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A hole in our bowthruster tube .

  • Chris Hanley
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14 Jun 2024 16:44 #1 by Chris Hanley
Replied by Chris Hanley on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
The requirement for a forward bulkhead was one of the ES-Trin exceptions granted to older vessels, providing the certification was completed by December 2018, or maybe 2019…
Clearly there is a reason why such a bulkhead is considered desirable. 
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  • Paul Hayes
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14 Jun 2024 16:02 #2 by Paul Hayes
Replied by Paul Hayes on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Hi Peter 
Something has been bouncing around subconsciously in my hollow skull since I read your original post.

You wrote:

"Not before about 3hrs of cruising and some 150L of water over the bedroom floor causing yet more water damage for us."
Please don't think that I'm being presumptuous however, I am under the impression that one of the requirements of the ESTRIN Community Certificate is that there is to be a watertight bulkhead between the accommodation and the bow.

Perhaps someone with a greater understanding will correct me if I have the wrong end of the stick.

*If* this is the case, perhaps the dry docking will be the best time for rectifying the situation to make sure water can't get into your bedroom via the forepeak area in the event of a serious ingress.

Paul Hayes 

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  • Paul Hayes
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14 Jun 2024 10:11 #3 by Paul Hayes
Replied by Paul Hayes on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Hi Peter 

It's good that you can have such a quick dry dock booking.

I'm not sure what your insurance company would think about you navigating anywhere with a known fault though.

Personally I would still be wanting some serious bilge pump capacity at hand even sitting still.

I understand the theory of wooden bung emergency leak stopping, and have used a couple in the past, they are normally made out of beech, which swells well as it absorbs water and tightens into the hole. However they are only ever considered a stop gap and generally used with some reinforcement, in the case of a pipe or tube often a tourniquet around them.

Balliols suggestion of an arc or even a full circumference of corrosion is very reasonable, I've witnessed similar when looking at boats on the hard.

Good luck 

Paul Hayes 

 

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  • Peter Court
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13 Jun 2024 19:56 #4 by Peter Court
Replied by Peter Court on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Serge Ribes visited today  and we discussed the issue.  His view is consistent with mine, that if the thruster is not used, it is perfectly safe for the next few weeks. The bung is a solid fix, its only a 2mm hole, as long as the thruster is not used.  Using the thruster would present 2 risks  a) damaging the bung and reopening that leak b) a new violent ingestion could punch a new whole anywhere and perhaps bigger.  A hole in the bottom of the tube and bigger would be very nasty to deal with. 
We are booked in dry dock in Ramonville Port Technique around 1Jul. We will do a small cruise without bowthruster the next 2 weeks coming back to Ramonville. 
Then the whole plate will be removed allowing full inspection of the bowthruster , propeller and tube. Likely a whole new section of tube will be cut out and replaced. serge is definitely one of the best hands to be doing this sort of job, and we are very lucky to have this happen here with dry dock availability and Serge able to squeeze us in.

Redoing my plan for the rest of the season as this puts us a month behind now...

FYI the tube was put in around 1997. Being so wide and with welded bars around the entrance it was very difficult to inspect or clean without taking the mechanism off in  dry dock. We are lucky to be in communication with the owner at the time so can get some more info. 

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  • Balliol Fowden
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13 Jun 2024 11:12 #5 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Corrosion in bow propeller tubes is becoming an increasingly common issue with some older installations in narrowboats in the UK, particularly (but not exclusively by any means) those with bronze propellers. There are many installations using a well known brand of bow prop where the bronze prop in conjunction with a fairly thin wall (ca. 5mm) tube are causing perforation (and sinking!) issues, often at or around the 15 year mark. Where a bronze propeller is installed this is one area where I do believe that freshwater anodes serve a useful purpose, but they must be installed well within the tube so that they can "see" the vulnerable area around the arc of the prop. Anodes on the hull skin will do nothing.

Plastic propellers can cause a slightly different corrosion issue but the end result is the same.

Usually the most viable repair is to replace the tube, but the corrosion does tend to only affect the immediate area of the propeller arc so in Peter Court's case, with good access seemingly possible (and subject to an inspection of the rest of the tube) it may be that this area of the tube can be patched internally if there is enough space around the prop or if the prop diameter can be reduced slightly.

Balliol.

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  • Colin Stone
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13 Jun 2024 08:07 #6 by Colin Stone
Replied by Colin Stone on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Wow. Definitely not good news. We're on the slip next week and I'll be checking that area very carefully. 
My only thought. If an object was given that much shove to push through the steel tube wall, especially if full tube thickness, won't the bronze propeller be pretty mangled as well? 

Colin Stone
It's not the destination, it's the glory of the ride.
Barge Register KEI

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  • Peter Court
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13 Jun 2024 00:00 #7 by Peter Court
Replied by Peter Court on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Thanks as usual for wise comments from Paul, Andy and Balliol,

I am appreciating the more serious implications of this and that earlier serious intervention is required than I perhaps initially thought. 

In the short term I think the risk of further leakage if the thruster is not used is very low. 
This small hole we strongly believe came from a fairly uncommon (for us)  violent collision of an object that got sucked in with the thruster propeller.

We are in Toulouse so I will seek an urgent dry dock booking at Ramonville, and I've already spoken to Serge Ribes about it, and messaged him the same question I asked here. I will follow up tomorrow with a more direct request. 

The best option I think is to get it out ASAP and remove the thruster plate which will give very clear access to the suspect areas, and a decision can be made as to how to best repair.

Thats thrown a big spanner in this years plans, especially with guests due to arrive on Friday. 

rgds.. Pete and Deb

 
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  • Paul Hayes
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12 Jun 2024 23:30 #8 by Paul Hayes
Replied by Paul Hayes on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Hi Peter 

​Another idea might be to "glue" pieces of substantial plywood over each end of the tube in situ now.

CT1 grip adhesive can be used underwater.

Available from Amazon.fr mine took about 4 days to arrive.

Clean any loose material off with a wire brush before placing the board with generally pre applied adhesive on.

 

Good luck 

Paul Hayes 

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  • Balliol Fowden
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12 Jun 2024 23:06 #9 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
It could be cavitation erosion, or if it is a bronze prop it could be galvanic corrosion. Either way there will be an arc of pitting all round the tube adjacent to the prop, so definitely needs to be treated with kid gloves.

I think I would try and block the tube ends with something like expanding foam.

You need to keep your insurers informed.

Balliol.
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  • Andy Soper
  • Neeltje
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12 Jun 2024 21:49 #10 by Andy Soper
Replied by Andy Soper on topic A hole in our bowthruster tube .
Hello Peter,

Paul's advice is good.

You might want to back up the softwood wedge with some more wedges to hold your bung in.

Get some quick setting cement and some planks to make a box, surround the area, fill with concrete - the rot will soon extend - make sure the box is of an adequate size.
Do not hammer test thetube!

Can you blank the tube ends - stuffing old pillows /cushions in is better than nothing?

Good luck!





 

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Cookham
0044 (0) 7940598364

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