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paulk 02-19-2007 08:53 AM

Crash mat?
We were racing at CORK (Kingston, Ontario) when a p/s collision between Solings resulted in one of them sinking. Other racers at our club have been damaged during races where contact between boats occurred. (One boat was hit by a trawler in the fog.) Sailing magazines often show pictures of the gaping holes that the pointy ends of our craft are capable of making. Do any of you guys carry a crash mat or cloth for covering over a holed hull so you can stay afloat long enogh to get to safety? I am thinking of having our sailmaker do one up, and am wondering what shape might be the easiest to deploy and the most effective, should the need arise.

Tartan34C 02-19-2007 09:19 AM

An equilateral triangle is the best shape and if you need one the jig is probably up.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer

sailingdog 02-19-2007 10:26 AM

The key thing is that once you have it...that you practice deploying it in various positions, otherwise, don't bother carrying it...

I don't carry one, and generally don't see the need for one, as my boat is a trimaran, and unless I manage to hole all three hulls, I'm in no danger of sinking.. :D

Tartan34C 02-19-2007 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog
I don't carry one, and generally don't see the need for one, as my boat is a trimaran, and unless I manage to hole all three hulls, I'm in no danger of sinking.. :D

Not real familiar with multihulls. What happens if you hole one of the outerhulls? Donít you run the risk of capsizing?
All the best,
Robert Gainer

sailingdog 02-19-2007 10:57 AM

Good question... not particularly... as each of the outer amas is designed to have three compartments... and unless I manage to hole the first two compartments on the ama, I can still sail it relatively safely.

hellosailor 02-23-2007 02:43 PM

Paul, the only time I've been rammed has been well above the water line. Unless you are sheared into by a plumb bow, or run into debris, that's most liekly how you would be hit. So the first move is to heel the boat the other way, try to get the hole above waterline so you can inspect it. After that, you rig a crash mat (collison blanket) as best you can, if you need it.

If you have old sails, doubling them over and having a sailmaker put a heavy cringle in each corner is one way to make them. Better if you take a cockpit cushion (closed cell foam covered in vinyl) or settee cushion (same kind) and have the cringles put in, or one of the commercial mat-like fenders that you can buy with cringles already in them. A couple of extra cringles gives you more option in how to apply it. Remember the water will be trying to pull the whole thing off and apart if you are making more and beefier cringles are probably a good idea.

A couple of cans of urethane foam probably could also be used as a sealant, i.e. applied (from inside, to the outside) around the hole. It seals up and bonds nicely, even in water. Mess to get it off, but I'd rather seal the hole first.

sailingdog 02-23-2007 04:37 PM


You're assuming that they'll be able to access the area holed from the interior of the boat, which is often not the case with modern boats, that have built-in hull liners, and very little access to the actual interior of the hull.

hellosailor 02-23-2007 05:00 PM

Hull liners are a whole other problem. Easily fixed by a roll of primer cord, no need for that dangerous fire axe.<G>

Actually...if I had to worry about a hull liner I'd say for sure to use urethane foam. Drill a 3/8" hole in the liner, shoot in a couple of cans of foam, form a nice cork right in place without having to chew away the hull liner.

paulk 02-25-2007 12:32 AM

Thanks for all the input. Am thinking of getting our sailmaker to make up a hefty one - perhaps from an old dacron main. It occurs to me that with the triangular shape suggested by Rob G, we could also use it (or a section of it) as a parbuckle for bringing MOB back aboard.

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