SimplySailingOnline.com shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Plugging a Hole with a Plastic Bag

September 16, 2013

Onboard our home Eurisko our mantra is "Water on the outside." Other than the recommended drip rate from the packing gland, no water is permitted inside. Thru hulls, hatches, chain plates, nothing is allowed to leak. So when rain dripped down the recently replaced wiring from the mast through the deck, we needed an immediate solution. As a temporary measure until he could get to the hardware store, Dave tried a method a friend had shown us.


Start with a grocery bag.

Our friend had lost the plug for his dinghy so to fill the hole he used a plastic bag. Fold (do not roll) a plastic grocery bag in random directions until you are left with a square twice as wide as the hole. Using a screwdriver and hammer, beat the plastic into the hole. Add more bags as necessary. Amazingly, this does indeed stop leaks. It kept the rain out for the few days we needed to find a permanent solution, and our friend's dinghy has been floating for years with a plastic bag as a plug, keeping the water on the outside.


Fold it in half each way.

Another alternative that we have seen work is to double overhand knot either a piece of plastic or canvas. Use the same hammer and screwdriver trick to "fill" the hole. Though I wouldn't recommend it for huge holes below the waterline, it will keep small holes from dripping and, as our friend can attest, dinghies afloat.


Fold it in half each way again.


One more fold each way and you have a plastic plug.

Steering a flat bottomed boat with a small rudder in front of the outboard is like driving on ice. Exhilarating, but not terribly accurate. MONDAY we'll share the "temporary" fix Dave invented that has taken us over 1,000 skid-free miles.

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