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ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
Waterlogged - I have the plan!
|Author||Topic: Waterlogged - I have the plan!|
posted 08-01-2002 03:00 PM ET (US)
My immediate solution for my wet 25 is a couple of large shop vacs sealed against the holes where the tube should have been in my case... upper hole sealed with duck tape. It's been running for a day now and maybe I have got a cup of water per tube each time I look inside the shopvac. It's appears to be working and is cheap.
This fall I'm going to overdrill from the deck using a 4 inch cutter/bit just to the inside of the hull and glass in the all tubes (yes all eight tubes). I will use pumps in the two fishwells as needed and remove these hard to deal with danger areas.
At the fishwell tubes and at other select locations I am going to leave my cored holes open to the top.. essentually I should be looking at the inside of the hull leaving the foam pocket accessable from the deck using 2 or 4 inch diameter schedule 40 PVC well sleeves with the lower portion (the below deck part) slotted (I'm using groundwater well material) and epoxy these in place at the deck. To seal the beasts when using the boat I will use standard groundwater well caps. These will be slightly above deck and tappered to help prevent washdown and rain water from running over the top and against the seals. Other than a little trip hazard these should be very attractive (the caps come in many colors... yellow, blue, and white) and provide a good seal and are very easy to use. They even lock if your want.
When the boat is at the dock or trailer, I will simply open the seals and turn on my little shop vac with a little rubber seal attachment and sucking away at the foam 24/7 x maybe 200 days a year.
Each time we use the boat... remove the shopvac, put on the cap and party on Wayne.
For all you snowbirds... tell you wife you need to dry out the boat and head to Arizona and add natural heat! I'm sure we can all get together and buy a trailer park and have a section far enough aways so we don't hear all the shopvacs.
The new thru-hull have plugs that seal them as needed. They are big and easy to use and seal at the bottom of the tube to provide a smooth bottom. The whole thing sticks down only a 1/4 inch on the outside.
So I will have the first long term dry-vac 25'Outrage. How many holes and where. Any suggestions? What I need is a piece of soggy BW to figure out the radius of influence of the vacuum to determine the number of air-in and air-out ports.
Have I mentioned that I install horizontal wells at many gasoline spill sites..... why not really add some surface area and run three tubes the length of the boat against the hull through the foam and vac the entire boat from one deck plate! Center tube is air in... even hot air... add a little electric heater... outside tubes are airout. If you are worried about having holes in your deck.... run the openings up side and exit on the rail. Piece of cake.
Having a wet sloppy hull is one thing... doing nothing about it is another! If it took 10 years to get the hull wet... why not spend a year and get it dry... And after it's dry and you think you have sealed all the holes... you can re-inject foam into your access ports... after all it's only foam.
In testing the centrifuge idea using a string and a beer bottle I gave myself a fat lip... bad idea.
posted 08-01-2002 06:38 PM ET (US)
My engineering department at work just put my foot where my mouth was, modified my ideas, and dropped off a cool vacuum pump fitted with a collection tank, vacuum and flow gauges along with two modified screw type Beckson 4" diameter plates fitted with appropriate fittings and a 4 1/2 inch core cutter and a little heater unit. These guys don't get to excited about a little wet foam. The discussion if air flow will be possible is raging, and if so, will it be measurable? At these pressures they are not worried about cell structure collapse. My idea of a large shopvac was fine... but this pump is designed for almost zero flow and will be use less power and less than 70 decibels (the things engineer's worry about are so silly). Just move some water near the wet spot and let the rest wick itself out! The theory of capillary forces aside... it should work is I can create a pressure gradient large enough to overcome some of the forces that could lead to a large hysteresis effect.
Based on the density of expanding foam that you can buy in a can at home depot they suggest applying between 15-20 inches of pressure (approx one atmosphere). This is less than the almost 30 inches applied as per the CSW. I'll install then in the forward fishwell (an nice flat area to work) and see what happens. If I get considerable flow they suggest hooking pumping the heater to the second port inject warm dry air (it cycles through a dehumifier cell)... about 100F. The whole setup fits inside a milk crate.
I'm going to give it the 24/2 hour rule and see what happens (24 hours and 2 scotches) and then cut.
