Flow Rate Of Water Through A Hole In A Tank These Sailing Tips Could Save Your Life!

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These Sailing Tips Could Save Your Life!

Learn how to sail like a pro when you know the sailing tips you need to survive at sea. There are few things that strike fear into a sailor like water breaking into a boat. If you don’t find the source of the leak quickly, your small sailboat could capsize and sink like a stone to the seabed. Read on for the steps you should take to keep your sailboat and your crew safe and sound.

It was a long, silent watch as you made your way down – ready to his pit. When all of a sudden, you slip off the back step and plunge into cold ankle-deep water. It flows, but from where?

A typical production vessel has six to eight holes drilled below its waterline, with an average diameter of 1/2″, 1″ or 2″. These “pass-through hulls” accommodate raw water supply to the engine, sink and shower drains, cockpit drains and instruments, impellers.

Each gallon of seawater flowing into your hull adds about 8½ pounds to your displacement. For a real eye opener, multiply this by the flow rate per hour. With enough water or liquid splashing back and forth or left to right, you can tip over.

Large ships have this problem unless they keep full liquid cargo tanks. You need to have a plan of attack before the danger of flooding occurs.

Use the simple step-by-step battle plan described below – the so-called MATE–to prepare your ship and sailing crew to deal with the unexpected…

“M” is for bird’s eye mapping

Make a simple drawing of every through hull in your boat, showing the locations of sea valves, ball valves and exhaust ports. Start forward and work backwards; remove any inspection cover or opening. Look inside the lockers and under the beds and seats. Follow the water lines and hoses from the entrance to the exit.

“A” is for attack preparation

Provide access to every piece of flood control equipment and keep it in good working order. Inform your crew about the location and give mini-demonstrations on how to use it.

Seacock Throwing handle

Check all sea valve equipment monthly. Test common connections such as the head, sink and raw water supply to the engine more often. Move the handle a full 90° from the open to the closed position several times. Light tapping with a hammer usually loosens frozen handles. Disassemble and repack each sea slug during your annual haul.

Mechanical pumps

Install a mechanical pump of the highest possible capacity. With two mechanical pumps in the same bilge, mount the large capacity pump on the shelf above the smaller one. Test all float switches before and after starting.

Manual bilge pumps

Fixed, Mounted Pumps — Sailboats and small open motorboats, install a large capacity manual bilge pump for whales in the cockpit. Choose one with a capacity of 20 or 30 gallons per minute. Before installing, test the handle clearance to make sure it does not interfere with the rudder or sheets. Keep two to three handles on the deck, mounted on the deck and below. Before you take off, show the crew their location.

Portable pumps

Invest in at least two portable pumps with a capacity of 6 to 15 gallons per minute. The rigid body of the pump should be 2-3 feet and the flexible hose should be 4 to 6 feet. Protect the suction side so that the pump does not clog. Use a nylon mesh, double clamped at the end.

Two or more large bins

Keep two buckets on board with strong bails and a line attached. Keep one down and one in the cockpit. Damage control crew under warranty and hand over the filled bucket to the deck crew. The deck crew sends a fresh bucket back down to the damage control crew.

Soft wooden plugs

Tie a wooden plug to the body of each sea rooster with a light line. Be sure the string will break with a good pull. A softer wood, such as teak, swells when wet, creating a better seal around the hole.

Cotton cloths

For holes with uneven edges, you will need filler to block the space around the perimeter of the plug. Place a bag of cotton cloths in a mesh bag in the front and main cabin.

Hammering tool

Place a mallet or mallet in the forward and main cabin. Install it in brackets outside the tool box. Paint the handle in a bright color or a color that glows during the day. Better yet, cut thin strips of reflective tape and stick them on the handle.

Lights and batteries

Have at least half a dozen waterproof flashlights. Keep one flashlight handy with replacement batteries in waterproof pouches. The headband-style lights free your hands and pinpoint the location of the damage. Buy Calume type, “break-‘n-shake” lights at camping stores. They are bright, waterproof and illuminate a small space for several hours.

“T” is for Testing Preparations and Train the Crew

Gather your team and show them your illustration. Explain the actions to be taken and demonstrate how to use the equipment. Do they easily understand your drawing and action plan? If not, revise the plan to make it clear enough for everyone to follow.

“E” is for execute and evaluate

In an emergency, put your plan into action. After that, determine the cause of the problem and come up with ways to improve things. Do you need to shorten preventive maintenance intervals? How did your equipment perform?

Follow these vital sailing tips to keep your small sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound. You’ll gain the confidence and skills needed to stay safe at sea – wherever in the world you choose to cruise.

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