Why Do We Need Foam

A forum for discussing boat or trailer repairs or modifications that you have made or are considering.

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Starscream
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Starscream » Sat May 23, 2020 9:28 am

It turns out that for the X, windshield-washer fluid bottles are the perfect fit for the aft bilges.

They can slide in one after another, but they can't pop out in an "event" because they have to be rotated to get in there. Its just tight enough that they will stay put. 8 lbs of flotation each. I put four in one side, and will track down four more for the other side. That'll more than compensate for the new kicker motor.

Image

The white powdery substance is a mixture of TSP, baking soda and washing soda that kills and prevents mold. The boat is full of it now.

Image

Banner_IV
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Head of the Bay (Chesapeake)

Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Banner_IV » Sat May 23, 2020 11:01 am

I would think that it would not be advisable to add too much buoyancy low in the boat as it would change the center of gravity and make it more likely to turn turtle. The obvious question is how much is too much. Just hillbilly thinking no engineering papers around here.

For mold remediation I use an ozone generator once a year and let it run overnight, just make sure that no one is aboard and air the boat out for several hours after as ozone is damaging to the respiratory system. There are also chemical packs that do the same thing generating a chlorine type gas but I have never used them.
:macx: Shenanigans
Head of the Bay(Chesapeake)

Starscream
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Starscream » Sat May 23, 2020 2:36 pm

I like the hillbilly thinking, it hadn't occured to me.

After reflection, I guess I'm not worried about the turtle problem with full ballast. If that happens, I'll just take my lumps and if that's how I meet my end, so be it.

Positive flotation means that if I come to the marina after a leak runs my bilge pump batteries down, I'll be coming to a semi-floating boat, not a mast sticking up a few feet above the dock. Will be a bit easier to recover. Maybe. Positive flotation also means I might have a bit more time to abandon ship in an emergency. It also means that I might have a place to stand while waiting rescue, or maybe I'll just have a turtled hull to float nearby to help someone spot me.

I'm not going to overthink it. I'll have more flotation in there than when I started taking the moldy foam out, and I'll accept the risks and consequences.

I use those Starbrite Cl-O2 boat bombs as primary mold control, too. Secondary mold control is that mix I mentioned, which is based on the formula of Concrobium Anti-Mold spray. I think the boat is as mold-free this year as it ever has been, with a combination of those two things, active ventilation, and regular cleaning.

https://www.amazon.ca/Star-Brite-89970- ... 542&sr=8-3

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Russ
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Russ » Sat May 23, 2020 2:58 pm

I've never owned a boat that I didn't believe would sink if I holed it.

Honestly, I do not sail my Mac with the belief that if it filled with water, I would be standing on the deck waiting for help to arrive like the factory marketing photo. I expect to be clinging to some part of the hull as the boat dances up and down under the waves. I don't see the harm in adding more floatation as I don't expect the boat to remain perfectly upright anyway.

I've also thought about how would I put a hole in my boat. Hit a rock? Then I'd probably be close to shore and could swim up to the offending rock. Hit another boat? Maybe.
I doubt I would sink my boat all alone far from shore.

The ONLY 2 cases of Macs swamping that I've ever heard of were:

Drunk idiot, sans ballast, overloaded and throttle happy.
Severely overloaded Mac.

PFDs would be where I place my security, not floatation. But hey, that space back there is wasted anyway.
--Russ

Starscream
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Starscream » Sat May 23, 2020 3:59 pm

There is a capsize report for a 26X on this site. The title was "capsized my 26X" and it was by a user named Fran Trapp. The boat turned turtle but didn't sink. I guess that this is a more realistic outcome for any uncontrollable leak. In this case it was portholes left open and healed below the water line.

https://macgregorsailors.com/forum/view ... hilit=Sunk

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Jimmyt
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Jimmyt » Sat May 23, 2020 6:50 pm

Starscream wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:59 pm
There is a capsize report for a 26X on this site. The title was "capsized my 26X" and it was by a user named Fran Trapp. The boat turned turtle but didn't sink. I guess that this is a more realistic outcome for any uncontrollable leak. In this case it was portholes left open and healed below the water line.

https://macgregorsailors.com/forum/view ... hilit=Sunk
Thanks for bumping that old thread. Interesting read. My take-away is, check your boat thoroughly before setting out. I'm glad Fran was OK. They learned a valuable lesson without having a real catastrophe.

