10 ways to Save a Sinking Yacht

In association with Admiral Boat Insurance, Yachting Monthly created a series of potential disasters to find out if all the theories of how to deal with such situations actually work in practice. The boat used in the crash test is Admiral’s own 1982 Jeanneau Sun Fizz ketch, Fizzical.

You’ve hit something and you’re holed. What do you do next? Chris Beeson and the Yachting Monthly Crash Test crew smashed a hole in Admiral’s Crash Test Yacht hull in order to test 10 ways of saving a sinking yacht.

The Yachting Monthly team sank the boat each time and then hoisted it out of the water to test the effectiveness of each method. A hole was smashed in the hull under the forecabin bunk on the starboard side. Testing was in two stages, first the emergency repair to stop a boat sinking and then a more long lasting repair to get the boat home over a longer distance.

Various methods of stuffing the hole were tried including stuffing a cushion in it, using plywood boards, a sail wrapped around the hull, and a lifejacket wrapped in a towel, then inflated, all with varying degrees of success.

More lasting solutions included using an epoxy repair kit. A piece of mat cut to size was glued in place with the epoxy and this did work quite effectively.

Crash Test Holing Part 1


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Crash Test Holing Part 2


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Robert Holbrook, MD Admiral Marine

Robert Holbrook

“Often, the first natural human instinct when an emergency or disaster strikes is panic. In a series of controlled experiments, the Yachting Monthly crew put theory to the test by re-enacting some typical worst-case scenario sailing accidents or emergencies – such as grounding, capsize and mast failure. Risk assessment and careful consultation with experts was at the core of all tests. How often are incidents like this photographed and filmed in detail? By sharing their findings in a series of articles, I could see how yachtsmen could learn much invaluable information. Why not learn from our mistakes by following her story so you can avoid making your own?”

All Yacht Monthly articles are available in full

Download the full, unabridged Yachting Monthly articles in PDF format below for reading at your leisure.

What to do When your Yacht Run Aground: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Dismasting: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Boat Leaking – The Best Ways to Plug a Broken Through Hull from Yachting Monthly: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Capsizing: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Gas Explosion: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Sinking: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)