Saturday, 22 November 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 15

I'm at a loss! This question from Andrus from Estonia has me stomped. I really don't know, so I need your help. Have a look in your own rulebook to see what your translation says.... Here's Andrus' query:

I have a question to you and really want to know your opinion.
I'm just finished my translation of new RRS and I got stuck on the term ... PLASTIC POOLS (see Appendix J2.2 (25), Appendix K - NOR 17)
I asked many an IJ including some English guys and I didn't get any clear and assured answer! Amazing! Some of answers were even very funny but ... OK.
Some countries were translated in "old" rules (including Estonian version) this as: plastic pool i.e. pool made in plastic!!! Funny, ha!
Why we need a pool around any boat and why is it a prohibited plastic pool?
Does it mean that a pool made in wood or metal or whatever, are allowed? :-)))

After many unclear answers, I understood that it is some kind of tube with glass bottom to look under the boat, i.e. this is equipment to look under water?

So do you know what PLASTIC POOL exactly is? Have you seen any plastic pools in use?

Anyway that is very interesting question you can ask from judges and I am pretty sure few of them can answer - try it, please :-))
Hopefully you could help to find out what this thing exactly is.

Well, Andrus, I've been asking around but got no further than you. So I'm going to ask the readers. Do any of you know what is meant by 'Plastic Pools'?



  1. There once was a practice of pulling a plastic child's swimming pool (kind of like you illustrate, but inflatable) around the hull of keelboats and filling it with fresh water (and maybe a bit of bleach) to keep the bottom clean. That practice, along with mid-regatta scrubbing, or diving is often banned at regattas.

  2. Because it is in the sections about hauling out and/or diving on the boat to clean the bottom, my assumption was that it is related to keeping the bottom of the boat free of algae and barnacles. I have no idea what some competitor did to cause this rule to be added, but AC boats are crazy enough to do about anything. It will be interesting to find out.

  3. This has often struck me as a quaint expression.

    I understand it to mean what we call in Australia 'boat bags': big vinyl bags in the shape of a boat's hull (and keel),open at the top and one edge, kept floating in the water at the boat's mooring. The boat sails into the bag when mooring, and the open edge is gathered up, and chemicals are added into the water in the bag around the hull to kill off algae and marine growth that would othewise settle on the hull.

    See a description and somem pictures


  4. I have never seen this done, but my understanding was this is a restriction to keep things fair for all boats.

    An SI might say all keel boats at this regatta will stay afloat for the duration of the regatta and can not be hauled out without Jury permission.

    So a plastic pool would be used to keep a boat clean by putting the boat while afloat in a plastic pool. If you could not haul your boat out, you could keep dirty water away from the boat by putting a plastic pool in the water, and then putting the boat in the plastic pool. The boat was kept clean and the boat did not break the restriction that it could not be hauled out.

    So after hauling out was restricted, then plastic pools around the hull and divers cleaning the hull were also prohibited.

  5. Here is a NOR that uses the pool restrictions, see numbers 15 and 16.

  6. I have observed these systems. They are similar to a child's backyard pool. A plastic pool is placed around the boat. The upper air compartment is inflated to float the plastic pool to surround the boat. Clean water from the municipal water system is pumped into the pool via a hose. The clean water eventually displaces the sea water over the top of the pool. The clean water contains chlorine which kills any marine organisms wherefore any marine growth will not attaché to the hull to decrease the speed potential of the hull. No antifouling bottom paint is required. The air compartment is deflated at one end of the pool, weights attached submerge one end to allow the boat to exit and later re-enter the pool. This would seem to give boats using this system an advantage over those who did not. I hope this is a clear description and helpful. over...

  7. “Plastic pools” are also known as boat bags. You sail the boat in at the mooring, then draw up the lines at the stern to enclose the boat in a bath of water. You then put some chlorine (chlorine tablets usually in a swimming pool floating dispenser) in to keep algae etc from growing on the boat. It allows you to keep a boat with no anti-foul in the water for long periods of time.

  8. Plastic pool restriction is often found in Keel boats' standard SIs.

    SOLING CLASS Standard SIs:
    Underwater breathing apparatus and plastic pools or their equivalent shall not be used around boats between the starting signal of the first race and the end of the regatta.

    J/24 CLASS Standard SIs:
    24.1 Underwater breathing apparatus and plastic pools or their equivalent shall not be used around boats between the time and date specified in SI 23.1 and the end of the regatta.
    24.2 Careening by any means for the purpose of cleaning or inspecting the hull is prohibited, unless permitted by the [jury] [protest committee].
    24.3 The hull may be cleaned at any time by swimming or keelhauling using ropes or cloth.

