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Floatation in a Nesting Boat— An Experiment

Don Silsbe

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In the past, we’ve discussed improving the floatation in Graham’s nesting boats.  To complicate matters, I like sailing on my backside.


This summer, I’m doing an experiment.  I’m adding some removable floatation tanks to my Two Paw 8.  They’re made of junk plywood, and might last one season of sailing.  But it will allow me to evaluate their effectiveness.  Two Bits won’t get wet for a few more weeks.  But this is where I am today.

This is where they’ll go.  Held in place with two screws each.



And they can come out, if they don’t work out.


Now, they need fillets and lids.  Next, some sanding and paint.  

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  • 2 weeks later...


I’ve made my two forward floatation tanks.  The paint is drying.  We head North tomorrow afternoon.  I’ll pack it all, and play with it in a few weeks.  We’ll be at a lakeside campground then, and I can play with it.


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The top inside corners are flush with the forward seat, and not a problem.  The after inboard corners do protrude.  It’ll be interesting to see how they work.  This is a prototype, anyway, made with junk plywood.  If they work, I’ll commit my 4mm to the replacements.  If modifications must be made, I’ll do it then.  But thanks for “pointing” those points out to me.  Food for thought.

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Let’s talk TRASH!  I mean the T.R.A.S.H., to use PiedTyper’s acronym.  Today, I finally got to do some in-water testing.  The results were interesting.


First, I capsized her without T.R.A.S.H.  She took on a lot of water.  But the water level was about 2” below the top of the d/b trunk.  That way, you can actually make progress with bailing.  But it was a lot of water!81A3C6BB-4C44-4365-A637-A470C7652AF2.thumb.jpeg.abbd92df43e069746c5cf33a8666f733.jpegA0A8AC91-B2FF-4C33-8511-273E79DE4820.thumb.jpeg.5e10cdfc7ab93d3370970a202c30c5f3.jpeg



Then, I installed the floatation. 50879A2B-D6B4-4853-A88F-F1767A5C26C2.thumb.jpeg.35ec676fecc36683b2f68aa82e190242.jpeg

 The first thing I noticed after capsizing her is that she immediately wanted to turn turtle!  Good to know.  EFCF70DC-B30C-41CB-8F8C-C569F7FC5675.thumb.jpeg.5aa1fa45f11552b70b135c84d49d5cfd.jpeg


I expected her to float stern-low, but that wasn’t the case.  The weight of the sailing rig must create a downward pull on the hull.   628796A9-A988-4AEC-A230-B5EE655FB032.thumb.jpeg.923d391dbbc0218bfe0610db1d3a38ff.jpegWhatever the reason, there was very little water in the forward compartment, and much less aft.  I like it!9E493F93-30FA-4A83-9075-60BCF403C16A.thumb.jpeg.bcb80591fd2c720c2bc26c4e4b17e11b.jpeg


I could tinker with adding some floatation in the after compartment, but I don’t think I will.  My big butt takes up a lot of space just aft of the split, and my knees like poking aft occasionally.  We’ll see about some temporary tanks… maybe.C7346739-AE05-4E03-A56E-B20D3959AC51.thumb.jpeg.6bec5f04d3a6d15bb0ebbe2a7e18b26c.jpeg



I left them in, when I went sailing afterward.





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I posted these results on the Duckworks FB page.  Michael Storer suggests that too much floatation will turn a boat turtle more quickly.  I’m thinking about reducing the volume on one side, taking a tank down in height by a couple of inches.  I’m wondering if the short mast will turn her turtle regardless.  Thoughts?

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