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Old 15-07-2020, 08:31   #1
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Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Hi All. Mother and kid quarantined on an Admiralty houseboat on the Fraser River, Vancouver, Canada and feeling unsafe. Can anyone advise about draining the water? The owner sent this message, but no instructions, and we see that it is listing starboard, toward the dock. (Perhaps even a safety check by an experienced boater?) Thank you for any advice.

Message received from owner:
the boat is listing very heavily to starboard so the water needs to be emptied from there I hope you know how to do that because I won't be able to do it for you as I am not there to do it. If you don't empty the water it could possibly sink but maybe not depending on how much ends up inside the hull.
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Old 15-07-2020, 08:51   #2
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Bail out the boat.
Find leak.
Repair leak.

or in the alternative:

Find leak.
Repair leak.
Bail out the boat.

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Old 15-07-2020, 08:55   #3
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

call the fire department they have big pumps.
if it is a flat bottomed vessel there is an extreme danger that it will capsize with little or no warning!
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Old 15-07-2020, 08:58   #4
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaScribe View Post

Message received from owner:
the boat is listing very heavily to starboard so the water needs to be emptied from there I hope you know how to do that because I won't be able to do it for you as I am not there to do it. If you don't empty the water it could possibly sink but maybe not depending on how much ends up inside the hull.
Probably the single stupidest response a boat owner could give you. See if there are switches labelled 'Bilge Pumps' on the electrical panel. There may be a 12VDC or 24 VDC panel and 120VAC panel. It would normally be on the VDC (DC) panel.

See if there are hatches in the floors that will open the bilge spaces. See if there is water in the bilge. Is there a portable sump pump in a closet somewhere? If you can open the bilge spaces and locate the water, you could get a small portable sump pump and a hose to remove the water. (I'd deduct the cost from the rent. If he had a better, more cost effective solution, he should have provided it).
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:02   #5
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Find the leak, indeed! I found that, and cut it off, but don't see where the water has accumulated in order to bail it out.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:11   #6
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

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Find the leak, indeed! I found that, and cut it off, but don't see where the water has accumulated in order to bail it out.
Surely there are hatches, panels or some sort of access on the floors to look under the floor and into the bilge. Might not be one right in the starboard side where the boat is listing but might be somewhere in the middle. You lift it up and look around under the floor with a flashlight.

If you can't figure it out you need to find someone local that is a boater to come look for you.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:15   #7
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Is there a bilge pump or pumps? Try turning them on to see if they will drain the vessel. There may not be bilge pumps, or they may not be operable, or clogged, but if they work that will be the easiest solution.

It would be helpful to know the year, make and model of the vessel?

With that data one can google to find the contact information so as to call the manufacturer and seek guidance, and to possibly determine the hull type and structure. e.g. pontoon, flat barge, V shaped, etc.

She is giving you a Hint: If it is listing to starboard, the water is in the starboard side. Access that side of the hull and look for the water then remove the water.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:15   #8
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

The only hatch we've found is to the engine room... the electrical panel there has no switch specifying bilge or pumps, and no water in it. I lifted up a board down there, and there is some water accumulated under it, but not much. Unfortunately, I don't see any other hatches. (Added photos separately.)
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:19   #9
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Photos - bilge hatch? & inside only hatch found.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:20   #10
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Thanks... if only we could find access to the starboard hull.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:21   #11
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Yes, I am hoping to find such a one here.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:30   #12
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Probably worth calling a local boatyard that knows something about houseboats.


Even if you have to pay them to send someone over.


This is, of course, assuming the owner can't tell you anything about access or bilge pumps.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:33   #13
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

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Thanks... if only we could find access to the starboard hull.
Most houseboats like this I have seen are one, large, flat bottomed hull, kind of like a barge.

But, some are two hulls like a catamaran.

Which is yours?

Are there carpets or floor coverings around the boat? Hatch maybe under a rug? There has to be some way to access the bilge area and surely must be some kind of pump. Many bilge pumps are on a separate switch and not on the main panel. Have you looked around the helm or engine panel? Look for a switch that says Auto / Manual / Off or some combination of those words.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:43   #14
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Well at least in the part you have accessed you found little water so that at least is not where the undesired onboarded water is. Process of elimination, knowing where it isn't aides in determining where it might be.

Some boats have very poor access to below floor deck spaces. That is when it can become necessary to remove things, or even drill small holes to allow for sighting or dipping a dry stick to find standing accumulations of water. A simple problem can become a tough problem if the boat is constructed without access designed into it.


https://www.yachtsurvey.com/internal...essibility.htm

Why Internal Hull Areas Should Be Accessible

Are There Bogymen in Your Basement?

by David Pascoe


During the last several months we've encountered numerous boats that have concealed compartments within the hull. We've long advanced the argument that builders should make as much of the interior of a hull as accessible as reasonably possible. Instead, the opposite, has occurred where a majority of builders today are building boats in such a way as that almost NO area of the internal hull is accessible. Not even the bilges.

Apparently either one of two things is happening. Either the builders are too stupid to know any better, or -- and we hope this isn't true -- the builders who do this think their customers are too stupid to know any better. Though surely they can't believe that there aren't some surveyors around who will fail to show this situation up for what it really is.

Creating concealed compartments in a boat hull defies all common sense and principles of good boat building for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which was exemplified by several 10 year old Sea Ray boats that we recently looked at.

What is meant by concealed compartments are areas under the cabin sole which are separated and divided by stringers and bulkheads, and covered over by the cabin sole with no hatches. What you end up with are fairly large void spaces beneath the deck for which there is no way of knowing what is going on down there because the area cannot be seen.

Let's say that you hit something and poked a small hole in the hull. There's no way you could get at the hole to temporarily plug it up and possibly save the boat from sinking. Naturally, that sort of thing only happens to other people.

. . .

Well I hope you got the leak under control so as to stablize the situation for a while, now the hard part is to remove the water. Good luck in your search and resolution.
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Old 15-07-2020, 09:48   #15
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Re: Quarantine on listing houseboat > owner: "could sink"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaScribe View Post
Hi All. Mother and kid quarantined on an Admiralty houseboat on the Fraser River, Vancouver, Canada and feeling unsafe. Can anyone advise about draining the water? The owner sent this message, but no instructions, and we see that it is listing starboard, toward the dock. (Perhaps even a safety check by an experienced boater?) Thank you for any advice.

Message received from owner:
the boat is listing very heavily to starboard so the water needs to be emptied from there I hope you know how to do that because I won't be able to do it for you as I am not there to do it. If you don't empty the water it could possibly sink but maybe not depending on how much ends up inside the hull.
Bilge hatch?
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