Lazarette drain holes

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Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:03 pm

I've been reading a lot about problems with the lazarette hatches leaking--anywhere from flooded to totally dry. I hope to make mine stay totally dry, but in case there is some leakage, I think it is a good idea to put in drain holes.

If you agree with this idea, would you have them drain outside the hull or into the cockpit (to then flow out the rear drains)?
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:09 pm

Answering my own post: I noticed John said the lazerettes help with floatation in case of disaster, so now my thought is I may still put in drain holes through the transom, but I will also install those rubber expanding plugs that are used in boats with drain holes below the waterline. You know, the kind that are used to drain a power boat after it is on the trailer. They have a brass lever that is used to expand the rubber to make a watertight seal. Or I have also seen them with a t-handle screw--that might look a little nicer.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby truenorth on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:04 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that the lazarettes, as presented in the manual and on PocketShip #1, is an "open plan." If you open the laz hatch you'll be staring down into the flotation and if you move the flotation you'll be looking at the hull. 1/2" beyond that is water flowing under the boat. There are no drain holes nor a bilge drain from the laz area on a stock PocketShip.

However, a common modification is to put extra laz cleats and boards in the laz area to separate the flotation from what would be the storage area. See Dave Curtis' blog for the best example on the 'net. You can take this one step further and completely seal off the flotation but by doing you'll lose the ability to change out the flotation, which will deteriorate over time.

In the event of a disaster, in a complete swamping or knockdown, having a laz drain out fairly high above the water line would be OK as long water can't get in, either. Some boats, such as mine and Sean Miller's (see his great blog if you haven't) installed a small bilge pump between bulkheads 7 and 6 to help drain the bilge, but again, that's not draining the laz. A second bilge pump secured between the transom and bulkhead 8 pumping into the cockpit by the footwell is also a consideration but may be overkill for the type of sailing it's meant to do. If the flotation is sealed off, I'd recommend draining the lazarettes into the footwell, not through the transom. Besides, the more holes in the transom, the less sapele you'll have, which would be a shame.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:54 pm

Truenorth,

Thanks for your post. Looking at the various pictures and drawings I was under the impression that the floor of the lazarettes were level with the floor of the cockpit (part of the same floor). If the lazarette opens to the area under the cockpit floor it seems to me small objects would be impossible to retrieve, but I guess I'll learn about that when I build it. I have a set of plans--will study them more carefully tonight.

So my best bet, given your input, is to make sure the hatches seal completely--others have been able to do this so I guess I can too.

I agree with you that more holes in the transom would be a bad thing. It's bad enough I'll probably be forced to mount an outboard bracket back there. If I had been correct about the floor of the lazarettes being an extension of the cockpit floor I would have gone back to my idea of drain holes into the cockpit.

Anyway thanks for straightening me out.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby Shudoman on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:39 am

Personally I'm against doing the false bottom in the lazarette thing. According to the plans the foam only needs to be under the footwell. Creating a false bottom reduces the amount of usable storage space. I really like the idea of having very deep usable lazarettes. Incidentally, the foam under the footwell keeps things from rolling under there and getting lost.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks for the info. I've been pre-reading the manual, but have not got to the part about putting foam under the footwell. That certainly solves the problem of losing things down there.

I wonder though, about water that gets trapped under the foam. I don't suppose it would be a significant amount, but somehow I don't like the idea of it sloshing around down there forever. One more reason to make sure the lazarette covers are well sealed.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby truenorth on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:35 pm

Shudo makes a good point.

Drawbacks for installing "floors" include:
1) Losing storage volume.
2) Extra cost of materials.
3) Extra time to design and build cleats and panels.
4) Makes it difficult to replace the foam.

Benefits include:
1) Prevents water and other materials from getting to the foam.
2) Provides some protection if something hits the hull from the top or bottom.
3) Containment if something leaks in the laz area.
4) Creativity for the laz area such as extra compartments and lighting.

I'm sure there are other pros and cons... for me, I'm doing something of a hybrid and installing floors but they won't be sealed.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:52 pm

Thanks again for all the great posts. Light has been shed on many areas.

Somehow though, i think i gave the impression that I though laz floors ought to be added--i merely though they were already there, extensions of the footwell floor.

Thinking back on many of my posts, I often come up with what I think might be an ingenious improvement and it is almost always shot down. This is a good thing. It shows what a great and well thought-through design we get with the Pocketship. A few minor changes like those Pete McCrary has though of often make it even better but it is still a great boat without them.

Anyway, this forum has been and will remain a great place to get information and clarification, and to bounce around ideas.

(Truenorth, did you get my messages about timber?)
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby truenorth on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:38 pm

I did, thanks -- let me know if yours arrive in good form!

As for the forum, I'm certainly no expert. I'm only ~1/2 way through the build (just finished painting the interior cabin, which I'll probably paint again as I wanted an off-white, not blinding white -- feels like I'm in a hospital not a boat, or maybe a hospital boat). Anyway, I just wish more experienced builders would respond, especially those who've built and sailed. I do my best because I don't like to leave people hanging with questions.

By the way, you should assume some water will get into the laz. Perhaps not up to the gills as John mentions earlier, but certainly some. I'm trying to head that off by angling the laz floors towards the back corner of the footwell where there will be a drain there (some call these weep holes). Some PocketShips mention this should be as big as 5/8". That seems large but better draining than standing.
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Re: Lazarette drain holes

Postby DanaDCole on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:50 pm

Sounds like you've come up with a pretty good compromise. Perhaps you could post pictures as you get the floor built. One suggestion which you probably already thought of but I'll mention it anyway, and that is to drill the holes too large, fill with thickened epoxy, and drill final holes within the epoxy. Doing that will make the opening higher than the floor, but maybe you could then file the bottom part of the epoxy down a bit lower. Then you would just have a small puddle to sponge up.
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