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 Post subject: A plug for the big hole?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:43 am
Posts: 34
Location: Mt. Vernon, Iowa
I am anticipating the cold weather coming in a month or two. Anyone come up with a water tight plug for the Mirage Drive hole yet? The dodger solves part of the problem, an (almost) dry boat would be even better.

Thanks,
Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:07 am
Posts: 596
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
You could tape a bunch of wax paper over the hole and a flat piece across the bottom, then make a plug from expanding foam.

We have artesian wells down here, and a few years ago a guy on a tractor hit one, breaking off the 6" pipe just above the ground. The well free-flows 60 gpm with a fair amount of pressure. To stop the flow and get on a new valve, they stuck a big balloon down the flowing well and inflated it. Maybe a smaller plug with an inflatable collar?

I have been tropical storm sailing lately, and take enough water aboard that I want a way for it to drain out. That could get less fun when the water gets cold, but that's months away down here. I'm going to ask Santa for a wetsuit. ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:45 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Florida panhandle
I used packing tape to cover the inside of the well. I than sealed up the bottom of the well with packing tape. I covered the top of the packing tape with Goop and pressed in the plug. Some of it squeezed up the side of the plug. I let it all dry and than cut the tape and pulled it out and trimmed it up a bit. Nice and tight and level with the bottom of the boat.
Downside.....
Reallllly slow to drain so had to cut a bit of it out.

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Phil Summers
08 AI


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 Post subject: Drive Plug
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:44 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:25 am
Posts: 17
Location: Kansas
I've been a composite tool maker in the past. The normal tooling method would be to pour a rubber or plastic plug. Since tolerance isn't an issue, you first would tape and seal off the outer hull contour on the bottom side.
Then use some .050"-.010 thick wax sheet layed up in the hole to allow the pour to be a loose fit. Then use some car wax followed by wiping the wax layer with vaselene so the plug can be easily removed after cure. If drainage was still required, you could mount a scupper drain tube down the center before pouring. Nothing seems to stick to the plastic hull anyway, and it's relief angled to remove the plug after cure. Since I don't use my pedals, when I have time I'm going to pour one. Your local hardware store or Hobby store could give you good suggestions on what they have available to pour a plug out of. Most of the materials cure overnight or faster. My problem with the A.I. plug is it's made in China with typical China quality. The pins in my existing plug keep breaking off or leaking water, and the fit in the hull is very poor, allowing alot of water to gush up through it. Everyone I know in my area has had trouble with the China plugs. They just don't stand up to normal use. Maybe when Hobie creates a new center dagger board (I hope), they can also make available a higher quality standard plug.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:45 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Florida panhandle
Along with my post above I also drilled a couple of holes in the top for well-nuts and eye strap for a lanyard. After drilling the holes I filled the plug with low expansion foam. The plug is now pretty solid and will float if leaking!

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Phil Summers
08 AI


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:43 am
Posts: 34
Location: Mt. Vernon, Iowa
Thanks a lot men. I have several ideas to try now. I'll return with a progress report in a few days. :)

Bill

Mount Vernon, Iowa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2366
Location: Escondido
When running our tandem solo, I just tape off the bottom of the front drivewell with packing tape. Works great. You'll probably want a drain to pass any water that enters -- simply poke a small hole in near the rear. Your tape job should last all winter, but is easy to refresh if necessary. The whole job takes less than 5 minutes and costs pennies.

No issues with sticking as long as the hull is clean and dry when tape is applied. I've been using packing tape for years for protecting the keel line as well as sealing and streamlining the drivewell. 8)

Image

Image

PS I think you'll be quite pleased with the Dodger. Although this is standard model, the AI version is similar and should work quite well.
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:43 am
Posts: 34
Location: Mt. Vernon, Iowa
I tried the tape idea. Instead of packing tape, I used a few strips of a tough polyethylene tape I originally bought at the local hardware store to seal small holes in tarps. I taped across the opening with the plug in and it's working great. An added bonus-the boat sails a whole lot faster without the mirage drive in.


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