Home' Afloat : AFLOAT June 2017 Contents 8 AFLOAT.com.au June 2017
Effectiveness of man with
bucket on a sinking boat
A line in ‘Foul Bottoms’ caught my eye. “How many buggers
do you know that could caulk a sinking ship from the inside while
it’s moving?” (Afloat Apr ’17).
Many years ago I sailed an old 45ft gaff cutter in Dun Laoghaire,
Eire, as navigator. A 4-day passage to Plymouth was followed by
a start in the Plymouth-La Rochelle race. Off Ushant, where the
Force 6 sou’wester had switched to nor’west Force 7. There was
a very chaotic sea running. Suddenly the wave under the cutter
collapsed and she fell about 3m straight down landing with a
A few minutes later one of the three very sick crew members,
who were laying on the cabin sole, yelled he was getting wet. An
inspection revealed water was already 20mms over the sole and
rapidly increasing. Jim, the yacht’s permanent hand, and I finally
traced the leak to a seam in the forecastle. For almost 3m the
seam had lost its caulking and now a gap of 8mm was letting in
a jet of water as it was 60mms under the waterline.
The oakum caulking we plugged in just exploded in as the
bows smacked down into the next sea. Finally a couple of towels
were bunched up and pounded in, using a very old blunt chisel,
and these stayed in place and eventually the influx stopped.
In the hour or so it had taken to find, then stop the leak, the
water had risen to about 10cms over the cabin sole. The ailing
crew had been told it was a matter of pump or swim and had
Salmon fishing in Tasmania
Thirty years of industrial scale salmon farming in Tasmania has
built an industry which is important to the Tasmanian economy.
But all is not well as anecdotal evidence mounts of excessive over
stocking practices and environmental degradation – most recently
the so called ‘Franklin’ lease 266 operated by industry juggernaut
Tassal, in Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s west coast.
This February the findings of a 2016 independent IMAS
(Institute of Marine & Ocean Studies) study of Macquarie Harbour
waters were released to the public and revealed Tassal had been
ordered to close their Franklin lease after the research revealed,
due to the intensity of their farming practices, all marine fauna
within 500 metres of their farm including ingress to a nearby world
heritage area, had died in less than three years from commencing
as a virgin site. The lease is now classified dead.
Offshore and onshore fish farms in other parts of the world
are now ‘best practice’ whereas inshore, shallow coastal and
pristine waterways like Tassal’s next target, Okehampton Bay
on Tasmania’s pristine east coast – will suffer the same fate of
spoiling and progressive degradation as the once magnificent
Huon River and D’Entrecasteaux Channel areas already have if
Tassal is allowed to continue these discredited farming practices.
Take a moment to go to <marineprotectiontasmania.com>
for more information, have your say and donate to help save
Jim Playsted, Vice President, Marine Protection Tas Inc,
[What was the Atlantic salmon doing off the Tasmanian coast?
Perhaps it was a lost sole. — Ed]
Too many rules are stifling
the boating industry
I’d like to add something to David Lockwood’s On The Water
article ‘Let’s Grow Boating with U-Boats’ in the ‘priceless’ April
Although I can’t comment on the US situation of declining
boat ownership, perhaps in Australia our hyper-regulation may
be strangling the industry and boating.
It’s about the number of licences and certificates required
before you can get on the water. At one stage I had 13, yes thirteen,
boat, radio and EPIRB licences and registrations, some were free
and some cost (heaps).
Then there are the rules and regulations themselves written
and enforced by different local, state and federal government
departments. Nine sets of differing regulations in different states,
territories and the feds.
I once asked at the Sydney Boat Show which NSW departments
have a say in on-the-water regulations – no one knew. The
Queensland department I wrote to didn’t bother to reply.
What hope have we got?
Adelaide, South Australia.
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