A non-sinking boat does make the recovery process easier. Plus, as you point out, it gives you something to hang on to while waiting for rescue.
Jimmyt
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26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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Jimmyt
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Jimmyt » Sat May 23, 2020 7:01 pm

Russ wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:58 pm
I've never owned a boat that I didn't believe would sink if I holed it.

Honestly, I do not sail my Mac with the belief that if it filled with water, I would be standing on the deck waiting for help to arrive like the factory marketing photo. I expect to be clinging to some part of the hull as the boat dances up and down under the waves. I don't see the harm in adding more floatation as I don't expect the boat to remain perfectly upright anyway.

I've also thought about how would I put a hole in my boat. Hit a rock? Then I'd probably be close to shore and could swim up to the offending rock. Hit another boat? Maybe.
I doubt I would sink my boat all alone far from shore.
I've owned several small skiffs that had flotation, and a small sailboat with flotation. I guess basically, I'm a sissy.

Yep, I believe I'll be clinging to some part of a semi-submerged vessel if the excrement hits the air moving machinery. But I prefer that over bobbing around with me and my pfd.

Where I sail, there are logs, sunken barges, piling, etc. - all available for putting holes in hulls. The ability to plane at 15+knots increases the likelihood of holing the hull exponentially over cruising along at 2-7 knots...
Jimmyt
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26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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Russ
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Russ » Sat May 23, 2020 7:05 pm

Starscream wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:59 pm
There is a capsize report for a 26X on this site. The title was "capsized my 26X" and it was by a user named Fran Trapp. The boat turned turtle but didn't sink. I guess that this is a more realistic outcome for any uncontrollable leak. In this case it was portholes left open and healed below the water line.

https://macgregorsailors.com/forum/view ... hilit=Sunk
Good read. But it also was a deviation from the original Mac design by adding an opening porthole. I'm so impressed at the Mac design for safety. Thousands of these boats out there and the vast majority, even when commanded by inexperienced captains, have an amazing safety record. Plus, they don't sink. My boat sits heavy, big Suzi 70, lots of gear, it sits low. I don't depend on the floatation to keep my boat afloat. I'll try to stay away from rocks and other boats. Maybe I'll add some more foam under the aft berth where she sits heavy. After I spray for spiders.
--Russ

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Jimmyt
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Jimmyt » Sun May 24, 2020 4:34 am

Russ wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 7:05 pm
Good read. But it also was a deviation from the original Mac design by adding an opening porthole. I'm so impressed at the Mac design for safety. Thousands of these boats out there and the vast majority, even when commanded by inexperienced captains, have an amazing safety record. Plus, they don't sink. My boat sits heavy, big Suzi 70, lots of gear, it sits low. I don't depend on the floatation to keep my boat afloat. I'll try to stay away from rocks and other boats. Maybe I'll add some more foam under the aft berth where she sits heavy. After I spray for spiders.
It was a deviation. Also, she wasn't sure that the bilge didn't have water in it when she set out; or that the ballast tank was actually full.

Agree, the safety record is amazing given the fact that there are a lot of inexperienced boaters who bought (and continue to buy) them.

I hate spiders. :?
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

Starscream
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Re: Why Do We Need Foam

Post by Starscream » Sun May 24, 2020 7:16 am

You have to really read between the lines and make your own I formed conclusions with these accident reports.

My interpretation if what happened to Fran is this:
1) she mentioned that the boat had been used recently for waterskiing. That means that at that point the ballast was empty
2) the ballast was never refilled after the waterskiing event (I've made this exact mistake)
3)the open porthole let a lot of rain in before the capsize event, partially filling the bilges (remember they had no bilge pump)

The fact that everyone was clamoring to know if the ballast was filled but Fran never answered the question reinforces my opinion that it was empty. It was too obvious a thing to check and report on, but she never did. I suspect that legal concerns made it hard for Fran to report completely, although she was very honest. She admits to not checking the ballast or portholes before leaving the dock that day.

So IMO they left the dock with no ballast, full bilges, and an open porthole waiting to be submerged below the waterline. The first time the porthole submerged, it let in enough water to destabilize the boat and when it got pushed over on the other tack there was no saving it. The full bilges may have contributed to the feeling that the ballast was full when they were boarding, by weighting down the boat to some extent and making it act more stable at the dock.

Oh, and did anyone else notice MadMike's comment that he once had the cockpit of his X filled so that half the steering wheel was submerged, passing through a rage cut in the Bahamas?

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