I'll set up the "pool" later... my bet is the harbor with drain as I suck in the ocean.
posted 08-01-2002 09:08 PM ET (US)
All this talk of waterlogged is making me sick. I recently bought an 86 Montauk, thinking Boston Whaler was the only way to go,now after reading all these posts I;m not so sure. Now I will always wonder how much water my boat may have retained over the years and will accumale in the future. would i have had this worry will other boats? I had planned on restoring my boat to perfection, now i don't think i will bother. Some of you have expert knowledge in fixing any problem, but i feel helpless. The satisfaction I had thinking I was buying the best is slowly fading the more I read about this problem....
|Tom W Clark||
posted 08-01-2002 10:15 PM ET (US)
I'm going to take this a bit backwards and address bocadrew first.
You do have the best, period (well, at least in my opinion). Of all the Whalers, the Montauk is arguably the very best all around boat they ever built and a 1986 model would be the crème de la crème of those! You should be very happy.
Now is your particular boat waterlogged? If so why do you think so? Chances are it isn't but there may well be some water in there. Pulling a transducer off the transom and seeing a bit of water drip out the screw holes is not at all unusual, certainly nothing to get upset about.
If there is some water in your hull it is not the end of the world. Contrary to what has been reported here on the FORUM, soggy foam is just as strong and firm as dry foam. It just weighs a lot.
Quantifying the amount of water in a hull is difficult. The larger the hull the harder it is to determine. In the case of CSW the hull weight when new was pretty much known as was the weight when I got it because I weighed it on a scale. It was free of motor and accessories so that made it much easier to get a measurement.
If you have any real concern about your own boat you can get an idea of whether you have a real problem by weighing your hull. You need to find a certified scale and weigh the trailer with and without the boat on it. The more stuff you can remove from the boat the more accurate you result will be. If you are really ambitious, remove the motor as well.
I do not think you will be able to tell if your hull has a few gallons of water in it but you sure as hell can tell if it is waterlogged.
You're going through all the thoughts that crossed my mind with CSW. Your description of your plan made me visualize a lot of gas station clean up sites around Seattle I have seen in the last decade. It's interesting to see you're in that line of work.
I tried to get water out of CSW. The vacuum pump proved to be less than satisfying. After the initial pull the yield of water dropped off sharply. The foam holds the water incredibly well. This is the crux of the problem.
The closed cell foam in Whalers does not absorb water easily, nor does it let it go. I still have the original foam core I cut out of CSW that I dried out. It started out weighing 14.5 oz and after cooking it in my toaster oven for a while it eventually got down to 1.1 oz. That same core sample has been immersed under water for several months and is only back up to 3 oz.
While I think a vacuum is a good idea for a localized spot like around an drain tube, I do no think it will dry a whole hull.
The foam is closed cell and you cannot get air to pass through it in any significant volume. Hot air around the surface of a volume of foam will help as it did in my toaster oven but how do you do this with a foam hull that has a fiberglass skin on all sides? A few (or several ) holes are not going to be enough.
I have a sample of wet from that I cut from CSW that measures 11.5” x 7” x 3.25’ or 261 cubic inches. If it were dry foam I would expect it to weigh 8.42 oz. but in fact it weighs about 4 pounds. And this is after it has sat in my house warm and dry for three months completely exposed to air on all six sides.
If you want a chunk of CSW for your own experiments I will be happy to send you one. Contact me via email at email@example.com
I had lunch with Bruce Montgomery, the owner if the beautiful Nauset on Cetacea page 53, who happens to run a pharmaceutical company here in Seattle called Corus Pharnma. Bruce is an extremely bright and innovative guy and we were discussing CSW and how to dry out foam.
Bruce's immediate thought was use low pressure to boil the water out of the foam. He suggested getting an old shipping container and sealing it and putting a vacuum pump on it to get the pressure down to where the water would boil out.
But when you stop to think what that would really take you realize it’s much easier to imagine than to do. How big a pump would it take to suck a shipping container down to whatever pressure water would boil at what, 70 degrees? How much vacuum pressure can a container withstand? How much does it all cost?
It seems like a business could be built on a system for extracting water from wet Whaler hulls, but how?
