Sinking is the leading cause of marine loss, and it happens more often than you think. Just ask any marine insurance company, and you’ll hear the number is too high. Most boats sink while sitting at the dork, and it’s the primary reason why marine insurance is so expensive.
Here are some of the leading causes of boat sinking and how to prevent them.
A Leaky Hatch
A leaky plastic hatch has an easy fix. Just replace it with a piece of Lexan plastic, screwed in place of the hatch. The only down-side with this fix is the newly acquired difficulty of getting to the pump. But with an electric screwdriver, you can do it in less than a minute.
You’ll also need to seal the seams with silicone to prevent leaking.
It’s surprising how boat makers give more focus to style than proper design. It’s easy to see a £100,000 boat with a through-hull bilge outlet positioned close to the waterline, without a proper discharge plan. This design flaw allows water to flow back to the hull through these lines. That’s why you should check shower sump and bilge pump outlets for adequate riser height before buying a boat.
Insufficient Bilge Pump Capacity
There’s a common misconception among boat makers and owners that a single bilge pump is enough. This is particularly a problem for powerboats in the 35’ class, but it is not uncommon to find a 40’ with only one bilge pump. The danger of having a single pump is the unfortunate event of failure. If debris gets into the system, it can prevent the float switch from working properly. And that is how boats sink at dork.
The general idea is to find a boat with at least two bilge pumps, complete with a battery backup. Also, keep the bilges clean to avoid float switch failure.