construction, Maintenance & Refit 14 21-10-2005 20:29

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:08.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.