Deflated pontoon on the port side

Pre-pontooning

Patched nose
Patched nose

The boat we run is a 6.2 metre long Gemini, commonly referred to as a rubber duck. Our boat has five compartments inside its pontoons, each separated by a barrier called a baffle. The reason for this is really a safety issue, as without the pontoons there is not much to the boat that could stay afloat. The baffles ensure that should you puncture one or more compartment, the others will remain fully inflated and keep the vessel from visiting the seafloor. Each section is essentially like a huge tube, and they are all stuck together in some way or another – glued, welded etc.

Deflated pontoon on the port side
Deflated pontoon on the port side

Our boat had glued seams and on three occasions the glue let go. Two of those occasions were on very warm days (34 degrees C). This was dealt with promptly and the seams were re-glued and extra layers added to prevent a recurrence. Sadly, during one of these ”leaky moments” we discovered that two of the baffles were leaking, and from a safety point of view ┬áthis made it extremely dangerous to risk an offshore trip.

Seahorse looking a bit flat
Seahorse looking a bit flat

Given the cost of opening each section and repairing the baffle, together with the age of the material, made the best option to re-pontoon the boat. More on how that is done tomorrow…

 

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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