DS1 flotation tanks - yet another question

For issues common to different models of DaySailer.
Except Rigging and Sails.

Moderator: GreenLake

DS1 flotation tanks - yet another question

Postby Steve B » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:22 pm

First, let me quickly say thank you to all of the participants on these forums. I've recently acquired a DS1 in need of some repairs and have been reading many, many of your posts and have learned a great deal. This is truly a fantasitic resource and hopefully I can add to it someday.

Now....on to my question: When I picked up my boat, it had over a foot of water in it and the plugs were out of the keelson and seat tanks. Obviously, water filled the bow tank and seat tanks.

After pumping, vacuuming and draining every which way, I was still of the opinion that there was water in there. So (following the tips of others), I cut a hole for an inspection port in each tank and began pulling the styrofoam out. The majority of the blocke were extremely saturated so that was definitely time well spent.

The boat is now completely dry and I'm wondering why everyone (including the manufacturer) feels it is necessary to fill those tanks with foam. If the plugs are inserted tightly - how does water get in? Especially the seat tanks - they are glassed to the inner hull and I see no cracks. There must be an inherent leak or the manufacturer wouldn't have added foam and drain plugs in the first place.

Can anyone shed any light on where the water comes in? Is it possible to stop the leak instead of re-stuffing the tanks with foam?

If anyone can shed any light on this, I'd be very interested.

(and by the way - can those saturated old foam blocks be dried out in the sun or are they simply trash now?).

Thanks all.
-Steve
1970 DS1 #4448
"Medium Rare"
Steve B
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:58 pm
Location: Batavia, NY

Postby jpclowes » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:10 am

Steve
It is absolutely necessary for you to fill those seats with foam. If for no other reason than to keep the boat class legal for racing. The class rules say that the foam may be removed, as long as it is replaced with something similar.

Also, there is a safety factor. What if in the process of a capsize you accidentally pop one of the plugs out of the tank. What if there is a small crack in the tank that you fail to notice. The DS is not a easy boat to capsize, but because of that it is also not an easy boat to right after a capsize. Potentially your boat could be upside down for a fairly long period of time. 15-20 minutes is probably the minimum time you are likely to be upside down. Do you trust your plugs to stay in for that long?

I filled my tanks with pool noodles. It has been a few years, but I think it took about 10-15 in each tank. You can get pool noodles for about a dollar a piece if you look in the right places (I got mine at a dollar general store for about a buck a peice.) It was worth the $30 or so to have piece of mind that there was something more than just air holding up the boat.
J .P. Clowes
Eastern Great Lakes Regional V.P.
DSI 1868
jpclowes
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio

foam

Postby kokko » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:19 am

I second jpclowes's advice. I too pulled all the old foam out and filled it with swim noodles. You can use any foam, as long as it is closed cell.
You cannot reuse the old foam. You probably won't love long enough to dry it out, and once saturated, the styrofoam beads have collapsed so it has greater density and less bouyancy.

If you dig around on this site you will find options other than swim noodles. Someone collected 1 L soda bottles.
DS1 Truelove
kokko
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Postby navahoIII » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:53 am

We had our circa 1962 DSI tested by Cape Cod Shipbuilding, in Wareham, Ma for flotation integrity.

They found all three tanks leaky and repaired them, but they strongly recommended leaving them free of foam, saying that only (sealed) air was necessary for flotation. I went along with it but until now was not aware that it would make the boat ineligble to race. Is that a fact?

If so, I am a bit suprised since CCS is now the licensed maker of the Daysailer...but give them a call if you want yours repaired and they are in reach. It is a great, long established company.
navahoIII
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:43 am

foam

Postby kokko » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:03 am

CCS is correct - foam flotation is not necessary IF THE TANKS DON'T LEAK. That's a big if. My boat, Truelove, is 40 years old, and I feel a lot more secure having positive foam flotation. Since I had already install the inspection ports to get the sodden foam out and dry out the tanks, it was only a little more work and cost to add the swim noodles. I think I add about 15-17 cubic fet of swim noodles. FYI- the swim noodles are aabout 1/4 cubic feet per. At the end of the season, you can find them for less than a buck each.

When I haul out this fall, I plan to add some foam flotation under the gunwales.
DS1 Truelove
kokko
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Postby Bob Damon » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:38 am

Regarding racing, Bylaw 3, 5.13 indicates that if flotation was provided it can be removed but must be replaced with an equal amount of flotation. While only air tanks may keep the boat afloat and from a technical standpoint are not necessary, our rules provide that if flotation is provided with the boat, it is to be continued to be used on the boat. From a safety standpoint, foam is better especially if while sailing the hull is punctured. Let me know of any questions. Thanks
Bob Damon
Class Measurer
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 1:40 pm
Location: Wicomico Church, VA

Foam flotation and air tanks.

Postby persephone » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:27 pm

I did a major service this winter. Part of the service was to asses the flotation situation.
I tested the integrity of the seat tanks with pressurized air. The air escaped as quick as I could put it in. So unless you have your seats professionally repaired and sealed don't count on the air inside keeping the boat afloat for long.
I added foam blocks to both bow tanks. I bought large billets and cut them into smaller blocks custom cut to fill nearly all the space in each tank. Then cut large blocks that are placed under the rear deck (behind the seats).
I bought 3 cases of pool noodles (72 total) at a pool supply store. I went right to the manager and said" I need to buy 3 cases of these, what can you do for me with the price?" I got them for quite a bit less then the marked price. I forget what I paid though.
Each seat took 27 noodles. These were the 2.5" od, hollow center type. I jammed and stuffed them in. An added benefit is the seats are much stiffer now. Then I cut up and stuffed 6 more in the space between the seat and the gunn'l (per side).
With the foam billets alone I have added approximately 800 pounds of buoyancy. I have no estimates on the buoyancy added with the noodles. But I have more than enough flotation to keep the entire boat and at least one crew member afloat indefinitely.
Geoff Plante, former DS1 owner
1950(ish) vintage National One Design.
persephone
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Merrimack Valley, MA

Postby navahoIII » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:24 pm

Gee, persephone, plan on capsizing much?! :wink:

As for having the tanks sealed by professionals, CCS is as professional as they come.
navahoIII
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:43 am

Postby persephone » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:05 pm

Gee, persephone, plan on capsizing much?!


