Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Caribbean cliff edge
    Posts
    18,362

    Default Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    To prevent a sinking, here are ten tips from the boat owner’s group:1: For inboard-outboard powered boats, inspect sterndrive bellows annually and replace every three to five years. The shift bellows is usually the first to fail.

    2: For inboard powered boats, check the stuffing box every time you visit the boat, and repack – rather than simply tighten down the nut – every spring.

    3: For engines with raw water hoses, replace them the moment they indicate wear – such as when small cracks appear or they feel “spongy” when squeezed. Rusty hose clamps are also a concern and should be replaced.

    4: Replace the engine cooling system impeller every two to three years.

    5: Inspect the boat’s cockpit and live well plumbing – again look at hoses, clamps, and cracked or broken fittings. Make sure you can inspect all such plumbing, and if you can’t, install inspection ports to make the task easier.

    6: Each season take are hard look at all below-waterline fittings, hoses, and clamps.

    7: Don’t forget the drain plug – you knew this one would be on the list.

    8: Keep a good lookout and ask guests to help keep their eyes peeled for deadheads. If you’ve grounded or hit something, consider a short-haul to inspect the bottom or drive gear.

    9: Always pull trailerable boats from the water when storms are forecast. These boats generally have too little freeboard to stand up to any kind of wave action.

    10: Dock line management systems that keep the boat centered in its slip can prevent snags that sometimes lead to a sinking.
    Keep safe.
    Enjoy a good rum on the rocks at sunset.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5,426

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Or, when possible, avoid ALL of those thru-hulls and use an outboard. Thru-hulls make me nervous. Also, include big floatation chambers.

    Just me feeling like shooting my mouth off this morning.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 03-29-2018 at 02:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,130

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Number 1 should be close all seacocks before leaving the boat unattended. I'm betting most people don't do this.
    Another one is to make sure all scuppers and drains are free to work and that covers are in good shape and properly tied down. I've seen rainwater sink a number of small boats.
    And how about testing all those "automatic" bilge pumps. Are the switches set to automatic? Do they actually kick on if you dump a gallon of water into the bilge?
    -Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,509

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Number 1 should be close all seacocks before leaving the boat unattended. I'm betting most people don't do this.
    Another one is to make sure all scuppers and drains are free to work and that covers are in good shape and properly tied down. I've seen rainwater sink a number of small boats.
    And how about testing all those "automatic" bilge pumps. Are the switches set to automatic? Do they actually kick on if you dump a gallon of water into the bilge?
    Except the seacocks for the cockpit drains...

    SIL just bought a new (to him) boat. I asked if he'd checked the bilge pump. "I only saw a couple of inches, so it should be fine". It's a fiberglass boat, so I said - "No that's not OK - please check it". Float switch was so sticky he could barely move it by hand + the drain plug was disintegrating (& causing the leak).
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Tuscon AZ
    Posts
    5,204

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Or, when possible, avoid ALL of those thru-hulls and use an outboard. Thru-hulls make me nervous. Also, include big floatation chambers.

    Just me feeling like shooting my mouth off this morning.
    I have seen 35 ft. production boats with 14 thru hulls!
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    15,147

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    on my 34'er
    I have the shaft tube...which has a stuffin box on the inside.
    A single intake for the engine raw water,marelon.
    And a half inch hole and hose/cable for an old school sumlog.
    Thats it. Galley sink goes into a bucket. head IS a bucket. no cockpit well.
    No auto switch or counter on any of the bilge pumps. The bilge pumps are like the life raft or EPIRB...I hope they never actually get turned on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Newport, OR
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    They forgot one:

    11. Visit and enjoy your boat on a frequent and regular basis. In every marina I've ever been in, most of the boats go long periods without anyone checking on them. The longer they go, the more deferred maintenance. The more deferred maintenance, the less likely the owner is to spend time on the boat and deal with the issues. Pretty soon you have worn lines parting and rotten canvas tearing and float switches failing.

    It's sad to watch so many neglected vessels deteriorate over time.
    F/V No Quarter
    1973 Grand Banks 42 Troller

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    5,385

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    I saw a nice Catalina 25 sunk last year. I went down to help the marina personnel pump her out. Having previously owned one I was nominated to go below and find where the water was leaking in. As it turned out the hose for the galley sink popped off at the drain, flopped own in the bilge and let water in through a sea cock that had been left open. This *was* a nice Catalina 25. Fortunately the top of the cabin did not go under water. Nonetheless it will need a thorough drying out, all new cushions and possible rewiring. Sad to see.
    Will

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    15,866

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Blocked scuppers for boats that are self-bailing. Fall leaves blowing on the wind near boats slipped near the shore. It's amazing how good a leak-proof seal can be achieved by a single windblown oak or maple leaf. DAMHIKT

    Snow loads can block drainage; sink scuppers below waterline. Shovel out the boat.

    Docklines too loose or too tight. ( see my story on the other thread)

    Inboard/ Sterndrive craft with transom exhausts docked with transom to seaward: repeated splashes of water into the exhaust outlet can sink eventually sink a boat. Check flapper valves; re-route exhaust for side exit.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5,426

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    About the only below the water line thru-hull I'd be willing to tolerate would be a thru-hull depth sounder. I'd build a box around it though, or mount it in a watertight locker, so that if it leaked the water would be trapped in the box or other compartment..

    I have had self-bailing cockpit scuppers get plugged with ice, never really thought of them as thru hulls, but of course they are.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 04-11-2018 at 01:48 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,509

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    It's not rocket surgery: every time you leave the boat, go through a checklist that includes closing all seacocks (except cockpit drains), close fuel valve(s), turn off propane at the tank(s) manually (IOW - don't trust the solenoid), and turn off all circuit breakers at the panel (your bilge pump is not on a circuit breaker, right?).

    This takes 2 or 3 minutes - but I guess a lot of people can't be bothered.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,130

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    And one more thing, do NOT assume that the marina staff will notice if your boat starts to sink.
    -Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    15,480

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    And one more thing, do NOT assume that the marina staff will notice if your boat starts to sink.
    There's probably an app for that. A monitor which sends an alarm to your phone. Or you could even have remote video. It's good if you keep your boat at a marina that allows liveaboards. If your Marina has an emergency pump, know where it is and how to use it, and encourage your dock neighbors to do the same.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,801

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    I test my bilge pump every time I leave the boat. I lift the floorboards, raise the float switch with my finger, and watch the bilge pump suck the water out of its bay.

    This helps me get to sleep.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    23,465

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    Open cockpit scupper clogged with ice... and the result:

    DSCN4470.jpg DSCN4469.jpg
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    6,030

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    That’s s sad picture.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,130

    Default Re: Prevention: sinking at the dock etc -

    By the way, if something like this does happen to your boat, don't assume insurance won't cover it. They very well might and you'll get away having to cover the cost of your deductible and no more. By the same token, check your insurance policy before such a thing happens to make sure you do have coverage.

    I wonder what the ratio is of recreational boats sinking at the dock vs. sinking at sea.
    -Dave

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    15,480

    Default

    I saved a boat once which almost sank at the dock. Top side planks had opened up in the summer. Water got in. The more water got in the faster she was going. Managed to find an emergency petrol powered pump and someone who knew how to drive it just in time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •