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Minnewaska 01-17-2013 06:20 AM

Emergency leak repair
Thought it might be interesting to hear what gizmos, gadgets and witchcraft we all keep aboard to deal with a potential leak at sea. For starters, I insure each of my seacocks are fully functional, as I close nearly all of them each time we leave the boat. Reaching down to quickly turn a handle and stop a leak from a ruptured hose to find the handle won't move would be a panic and shameful.

I also have the quintessential set of dowel plugs and hammer. Several sets, actually. I have not gone to the effort of attaching the proper one to every single thru hull, as is suggested. They should also be in a water resistant baggie, as they are designed to absorb some water and swell, so you want them to start dry. However, I find the odds of having a perfectly round hole that could be repaired with a dowel to be the least likely event.

I've collected several items from boat shows. Here are a couple of others I have aboard.

Stay Afloat. This stuff seems pretty cool and will work on the more likely odd shaped leak.

Stay Afloat

Also have these aboard, which will work in odd shaped holes too:
The locker has all sorts of stuff, but I'll stop here. What do you have? You do have more than the dowels, right?

Southron Spirit 01-17-2013 07:35 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
my boat has several 6" suction cups might work on the outside of the hull , also have a tube of epoxy also have several rags suppose to help the wooden bungs seal better . i have two bilge pumps i am planning on installing in place and am looking at buying another portable one.

Minnewaska 01-17-2013 07:48 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
Good one..... undewater epoxy. Have that too. MarineTex as well, although, not in great quantity. Maybe I need more. :)

I've always wanted an engine driven emergency bilge pump.

Minnewaska 01-17-2013 07:51 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair

jameswilson29 01-17-2013 08:51 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
An old salt told me to keep a can of that expanding foam sold in hardware stores in case my boat gets a propeller shaft tube leak/shaft seal. Supposedly, you should jump overboard, swim underwater to the propeller shaft tube entrance, and shoot the stuff in the propeller shaft tube to stop a leak.:confused:

I am not yet convinced to buy the stuff...

sailortjk1 01-17-2013 09:00 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
I like the idea of Stay Afloat.

But like most, I just keep wooden plugs on board. Last year I actually tied one to each thru- hull.

chef2sail 01-17-2013 09:39 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
Wooden plugs, Stay afloat and marine tex. The foam sounds like a good idea.

I have two dewatering mechanisms attached also.

I my head I "T"ed off the hose with a ball valve which leads from the diaphram pump that pumps our shower sump. I have 20ft of coiled flexible hose stowed connected to this. in an emegency thatb hose will recah all sections of the bilge area.

I also have a similar "T" in place with ball joint from the thru hull which by raw water intake to the engine. I have a 30 ft hose with a threaded end which screw into this. I can then use the engine itself to dewater the boat. ( this is also how I winterize the engine on the boat also)

RobGallagher 01-17-2013 11:29 AM

Re: Emergency leak repair
Compression tape saved me. Stuffing box hose torn in two.

The brand I had purchased at a boat show was Atomic Tape. Not sure if it's still sold under that name but other brands seem to be the same.

It allowed me to patch the hose while sea water streamed in at an alarming rate. I sailed most of the way to the nearest port and then was even able to run the engine in gear to get me to a dock. It held all that night and I was able to move to a travel lift under my own power in the morning.

Granted, it was one hell of a ball of tape, but you can get pretty creative whilst fending off panic :D

Ninefingers 01-17-2013 12:06 PM

Re: Emergency leak repair
One handed bar clamps. Most are reversible to function as spreaders, so you can apply pressure against a repair, assuming you have an opposing structure to brace against. 12' to 50"

If you don't use them to fight a leak, they have another 101 uses.

XP600 One Handed Bar Clamps / Spreaders - Tools - IRWIN TOOLS

Irunbird 01-17-2013 12:33 PM

Re: Emergency leak repair
We have 6 wooden plugs, which I can't imagine how would work on the two plastic through-hulls we have. I like that video above of the stay-afloat stuff, which looks like a much better option for an irregularly shaped hole we may (although hopefully not) have some day.

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