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31st October 2006 09:10 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

So why do some boards have vent plugs and some do not. Also why are boards made with foam that absobs water? There is foam at the lumber yard that does not absorb water and it is just as cheap as the white stuff? big Question is why with all this new shapes and technoligy have no board manufactuers made boards last longer?
22nd October 2006 07:18 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Yes this is all useful info thanks very much.
Its the last time I buy an after market vent plug.
As I said I went into my local starboard dealer and got TWO original vent screws! Just for some info they only cost me $7aus! Not very expensive when you think how much the board costs!?
21st October 2006 09:27 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Hi Greenroom,
I think having the board level is about the best you can do.
Maybe incline it slightly nose down so the nose is not significantly higher than the vent fitting.
The water vapor is giong to "flow" toward the lowest pressure area and that should be at the vent fitting.
As far as the O'ring damage, that's what happens to O'rings when you "squash" them flat. Not what they were designed to do at all.
Maybe don't tighten the plug so tight so you don't "squash" the O'ring
so much that it cracks or splits.
Here's a link to how an O'ring is supposed to be used as a static face seal:
Since we are using a screw thread in the middle to apply the compression to the O'ring, the groove would need to be up inside the head of the plug.
After market plugs with the correct thread size would be wonderful, but I've never been able to find one.
Hope this helps,
21st October 2006 07:14 AM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Sweet thanks heaps fellas, this is some awsome and useful info for me and many others out there.
Ive read and re-read all this thread to try and get as much help as possible. You guys seem to be the ones to convince starbard to do some changes and Im sure its not gonna cost anymore in production?
Spending thousands on a beloved starboard and for it to take in water from an oring breakdown can be heart wrenching
I have three starboards which I use all the time and I'm of to the local starboard shop today to buy new orings and vent plugs.
So what shape or slope should the vent hole in your board be?
Should it be angled in or out from the hole? Or should it be flat?
Some things I always do before scewing in the plug is the clean the vent hole from sand or salt or dirt as to have a clean surface. Then I make sure the plug itself is sand free and clean. Then when removing plug I dry the area around the vent hole of water and make sure there is no water in the mast track as sometimes this tips out and cruns into the vent hole. Its happened to me before
But yesturday I inspected all 3 of my orings and found 2 off them to have slight splits in them only by close examination
Would after market vent plugs be satisfactory for starboards?
Thanks again fellas
21st October 2006 06:01 AM
hatori hanso
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

