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  #1  
Old 01-07-2010
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Sealing cockpit lockers on 31

On a recent offshore trip, we experienced heavy weather and had our cockpit pooped at least a dozen times. On a heel the water went underneath the cockpit locker lids and flooded the locker (starboard side) where the batteries and inverter/ charger(R.I.P.) are located . All the accumulated water also ended up flooding the cabin when the boat stood up.... I am looking at installing a rubber seal on all the lids and closing the drainholes to the cockpit from the shallow portside locker(aka underwater toolbox). Has anybody done this before or any recommendations as to sealing material?
Another problem that arose on that trip: water entered the fuel tank via the fuel breather vent (the only place I can think of, as the tank/fittings/ inspectionhole were 100% tight, and water was constantly pushing up against it on a heel). Any ideas?
Bernd
PSC 31, Asylum
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Old 01-07-2010
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Bernd,

Wow, that must have been quite a rough passage. Sounds like you were hard on your ear to be at steep heeling angles. What kinds of wind speed were these and how did you deal with them (i.e., what sails?).

I think you're right about placing the gasket material on the underside of the cockpit lids. It will be less likely to get damaged there when adding or removing material to/from the locker. I don't know whether to suggest a thin, hard, or a thick, softer gasket material...it's very difficult to know what kind of clearance there is when those lids are closed. It would probably be worth experimenting with different options before choosing a final solution, but my instinct is to go with material that is medium density and compressible.

Also, it surprises me that water could get to the fuel tank via the tank vent. Ours is on the coachroof sides and I thought on the interior it had a loop above the exit point. I will have to look at that again...

P.S. I often wonder about the drain holes in the portside locker. If you can seal the lid with a gasket, they really do become unnecessary unless you want to use it as a day cooler.

P.P.S. How did the boat perform otherwise?
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Old 01-07-2010
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the trouble with all those gaskets is they compress and still leak. So I would make sure they are actually sealing the lid. If it's a regular situation maybe sealing them and using blue water type access plates would be the answer.
I think you would need a valve of some type on the tank vent.
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Old 01-07-2010
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Well, I've read about the need to seal the cockpit lockers, thought about the need to seal the cockpit lockers, but now you're convincing me I better actually add that to the project list. Ditto for a valve or similar in the fuel vent line, and how about the fresh water tank vent lines?

These are examples of the little headaches I wish the manufacturers would just take care of for us so boats can be used for their intended purpose (in the case of PSC, offshore use) without worry about water in the cabin or water in the fuel, or salt water in the fresh water tanks, or other similar problems. Geez.

I'm also interested in hearing more about how the '31 performed in those conditions on various points of sail / sail configuration / etc..
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Old 01-07-2010
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You could get real fancy and get 12 volt powered solinoid valves that are "normally" open, and wire them so you can close them all with a switch. but then if you have a power failure.....
manual valves best.. (reroute all the lines to one location with all the valves in one easy to reach place?) but you have to remember to open them again.

one simple thing to do in a pinch.. is just that.. Pinch the lines with a clamp!

Don't know that I would ever want to be in such conditions myself.. sounds dangerous!
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Old 01-07-2010
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The simple solution to the fuel vent is a piece of duct tape.
Can also tape the anchor pipes as well, including the stern
pipe. Not sure about the stern anchor well, anybody know
where/if that drains to? Could that be the source of the
water?

If you haven't already, you need to clean your winches. Do it
sooner otherwise you maybe have trouble taking them apart.
This brings up the question, anyone actually go through the
trouble of taking winches completely off or do y'all just
disassemble/clean them while on the boat?

Must have been some serious water, have you thought about
weather cloths?

Tom
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Old 01-08-2010
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Thanks for the winch reminder. I am not sure the ducttape would have held tight. I like the valve idea, possibly two, with one on a tee, to drain off the water that accumulated above the valve. The stern anchor deck pipe did strangely enough not take on water, as the rode and everything on that side (there is also a high lip that separates it from the aft locker) was dry. I will contact PSC about the sealing material for the lockers, possibly similiar to the one used for the propane locker.
Weather cloths would have helped, but not entirely, as we were getting quite a few "gatorade cooler" style hits. I am also not sure how well they would have held up, or possibly put too much strain on the lifelines, or make the boat more unstable??
As for the boats performance under these conditions (3 days out of 5 at 30-40kt with some hours above 45kt and higher gusts in squalls), I was glad to be in a PSC. Even with the cockpit filled, there was never a moment of instability, or possible capsize. On one wave we clocked 13.34 kt, but it never felt out of control. During the height of the storm( the one that dumped 3 ft of snow in the mid atlantic) we were sailing with a double reefed main (possibly a little too much canvas, but too late to change...). No headsail was used in the worst conditions, because the roller furling line broke ( fully opening the sail from underwear size to 130%... OOOOPS!) and had to be pulled down.
I have to say the weakest part on the boat was the crew. Sleep deprivation and mild hypothermia took its toll on us, but our confidence in the vessel was never shaken, it only increased as time went on. Thank you Mr Crealock!
Bernd
PSC 31 # 83
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Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjung View Post
As for the boats performance under these conditions (3 days out of 5 at 30-40kt with some hours above 45kt and higher gusts in squalls), I was glad to be in a PSC. Even with the cockpit filled, there was never a moment of instability, or possible capsize. On one wave we clocked 13.34 kt, but it never felt out of control. During the height of the storm( the one that dumped 3 ft of snow in the mid atlantic) we were sailing with a double reefed main (possibly a little too much canvas, but too late to change...). No headsail was used in the worst conditions, because the roller furling line broke ( fully opening the sail from underwear size to 130%... OOOOPS!) and had to be pulled down.
I have to say the weakest part on the boat was the crew. Sleep deprivation and mild hypothermia took its toll on us, but our confidence in the vessel was never shaken, it only increased as time went on. Thank you Mr Crealock!
Bernd
PSC 31 # 83
Dang! Glad I went with a PSC also . I've wondered about the effect of having the cockpit full of water - thanks for sharing that. Would you recommend to PSC that they install larger diameter cockpit drains based on this experience?
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Old 01-08-2010
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The cockpit does not drain very fast, but I am not sure if larger drains/ hoses would help. Luckily, the 31 has a very small cockpit. One thing I am contemplating however, besides sealing the lockers, is possibly moving the engine panel to higher ground.
Bernd
PSC 31
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Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjung View Post
One thing I am contemplating however, besides sealing the lockers, is possibly moving the engine panel to higher ground.
Bernd
PSC 31
Nigel Calder writes that when his PSC was being built, he had the engine panel installed down in the cabin for similar reasons. Seems like a good idea, along with having a second warning horn installed in the cockpit so you're sure to hear it if there's any engine trouble.
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