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Old 01-01-2017, 11:12 PM   #1
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Do boat keys float?

Haven't tested mine.


Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:14 PM   #2
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Hope that one does.


It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they've been fooled - Mark Twain
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:19 AM   #3
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The fiberglass and wood keys float the metal ones don't
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:01 AM   #4
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They only float if you have enough flotation attached. I suspect those yellow or white plastic things would not take much weight to sink, but to make them more buoyant they end up too big. The best ones are a compressed material that reacts in water and expands, like this type, given to me when I visited the Clipper display one boat show, in recognition of my being an early vintage Clipper owner.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:28 AM   #5
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I use one of the sealed spongy floats tied (knot melted) with a piece of braided nylon line to the single key. Then I float tested it in the galley sink. Don't need an inflatable pfd for my key. Also have a spare.

I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:55 AM   #6
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I can remember one houseboat owners float in our marina was a prop nut!
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently in New Jersey.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:02 AM   #7
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I've never had the pleasure of float-testing keys but I can tell you that iPhones definitely do not float!
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:44 AM   #8
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I used to love those little key floats. Many years (many decades?) ago when I made my living as a marina diver people would hire me to recover their keys after they dropped them overboard. The keys were buried in the mud, but those little floats stuck up and made the keys really easy to find!

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Old 01-02-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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Things I learn in a painful way do not float
.- Glasses... very curious.. inexpensive ones could float but expensive $500 D&G does not... and admiral was not happy at all..
.- Car keys... boat keys have floaters but car keys not... I learned in a very hard way Mercedes have a very safe-impossible-to-copy-unless-your-are-a-dealer. In short my new set of keys were manufactured at Hamburg, blessed by the Pope, checked by the KGB and the CIA and promptly delivery to me in 4 days.. final bill was +480 greens.
.- Childs.. could or could not... tried a couple time, admiral was very mad but for child and me was fun (more for me I suspect); I retired the poor thing when start to show a nice blue color... very expensive if something goes wrong.. suggest do not try it...
.- Tools and other very-rare-expensive parts.. just when you're gonna put back your precious engine after a head replacement, injector goes down the rail, pop for a second and.. yes.. splash... or that very special almost impossible to find wrench to tighten the shaft seal... disappear just on that sunny sunday you decide to use it.. after a extenuating torture sesion, admiral confess slip from her hand and ended below hull, two month ago (on winter).
So, yes a lot of stuff on board does not float...
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:54 PM   #10
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Boating law #21
"bouyancy is inversely proportional to cost"
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Boating law #21
"bouyancy is inversely proportional to cost" you tell me....
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:20 PM   #12
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Mine never leave the cabin so no need to worry..
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:24 PM   #13
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Key buoyancy is directly related to how inconvenient it would be if they dropped in the water at that moment.
Mike and Tina
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:01 PM   #14
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You'll are reminding me of a story posted to a sailboat site years ago...

The wild magnet
Submitted by Peter Roach of Atlanta

I bought a 150 lb magnet (that is the lifting ability, not the weight of the magnet). My slip is in about 45’ of water and over time I have dropped an assortment of wrenches, car keys, bolts, nuts, multiple pairs of sunglasses, irreplaceable parts to my roller furling, etc. I could just picture sending this magnet down on the end of a line and retrieving all sorts of treasures from the bottom. I even thought I might become the ‘man of the hour’ by helping my lesser-equipped dock mates retrieve their lost treasures. In essence this magnet was going to make me look really cool.

The first lesson I learned with the magnet is one should never stand too close to a car with a powerful magnet in a thin plastic bag. According to modern physics, if a magnet is designed to lift 150 pounds, it takes 150 pounds of pulling power to get it off of the fender of a 1993 Mazda Miata. Also we discovered, Mazda paint jobs will not hold up against a sharp metal object being pressed against it with 150 pounds of pressure. One piece of advice, if you decide to test this theory, make sure the young attractive girl that owns the Miata (and you have been trying to get a date with her for months) is not in the proximity of the test area – oh well.

The second lesson I learned is one should never place a very powerful magnet near an electronic component. Usually electronic components and magnets are natural enemies and the magnet is highest on the food chain. Like the lion and the zebra – the magnet wins. This includes the compass on your boat (actually it was one of my crew members that attached it to the rail around the compass).

All of these problems seemed to be worth the effort in order for me to strut down the dock with my new purchase, tie it to a 50’ line, and pull untold treasures from the deep and impress my friends on the dock.

As I calmly walked toward my slip, with my magnet sticking to my car keys thorough the thin plastic bag and my shorts, I beckoned to my dock mates to witness the miracle of reclaiming the abandoned and formerly lost treasures from the deep. Apparently, the confidence in my voice and the promise of untold treasures from the deep, caused a larger than normal crowd to gather on the dock.