I am still intrigued by the use of calcium chloride as DIVE 1 has talked about. But is it really suitable for such a large scale undertaking?
|The Chesapeake Explorer||
posted 08-02-2002 08:14 AM ET (US)
See my post of 7-27-2002 about using a vaccum pump to extract water. I doubt you could pull a 28 inch vaccum but 5-15 inches will pull it out fine with the residual wicking out as you state. I have been told that good quality expanding foam is made for the aircraft industry, you mix it up pour it into a void (or inject and it cures and expands. It is used in wing structures for strenght. You have to calulate the volume of the void for the amount of mix. I have not explored where you can buy this foam as I did not need it and it would be intresting if any one knows about it.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 08-02-2002 01:04 PM ET (US)
The Chesapeake Explorer,
I had a vacuum pump on CSW and was able to pull as much as 25" of mercury and 22.5" for several days continuously. This did not pull very much water out of the hull even though the foam was thoroughly saturated.
The vacuum needed to boil out water is another matter. Either way, 5-15" of mercury will not do it, though it will certainly be useful for pulling water out of isolated areas and voids in the hull.
Yes, the expanding foam you've found is the same stuff that Whalers are, and always have been made of. Two part polyurethane foam is widely available. Whaler uses it just as you describe, calculating the internal volume of the hull, mixing it up and pouring it in. The foam expands and is held under pressure by the hull molds that are clamped together.
posted 08-02-2002 04:27 PM ET (US)
All very good points and basically it's to late to stop now. I have a team of wonderful groundwater and soil engineers here at work and we have been bashing ideas about... it a little more fun then the day to day thing.
Our quest continues. We have discussed the following applications listed in order of probable success:
The key parameters are working surface area and radius of influence of the force applied. It reasons if one could vent under positive pressure with dry air, the sponge will eventually dry out to the residual mositure content. I'm planning to keep the boat for years so a solution of equa length is fine. Vacuum is a very slow force for a very fine grained media like foam which will not readily transmit water due to strong capillary force... i.e. the throat spaces between fibers is very small. The pores are interconnected... at very very fine scales.. hence diffusion is the transport mechanism which under positive pressure (the weight of water against a hull) is a pretty effective process to saturate foam. Simply put foam sucks up water quickly. When one squeezed a sponge one physcially drives water through the foam... we do this all the time with clays by physically removing water... the end result is subsidence. By squeezing one overwhelming any capillary forces. Unlike soil and clay, a foam's skeleton structusre does not deform and a foam can spring back... although it does shrink. As wit hmy boat I do have some fine ripples along the hull... maybe a 1/4 inch wave at short amplitude... this I think is the drying effect of the foam. I suspect that foam has wetted and dried... maybe a number of times before since the LA owner used the boat and then left it on the trailer for long periods of time. I would love to hear theories on this one.... maybe if you have these little waves it indicated that the foam has gotten wet and had actaully dried... a good reason not to dry out a BW maybe.
A detail explanation would take pages. Bottom line is that vacuum will work, yet very very very slowly and at the rate of diffusion. And only to a limited degree i.e. residual saturation which may be 20 percent. If my target is a 1000 pounds or 120 gallons... working backwards... a one year target would be at a third of a gallon a day or an oz per hour? Seems like a lot? I think I am crazy. And wait till I till you about sonic application which is similar to your pressure idea... only completely differnt.
Right now I have started documenting my process... I'm looking at the boat and doing a couple of things. On the trailer next week I want to see if I can get water in the foam to move under gravity alone. I will do this by putting a scale under the tongue of the trailer and simply raise it up a very steep angle and see if the tongue gets lighter. If gravity effects the distribution of water in the foam the blow air in holes in the transome see better than hoels in the bow. This will help me decide where to install my vacuum/blow tubes. I next plan to drill the upper section of the bow and determine residual saturation using the same autoclave technique Tom did as part of the CSW experiment... dry it out baby and see what it held.
Next is to determine through a bunch of little existing holes how much flow I can get through the inner hull skin if any. I plan to simply move from drill hole to drill hole, apply flow and measure the rate... and listen. My hull/deck will have lots hand writen numbers all over the place... drafting is making me a drawing as I speak.
