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  #21  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Some years ago a grand banks type 36ft? hit a deadhead and was filling fast. In the panic to get the 6 man inflatable valise out it got inflated in the salon. Capt and crew were rescued from the now awash cabin top and 'Tuggy' was saved too. Don't count on this method to work every time you sink the boat. Good planing and seamanship are more dependable.
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  #22  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Well, that was a lot of posts with really good advice! Thank you all!

I definitely don't want to ever be in a situation where it is necessary, but I also know that I am the type that takes more risks than a person should. I probably should have reefed in the 35 mph gusts that blew out my sail slugs and I probably should take my boat out before the water is 40 degrees and I'm the only one left in (no one there to rescue)... but I like the challenges! Or, i'm too dumb to know better... either one.

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Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
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.
This is actually what started my interest in adding foam in the first place. If the boat can handle it, I'd rather stay onboard with the confidence that it can't go down, than risk abandoning it to take my chances on a smaller inflatable.

Ideally, I will avoid the situation all together. But, I'm an Eagle Scout and like to prepare for worst case scenarios. I'm not going to rely on anyone else to keep me alive.
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  #23  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

I once read of a foam cored 48 footer which was holed in the English channel. She was kept afloat for days, by her foam core. By using a layer of foam as insulation , it doesn't take up all that much room, and it is thus easy to fill unused remaining spaces with enough foam to float her .One is better off with a boat with decks awash, than with nothing.
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  #24  
Old 05-23-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Here is an excellant article:

The Unsinkable - Professional BoatBuilder Magazine
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Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Get some big inflatable bladders, the kind they use for lifting things from underwater, and hook up CO2 cannisters
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Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Buy an Etap sailboat !
I remember a demo where they usedachain saw to cut an Etap in 2 half while sailing in the English channel an each half stayed afloat

On another demo they opened all sea oaks and filled the boat And the boat continued sailing

An they are good sailboats too
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Old 05-27-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeAquam View Post
I probably should have reefed in the 35 mph gusts that blew out my sail slugs...
If a 30kt gust blew out your slugs; you did not have the main hoisted properly. If the luff is not tensioned tight enough to make a bit of pucker in the sail when the sail is luffing then it's not hoisted enough. With this amount of tension in the sail the slugs should not be pulled laterally enough to rip out.

On the issue of flotation I think your factor for fiberglass might not be correct. It seems that glass/resin would be more dense than water by a higher ratio. If the glass/resin ratio is 50% (assuming it's dense fiberglass) then you would have a density of fiberglass that is 1.9 g/cc. Fresh water is 1g/cc. That would give a ratio of ~0.5 to account for the buoyant force acting on the fiberglass. Also; you are assuming that everything other than the keel is glass; and there is no extra gear aboard (including passengers)which is not the case. So you need to factor that in; say you make the fiberglass ratio 0.66 to account for that. That would double your hull weight number when you calculate the amount of flotation needed.

Floatation can also be gotten by having sealed compartments; so if you make locker hatches and their interior watertight you negate the need for putting Styrofoam in. But don't fill the lockers with heavy stuff or you'll lose the buoyancy provided by the air space.

Keeping the hatches/lockers sealed and preventing water from going in is the main necessity to preventing a boat from sinking. Cockpit drains that can quickly drain the water is the second necessity. With those two criteria met the chances of a sailboat sinking by boarding water is very low.
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  #28  
Old 05-27-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

1 inch of foam will float 1/8th inch steel plate.1 1/2 inch wil float 3/16th steel plate.
Tried it, it works.
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

There was a company in RI quite a while back that sold a system called Yachtsaver. It was inflatable bags that would keep a boat afloat when activated. They has small models for your size boat. So maybe something like storing an inflatable liferaft below decks that has a CO2 bottle for inflation in an emergency.
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Old 05-27-2013
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Re: Making Your Boat Unsinkable

I have one hugely-unpopular thing to say about this:

MacGregor 26.

Roger MacGregor built foam flotation into his boats, so they're 'unsinkable' ... it can be holed and full of water, but the hull won't sink.

Of course, they're boats that are generally limited to day-sailing and maybe weekending, though I have at least a couple of friends who have done more with them ... and I did some pretty cool things with Bossa Nova, my own 26X.
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