hello Rodger,
it seems i have been preaching to the converted one i too will look for a suitable replacement for the 'misplaced' o ring.
i think the easiest solution is of course a fibre washer it may mean having to buy a sheet of the suitable fibre and then finding the right size punches to make my own. not sure what the shape of the seat is in my isonic but if it is flat it should seal properly and as you know if/when the fibre comes in contact with water it expands thus creating an even better seal.
as for a cheap vacumn for green room, an old refrigerator compressor is ideal for pulling a vacumn, i use a glass jar as a water trap and this set up works well. i have to add i do use refrigeration gauges to adjust the rate of suction but a small sacrificial hole in the nose or tail should do as well.
20th October 2006 10:34 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Hello Greenroom,
Keep putting wicks in the hole (are you fanning out the rest of the paper towel as recommended on theboardlady.com) until they start to come up dry.
Then weigh your board. It should be very close to it's original weight.
The best way to ensure the board is completely dry is to place it in a low humidity warm enviornment for several months with thel vent lug removed so it can breathe in warm dry air which will carry off moisture as vapor until the inside of your board is as dry (humidity wise) as the outside air.
You probably can't do that, but that's really the best way (short of a vacuum pump) to really dry it out.
For those of you without a vacuum source, consider getting an old freon or propane cannister.
Put a screw type valve in the top of the cannister. Go to your gasoline engined car, and find a good source of vacuum. Disconnect the vacuum hose and draw a vacuum in the cannister.
Make up a fitting or get some vacuum sealing sheet plastic and the sealing tape (thick and green normally) and pull a vaccum on the interor of your board.
It's safer if you find a vacuum gage so you don't exceed about 8-9 In. HG of vacuum and damage your boards structure.
With this system you don't need any vac. filters, as you have a throw away container, but it's good to make up a clear plastic or glass vac. "collection chamber" so you can see how much water you are drawing out of your board.
If your car makes better than 8-9 in./hg of vacuum, then b off a little until the vacuum inside your cannister is in the 8-9 in/hg range.
Hope this helps,
20th October 2006 10:22 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Hello Hatori,
Well, you are preaching to the choir here.
I've been telling the guys at Starboard for a number of years that they are not using the O'ring under the vent plug in the way O'rings are designed to be used.
I've designed a number of both high and low pressure sealing systems for use aboard US Navy ships, and the designs all followed the well know and published "How an O'ring works" and "How to design a proper O'ring groove" to ensure that the O'ring seals properly.This engineering data is readily available from Parker Seal and other major O'ring producers.
You never want to "squash" an O'ring! That's not how they work.
They are only supposed to be "compressed" from their full diameter by 15%. They are designed to fit into an O'righ groove that's depth is about 85% of the cross sectional diameter of the O'ring that's going to be used.
The inside and outside diameters of the O'ring groove have a 5 deg. draft to them and the 15% compressed O'ring is designed to "just touch and seal lightly on the mid point of the O'ring groove.
Then, when you get a vacuum, the O'ring "creeps" to the inside corner of the O'ring groove and seals becuase the vacuum is pulling it into full contact with the corner. The more the vacuum, the tighter the O'ring packs into the corner and the better it seals.
When you have pressure, the pressure pushes the O'ring to the outside corner of the O'ring groove and the more pressure you have the better the O'ring seals.
It's a "dynamic" sealing system and the O'ring groove must be designed quite carefully so you get the right compression (15% approx.) and have the right diameters so the O'ring can do it's job.
Simply crushing the O'ring between too reasonably flat surfaces is a whole different type of "seal design" and that design "REQUIRES" a "flat washer like" slightly compressible "gasket" to seal the mating flat surfaces.
So, you and I are definitely on the same page here.
Not sure how we will get the folks at Starboard to see things differently though.
As far as the Goretex vents, those have been used pretty successfully in fresh water, but in salt water the microscopic holes in the Goretex membrane that allow air to pass through, but not water, tend to get plugged up with salt and the overall function of the membrane is degraded to the point that it either won't release the pressure, or it fails completely and allows water into the core of the board.
So, I'm in the process of finding some fiber "gaskets" to send to Starboard so they can spec. them, as well as modifying some vent plugs with a correctly designed "O'ring" groove.
I will do some testing to demonstrate the far better sealing and durability characteristics of the both these sealing systems, then pass the data along to Starboard to assist them in making a decision (hopefully) to change the way they seal up their boards.
Hope this helps,
20th October 2006 08:51 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Yeah I agree Hatori, it does seem like there hasnt been much thought for the vent system but then again I wouldnt know where to start?
I had a good day of getting lots of water out of my board today.
I left it in the sun with a paper towl wick in it and every half hour to hour i kept taking the wick out and it would be soaked. Sometime I would come to the board and see that the paper towl was wet without even pulling it out. Hopefully most has turned into vapour? I will weigh it tomorrow as I weighed it when I bought it.
How would I know for sure if all the water is out? Or the most Im gonna get out by wicking? Eventually will the paper towl not be wet when I pull it out? Would this be the sign? Is there Another final process to do to get that little extra water out?
20th October 2006 07:49 PM
hatori hanso
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Hi Rodger & starboard,

the situation with starboard, and pretty much every other major
manufacturer using vent plugs and o rings to water proof their board is- to be honest, a real disapointment.
the humble vent plugs design is constantly overlooked when it comes time each year, for each manufacturer to put out their latest and greatest technological sailboarding marvell. the vent plug and its basic design comprising a screw compressing a rubber o ring onto a rough moulded plastic surface/seat. continues to remain unchanged year after year.
its high time starboard (and the other players) started using some of that word, we see splashed across the top of its literature....innovation... and come up with a better, more user friendly solution.
the problem that sailors have with boards leaking through the oring/vent screw is usually either the o ring being damaged or the seat it compresses against being rough or damaged thus creating a flaw in the seal.
the very action of screwing against the o ring creates wear on the surface of the ring. 1 solution to minimise this wear is to lubricate the o ring, how ever this can create problems as well- it can cause the o ring to 'spread'within the area between the screw and the seat thus leaving small gaps for water to be sucked into the board. it must be remembered that not only gravity but a lack of air pressure within the board is working against us here.
this is not rocket science.... the use of the rubber oring in this application is completely... WRONG... the better sealing method would be a fibre washer as you suggested, but as you have already said they are not all that easy to find.
i apologise if this seems like a rant but here in a hot climate which oz is well known for, the vent in a board must be removed- especially if the board is in a vehicle. if a normal summers day reaches 35-40deg c then the inside of a parked car will be aproaching 60 deg or more.
as some one who works every day with orings and washers and the like, i think i have a reasonable understanding of how and why they work.so i am tuned to whats happening with my gear, but i worry about those who blindly screw their vents in with no idea if its water tight.
anyway thats my 2 cents worth.... a challenge for starboard

p.s just on that word...innovation... a New Zealand Manufacturer by the name of carbon art use a 'gortex' vent on their boards.......

20th October 2006 03:03 PM
RE: Help - Water in the hole!

Hi Roger,

I didn't weigh my board before the water got in and after it got out, although it felt quite light after the van treatment. My dark coloured van on a 90 degree day sure heats up like an oven. When I first opened the door I could see the drops coming out of the vent and hear a bubbling sound. And a good sized puddle on the rubber mat under the board. Perhaps a combination of both methods is best. (upside down first to drain the bulk of the water, and then right side up for the last bit)
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