Finally, third is to set up my two large Beckson plates with vapor nipples in the rear fish hold, run attached hosing up to the side rail and put a quick release nipple there for the extension to the dock box. I will measuring flow and vacuum on my little laptop and maybe weight of the knockout drum for the pump. The team has suggested that I seal the rear fishwell tube and simply add a little plate to monitor the degree of saturation... the touch test. We are testing the little probes used to test the degree of saturation in fiberglass this weekend... seeing if it will work through the deck... I have 5 gallon pail on foam (pail removed). I painted the outside last night (an effective sealer) will leave the top exposed to add water... my lab standard. I can put the whole pail in the oven and dry it out for some weird little tests like sonic vibration.
I'll pass on my findings in a month or two... the proof will simply be raising the transome maybe an inch so that my rear drains are above static water level. That's all I want to do... right now my starboard drain is maybe an inch or two inches low from what I think is acceptable... because the boat leans a little to the left.. drying it out should also level it. The trailer beds on one side look higher as well.
If I have any sucess I'll simple start adding little nipples everywhere and blow/vaccum and house down. I will probably run about $7 - 10 dollar in electric power a month... why not try.
Life is fun...
|The Chesapeake Explorer||
posted 08-02-2002 06:16 PM ET (US)
I got 16 oz out of my 17 ft Montauk as I have described in my 7-27 post. I did not have a vaccum gauge t-eed in line so I do not know how much vaccum I got. There was a slight suction removing the cap from the drain bottle each time I opened it so there was vaccum. My bad spot was only about two square inches and my boat sits on a trailer most of the time. It took about 4 hours to get the water out till the line ran dry under vacccum. I used a long needle too inject spice marinades in turkeys with a hole in the end,passed thru a piece of duct tape in a "vaccum bagging " fashion and I did notice that if I ran the need in to far nothing would draw out..most of the water was just under the skin.
posted 08-02-2002 07:32 PM ET (US)
Looks like you've found a good use for all the misc. hoses, pumps, and hardware left over from your remediation jobs!
I use the clear teflon pipe for bird feeders..
posted 08-02-2002 08:02 PM ET (US)
I guess I'll have to give the oil companies a cut if anything becomes of it all... they need all the help they can get these days based on all the large settlements over MTBE. I was shocked the other day while refueling... $2.80/gallon for mixed is pretty good money I think. That's an expensive weekend at 140 gallons. I think in the last 3 years I added maybe 10 gallons of fuel to my sailboat. Welcome to the Smoker's world.
The vacuum pumps I have are actually large sampling pumps for vapor monitoring wells. Some of my wells are nearly 300 feet deep. They are expensive at around $1,800 each plus flow instruments. I think the dehumidifier / positive pressure pump / heater unit was around $4,000. Add another $1,000 for the laptop, $200 for misc parts and tubing and fitting, plus 4 engineers at $138/hour, a drafting person at $65/hour, 40 dollars for foam in a pail, a $75 dollar bar bill to get the guys thinking... Yikes... we are already over $8,000. At this point and if I had to really buy this stuff, I would have spent more money into playing with the water inside the boat that I did for the boat so I play with all the water outside of the boat.
Once I get all this stuff operational, I better remember not to invite the president of the company down to the boat before I get a chance to unplug and hide the research Site.
posted 08-04-2002 06:00 PM ET (US)
Capt - you mentioned that you would monitor any weight change as you lifted the trailer tongue - be aware that the tongue weight will, by definition, change as you lift the tongue. The weight change is governed by the construction of the trailer and the location of the c/g of the boat relative to the trailer axles and would not necessarily be an indication of the shift of water in the hull.
As I mentioned in a previous related post - monitor the relative humidity of the inlet and exit air to get an indication of the moisture in the hull.
Also be aware that the warm/dry air and partial evacuation will take time to remove the water.
My last comment - sonic vibration will not do anything. The process is the removal of moisture from the hull interior - and vibration is not a parameter in the thermodynamic process. --- Jerry/Idaho
|Tom W Clark||
posted 08-05-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)
First of all I think it is great that you are undertaking this project. I hope it yields useful results. I especially commend you for documenting your repairs. It will serve an extension of what we have learned from CSW.
Regarding the "ripples" on your hull, these are not the result of shrinking. I could not detect any change in size of the wet foam to dry foam from CSW. There's no way the foam in your hull could have wetted and dried so I don't think a cycle effect ha anything to do with it.
