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How to dry a Laser hull

oztayls

Member
The lack of an inspection port in the Laser is really a design flaw. There are many of these, but we still love em!
 

TygerTung

New Member
You could put a bit of epoxy on the screws as you screw them in.

What I did on my dinghy to dry it out is this:

I have a fully decked Phoenix Class dinghy (4m plywood sailboat). It was getting a bit damp inside so I came up with this scheme.

I got an old interior fan out of a 1992 Toyota corolla and an old computer power supply. I put an light bulb on the 5V circuit for the power supply (this is required so that you get maximum output out of the 12V circuit for some reason), and then got all the 12v lines and joined them together. I ran these into a single larger wire and put that into the fan, as well as an earth. I just used a bungy cord to hold the outlet against the inspection port at the front of the boat, and removed the drain bungs from the back.

It seems to be blowing an impressive amount of air, you can really feel it coming out of the drain bungs at the back.

I had that going for a day, will put it on again next weekend maybe, if I'm not out sailing.

This seems to work well, and it didn't cost me anything as I just made the setup out of stuff which I already had lying around the house.
 
I have had hairdryers inside the hull blowing warm air around it. I have put the vacuum cleaner inside it for about 4 hours. I left the inspection port open for most of the spring and I had small pots of salt inside the hull to absorb the moisture and last week I closed the inspection port and left it for a week when I came back and checked it there was about 500ml of water just sitting in the boat. When I feel the inside of the hulls deck and sides they feel bone dry. I just can't figure out where this water is coming from:(
P.S the boat is stored in a garage.
 

sorosz

Member
My guess would be that the extra water is coming from the areas that are reinforced with plywood (or possibly foam under the deck). If they weren't 100% covered in the fiberglass they could have absorbed water and it will probably take time and patience getting it out.

Have you weighed your boat since you started drying it? If it is pretty close to 135 lbs or so then maybe it's not worth worrying about the remaining moisture and just keep doing what you're doing.

Otherwise, try experimenting with something other than pots of salt to try absorbing the moisture. Perhaps cloth bags of rice or something if you're not able to get a commercial desiccant.
 

sorosz

Member
The "best" way is probably to use a hanging scale like the ones used for big fish or by hunters (like this or this) but if you don't have access to one you can improvise with a couple bathroom scales.

With the hanging scale you just rig a sling for the boat, hang the scale on something sturdy and hoist the boat up with a block and tackle.

With the bathroom scales you'd have to balance the boat on its transom on both the scales. It's best to have help lifting the boat and balancing it. In theory adding the two scale readings should be the weight of the boat. It's not super accurate of course but it should be close enough.

With either method it will probably take some trial and error to make it work so take the average of several readings.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I have had hairdryers inside the hull blowing warm air around it. I have put the vacuum cleaner inside it for about 4 hours. I left the inspection port open for most of the spring and I had small pots of salt inside the hull to absorb the moisture and last week I closed the inspection port and left it for a week when I came back and checked it there was about 500ml of water just sitting in the boat. When I feel the inside of the hulls deck and sides they feel bone dry. I just can't figure out where this water is coming from:(
P.S the boat is stored in a garage.
I would forget about the salt (NaCl, I assume); it's not a desiccant. Other than that, just be patient and keep going (sorosz pointed this out earlier)
 

ang

Member
The "best" way is probably to use a hanging scale like the ones used for big fish or by hunters (like this or this) but if you don't have access to one you can improvise with a couple bathroom scales.

With the hanging scale you just rig a sling for the boat, hang the scale on something sturdy and hoist the boat up with a block and tackle.

With the bathroom scales you'd have to balance the boat on its transom on both the scales. It's best to have help lifting the boat and balancing it. In theory adding the two scale readings should be the weight of the boat. It's not super accurate of course but it should be close enough.

With either method it will probably take some trial and error to make it work so take the average of several readings.
what if you take a bathroom, and get a friend to help you hold it on its side so the rail is on the scale?
 

sorosz

Member
what if you take a bathroom, and get a friend to help you hold it on its side so the rail is on the scale?
It wouldn't hurt to try. I think because of the curve of the rail it would be harder to find the balance point and you and your friend might have to be at the ends which would mean you couldn't see the reading on the scale so you'd need another friend to do that.

If it doesn't work on its side you could also try it on its stern on one scale with a couple blocks of wood around the gudgeon to stabilize it.
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
It seems to me that easiest way to weight the boat (though I haven't tried this) is to put it on a dolley or trailer and use three bathroom scales to weigh the combination, then remove the boat to find the weight of the dolley or trailer and thus the weight of the boat. The obvious disadvantage of this is the need for three scales.
 
So I just weighed my boat with the scales and I got 143lbs so it's 8lbs overweight and everyweek I still find 500ml of water in the hull.
 

CaptainAhab

Active Member
Perhaps one of the cubitainers was punctured and got some water in it. Whenever you pickup the boat to drain the hull, the water comes out the the air tank. I have heard of people drilling into a tank by accident when repairing deck fittings.
 

sorosz

Member
but surely it would all of drained out of the cubitainers by now like i have had the boat in a shed since last september.
Well if your boat is 8 lbs over weight - a gallon of sea water weighs about 8 pounds as I recall. So with 4 quarts to a gallon and 500ml being roughly half a quart, if you're pulling that much out every week then you've got about 8 weeks worth to go. You're in the home stretch!

But in the grand scheme of things it isn't that big a deal - keep drying it as best you can but don't let it stop you from sailing.
 
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