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  #11  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

BTW, the Edel line of monohulls used to be known for their unsinkablity. I never have been aboard one but I have read they are tight for their respective LOA.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Sigh.

Just buy an Etap:

Etap yachts
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael K View Post
I have a home built catamaran that has no lead keel but also no built in flotation. Not knowing/trusting the boat well enough for its initial week-long trip home, I stuffed both bows and sterns with large air bladders. My calculations were made so that the boat would float at least a bit above the water's surface (if both hulls were holed) and I suggest you do the same. Having the hull and deck completely awash just isn't an effective method of self-rescue. I admit secured foam is more durable than the air bladders I strapped into position, but I was only trying to give myself some extra time in the event of cat-astrophe (pun intended).

Thanks for the advice! I agree, ideally I want to be more than flush with the water if it goes. I think with a cat, you are probably better off with the air bladders. Foam might be more weight than you would want for that boat.
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Sigh.

Just buy an Etap:

Etap yachts
Free foam and the boat I already have seems considerably cheaper...
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

You only want your boat to be unsinkable because your scared. Getting more sailing experience will lessen your fears and you will start to trust your boat.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Ditto what Denise said, and I'd add:

- Don't ask your boat to handle conditions it wasn't designed to tackle.

Trying to make your boat "unsinkable" is a bad idea, well beyond the sacrifice in storage/living space you will give up installing all that additional buoyancy. It will likely encourage you to take risks you would otherwise avoid.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

I have read an article about adding foam flotation. The 22 to 24 cu feet seems about right for the weight you have mentioned. Space can always be found usually at the very front of the v-berth and again in the transom locker. One thing I read though to keep in mind. If the foam is low in the hull and you capsize then righting may become a problem due to the foam low in the hull. It mentioned placing foam in the cabin ceiling as well as side walls.

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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Build with virgin balsa slather with penetrating epoxy.....12 coats two part water borne polyurethane. Seal all ports and hatches with 5200....fill cabin to gunnels with blue water ping pong balls seal remaining area with shrink wrap and apply final coat 3m premium wax. LAUNCH. Boat. Guarranteed to float until teredos realize the nasty plastic is only mils thick.... and the beat goes on....
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

I have a couple of pages on my website on how to calculate flotation. The pages apply to power boats but the principle is the same, and you most likely don't have a large chunk of metal (the engine) to worry about. http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/flot3.html There are also pages on level flotation, but I think with a heavy keel you needn't be too concerned about that, the keel will pretty much keep it keel down as long as you lower the sails.

You have left out some factors in your calculations.
There are things you need flotation for:
The hull, (includes fiberglass, wood, metal such as mast, fittings etc. Wood is flotation, and so is other stuff like a hollow but sealed mast, empty tanks. )
People (each person will require some flotation especially if they are high enough to be out of the water - sitting on the cabin top?)
Machinery: I don't imagine you have an inboard engine, but you may have an outboard. You need enough flotation to float the engine.
Gear: All the crap you carry around in your boat such as food, water, fuel, batteries, stores, porta potty, etc. All that stuff can add weight or even be considered flotation. Coolers are great flotation, so are seat cushions, and foam mattresses.

It can be done. It is routinely done in France where all boats under a certain size must have flotation. The ETAP is a good example.

But I think it will take a lot of space, add significant weight to your boat (flotation foam weighs 2 lbs per cubic foot) and there are other ways to keep the water out starting with a good bilge pump, watertight hatches and companion way doors, big cockpit drains, good scuppers to drain water on deck, and last but not least a big bucket.

There is an old saying. The best bilge pump is scared man with a bucket.

Also getting to know your boat, how it sails, when to reef, how much it can heel before water comes on deck, and how wet or dry it is. The last is important because if a boat is wet (takes a lot of spray and water on deck) then the sailor is wet and miserable. A dry boat means a dry and comfortable sailor, and a nice sail.

But most important is the sailor, the person sailing the boat, and knowing their own limitations. There are hundreds of cases where the USCG rescued people who thought their boat was done for and they just couldn't take anymore. Then later their boat is found sailing all by itself and is just fine. It's not the boat that can't take it. It's the people. Know your boat's limits but more so know your own limits.
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  #20  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

James Baldwin modified his Pearson Triton to make it as "unsinkable" as possible.

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