The ripples or imperfections in your hull are caused by two things.
1) The molds that these boats come out of are not perfect.
2) The foam can shrink and suck the sides in with it. This was most common on Whalers produced in the early 1980's and would occur during the first few years after production. The best known example of this phenomena are the first 18' Outrages produced in 1981 many hulls of which were replaced under warranty by Whaler. You don't say what year your Outrage is but if the depressions are anything more than slight, it is probably the foam itself and not water in the foam that is causing this.
posted 08-05-2002 10:53 AM ET (US)
I read all of the posts on CSW when they were current. My idea is to change the game by altering the stubborn properties of the trapped water.
Something I always wondered was if you added Methanol or Isopropalnol (50% water, 50% alcohol) to another saturated sample, it would lower the surface tension of water from 72 dynes/cm2 to around 28 dynes/cm2 and create an aziotropic solution. As you know, water requires a tremendous amount of energy to change phases (solid to liquid to gas). Your vacuum would be much more effective in allowing the migration of water through the foam in the hull by lowering both the boiling point and surface tension (for the sake of this argument, the resistance to movement in the foam). I'm not sure if IPA would damage the foam (very unlikely) that's why I never suggested it before. Just remenber that alcohol is flammable.
posted 08-05-2002 10:57 AM ET (US)
Forgot a very important word. "Pure" alcohol is flammable, mixed with water it is not.
posted 08-05-2002 04:18 PM ET (US)
This waterlogged issue is simple. First, if your boat is soaked inside, it will sit deeper in the water. As to how much water, and it's effect, simple, your hull, rigged, is about 1300-1400 lbs., however deep it sits, indicates the weight of that water, i.e., if you launch your boat, draw a line around the hull with a marker at the water line, then load boat, excavate all the foam below that line, and fill with water, you will roughly fill it with the same weight of water, a 1400lb. boat displaces 1400 lbs of water. So, if you filled the insides of the hull with that much water, the boat would then roughly weigh say 2800 lbs, and when you launched, it would sit that much deeper.
Second, the water displaces the volume of air in the foam, but not the volume of the foam. I mean that if you "skinned" a whaler, and took the foam to a compactor, and crushed it, the foam would not compact down to nothing. This foam is still lighter than water and adds bouyancy.
The last is simple, if you have doubts about your boat, launch it and compare it in the water to other, newer hulls. Unless it sits substantially deeper, don't worry about it.
posted 08-05-2002 05:39 PM ET (US)
Your point is well taken. For the trailer test, I will raise the tongue, note the weight and then see if the weight chances as water moves further aft due to gravity.
If someone has a really wet 13 footer on a single axle trailer, I 'd love to hear the results after a couple of months. It would be interesting to know if the water will move under gravity alone.
I was a little surprised when an engineer here at work mentioned sonic. In the water-well drilling world, we are using sonic drilling more and more. I don't know the physics behind it but think it may physcially reduce the capillary tension so water may pass readily through small pores?
I finally looked at the plate and the 25'Outrage is hull no. 155 from 1982. I asked BW via email about the waves before we bought the boat and they did not reply... my local dealer indicated the waves are only cosmetic and that ours were not that bad. Since the wetting/drying cycle is very very slow you are right about it just being the foam.
Fun with alcohol. I think a good 12 year single malt scotch would work best! Please indicate where we should insert straws so we could drink the boat dry.
I wonder if alcohol would displace water as the wetting liquid or simply add to the problem by filling remaining pore spaces? If the alcohol became the wetting liquid and you could drive/displace the water somehow then it's lower surface tension would be a bonus to reach a smaller residual saturation... otherwise you still have to deal with higher tension water which likes to hang on at high residuals. Get a piece of CSW and lets see what happens.
Question for all? Has anyone ever talked to the foam manufacturer and asked how to dry their product in-situ? I know some have talked to BW... but what about the foam guys themselves. I didn't see this in the CSW forum but may have missed it. My apology in advance if I did?
posted 08-05-2002 06:24 PM ET (US)
Alcohol and water are miscible therefore it will not displace the water. Once they come into contact, they form a solution which is aziotropic; extremely difficult to distill by definition. Since distillation will not occur, creating a vacuum on the solution will allow boiling to occur at a lower point, thereby taking the water with it. The alcohol's lower surface tension will lower the water's surface tension by half or more and allow easier migration of water through the foam, allowing the effects of the vacuum to reach it.
