Squeeze Me Baby!
I have first hand account of RC Laser owners vigorously shaking their boats trying to get the water to come out that ridiculously little hole in the transom. I have even heard of those that have drilled out the hole and put a stopper in it – so they could drain the boat easily.
Well, now – for all those that don’t know the secret – here it is. Due to the wonders of the polyethylene material and the special blow molding system used in production of the RC Laser, all you need to do is:
- Hold the boat stern down
- Squeeze the boat – anywhere you can get a good grip.
- Watch where you are squirting so it doesn’t go down the front of your pants or in your shoe!
Actually, you should not be getting any water into the hull in the first place. If you do, there are only a few places it can get in. The screws in the deck are the most likely. You have 2 screws in the bow roller, 4 screws that hold the cockpit deck hatch on, the brass mainsheet screw eye, and 1 screw in the tiller. The only other possibility is the rudder gudgeon (hole in the bottom of the boat where the rudder plugs in).
Where’s the leak?
The last thing to know about “Squeeze Me”, is that you can use it to find a leak. With water in your boat already:
- Put your finger over the hole in the transom or tape it shut.
- Turn the bow of the boat down, Squeeze. If water trickles out around your bow roller fitting, you need to caulk those screws.
- Turn the stern down, Squeeze. If water comes out around the tiller, caulk the tiller screw.
- If water comes out around your gudgeon, read the article Squeeze me Baby, which talks about this fitting and how to stop a leak in that location.
If none of these places leak water back out, then the only other holes that go through the hull are the 4 screws that fasten the deck plate over the cockpit, and the brass screw eye for the mainsheet. You can check these by putting a little soapy water around these parts and giving your sweetheart boat another squeeze. If you see bubbles, you have a leak.
You can’t find leaks in the cockpit with the squeeze trick, see article on “Baby your Electronics”, for that discussion. In case you don’t know it, the cockpit floor and walls are part of the molded deck of the boat, as well as the hole in the deck that accepts the maststep fitting.
There is a possibility under certain conditions to get a little water inside your hull due to condensation. Moist air inside a warm boat dropped into cold water – that’ll do it!
This article was written by Steve Lang of SailRC.com.