Topic : Buoyancy Bags

What is the usual size of bags used in merlins, I feel that my boat does not recover very well from capsize. I have fitted at the moment 2 X 36"x12" and a fitted bow tank that is sound. is this the norm.

Posted: 02/03/2005 13:20:01
By: swimming expert
68 kgs

(Or a 4 man liferaft, 6 man if you like your leg room)

Posted: 02/03/2005 16:03:06
By: Hugh Fletcher
36x12in bags in the stern is right, but the yellow Crewsaver ones have a little more buoyancy than the same sized Holt ones.  Even if the stern is under water when you first get the boat up if you open up the flaps and get going the boat should just pop up again if it's windy.  See previous threads in the forum on this subject from last year.  If you have an older high tank hull it will have much more water aboard.  Putting a small bag low down in front of the mast may help but adding larger bags at the back generally doesn't.  Have a look at the fact sheet on the web-site (under Training in the main menu) and follow the instructions for capsize recovery


Posted: 02/03/2005 19:49:07
By: AndrewM
I suspect you may be trying to solve the wrong problem.

Keep the money you were going to spend on bouyancy bags and use it to ply an experienced (and helpful) merlin sailor with beer while he/she tells you why you capsized during the race.

Posted: 02/03/2005 22:26:13
By: Always swimming
How do you blow up the crewsaver buoyancy bags with the wide neck and screw-in plug with threads on the outside of the valve?  The Holt ones seem to have a non-return valve type of arrangement and stay up for plenty of time to allow you to screw the cap on.  I have a crewsaver one which doesn't have a non-return - is it bust or is this the way they are made?  This is probably easier than working out whether they should be filled with helium!!!!

Posted: 03/03/2005 09:23:58
By: Garry R
hi garry - great article on the restoration!

there should be a fabric flap inside the plastic screw bung hole which kind of seals the air in but when they get old and stiff they kind of don't, or they fall off inside. you can get them overhauled by crewsaver or maybe buy the parts. blow them up as far as you can on a cold day (no probs where you come from) and as soon as the temp warms up they'll be full! i bought some new ones because my old ones had dropped off. the new flap valves work perfectly, so the principle works.

Posted: 03/03/2005 09:47:43
By: john
Then when the bags hit the cold water...they're not as inflated as you thought...

Posted: 03/03/2005 13:19:31
By: Mags
Just buy new bags, ans fastem them in very well, you'll look silly and feel a fool when you sink! They are not that expensive in the great scheme of things and compared to funerals and lawyers for coroners court appearances!

Posted: 03/03/2005 14:45:04
The trick with the crewsaver bags when the flap does not work (and this can happen with new ones on odd occassions) is to blow it up by mouth until nearly full then while keeping hand over hole, put the screw bung in your mouth and finish off the blowing.

WHen full, use tongue to put bung in place and bag will stayed full. Just don't swallow the bung!!

And don't forget to let some air out after sailing especially when it is hot weather.

Posted: 03/03/2005 15:24:39
By: RichardT3227
Thanks to every one for their responses, I do know the reasons for my regular baths as I sail my summer season single handed with 3 sails and sail all winter in the sea with a novice crew(Every swim is always the crews fault)
I have seen some boats with pvc covers over there buoyancy bags to prevent accidental damage, are these custom made?

Posted: 03/03/2005 16:31:56
By: swimming expert
I guess so but sail cloth also custom made or run up on mum's or wives or even girl friends sewing machine is even better, for getting made try your local sail maker, or Custom Covers of Southmpton, Bruce Banks too do such work but the little local man is best.

Posted: 03/03/2005 17:56:50
It's late and I have had a couple - even so it sounds as tho' with his expert mouth and tongue work RichardT could gain many new friends on the circuit and maybe even win a trophy! (where did those tongs go?)

Posted: 03/03/2005 22:59:09
By: Andrew M


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