A sinking boat...

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by AwShucks, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I was wondering what possible courses of action various brothers would take if they were fishing and suddenly noticed their boat filling with water.

    I have had the pleasant feeling a couple times all ready. The first time is the learning experience nearly all boaters go through... put in the dang plug. By the time I figurred out what was wrong, I had about 4" of water in the boat. I reeled in the poles, started the engine and took off. Had my fishing buddy standing by with plug in his hand. When your running the boat, the water creates a drag on the back of the boat and presto, the water gets sucked out. When it's down to where you will no longer have a heart attack, put in the plug and go back to fishing. Second time was on the Chesapeake Bay when a wave generated by a tug boat crashed over the stern...instant water. Same senario, same outcome. Just don't panic - that's what will kill you. Any other brothers had similar experiences?
  2. NCCatter

    NCCatter Member

    North Carolina
    Yea I have had similar experiences with my 14' jon boat. It is 20 years old so it leaks around the plug and some of the rivots. Anyway, I was down at Santee one weekend and it was pretty windy. Went out about 7 miles from Randolph's Landing, and on the way back I look in the back of the boat and the gas tank was floating! I moved the cooler (which was also floating) and took the plug out and hauled a$$. About 2-3 minutes later all the water was back in the lake and I put the plug back in and went back to the dock. Amazing how well the boat planed out after the water was gone!! LOL

  3. tdpasser

    tdpasser Active Member

    Gilbert AZ
    I thought only guys with leaker knew that trick my old boat was a old 12 ' sears and leaked like crazy 3 inches in about 4-5 hours. It's great get your speed up pull the plug and no bailing. I like my Lund I have now no leaks.
  4. APD1146

    APD1146 New Member

    New York
    Yes it happened to me once at the coast as well. Did what I was supposed to do, then put the plug back in as you did. Why don't you have a bilge pump. You can put one even into a jon boat. Or do as I have done every time since that incident. Put your plug on your key ring and you have to see it when starting the boat. If not electric start then put it on the throttle control or shift and again you will have to see it.
  5. APD1146

    APD1146 New Member

    New York
    Hey NCCatter;
    When your boat is out of the water take a small hammer and a backer plate of some kind. It can be a bigger hammer or some other kind of steel. Hold the bigger piece on the one side and tap the rivet with the smaller hammer. This should tighten the rivets for you. As to the leak around the plug hole, they have a rod out now that is alum. and can be used with a handheld propane torch and nothing else. Harbor Freight sells it for about $9.00 for several stick / rods of it. I have used this to fix a rip in one of my boats years ago and it is still as good as new 12 years later. It also repairs pot metal. It is on TV up here once in awhile. Sold by some outfit from Conn. but for a lot more money. Look up Harbor Freight on your puter and type in alum welding or just welding. That should do it for you.
    Good luck brother and happy dry boating.
  6. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    If you don;t see,you should always ask.Have you got a bail can?If you get enough water in any boat,you will not be able to "Run it out" by pulling the plug and running the motor.The boat will not go fast enough.It will not work if you can not start the motor.It will not work if you get caught in a storm where the waves are large enough to capsize you at the speed necessary to run the water out.I have been in each of these situations.Even a self bailing boat will often fail to self bail due to overloading and or several other factors.I firmly believe that we needlessly risk the lives of all on board,when we operate a boat without a bailing device.If it is not firmly attached,it is often lost in a emergency.Always remember.The most unsinkable of boats literally go to pieces when lifted by waves and violently deposited on a log,stump,or rock jetty.I have seen many of the pieces in my lifetime.The Santee Lakes and many other are full of such.Then a flotation device is your only hope.peewee-williams.
  7. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    like they say turn on the bilge pump or pull the plug and get your nose up or let her sink and get the $$$$$ off the insurance and get a NEW boat!
  8. Ulizth

    Ulizth New Member

    St. Clairsville, Ohio
    I had a similiar experience with a flood inside my bass tracker. Oner the previous week I had been doing maintenance like cleaning battery contacts and rebuilding pumps. I was out fishing with my dad and brother that weekend and we pulled into a cove and started arranging poles and equipment when my brother asked if there should be water in the bottom of the boat. Without looking, I replied there might be some but not to worry about it and I kept getting set up. About 30 seconds later he said it is getting deeper . . . I looked back in horror to see the middle of the boat filling with water!

