However, thanks to Air Bob, we sail without assistance not powerful bilge pumps. Air Bob is a new safety device that can be installed by a single sailor in a couple minutes.
Tested by sailors
Air Bob was developed and tested on large breaches, with various hull locations and shapes. It saved our 20' long sailing boat despite a 6'' by 4'' hull breach.
We sailed more than 60 miles along the Mediterranean coast from Marseille to Hyeres, including a one night anchorage at Porquerolles, despite gusty winds up to 35 knots and a rough sea.
Airbob consists of a fiber rod, an inflatable balloon in TPU material, a circular polyamide plate and an axial rope.
The rod is inserted through the breach and is positionned against the outer hull. The balloon is positionned against the damaged inner hull. The plate is lowered against the balloon, and the rope is locked in tension on the plate. The balloon inflation ensures an immediate sealing regardless the breach's shape and size, thanks to a large contact around it.
You wonder about the device's endurance and versatility. So did we. We have been testing it for two years.
- It can be forced through a long and narrow crack, down to half an inch wide.
- It is effective on 12'' by 6'' breaches.
- It works with angular surfaces, in contact with bulkheads, drift wells or interior joinery.
- The bare TPU balloon resisted friction against fiber chips. The commercial version will include an extra neoprene cover.