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30 ways to sink a boat

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
756
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Sounds like a Darwin’s Guide for powerboaters. If we don’t want them making wakes across our bows or running into us, don’t show it to them and there will be fewer of them to worry about next season.

We had fun figuring out a leak a while back. We’d go out sailing and find water in the after bilge section, which is separate from the forward section because the icebox drain goes into it, and you don’t want melted ice water smells getting the whole bilge reeking. In any case, water there after sailing. No water there following periods moored or after rain. No leak in the prop shaft. Screwy. Where could it be coming from? Found out one evening, about an hour after the start of an overnight race, when our steering linkage parted. (It had gotten tightened earlier in the day and someone forgot to re-install the cotter pins...) Sticking my head down by the rudder quadrant to re-attach the cables as we reached along at about 8 knots, I realized that I was getting showered by water coming in by the rudderstock. The oakum in the packing gland had dried out and whenever a wave came up over the rudderstock, water squirted in like a fountain. Not knowing at that point exactly what the problem was, nor how much water was coming in, or if it might get worse, but realizing that it would be another 10-12 dark hours before finishing, we decided to retire. I repacked the gland the next morning and have had no problems since. Little things.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2014
15,801
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I figured out one today. Upon removing the aged sink drain hose from the through hull I had water trickling out of the pipe. About a quart every ten minutes. So I tried to open and close the valve with only marginal success. :banghead:Hidden in the aged hose was a leaking valve that filled the hose upto the boats water line. Because the sink is above the water line all was hidden. Had the hose failed bad new sinking potential. :yikes:

What a pain.

Looks like I need to replace the thru hull. This means I need a way to stop the water intrusion we replacing the valve or a short haul and a quick thru hull replacement.

Bugger. I think the boat is talking to me. :kick:
 
  • Helpful
Likes: ggrizzard
Oct 19, 2017
6,877
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
If we don’t want them making wakes across our bows or running into us, don’t show it to them and there will be fewer of them to worry about next season.
They're powerboats, you think it will matter if they see the article? They'd have to not just see it, but read it too.

Sorry, that was mean of me. :redface:

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,904
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
This one should go in the "best bilge pump" thread.
16. Check-Valve Backflow
What Happened:
Since the through-hull is mounted so low to the waterline, a clever mechanic put a one-way check valve on your bilge pump's exhaust hose to keep the sea out. Too bad it didn't.
What You Should Have Done: Check valves are unreliable and can get stuck open. Route the pump's exhaust hose as high as possible to a through-hull near the rubrail. If it must go to a low outlet, run the hose up inside the boat as high as possible, install an anti-siphon valve at the top of the loop, and run it to a seacock that you can close.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Sep 24, 2018
1,434
O'Day 25 Chicago
Bugger. I think the boat is talking to me.
I think it's saying give me all your time and money! :p

I had about an inch of water above the cabin sole once. We tried replicating the issue without any luck. I suspect the water was coming through the bilge pump every time we hit a big wave. I suppose I should install a vented loop on that line
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,904
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
When I here those words I often cringe. What happens next can be a miracle solution or a nightmare disaster.

It is right up there with:
  • It was a dark and stormy night
  • Trust me the engineers know what they’re doing
  • It’s ok that will never happen
LOL. And " hold my beer... "
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,950
Hunter 26 Charleston
This means I need a way to stop the water intrusion we replacing the valve or a short haul and a quick thru hull replacement.
:kick:
Gorilla Tape...?

Or get a fat friend to hang from the shrouds and heel the boat enough to get the through hull above the water line....:biggrin:
(Hey Joe, I really need YOU to help me today...):thumbup:
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,801
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I like your thinking @rgranger. You have a math background, with the keel at 6k Lbs 5ft below the waterline and the thru hull 14 in to starboard of centerline on my 16K displacement boat how many Sumo wrestlers will I need to suspend from lines to the 45 ft mast head to get the thru hull clear of the water. Then how much beer will be needed to keep them suspended and happy while I complete the work on the thru hull.

It looks like a relatively easy math equation but I got lost trying to figure out the correct knot to tie so I can release the Sumos when under pressure and running out of beer.

But thanks for the idea I am taking it under advisement. Hope you can help me resolve my concerns for the Sumo wrestlers.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,950
Hunter 26 Charleston
I got lost trying to figure out the correct knot to tie ...
I'm still thinking about how much beer I'd have to buy.

But being serious, You've probably seen those "boat ball" videos where a guy uses a rubber ball full of water to heel his boat over while he passes under a bridge...?


You could tie off to a pier and hang the balls off the other side. Just leave some slack in the dock lines so your boat sits a few feet off the pier. Maybe pick a windy day and let the wind hold your boat off. ?????

Then take a video of the entire ordeal and you can add it to this list....:biggrin:
 
Aug 16, 2016
35
Pacific Dolphin 24 Phoenix, Arizona
They make a devise that comes in through your thru hull from the outside and seals the hole so you can change the seacock while in the water. looks like a diaphragm on a stick. Would that help?
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,984
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Here's another few ways to sink a boat:
Seeping water from bolts that hold the skeg in place.
On the Atomic 4 I had there was a fitting on the starboard side of the motor that served no discernable function. There was a tube threaded into it. I took the tube off in a moment of unclearity to see what it did and oops. Water started running out ot the engine. I quickly tried to replace the tube but the threads weren't catching. Eventually I got maybe three threads in and the water stopped. That was fine until I got a call from a friend saying the dreaded words "Your boat is sinking."
Get hit by lightning.
Leaking bailers on my Bandit 15. That boat spent as much time on the bottom as floating. Holes do not belong in the bottom of boats or roofs.
And, of course, forgetting to put the plug in the transom after launching.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,820
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Sorry, that was mean of me. :redface:
Not at all.

After reading the collective list of 30 ways to sink a boat, I honestly don't see how these power boating clowns at my marina make it back safely every time they go out.

Do I REALLY need to do 75-100 hours of maintenance on my boat every year. Maybe it's all a crock ? A part of the big conspiracy :huh: ?
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 22, 2014
15,801
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Thank you @sailinmikenaz. I have seen one of those on the web. Issue is, upon careful inspection and after I could see the nipple used to turn the direction 90 degrees, I suspect the valve was a cheapee from a box store. Not Marine approved. This causes me major concern. I figure I have been lucky. I will be changing out the questionable through hulls. 4 of them to be exact. Then I will know what is holding the water out side of my boat. :biggrin:

As one of the captains at our beer/baot discussion said tonight. "It's just boat money, not like you can take it with you!"