  9. I would state a plastic pool is a child’s paddling pool with a clear bottom which as you say allows you to look at the underside of the boat as you move along the sides and stern to see if there is any weed or dirt.

  10. It does say plastic pools or their equivalent so other materials are prohibited.

    A plastic pool is something you place under a boat to contain a volume of water static around a boat.

    In the water you would place an amount of anti bacterial liquid to stop weed growing on a boat during regatta. The boat is placed in this whilst at mooring or the marina.

    This would give a speed advantage to boats at regattas where you cannot dry sail the boats. It goes in the sailing instruction with haul out restrictions.

  11. I came across this in the seventies when I was a competitor in Solings. Events were longer then, up to 10, even 12 days for a worlds and in certain locations a lot of weed fouling would grow on the hull. You could not get it all off by swimming and scrubbing in the morning before the race. Someone had a "plastic pool" i.e. a cover roughly the shape of the boat, keel and rudder made of waterproof material,usually plastic, similar to a boat cover. Every day after sailing he would put the plastic pool around his hull and pump out some of the water between the cover and the hull. This in theory prevented weed fouling from growing on his hull during the night. They were called "plastic pools".

    I hope this helps - they never looked anything like the plastic pool in your picture!

  12. Jos:
    The plastic pool referenced in the RRS is a tub [usually plastic, but could be any material I suppose] around an in-water boat [for example, at a regatta where boats cannot be hauled, and must stay in-water during the event] used to keep the bottom clean overnight - between races. Chemicals are sometimes dumped into the pool [not legal in most venues] for added algae control. That's for racing. In northern climates, similar contraptions are used, often with air-holes in the floats that hold the tub around and under the boat which act as a "bubbler" to keep an in-water storaged boat from being iced-in.
    Best regards, John

  13. I think the plastic pools are used to combat growth on the bottoms of keel boats. Popular in some areas, they have a floating collar and an opening to drive the boat in and then pull it closed. One can then put a biocide like chlorine bleach in the pool to eliminate growth on the bottom of the boat. It would seem to be another way to keep divers (underwater breathing apparatus) from cleaning boats during a regatta. Maybe true, Al

  14. Pretty sure it is a plastic sheet that is placed under the boat with some sort of fouling retardant added to keep the bottom squeaky clean during multi-day regattas when there is a prohibition against hauling out. Just an educated guess.

  15. Plastic Pool maybe another name for a boat-bath ... bathtub etc.
    One end has a draw string.
    While at a slip or mooring you would pull your boat into the tub and cinch up the opening.
    Then add chlorine to keep the bottom clean.
    Not very environment friendly.
    They were big in the late 60's

  16. Dear Jos,

    In parts of the world where there is either fast marine growth or foreign substances in the water (oils, pollution, etc.) some people will have a plastic pool that they can put around the boat to protect the hull. The ones that I have seen are lowered to the bottom of the boat’s slip prior to the boat being berthed and then raised slightly above the water line with the boat inside them. They are more like big bags than pools. Detergents and/or anti-fouling chemicals are added to the water inside the pool so that the bottom of the boat does not get fouled. People who do this often do not put bottom paint on the hull.

    Here is a link to one such product:

    Hope this helps.


  17. In the Italian translation the meaning is : a plastic pool tub [in plastic usually) mounted around an in-water boat used to keep the bottom clean overnight during an event between races. Chemicals are sometimes dumped into the pool,

  18. In the Japanese RRS, the word "prastic pools" is not translated into Japanese and just as the original word is.
    I have heard it, but never seen in Japan.

  19. Thank you for interesting discussion. I learned a lot and now I understood (I quess :-)) what the plastic pool is. In Estonia we also never used that system. But now when it will be clear and understandable translation in new rulebook perhaps some sailors will find it interesting :-)

  20. Jos,

    I'm not sure when the rule was added. The first rule book that I have that includes recommended sailing instructions and a ban on plastic pools (and diving equipment) is my 1985-88 edition.

    You may have already received the answer, but just in case,

    the rule is aimed at boats that are not taken out of the water. It describes a big plastic bag that would go under the boat trapping the water between the hull and the plastic bag. Some strong toxic chemical could then be poured into the water between the hull and the bag to stop anything from growing on the hull. Obviously the chemicals would be released when the next time the boat is sailed and the plastic bag or pool was removed. ISAF (really IYRU) is green before green becomes Green.

  21. My understanding is that a Plastic Pool is one which has an inflatable top ring that extends around a boat when berthed. The plastic pool is attached to this and is large enough to contain the boat and an amount of water with an anti fouling agent in it. The pool and contents keeps the boats bottom clean.


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