Need ideas on how to raise a sunk boat. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-03-2007 Thread Starter
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Need ideas on how to raise a sunk boat.

My 1966 Columbia 24 sank yesterday(9-2-07). Ive got to figure out some way to raise it. Ive already got a couple of donated airbeds, a compressor, a genset and a few divers to help out. Its in about 15' of water. If i can get it to float to the point where the cabin is at water level, i can pull it to the bank and let the tide go out then pump it out and it should right itself.

Now, once its up, its time to fix the cockpit scuppers.
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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You'll probably want some diving lift bags rigged and secured with lines passing under the hull. You'll want to raise her in an as upright a position as possible so airing up the cabin may be the first priority. I would not attempt to raise her on cabin pressure alone. Once you've got her decks awash I'd start pumping her out before moving her-no sense re-capsizing and starting all over. An ejector pump is very handy for that, where you'd find one I do not know, I've only seen them on ships.

Ejectors are used for de-watering holds and the like. Water is supplied to the ejector by another pump via a hose. The ejector has a discharge hose on it as well. The ejector, it's really a jet, is lowered into the flooded space and the water turned on to it. the advantage to it is that you need no electric or air lines going into the space. In your case, it would allow you to use a submersible pump running off a gen-set on another boat alongside while the ejector dewatered your boat.

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post #3 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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I saw this on Popeye once. You just need to swim down to the bottom with a big ol' auger and drain the pond...

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post #4 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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You'll need some high-volume dewatering pumps... Gasoline or diesel powered ones, like those used by the USCG or SeaTow would be a good start.

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post #5 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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Why did she sink, or is this not yet known?

(My condolences, by the way)
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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As previously mentioned, some professional lift bags will make this job much easier. One in the cabin and one each lifting the bow and stern. They are quite expensive to buy but maybe a commercial diver or supply will rent them to you. Good luck doing it with air mattresses. I have seen divers do it on the cheap with 55-gallon poly drums however. Once the boat is on the surface, a couple rented trash pumps (Home Depot etc.) will get dewatering done in a hurry.

All that being said, this is really a job best left to professionals.
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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A Columbia 24 underwater only weighs 3500 pounds. You can put two small boats (17 foot up to about 25 foot will work) over her separated by 4 by 4 wood beams lying on the bow and stern of the two boats. Put slings under the Columbia and lift with a come-along. You will only need to support 1750 pounds on each boat with only 857 pounds on each of the four lifting points. Its safe, controllable and cheap to get everything together. We have done this in places where we couldn’t get the barge and crane and when we didn’t have air bags handy.

Using old drums is difficult to setup and I wouldn’t do it that way. The company in Providence RI that makes the air bags will rent them out. I don’t have the name or number handy but an internet search will find them. Its easer to rig a bag then it is to rig an oil drum.
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Last edited by Tartan34C; 09-03-2007 at 08:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartan34C View Post
You can put two small boats (17 foot up to about 25 foot will work) over her separated by 4 by 4 wood beams lying on the bow and stern of the two boats. Put slings under the Columbia and lift with a come-along. You will one need to support 1750 pounds on each boat with only 857 pounds on each of the four lifting points. Its safe, controllable and cheep to get everything together.
I'm sure it worked well for you but it sounds like a recipe for disaster for a bunch of recreational boaters and divers who have never raised a sunken vessel before.
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post #9 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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Quote:
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I'm sure it worked well for you but it sounds like a recipe for disaster for a bunch of recreational boaters and divers who have never raised a sunken vessel before.
There are lots of imaginative ways to raise a boat. The first one I did was done by putting two kapok lifejackets on the top of the mast of a thirty foot wooden cutter that was in about forty feet of water. A diver went down and unbolted the keel and the wood boat floated up on her own and rolled over on her side with the lifejackets on the mast holding her from rolling upside down. We hammered plugs into the holes for the keelbolts and slide the mast out before pumping her dry and towing her to Norton’s Shipyard in East Greenwich RI. The keel came along later after we put a dinghy over it and lifted the keel with a come-along on a sling under the dingy. It was the world’s most stable dinghy with that keel hanging under it.

I think raising a boat while you are out of the water and above it is much safer then having drums pop up to the surface unexpectedly because it’s so hard to secure them. Yes air bags are nice and safe but I don’t think this group will find any so this is my suggestion based on real experience instead of just guessing about what might work. If you rig everything using a bit of common sense (something that’s not so common today) you will be fine. Moving great weights is easy if you think about it and go slow. I just put a 3,800 pound Brown & Sharp milling machine into storage yesterday. It was moved entirely by using toe-jacks, pipe rollers, Johnson bars and a strong back. The hardest part of the job was planning it.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #10 of 35 Old 09-03-2007
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I saw an episode of mythbusters where they did it with pingpong balls. It took alot of balls.

Last edited by sharkbait; 09-03-2007 at 06:09 PM.
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