Water Intrusion and watertight bulkheads


Mohammad Shirloo
 

I recently finished reading the book 66 days Adrift, where a boat was "attacked" by a large pod of pilot whales 1000 miles into the passage between panama and Hawaii and the boat was lost due to water intrusion in the main salon area, in a matter of minutes. I have always thought about the survivability and resilience of our Amels in different scenarios. I have the following questions and hoping the answers are within our group.

  1. Will there be sufficient buoyancy to stay afloat, if there is a large breach in the salon area and the forward and aft bulkhead doors are secured?
  2. Are the forward and aft bulkhead areas watertight only to a certain height about the cabin floor, or could the entire volume be flooded without water intruding into the engine compartment or the salon area. This would be important if there is a large breach at the cabin top, thus allowing the volume to be filled by waves or the boat is inverted.
  3. I have thought about and there has been some discussion about carrying an auxiliary pump, in order to buy some time, in case of a major leak, so that a temporary repair can be implemented. The following chart shows the amount of water flow by hole size and depth of hole. As you can see, at even 2 feet below the water line, a 1.5 inch hole is sufficient to overcome any pumps that we have been discussing in the group. Has anyone come up with a viable design of an engine mounted/operated trash type pump design, or maybe a larger electric pump that could utilize the fullĀ  output of the generator (11KW) to allow for significantly more pumping capacity.

    Boat Flooding Rates in Gallons per Minute

    Depth of Hole Below Waterline

    Diameter of Opening or Hole

    1 in

    1.5 in

    2 in

    2.5 in

    3 in

    3.5 in

    4 in

    1 ft

    19.4

    43.8

    77.9

    121.7

    175.3

    238.6

    311.6

    2 ft

    27.8

    62.5

    111.1

    173.6

    250.0

    340.2

    444.4

    3 ft

    33.9

    76.3

    135.7

    212.0

    305.3

    415.6

    542.8

    4 ft

    39.3

    88.4

    157.1

    245.3

    353.5

    481.2

    628.4


Any and all other thought sand plans to add to our tool bag to help in similar situations, would be appreciated.

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