Without even stopping to unlock my boat, I retrieved an old anchor line from the dock box. While I straightened out the dock line, a friend of mine (powerboater – this distinction will become important in a minute) used all of his skills to tie the 150 pound magnet to the end of the dock line.

As I slowly eased the magnet over the edge of the dock I learned my third magnet lesson. Floating docks have a great deal of metal below the waterline. Since the water is rather opaque, I had not noticed the brace
10’ below the waterline that ran between the ends of the finger piers to keep them from floating apart. Having no eyes and an unnatural attraction to large quantities of metal, my magnet did not suffer from the same handicap and firmly stuck to the brace.

The fourth lesson I learned is to never let a power boater tie a knot on something that is going anywhere near the water.

The fifth lesson (well ok I should not count this as a new lesson because I learned it with the Miata) is it TAKES 150 pounds of pulling to get the damn magnet off of a big piece of metal. YES – this was a new lesson because I was 10’ below the water, under my boat, holding my breath and pulling really hard.

My sixth lesson was learned shortly after pulling the magnet free. One should never hold onto a heavy object underwater without some immediate means of support. Luckily I was able to reattach the magnet to
the metal beam as I accelerated toward the bottom. Actually I think the magnet had more to do with this than I did.

The seventh lesson I learned is one minute is a really long time to hold ones breath.

The eighth lesson I learned is always look up when you are coming up under a boat.

The ninth lesson I learned is you really run out of air fast when you are holding your head, seeing stars, and trying to find the surface.

The tenth lesson I learned is never invite a large crowd of people to watch you try out any new piece of gear.

The eleventh lesson I learned is never leave your cooler full of cold beer on the dock with ‘friends’ on a hot day while you dive underwater (hey they were laughing at me and drinking my beer!!). I don’t care what they say, one minute is way too short of time to declare someone dead and divide up their belongings.

Now that I had the crowd warmed up, I decided to take my three-strand nylon anchor line and run it through the eyebolt of the magnet and back up to the surface. This way I would not have to risk a sudden trip to the bottom and I would not have to tie a knot underwater. Considering the day I was having this went amazingly well. It also gave those clowns on the dock a chance to get another round of drinks from my cooler

Thinking ahead, for the first time that day, I realized that the support member was attached to the dock by a vertical piece of metal. Not wanting that evil magnet to reattach itself several times to the support member while it was on the way to the surface, I climbed onto the deck of my boat. When I pulled on the line I learned my twelfth lesson of the day (second physics lesson). A three-strand nylon line has roughly the
stretching ability of a rubber band and while water has a natural resistance, it is not enough to keep a magnet from hitting the bottom of your boat on the way to the surface. I also learned that a magnet can
scratch gelcoat as fast as it will scratch a Miata.

In the end I finally got the magnet correctly tied to the line and on the bottom of the lake. After about an hour, with no beer remaining in my cooler and with only a small audience, I finally gave up on recapturing any treasure. The only thing the magnet was able to find was a great deal of rust shavings. I know the bottom of the lake under my boat is littered with all type of hardware, tools, coins, etc so I was amazed when the magnet failed to bring up even one small item. Maybe the fish are calmly swimming around with sunglasses, or they have constructed their own secret city out of all of the spare parts.

All was not lost with the magnet. My fellow boaters now play ‘hand me the wrench’ with the magnet. This is a game they devised using the magnet, a metal wrench and a dockbox with a thin top. They first take the magnet and put it on the underside of the lid to the dockbox. They then attach a wrench to the top of the dockbox and close it so everything looks normal. They then pretend to be working on their boat. When the unsuspecting target of this game walks by, they ask him to hand them the wrench. It works every time and it is amazing how hilarious my dock mates find it when a new person joins the game. They seem to get particular joy in this game when they can think of new things to stick to the dock box or when they can catch someone more than once by using different bait. They even had someone hide in the dockbox to pull the magnet away when his partner showed the victim that the wrench did not weigh 150 pounds.

The magnet also seems to be good for playing ‘throw the metal object over the magnet’, ‘the worlds largest refrigerator magnet’ (WARNING – apparently the magnet will scratch a Kenmore refrigerator as easily as it will a 1993 Mazda Miata), ‘find the car keys in your wife’s purse’, and a whole lot of other games. Hey we might not be too smart but we are easily entertained.

In the end – I guess the magnet was worth the price.
2020 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:27 PM   #15
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Hey Mark, I remember this picture from a thread I started in January 2014.


Since then I tried many floats and settled on the big cork ball. I have about 5 keys on it and it works.

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Old 01-02-2017, 04:35 PM   #16
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..and ejem.. humm.. what happened with the miata girl??

PD: Great history! Thanks for share!
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
You'll are reminding me of a story posted to a sailboat site years ago...

The wild magnet
Submitted by Peter Roach of Atlanta

I bought....

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