Open ocean, hole in the hull - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 49 Old 08-08-2007
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Most multihulls are pretty close to unsinkable. The materials many are made of average out to being lighter than water. Foam or balsa cored GRP laminates float. Also, most multihulls have each hull separated into several water-tight compartments, and are independent of each other generally. This is more true of trimarans than catamarans, which in theory, could flood one hull, and then flood the other via the bridge deck.

The Titanic, didn't really have water tight compartments running the height of the boat. The Titanic was also made up of steel...which sinks quite nicely.

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I would be very happy to be on a catamaran with watertight compartments and no ballast. It's unsinkable, just like the Titanic.

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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #42 of 49 Old 08-18-2007
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Being a submarine engineer, when I first started sailing and reading all the horror stories about running into containers, I immediately thought a forward looking sonar small enough for a sailboat would be a great idea - it's nothing more than a depth sounder pointed forward. Of course, as soon as I Googled, I found one - they're expensive and consume a lot of power.
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post #43 of 49 Old 08-18-2007
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Be cheaper to fab up a bulb bow and streamline it into a full (not fin) keel, so the boat could just ride up over the container.
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post #44 of 49 Old 08-18-2007
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Be cheaper to fab up a bulb bow and streamline it into a full (not fin) keel, so the boat could just ride up over the container.
Sure. And if I would do it by myself it would make the boat so slow that the container would not make any demage.


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post #45 of 49 Old 08-23-2007
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As long as yopu are not going to die of thirst, pumping the fresh water tanks dry will help lighten the boat, and it will need another tank-ful of flooding to sink the boat.
It's everyone's nightmare that one.
Good watch-keeping can cut the risk.
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post #46 of 49 Old 08-24-2007
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In another post I mentioned that I had once been forced to drive a Petersen 33 into a marina walkway at 5 odd knots . The damage that occurred was actually minimal with a notch of about 1" vertically by 1/2" deep into the stem and no water into the boat. The boat lifted itself out of the water as the stem rode up the walkway but it never even came close to reaching the keel. And this walkway was "unmovable".

And if you sail into a container with the side of the hull, the chances would be that you would glance off with some damage but I really wonder how much damage a boat will sustain. If you were really unlucky and sailed into an exposed corner of the box it may be somewhat worse but I suspect that even then, it wouldn't be that bad. OK, maybe if it was a Catalina . . . .

I recall watching the video of Ellen McArthur's race when she came second in the Vendee Globe and she nailed a container near the Azores doing something like 15 knots. It damaged one of her dagger boards but the damage was only severe enough to piss her off because of lost boat speed and no talk of structural damage. She managed with some difficulty to pull the dagger board out of it's slot and went on her way.

I suspect that the dangers of containers at sea are somewhat over-rated. I once heard, a while ago now, a statistic that there are something like 4 million containers unaccounted for (lost at sea). Where the heck are they cause I've never seen one floating. 4 million of those boxes end to end would make a Trans-Atlantic boardwalk .

I'd be interested to hear stats from other forumites.

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post #47 of 49 Old 08-24-2007
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Quote:
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Well as they said in one movie: You pick the man with the biggest buns and have him sit on it. But kidding aside, this is why you do carry some scrap pieces of wood, canvas along with wedges and plugs. Plus plugs next to all through hull fittings also. Good maintenance means that you would never need them. But you never know.
Then you have all the jetsam & flotsam out there and coming down the rivers You can never be sure of what you may run into. From a tree to a steel container box.
Boats, you're righter than you imagine. I've heard some of the old Greek sea captains say that the best "internal" patch for a hole in the sideshell plating was a thawed-out piece of meat, braced up with shoring timbers. Who am I to disagree??

If the questioner is indeed in open ocean, than how to staunch the leak is up to the people on board; but if closer to shore, one should recognize that the closest land is usually straight down, so if you can maneuver her into the shallows, and you still have enough freeboard to spare, then do it. This has saved many a ship, especially here on the Gulf coast where it stays shallow pretty far out.

But may you, nor I, nor our original poster, never be in a positiion where we have to think about such things.

Semper Paratus, if that's the right service branch for you ( is for me) ....

Last edited by nolatom; 08-24-2007 at 02:52 AM.
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post #48 of 49 Old 09-05-2007
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Is there something like a giant air bag that could be deployed inside the boat to create enough bouyancy to prevent sinking? Or is that not feasible?
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post #49 of 49 Old 09-06-2007
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As a kid we were taught that if we were holed in open water (in fibreglass boats) you grab the nearest berth cushion, fold it half and wedge it over the hole with the nearest bottom board (either one of the ones you pulled up looking for the hole, or one floating nearby)

This may not plug the hole completely, but will hopefully stem it enough to keep pace with the bilge pump - the best bilge pump for this purpose being a frightened crewman with a bucket!!

BTW: Don't underestimate the force of the water coming through that hole. I very much doubt even a big Greek would be able to get close enough to place his "buns" over the hole. (Been there, done that and don't even want to think about it.)
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