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 Sailing and Sailboats
 Unsinkable sail boat?
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Author Previous Topic: Sailing UP the Yukon river? Topic Next Topic: Is this the future?  


RO# 10503

Posted - Nov 16 2012 :  21:59:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Watching one of the "Devil's Triangle" TV spook shows, and the diving crew came upon a Sail Boat resting on the bottom.
Keel Down.
A thought came to me, can you make a Sailboat just about water tight? Almost unsinkable?
Get down in there and ride out the rough water.

That big keel would bring it back upright.
If a guy was ready, hatched locked down, portholes shut, Air intake to the engine capped, etc, what could cause a boat like that to sink?
Conservative in every sense of the word.

Homeport: AL.


RO# 7934

Posted - Nov 17 2012 :  04:44:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd say most GOOD boats are already built that way. If the hatches are tight and you don't have hull damage it should stay afloat. The sailboat in the "perfect storm" apparently was found some weeks or months after it was abandoned, either still afloat or washed up on the beach. Bear in mind that seagoing sailboats can't run from a storm, so they have to be able to ride it out. Usually the boat will take more than the people in it.

There are also horror stories of ocean cruisers being pitchpoled end-for-end and dismasted, yet the boat and crew still survived.

The weight of the ballast keel presents a problem, as enough positive floatation to support it would likely take up a good part of the accommodation space of the boat. Multihulls don't have a ballast keel and usually stay afloat, though sometimes upside down.

Willie: Look Ma no paddle!

Edited by - stmbtwle on Nov 17 2012 04:47:04

Homeport: Tampa Bay, FL Go to Top of Page

L. Keith

RO# 1615

Posted - Nov 17 2012 :  08:30:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"what could cause a boat like that to sink?------------ Too much outside got inside.

Homeport: N. Gulf of Mexico Go to Top of Page


RO# 12212

Posted - Nov 17 2012 :  11:12:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There has been many sailboats abandoned by their crew after a roll or dimasting that were found floating weeks or months later. Sailboats (mono) are typically more seaworthy due to better stability, fewer hull penetrations (ER vents), smaller windows, etc

Bus it s nearly impossible to add enough buoyancy to offset the ballast so once the cabin floods, it's game over. Usually flooding occurs when hatches fail

1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page


RO# 10503

Posted - Nov 17 2012 :  20:48:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm here to attest to Willie's statment about the Wimpy Humans and the Good Sea Worthy boat.
Out in the Pacific, on a Troop Ship, I joined some guys singing: "Bring the rescue Helicopter, we'll talk about the money later!"

My boat's have nearly rolled, nearly pitchpoled and 'Sub-marined', awash Ankle Deep with Sea Water....etc.
I knew I was in over my head because I've always owned Open boats. I like fishing, not especially cruising. Fishing boats just don't have enough Boat to pack floatation.

I was so surprised to see that Sail boat down there.
I don't believe all that crap about Magnetic anomaly's, except for Aircraft flying in Thunder storms. (that's why I didn't go on with my Certificates)
The Methane Gas idea could never be verified because we just don't know how many of those layers are down there.

Storms with big tall long waves can scare you so bad your palms will sweat. Fear of that level can make you think funny. (I know this is true)
Even if the passengers went to the Dingy or inflatable, the boat should have stayed afloat unless the last guy out of the Cabin didn't shut the door.
I guess we'll never know as they never said any of the Crew survived.

Conservative in every sense of the word.

Homeport: AL. Go to Top of Page


RO# 32638

Posted - Feb 01 2013 :  11:02:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good questions always encourage us to think.

There are inflation bags to save a boat when in peril, similar to inflatable life jackets. They work, they are expensive, and they do take up a significant amount of space. Were ALL boats required to have them, fewer would sink; but because of the cost and weight, there would be a lot fewer out there in the first place. Which result is the real goal?

Maybe there is a way to get the ultimate protection and safety while on the water; however, I believe as we get closer to this ultimate safety, we lose the use boats and other things.
Sailboats can be made to float under all circumstances, but they will sail poorly if at all. Multi-hulls are more stable than mono-hulls; however, when they do turn over, they are very difficult to right.

The book, "The Wonderful One Horse Shay" addressed this issue many years ago in a different context. That is proven daily in our lives. Ultimate safety, ultimate perfection, applying the gold standard to everything, results in nothing getting done.

Questions are still very valuable.

Homeport: TX Go to Top of Page


RO# 691

Posted - Feb 06 2013 :  02:34:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many production catamarans are unsinkable. They don't carry around 10 tons of lead in their bottom.

Homeport: O'ahu Go to Top of Page
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