LoL,

Actually no. But if it happens I don't want to watch her go to the bottom. The only boat I've sailed and can't seem to avoid capsizing is the sunfish types. Something about that lateen rig that messes me up every time I jibe.
Geoff Plante, former DS1 owner
1950(ish) vintage National One Design.
persephone
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Merrimack Valley, MA

Postby Steve B » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:12 pm

OK, you've all convinced me. Even though the seat tanks seem to hold air on the trailer in my garage, you're right - that's not when I'll need it.

I've had my share of unexpected boating-related problems, so I don't hold much hope that a capsize would go without some surprises. A leak in one or more of the tanks would would be a likely candidate, I suppose.

I'll add pool noodles to my shopping list. Thanks for the insights & opinions.

Now I'm off to drill out the 3 broken centerboard lever bolts and hopefully tap them for new ones. Wish me luck.
-Steve
1970 DS1 #4448
"Medium Rare"
Steve B
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:58 pm
Location: Batavia, NY

Postby perlSailer » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:12 pm

I join you Steve and add that I too am convinced that I need to replace my old foam with new noodles.

How large are the inspection ports you are adding to the bow and seat tanks? I am guessing the typical 5.5 inch inspection port. Also where on the seat tank is the best location for the port?

One more question: how are you plugging the drain holes for the tanks? When I bought my '65 boat several years ago, the drain holes had nothing plugging them. It appears there should be some sort of bushing or collar to provide a plug something on which to seal. Can someone recommend a good parts supplier?

Thanks.
perlSailer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:56 am

flotation

Postby kokko » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:18 pm

I bought replacement drain plugs at my local hardware, but any boat supply would have them as well. They are a standard item.

I think I used the smaller 6" ports for the seats, mounted facing the bow, and an 8" on the bow flotation tank.

Cut the hole for the inspection ports, pack in the swim noodles, then mount the ports - it's easier getting the old foam out and the new foam in with the slightly larger holes. You lose about 1/2" diameter when you mount the ports.

A sharp hook an a 4-5' pole helps pull out the old foam.
DS1 Truelove
kokko
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Flotation

Postby Imgaryo1 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:38 pm

I see everyone is talking about using foam and swim noodles for flotation but another option that is much lighter and will not absorb water are flotation bags. If you have already cut the access port, you insert the bags then inflate them. A triangular Kayak float bag works well in the forepeak. I also recommend a float bag mounted to the hull at the transom.

A separate note about flotation., You CAN have too much. If you have too much flotation and you capsize, chances are that you will turtle the boat because the hull floats higher than it should and drives the mast down. Then you have a real problem. So the question is...how much flotation is right? Simple test. Capsize your boat. If you have the right flotation, the boat will float along the center line and the mast will be level with the surface of the water. Too little and the hull sinks down. Too much and you drive the mast down.
Imgaryo1
President
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 11:34 am
Location: Richmond, VA

flotation

Postby kokko » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:53 am

I have mixed feelings about the suggestion of kayak float bags. Ulimately you want reliable, positive flotation and the cheapest price - dollars per cubic foot of flotation. The float bags are prety pricy, and the listings I viewed do not provide the volume of the float bags. I think you need about 20-25 cubic feet to fill the three flotation tanks.
How may float bags would that require? Since float bags could puncture, they would have to be inspected.
Swim noodles are just a cheap source of closed cell foam, and in a shape that is easy to use. Once packed in, the require only occasional inspection is needed - they would not puncture.
I disagree with the assertion that you can have "too much flotation", although the author does have a point. The DS has three existing flotation tanks - the bow and two cockpit seats - that provide positive flotation. The only reason foam or float bags or soda bottles are added to the existing float tanks is in the case of a hull breach. If you have a hole in the tank, they are useless when they fill with water. The foam (or other things) are added just in case of a breach.
Whre I would agree with the author is the the placement of any positive flotation makes a difference in the righting ability of the boat.
The existing float tanks are all low on the water line. If you were to be swamped, tehre is a chance that the boat would turtle as the tanks (with or without foam) rise to the highest point.
It would be a good idea to add positive flotation to places above the waterline - in the forward cuddys, and under the gunwales. Here I think flotaion bags woudl have an advantage. The bags could be secured, and could be easily inspected.
On a related issue, I have read that the mast is filled with foam to provide addition positive flotation during a capsize. I have no idea if true or not. It would be easy to check - throw the mast in the water. If filled with foam, and if the foam is not waterlogged, the mast will float.
DS1 Truelove
kokko
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

flotation, and improving self rescue

Postby dtrop01 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:16 pm

IIRC, a couple years ago, Chuck Wilson in the Bay Area obtained a closed cell foam mat/core material (doesn't absorb water), which he then glassed into the underside of his cuddy. The net effect was that with the floatation higher in the boat, the boat became more self rescuing, evidenced I believe in a capsize at either huntington lake in CA, or at Fernridge in OR (can't remember which). But he was sold on the idea and proved it work. I don't know if Chuck is on this forum, but Steve Lowrey might be able to confirm and provide more detail on what Chuck did.

It might be worth looking at.
dtrop01
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Utah

Next

Return to Repair and Improvement

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron