Author Topic: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?  (Read 2974 times)

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Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« on: April 08, 2014, 09:08:55 AM »
James_parsons
Username: James_parsons

Registered: 04-2009
   
Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 05:22 pm:      
On previous boats I've always been able to make a visual check of the bilge, to check for early signs of leaks etc. There does not seem to be a way of doing this on a Winkle Brig. Has anyone got any ideas?
Also, the Winkle Brig is reputed to be unsinkable due to the inbuilt foam buoyancy. Has anyone tried this out, or seen any test results? Where is the faom? If it really is unsinkable that will affect my decision on how far off shore I am comfortable and what flotation/inflatable I carry. With the great weather we're having I can't wait to get out there and do some sailing!

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 09:09:13 AM »
David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 11:23 pm:      
Hi James,
And welcome to our band of happy WB owners.
Any water that gets into the bilges flows to the back of the keel, where the hose to the bilge pump is situated. So if any water does get in, a quick pump will detect it. Ever since I fixed my major leaks around the bilge plate housings, I have not had a single drop of water come out of the bilges (about 15 years). As for buoyancy, there is a very big block of polystyrene foam under the cockpit floor (you can see it if you pull out the porta-potti and look back under the companionway) and the whole area under the V berth and the side berths is packed with blocks of expanded foam and additional expanding foam has been poured through the plywood forming the the V berth. Is it unsinkable, I have not heard of anyone putting it to the test, but I know that when we had our major leak (over 100 pumps to get most of the water out), Markie did not sit much lower in the water.

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 09:09:29 AM »

James_parsons
Username: James_parsons

Registered: 04-2009
   
Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 09:14 pm:      
Thanks David. That's really helpful - and reassuring! I just love this boat more each day!

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 09:11:37 AM »
David_bone
Username: David_bone

Registered: 07-2012
   
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 08:43 pm:      
Following a working life at sea onboard often elderly, sometimes leaking ships, I really like to access bilge suctions.
I live up a road with very steep hills and three years ago, after a friend's Winkle Brig visited, when he returned to sea level and opened his cabin, he found it awash with dirty water. Investigating, he found the end of the bilge suction pipe had displaced back up the otherside, so was not drawing and the water had probably accumulated in the bilge over a long period, invading the cabin by pitching on our road.
Consequently, I fitted an 8 inch Henderson watertight hatch at the after end of my cockpit, under the grating and a further 4 inch weathertight hatch in the deck directly below. I now have good access to the bilge well, which also liberated a good quantity of nuts, a rowlock and various other pieces of miscellaneous metal and rope.
In the bilge well, appeared the open end of a 1/2 inch garden hose, leading forward through the keel ballast to places unknown.
This year, I made a cutout (400 x 125mm) in the centre of the cabin sole, looking for a place to install a little extra lead ballast.
Under the cutout was about 30mm of waterlogged foam and the blocked end of the garden hose. After clearing the hose end, water continued to seep from the foam lining for about a week.
The foam under the cutout has now been replaced with 10kg of lead, with channels moulded in the underside, leading to the drain hose inlet.
Incidentally, water ingress had come from the portholes, which I had not fitted well enough when refurbishing the bulwarks and had tracked down between the inner and outer hull skins.
This led me to separating the bulwarks from the portholes by cutting the bulwarks round the portholes and equipping the latter with their own ply backing plates. I think Roger Parish did the same, as probably have many others. It should make a better watertight seal and allow either bulwarks or portholes to be removed independently with ease.
For interest, attached should be a photograph of the bilge well.

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 09:12:02 AM »
John_key
Username: John_key

Registered: 04-2013
   
Posted on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 09:49 pm:      
When I was looking for a Winkle Brig Dayboat, I found two that were for sale. Each one had a quite feeble ringbolt ((6mm I think it was) to fasten the bobstay to the stem, just above the waterline. On both boats the ringbolts had bent, enlarged the hole in the stem and, I thought, must have caused leakage into the bow area. I removed the wooden slats across the across the foreword part of the boat to gain access to the area between the foreword buoyancy tank and foredeck. I could then just squeeze into the space above the buoyancy tank to cut a hole, about 12 inch diameter with a jig saw. Some of the foam buoyancy in the tank had to be cut out in order to gain access to the ringbolt for the bobstay, but not before I had pumped out about three gallons of water. There was a piece of wood in the stem about a foot long and about 2 inches square, shaped to fit the inside of the stem, and drilled to accommodate the shank of the eye bolt. The wood was split and the nut at the back of the wood was loose, hence all the water on top of the foam.
To repair the damage, I fashioned a new piece of hardwood to fit behind the stem and glued this in with epoxy. I bought a 6mm U bolt to replace the bendy eyebolt. I drilled another hole in the stem, above the original one, to fit the U bolt. I then used a flat strip of stainless steel abut 120mm by 30mm by 3mm as a backing plate to tighten the nuts of the U bolt against. I coated the mating surface of the stainless steel strip with a generous coating of Sikkaflex and put the nuts on the threaded part of the U bolt….but not too tight. Next day I tightened the up the nuts.
The 12 inch circular hole in the top of the buoyancy tank was covered by a removable circular hatch bolted to the top of the tank, thus enabling me to keep an eye on the inside of the tank. A warning though. I weigh 11 stone, I wouldn't advise you to try this repair if you weigh much more than this, or you might get into the space between the tank top and the foredeck and never be able to get out again….I only just made it.

Tim Churchill

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 09:07:12 PM »
Hi John

I have the same problem on a WB day boat.  I had come to a similar conclusion about water ingress, but have not got any further yet.  Thanks for posting the information.

regards

Tim

Rick

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Re: Access to bilge/Checking foam bouyancy?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 09:22:54 PM »
I had the same problem on Minim years ago - winching her back onto the trailer had strained the eye bolt allowing leakage, so I also replaced it with a U-bolt. No problems after that.