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Captain’s Diary: Trapped Water Causes Frightening Problems | Outside

The experience of tight things brings me to a profound and useful conclusion. Water will seep into almost anything, and a waterproofed item usually only manages to contain water without allowing it to get out. So, the term “waterproof” really means that water can’t get out!

Since delicate, corrosion-prone materials are invariably mounted inside a sealed enclosure, disaster is assured. Here is an example from my own experiences:

For decades I used an old radar on my boat. I was marine electronics editor for a nationally distributed “Sport Fishing” magazine and was able to get deep discounts on newer units so why did I keep using a newer unit Ancient ?

Because it worked well and did not fail me. But the trapped water nearly destroyed the unit early in its productive life.

After a few years of use, I noticed slight performance issues. When I pulled the device, I could feel the water splashing inside. Too bad for it to be waterproof.

The solution was simple. Drilling a few small holes in the bottom of the case allowed the water to drain out. A decade later, this radar has outlived its class and still worked well.

Do you have water issues around your home or business? Maybe even electronic devices outside? Many people have boats on trailers at home. The bilge plug must be open to allow rain and garden water to drain. If the trailer tongue is placed on something low, water can collect in the front of the boat.

I would never recommend drilling holes in the hull to let the water out, but make sure the boat is sitting at an angle so the water can drain out.

Many spare tires lean against a fence or garage and develop a small pool of standing water over time. Pottery bowls, planters, buckets, children’s garden toys – all are places where water collects during the rainy season or when watering the garden.

Where water can sit and stagnate, we create the perfect place for unwanted critters to breed and feed.

Not all creatures are big and scary like opossums, raccoons and coyotes. Many are small and scary like mosquitoes and rats. No need to invite rats or small biting insects to breed in your garden. Nothing good can come of it.

Take a good look around your garden. Adjust storage angles to allow water to drain. Turn items over so water cannot pool. Make sure there are no drainage issues that allow water to sit and stagnate. Let’s keep things dry, pest free and healthy.

– Captain David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is President of SOFTIN Inc., a non-profit organization providing boating opportunities to those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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