    Not time to panic yet but this is a critical issue. I quickly went to the back of the boat and opened the gas compartment to see if I forgot to put the plug in, whick I really believed I did and I could not see the plug due to the water. I reached into the water only to find the plug in place . . . :sad: Now it may be time to panic . . .hummmm . . .about then I noticed a current flow in that compartment . . .I reached my hand into the water there and traced to the problem . . .:0a24: What I found is that in my haste to finish working on the boat I did not securely reattach the live well pump. Got the hose back on temporarily and cranked up the motor. Pulled the plug and took off. After a few minutes the water drained and I put the plug back in and was able to get the hose back on securely!

    Next time maybe I will be more careful . . .:crying:
  9. cardfan4life

    cardfan4life Guest

    Slow and steady stays the course.
  10. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    South Carolina
    those wonder rods are a trip you can weld a beer can up with them. i had my old 14 ft tri hull get filled with a big wave at santee once but couldnt get the boat on plane it just stood up guess it was to much water. when i got close to the bank the motor hit bottom cause it was so low in the water from all the water being at the back the boat stopped and the force of the water pushed it on down on the bottom bout 5 ft out. when the wind quit blowing and the 5 ft swells stopped you could see the boat again. pump it out with a bilge to get it floating again the put it on the trailor as far as i could and pulled out to let water run out. then repeated the process till it was all way on the trailer. very scary exp. since got a pontoon the waves just run off it.
  11. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Fort Worth, Tex
    Thats fine anddandy if you have a jon boat and are able to put a plug in from inside, but you can't do that on a bass boat with a 150hp motor on the back, to much weight so a bilge pump is the way to go with a bass boat and then make sure it is working before you get in the water with your boat. I did double check mine and the bilge pump failed while on the water and my alarm never went off to let me know I was taking on water till it was almost to late.
    Check my post "BOC BROTHERS HELPING OTHER BOC BROTHERS in the World members discussion.
    A very intresting 5 star post.

  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    As far as insurance, be sure you have good coverage.
    If you do sink a boatdepending on the body of water and jurisdiction cleanup could be costly along with fines not to mention salvage.
    If you sink a newer model boat in fresh water chances are you wont be getting a new boat. Its cheaper for the insurance company to haul it out and dry the engine then it would be to pay the note off.

    I dont know and I should know the laws regarding salvage rights.
    I know what the law says in saltwater.
    That is if you abandon your sinking vessel, a second party can move in , save the vessel and it is theirs to sell back to you. Most sell backs are based on a percentage of the price of the vessel.

    There are salvage companies that will wait patiently in the wings of a distressed trawler until the last person is lifted from the deck. Then they move in with massive pumps and rigging to save the vessel.

    I completely sunk a bassboat once on lake Gaston. Fortunately it sank tied to the dock at a lake house.
    That was completely a failure of what I trained myself to do which was to always leave my plug in. I got in the habit of pulling the plug after a day of fishing and putting it right back in as my boat was garage kept.
    I left my boat at the lake house for about a month to keep from pulling it back and forth so I pulled the plug and tossed my cover over the boat.
    About 11pm one Friday night after some card playing I decided to dump her in and tie her to the dock so I could jump in and go in the morning.

    Guess where the plug was? Not where I disciplined myself for it to be.
    6am the following morning I'm walking down the dock in the fog and cant find my boat anywhere. My first thought was it came untied or someone untied it and it was floating out in the fog and someone would hit it.
    That is when I followed both dock lines down into the water and tried to lift them. My boat was still tied to them only sitting on the bottom of the lake.

    I was very fortunate, 2 of us managed to swing the somewhat bouyant bow towards the bank and put a 4x4 underneath the back of the boat and were able to raise it enough to flip on the bilge pumps and hold it while it pumped out. I was fishing in about an hour with no damage to anything but a fire extinguisher.

    Something else that will bite you hard is bilge pumps. These package deal boats often have the bare basics installed to keep cost down and the profits up. A 500 gallon GPH bilge pump aint squat against a holed hull.

    I go with 3000 minimum and prefer to split that up into 2 pumps. Its there if I need it and my odds are a whole lot better getting my boat to shallow water where it wont completely sink if you hole it bad enough provided you have the battery capability to run those pumps long enough to get it there.
  13. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    OK, so I am dumb, but isn't the floatation made to keep boats from sinking if they fill with water or is it just so they are easier to get off the bottom?

  14. nosnag

    nosnag New Member

    NCCatter,I've fixed a few boat plug holes in my time by using silicone forced around the flange of the plug tube, and then used a 1/2 " bolt with two 1-1/2 " fender washers.Put the bolt through with a washer on each side and tighten down the nut.That will reflare the tubing and seal it. Remove the bolt and re-install the plug and you will be good to go.