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  • #4101

    Soon the fleet will be submitted to its annual buoyancy test. I have seen someone mention smoke pellets to detect small leaks. Could that someone please explain in detail how to use smoke pellets on a Wayfarer buoyancy tank?

    Colin Parkstone


    C P 😕 😉

    Sea Lancer

    I have used plumbers pellets to find leaks when boats fail buoyancy tests. Before resorting to pellets I would try to find the leaks using soapy water as the pellets can be a bit messy. I f you do use the pellets then you need a little peparation. A suitable base or container for the lit pellet needs to be placed into the tank. These pellets obviously burn and you dont want to set the boat alight! The hatch cover needs to be at hand and a means of putting some air pressure into the tank must be connected. (Usually the buoyancy testing kit) Light the smoke pellet and put it into your container in the tank. Put on the hatch cover securely and the smoke will escape through the offending areas. Some additional pressure may be needed to force out the smoke, hence the testing kit. When you take off the hatch cover there can be a fair amount of smoke left to escape so only do this outside. When the pellet stops smoking(usually about 2 minutes) it will become a crumbly ash tablet which will break up and spread over the inside of your boat if you dont have it in or on a suitable base. They do smell a little and this can leave a faint odour in the tank which needs to be left open to ventilate. A very good article is available on



    I was very nervous about using smoke pellets and Wooden boats, We put the smoke pellet on a saucer firmly in the back hatch, lit the touch paper and whammed on the hatch. the ones we had only burnt for 30 secs (although it seemed longer than that to me) and the smoke streamed out past the hatch seal in a very satisfactorily way, so we then did the front hatch with nary a whisper of smoke anywhere. Yes it did smell but 24 hours without the hatchcover soon sorted that
    The ash was carefully still on the saucer when we had finished, so we could carefully remove it intact and I don’t remember any mess only the smell

    PS I did have a bucket of water ready just in case

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