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Sea water invasion single handed

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour
The number of cases where full crewed boats were surprised by sea water invasion is rather important. The critical issue is the time necessary to detect the flood.
Single handed is worse. When single handed most of the time sea invasion is discovered once the water level is rather high. A foot or more.

A good exemple happened in Sir Chichester 4000Nm record attempt, where a small leakage at deck level turn to an important sea water invasion.

As you are by definition alone to remove the water the situation may become rapidly uncontroled.

When the sea invasion is a consequence of an other issue, as for exemple, a mast fall, it's even more critical. I know a case where the story continued in the liferaft and a rescue.

So don't forget to put the sea water invasion very high in the operation security "check list".
Eric /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

helixkimara

New member
Joined
6 Nov 2007
Messages
303
Location
North East
Bonjour,
Good point Eric. hand pump, electric pump, bucket, things to plug the leak. Good sea trials etc. Do you think it would be o.k to have 2 more single handed crew on board just in case I need a spare 2 pair of hands /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

FullCircle

Active member
Joined
19 Nov 2003
Messages
28,205
Having recently had over 80 gallons of water sloshing around in the bilges, I used the electric bilge pump as supplied with the boat. It was pathetic, and was barely moving 6 or 7 gallons a minute. The hand pump worked better, but doesnt allow you to go below looking for the hole, only to keep pumping.
I now have 1250 G/Hr one for port tack, one for starboard tack and a central 2700 G/Hr
I also still have the manual pump, and must get round to fitting a diverter valve on the engine inlet line so the engine can pump water too.

Try it in port and count how long it takes you to empty the boat even in those controlled conditions. Very scary.
 

Saddletramp

New member
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
1,036
Location
London
When learning to dive, years ago, we taught the concept of the 'Incident pit' . The theory being that small problems can escalate quickly if not dealt with. They can also have a habit of combining with other smal problems to make a big problem. Imagine a funnel, you are at the rim, before long you could be drawn down the funnel (incident pit).

An important element is how you feel, as your level of anxiety increases your ability to be in control of the situation decreases.

The 'Chichester' story reminded me of it.

Sorry to be so morbid. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
205
Location
Southampton, UK
Hi Eric

Makes you wonder where the best place to have your main pump is. I remember reading John Apps ( Glayva) amazing account of his storm bound Jester Atlantic where he had to use the loo as an emergency pump as accessing the main pump in the cockpit was difficult. The boat was fully battened down at the time. (That right, John?)

I spoke to a Kiwi voyager who has a hand-start diesel-powered pump permanently 'ready to go' and housed high up in the main cabin. When his storm boards were broached by a breaker and the boat half-filled, this high-volume diesel fired immediately (no electrics to short) and kept her afloat until he could affect repairs.

My own arrangment on Pod is to have two identical pumps ( better for service kits) with one down below and the other in the cockpit. Both will have their own sump and discharge, with no shared pipework. I can pump the same volume from the cockpit as from below, and I'm positioning the pumps for the best right-handed action!!

My various compartments also have their own drain-plugs which empty into a shallow bilge.

...plus a high volume bucket as a fail-safe, of course!
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour
Before pomping you must first be aware of the water invasion!
On Sterenn, I already have an electric bilge pomp. I'm thinking of a device that would automatically put the pomp on or a system that would alert in case of water invasion. It is not simple because the boat is very flat and wet !

I think that a bucket is much more efficient than any manual pomp !
That's one of the reasons to have three buckets on board !!!
Eric /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

Gargleblaster

Well-known member
Joined
16 Dec 2003
Messages
1,144
Location
Medway, Gillingham Reach
[ QUOTE ]
I think that a bucket is much more efficient than any manual pomp !
That's one of the reasons to have three buckets on board !!!

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree with a bucket being the best way of getting rid of water. But I can only use one at a time. I can't see how you can use 3 at once. Maybe sitting on the toilet and washing your dishes and bailing at the same time would be the only possibility. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif However when I had a cabin full of water last year the only thing I could think of was how to get rid of it fast - not about going to the toilet or washing up.
[I think we might have had the discussion on how many buckets are required before!]
 

Gargleblaster

Well-known member
Joined
16 Dec 2003
Messages
1,144
Location
Medway, Gillingham Reach
[ QUOTE ]
John Apps ( Glayva) amazing account of his storm bound Jester Atlantic where he had to use the loo as an emergency pump as accessing the main pump in the cockpit was difficult. The boat was fully battened down at the time. (That right, John?)


[/ QUOTE ]
Yes Jake, good description. But it only worked because I was only getting a couple of litres a minute into the cabin from it spurting through the washboards as each wave hit. I found last year when I inadvertently opened my washboards just as a wave hit and knocked me down below the horizontal the volume of water was beyond any impression my pumps [manual and electric] could make on it and I found a bucket was the only quick way to get rid of the water. To do that I had to take the risk to remove the top washboards and throwing the water into the self draining cockpit. I was lucky and did not get hit by another wave over the top while doing it.
 

r_h

Active member
Joined
5 Jun 2006
Messages
618
Location
West coast France, Solent + E. Med
Commercial fishing vessels are required to have an alarm which sounds when bilge water reaches a certain level. This early warning has saved many a fishing boat and I'm increasingly of the opinion that they should be routinely fitted to offshore yachts. For the reasons Sterenn points out, they're more difficult to rig effectively in a boat with a flat bilge, but if you have a bilge sump, it will warn of a problem when there's as little as 5 gallons in the bilge, whereas otherwise an ingress may not be noticed until you've taken in 100 gallons (that's a very scary half ton!).
 

jesterchallenger

New member
Joined
7 May 2007
Messages
134
Location
River Orwell
A bucket's extremely efficient, but like a hand pump, it does not leave you free to either find the leak or sort it out when you have found it. I've just fitted a Rule 3700 electric bilge pump which will allegedly shift 2000+ gph with a 6ft head (I've a deep bilge!). It's wired direct to the batteries, so one switch and it's on - no float switch as there's not room for that and the pump in the narrow well. I am going to fit a simple bilge alarm to alert me if I'm asleep or on deck. There are much more powerful pumps available but either they're too expensive and/or too complicated to fit. It won't keep the boat afloat if there's a catastrophic hole, but hopefully will buy enough time to abandon ship with everything needed. Be interesting to hear if anyone's got any other ideas.
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour
Before leaving the boat; wear your Cotten TPS, just try a "prelar" and inflate your security ballons!!!
It will probably be sufficient.
And don't forget to CLIMB into the life raft; otherwise it's too early.
Eric
 
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