Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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PFDs for boats

Emergency floatation for boats
  [vote for,

Most boats are designed to float (duh!) But most boats are designed to sink (!) if water breaches the hull (the most common current designs are fiberglas reinforced plastic and aluminum.) Those with enough internal floatation have little room left for storage.

Humans are designed to float (especially those of us with significant adipose tissue!) But nonetheless, we require personal floatation devices (PFDs) to stay afloat in emergency situations.

So why should our watercraft be less fortunate? My boat displaces about 12,500 lbs of water and will continue to float as long as nothing punctures her hull, nor any hose breaks off (in a typical twin engine cruiser, there are at least 3 "through-hulls" for engine cooling and marine toilet flush water intake.)

I propose an inflatable doughnut-shaped ring to surround the boat at the waterline, equipped to inflate on command, or automatically should the hull be punctured. Volume equivalent to the boat's displacement.

Posslbly helpful in docking in high winds, or to fend off errant jet-skis.

csea, May 22 2004


       I kept thinking .PDF as I read the title, wondering what nautical features Adobe cooked up for the format.
bristolz, May 22 2004

       Excellent. (+)
I spent the summer on a fishing boat one year and the Captain used to brag that there was enough spray foam inside the hull that if the boat broke in three all three pieces would float. It was a little cramped.

       I kept thinking PDA as I read the title, wondering what nautical features could cause a public display of affection. Ew.
ghillie, May 22 2004

       I originally had this up as "Water Wings...," but decided to use the technical term. BrauBeaton, I had in mind conserving property as well as life, not to mention the environmental concern of having one's boat sink with 200 gallons of diesel (YMMV.)
csea, May 22 2004

       Airbags for boats?
"In the event of an emergency, the boat can be used as a floatation device..."
phoenix, May 22 2004

       I like csea's idea in light of the fact that my own boat has no positive flotation and would sink like a rock should circumstances conspire against me. Having said that, one of the most popular boat lines on the market is Boston Whaler. You can cut one completely in half and both halves will still float. They also have more storage than most people know what to do with. Strangely enough, the Coast Guard reports that most boat "sinkings" are actually vessel "inversions" instead, with the vessel's hull pointing toward the sky, but not submerged. Still, better safe than sorry.
eyeguy, May 22 2004

       And many “drownings” are, in fact, swimmer “inversions" with the water atop the swimmer instead of the other way around.
bristolz, May 22 2004

       yes, but if you cut a swimmer in half, will both parts still float? Oh! Foam Filled Humans!! What catagory should I post that under?
eyeguy, May 24 2004


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