Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

I had just launched my trimaran and ran over a rock. It caused a pretty significant leak. Fortunately, I was able to beach the boat in a tidal cove. Unfortunately, there is a five foot tide here and the boat is filling about 2-3 feet each high tide.

I would like to do a repair which would last at least the summer and then do a permanent repair in the fall.

I can access the leak from inside the hull. I could do an inside repair at low tide but there will be some water and dirt present.

I can access the leak also outside by digging under the boat. Dirty water also pools there after digging making a somewhat clean repair difficult. If I can, however, repair from the inside to float the boat, I can then also do an external repair with the boat not on the mud but floating in the water.

I have researched underwater repair products. I have found only two: JB Weld Water Weld and Splash Zone by Petit, both these products will supposedly work in water.

3M 5200 has also been mentioned as possibly working in this situation but also some question about it curing properly in this situation.

As I indicated above the boat is filling every eight hours or so which will put some pressure on the repair and also the cure depending on the material.

Any users of Waterweld, Splash Zone or 3M 5200, please comment. If anyone has any experience with “water present” repairs, please comment. If anyone knows of any other “water present” repair materials, please comment. Any other comments, recommendations welcome.

Thanks.

Peter, Nova Scotia
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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

I guess there’s a reason why the boat can’t be lifted out of the water for a day? That sort of leak would sure get my undivided attention.
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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Epoxy putty to the rescue!

I am a cruiser not a yard worker so my methods may make them shiver in their shoes.

This repair would be rough and ugly but easily rectifiable when you haul:

Epoxy putty from the inside whilst someone is squirting the dirt away with a spray bottle.
Then float the boat and epoxy putty the outside clean as possible.
Re-ground the boat, wait till putty is fully (*fully*) cured then fibreglass over in inside putty with plenty of overlap.

Don't use 5200.

Reason for the putty then fibreglass is the putty when squished together cures underwater and can take some dirt in it. When hauled you just grind it off.
The fibregassjbg inside over the putty can be a rough job as no one sees it anyway so when it's ground off no one notices.
Keep exterior putty small as possible so the gell coat repair is small, as that will be seen


Now let's here the experts tell you how to do it properly.

Remember: No 5200!!!


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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Agree that 5200 is NOT the solution to this problem. When you apply 5200 it has the consistency of white lithium grease. Six hours later it has the same consistency. After 24 hours it BEGINS to cure, but I wouldn't touch the stuff for at least 48 hours. It doesn't reach full strength for 168 hours.

Mark's epoxy putty suggestion seems reasonable, but you need to keep the hydrostatic pressure of the water from pushing the patch off before it cures. This may not be possible in your situation.

What is possible as a TEMPORARY patch (as in get your boat to a place within a nautical mile or two where it can be hauled - NOT all summer) is to buy a wax toilet bowl ring, and press the wax into the hole. However, ALL of the wax needs to be removed to preform a fiberglass repair.

Personallly, I wouldn't want to go anywhere on your boat, other than a repair facility, until it was hauled and properly repaired.


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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Fast set underwater putty work time 5 to 10 minutes,
Cure time 3 to 5 hours. So you can do it in one tide


How to Use Epoxy Putty - Rezolin, LLC

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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Worst case can take fiberglass tape and a partially deflated round bouy or even a strong balloon. Put aluminum foil around bouy. Then epoxy saturate fiberglass tape or cut a sheet of woven to size and saturate. Use bracing to temporarily hold that mess in place. Further inflate bouy. If necessary apply additional tape/cloth outside. Once set transport immediately to be put on the hard and be repaired correctly.
You don’t state how big the area of damage is. It may extend well beyond the actual hole. If that’s the case the area will flex when you try to transport the boat and what ever you did to plug the hole will fail.
Would also look into renting or borrowing a high capacity portable gas pump. Would make transport to where you’re going to do the real repair a lot less dangerous if things go south.

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Last edited by outbound; 06-11-2019 at 06:53 PM.
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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Marine Tex is the putty of choice for underwater repairs, but I think you have a lot to consider here.
If this is a plywood boat sheathed in glass, you have water working its way into the ply. If you have a glass boat with a core you have water working its way into the core and if straight glass, water could be impregnating that.
So your most immediate job is to get your boat out of the water and dry out any water that has gotten into the laminate. Once it's dry or you've replaced the wet stuff, you can begin to think about how you'll patch the hole.
Any patch over wet laminate will continue to cause you problems long after the repair, possibly including the patch itself to fail.
If it was me, I'd fill the hull with barrels or airbags, cover the hole asap (even with duct tape) and get the boat out of the water ASAP.
Good luck.
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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Cut or tear away loose hull material in immediate area of the puncture. Attach waterproof version of Gorilla tape from outside of hull (sort of a form to hold putty in place as well as a water flow stopper), pack puncture area with fast set u/w putty from inside, working well under the exterior Gorilla tape so that putty is an attached blob to both the inside and outside of the hull skin, or the reverse if that is somehow easier to do. Get the boat out of the water and fix CORRECTLY ASAP. Gorilla tape by brand and model, epoxy putty by type from any reputable manufacturer.

https://www.gorillatough.com/product...tch-seal-tape/

TotalBoat Underwater Repair Epoxy Putty

Last edited by oldfurr; 06-11-2019 at 07:54 PM. Reason: crappy writing
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I will add that I have a good deal of respect for Flex-Tape (as seen on TV). I keep some aboard my boat.


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Re: Underwater or Water Present Hull Repair

Splash Zone is good, also look at Underwater Repair Epoxy from Total Boat.

If the patch area is to large for the Gorilla Tape, through bolt plywood over the area and seal the edges with the Gorilla Tape then use the underwater epoxy putty to fill the area.

The patch is not going to be pretty but will give you time to get to a safe place for a proper repair.

Gorilla Tape works on damp surfaces.
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