Question on previous sinking boat thread

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by jsharper, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    I thought that the Coast Guard floation was to keep a boat from sinking if it filled with water. Something I have never had the pleasure of experiencing first hand although I did once unload one with the plug out. I ran it back on te trailer in a hurry. Amazing how much water can come through that small hole. What I was wondering is what are the floatation requeirments, from the previous post, it is obvious that the boat will still sink. Why have it if it won't keep the boat floating?

    Jim
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The only requirements by the coastguard are their requirements IF you put the coastguard approved plate on the vessel.
    If you fly their plate I believe the rule is that some portion of the boat has to be able to remain afloat for a minimum of 16 hours.

    I have a cousin that bought a used bass boat about 20 years ago and having never owned a boat of that magnitude before started out using it in one of the farm ponds we have. All went well on several trips until he told his fishing buddy to put the plug in. He put the plug in but he plugged the wrong hole.
    While they were fishing the water got above the sole and my cousin saw it and instantly knew what happened and lunged off the front deck to power it to shore. When his weight hit the sole the 17 foot boat instantly went under in 20 feet of water. It was amazing how fast this boat sank.
    Come to find out there wasnt the first piece of foam installed and the boat company was told to come get the boat, foam it, and pay for the repairs to the motor and electrical systems. Actually they jumped to do it without being forced to.

    For my bass boat sinking. My boat was foamed but obviously not with near enough foam. I do have to give them a little credit. What little foam they sprayed under the front deck sealed the two piece hull thus trapping air in the bow. The stern went down first and about 3 inches of the bow was above water. I have no question that if the lake bottom hadnt been there to catch the skeg of the motor the entire boat would have gone down quickly once the stern made its dip air or not. That small of an air pocket wouldnt have withstood the weight of the boat and motor.

    Boats can be foamed to self right in the event of capsizing. Alot of boat companies dont do it. It takes time and additional materials. We've all seen the ads for the adverised unsinkable boats and the accompanying pictures of people standing in sections of a boat that has been cut into pieces.
    That is enough foam but that hull will still swamp and if turned over wont self right. When hulls fill with water you are at the mercy of the water. A small wave can capsize it leaving its occupants scrambling to clamber up onto the bottom of the boat if they have life preservers and can swim.

    I like the self bailing boats with plenty of bilge pump horsepower mounted in a sump at the stern. If you did take on enough water from a wave that it rendered your scuppers useless you can quickly pump to catch it up by either using one way check valves on the scuppers or by manually plugging the scuppers. Self bailing boats have become popular particularly in the saltwater enviroment. And the best part. There is no plug to worry about anymore.

    Flotation is important but just as important is the idea to keep the boat in an upright attitude. The occupants are better off in the boat then swimming around the boat trying to get on it with the risk of losing touch with the one thing that can save them in something of some size that is still floating.
    Its hard to run down a drifting boat in a life preserver in adverse conditions.
     

  3. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    This is good info Mark, glad to see someone has done their homework on this issue.
    I do plan on selling my bass boat as soon as all the repairs are done and I will be getting a much wanted pontoon boat, the wife has been after me about selling mine and buying a good used pontoon boat for a while but money wasn't available to purchase one.
    Thanks again for the good info.:)

    AL
     
  4. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    Thank you Mark, you're posts on this forum have helped me alot.

    Jim
     
  5. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    pontoons are not foolproof. iwatched one flip over one day from to much speed heading in the wind . so please be careful .