CSW (chain saw whaler) has potential to try this since Tom has already performed the vacuum test and could compare results. I suggest small pilot holes in a grid array to inject the alcohol to see what happens. Methanol has a much lower boiling point and is the preferred alcohol for testing purposes. I would also add food coloring to see if the migration occurred in the collected sample vacuum jar.
What do you think, Tom? I'll buy the scotch afterwards.
posted 08-05-2002 08:57 PM ET (US)
Then the time to wet the foam with methonal should be faster than water?? What would be your target saturation... 10% methanol? More? Would it be a linear thing on a per volume basis... 10% saturation to remove 10% residual water (20% mixture by volume)...
Just thinking aloud. Interesting direction. Where are all the chemist in the group?
posted 08-06-2002 09:03 AM ET (US)
I am not sure of the linearity of properties for various mixture ratios, however I do know that the surface tension will drop tremendously with the addition of alcohol. Using 40% alcohol will drop the surface tension below 35 dynes/cm2. The amount of fluid migration through the foam will depend on vacuum pressure, porosity of the foam, and possibly dilution of the alcohol to a point where the surface tension rises above a an unknown critical value. It will not be per volume removal rating. Think of it more like adding grease under the skids of a pallet to over come the forces of friction; once it starts moving it will until you run out of enough grease. Your soil mechanical engineers (hydrologists) should be able to help. It's been quite a while since I studied this.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 08-06-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)
DaveH and Ian,
What I wonder is: is this alcohol idea practical?
CSW has been chopped up and deposited at the dump but I still have two sections of it in my driveway. Either or both are available for experimentation and I am happy to send them to either of you guys but they need to go away one way or the other. The neighbors have been very tolerant of CSW for a long time but now it's time to clean up the driveway.
I have had no conversations with any vendor of foam. I do not know who the supplier to Whaler is or was. I do not believe Whaler will tell us. I believe that until the early 1980's Whaler was formulating their own polyurethane foam and I am unclear about the level of involvement Whaler has in the formulation of what they use now. My sense is that they do not merely buy some product "off the shelf".
posted 08-06-2002 12:10 PM ET (US)
I am new to whalers. I just repaired several areas on the transom of my newport where the screw holes were not sealed properly. This boat has been in the water for most of the summer. There was water (very localized to the screw holes) in my hull, but the foam was as dry as a bone. The blue laminate absorbed the water. I found this out by opening up an area in the transom where three very wet screw holes were located and pulled out a piece of foam about the size of a quarter. I then used a dehumidifier to dry out the wet area and made the repairs. I don't understand how the foam in my boat can be exposed to water for a very long period of time and remain dry, while the foam in other boats becomes waterlogged. This applies to my keel as well.
posted 08-06-2002 02:04 PM ET (US)
Last time that I was in a whaler dealership I noticed a sample piece of hull, used to demonstrate the construction. It looked like the cutaway from the railing of a new whaler, about a 5 inch cube. I considered pocketing the piece but decided against it. If any of you really want to know if new whalers absorb water, then go down to your local dealer with a quick hand and bring home the piece and place it in fishtank for a year.
I'll be interested to hear the results.
posted 08-06-2002 05:30 PM ET (US)
How big are the sections?
posted 09-10-2003 04:06 PM ET (US)
Has anybody ever rigged up a dehumidifer.(waterlogged boats).?
posted 09-12-2003 10:05 AM ET (US)
I would be curious to know how the water has gotten into these overly waterlogged boats. Was there a major impact that created a large breech or was it simply from a thru hull that disappear? Was the thru hull just partially damaged (as mine is at the flange) or was it complete gone and driven around for five years?
What I haven't been able to determine, which would shed a light on the waterlog issue, is a fairly close estimate of actually cubic foam volume (potential for water at 8lbs a gallon) in the various models. I have no doubt that a completely "logged" Whaler would way hundreds and hundreds of pounds extra, but doubt that a small screw hole that seeps some water would ever lead to the type of osmosis that would saturate an entire hull, (again just my own hypothesis).
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