View Full Version : Tuscaloosa tornado sinks my '59 Owens need advice
05-03-2011, 09:36 PM
I have a 1959 30' Owens express cruiser. The F4 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa Alabama and stayed on the ground for over 50 miles hit our marina and my boat was sunk. The lines from the slip cleats to the boat held it up until we could get some straps underneath it to keep her from going to the bottom in 25' of water. It has at least 2 holes in the hull (one is about 4"x 10") I need to patch the holes enough to be able to pump it out and tow it to another marina about a mile away. I have a diver that can go down and do a temporary repair. The common answer is "screw some plywood to it" Is there some sort of epoxy or cement that can be applied to the wood or some sort of patch that will seal better over the planks on the exterior of the boat than just some plywood? Suggestions are needed. FYI I have done all of the restoration myself over the last 7 years and took her out for the first time last weekend. However my loss is very minimal compared to that of many of my friends and neighbors.
05-03-2011, 09:49 PM
Could you make patches using 5/8 plywood, rubber, closed cell foam, or other compressible material, and carriage bolts?
Duck down and trace the hole or photograph it with a ruler for scale. Cut matching pieces of ply that overlap the hole by several inches. Drill evenly spaced boltholes 1/2" in from the edge of the hole. Cut or melt matching holes in the rubber. With a helper, place one ply/rubber patch inside and one outside, run the bolts through, and snug it. Small holes can be sealed with a round patch and a single bolt.
That should seal the leaks so you can raise it and pump it out. There won't be the cleanup you'd have with some sort of goop.
Really sorry to hear of this. My heart would be at least half broken.
05-03-2011, 10:07 PM
Gob some toilet bowl wax on the ply patch.
05-03-2011, 10:15 PM
This is a picture of what we are dealing with. We have pulled it up enough to get the water level below the gunwales and the windows. I'm not sure we can get to the holes from the inside.1491
05-04-2011, 09:04 AM
If your "hole" is more of a "crack," you could also try the expanding polyurethane foam insulation in a spray can. One brand is "Great Stuff." I think it evolves its own gas so it may still expand underwater. Brace some sort of patch over the crack, put some holes in it in strategic places and then squirt it into the holes using the provided tube so it fills the space between the patch and the hull as it expands.
Hope things work out for you and the boat.
05-04-2011, 09:28 AM
The recommendations against goop are probably correct, but if you must use some, try the stuff that is water-cured or rated for emergency hull repairs.
One option that I'll guess might work would be an oversize patch of ply, lightly attached with SS wood screws from the outside. Try PL Premium Construction Adhesive -- not any of the other PL glues but that one in particular. It may work together with the wood screws to make a patch that will allow you to pump the boat out, and cures somewhat soft so removal won't be as bad as harder/stronger glues would create.
Alternately there are epoxies used for underwater hull repairs. They'll be a lot harder to remove later but may hold better than the PL Premium.
05-04-2011, 11:18 AM
I like the toilet wax idea. It should be fine for a mile tow.
05-04-2011, 04:13 PM
Hm. Sorry to hear of your troubles.
A consensus seems to be that some plywood patches are in order. What to seal them with, so they seal reasonably well, yet aren't hard to remove. On another thread, someone mentioned that silicone will leave a residue which will interefere with the surface later.
Someone else voted for a latex caulking. I suppose it depends on how long you expect it to be in the water before you can haul it for a proper repair, but that's the way I'm leaning. Give a good overlap on the ply, smear that stuff in there, make sure your pumps are up to snuff and add one or two maybe. That ought to work. Hell, just the ply well screwed without a gasket, and some good pumps would probably work.
05-04-2011, 04:48 PM
I think a screwed on plywood patch would be adequate. The water pressure will be trying to seal it. Put screws every 3-4" if you can. A bilge pump should easily handle the leakage. If you don't feel comfortable with that, toilet bowl wax under the plywood patch would be ideal. Soft, sticky when wet, won't dissolve in the water, yet will come apart and clean up easily at the other end.
Best of luck to you.
05-05-2011, 06:45 AM
05-06-2011, 09:46 PM
if you put a tarp around it you can float anything :)
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