Floatation dissertation

Posted by Sailboy on May 18, 2004

Somehow I thought LeeG would step in offer this discussion...Fill your bathtub with enough water to float in, sink your bigbehind in said bathtub and float, mark water level and get out. Using a gallon jug, count the number of gallons it takes to take the water level up to the mark. Multiply number of gals times 8.33lbs -thats how much you weigh in the water. I check in at about 17 lbs naked, less with wet-suit, more with boots/knives/radios attached.

Have I lost you yet?

Problem is if you are sitting in the boat out of the water (breathing through your beer hole) you don't have the advantage of all your buoyant body fat. So multiply the weight you need to float times about 2 (half your bod is out of the water). Throw in the gear factor - and the number continues to climb. Add the safety factor - you want your gunwales above the water. Add the rough-weather factor - there may be chop or wave action pushing water into the boat. Wow, the boat is starting to need about 8 beachballs.

Every cubic foot water weights 62 to 65 lbs (fresh vs. salt). Displace it with air and you get that much buoyancy back. Displace is with minicell you get about 60 lbs per cubic foot back. Conclusion, the more floatation you have the less 65 lb units you have to remove before you can resume your boating pleasure.

Survival - don't rely on a bulkhead seal to float you. Have a Plan B (float bag), and if you are really a smart- Plan C , reserve floatation (foam)to keep the boat afloat with you laying on top - nodding affirmative to your rescue. Suddenly those "high volume" boats don't seem so big. Sailboy

In Response to: helium balloons? by BobE on May 18, 2004