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Old 06-07-2013, 20:42   #1
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Normal Keel Seepage

Hello All,
I am going to look at a boat I am interested in purchasing tomorrow. The owner has had a pretty detailed ad stating what is working and what needs some work. Most of the items that need work are minor cosmetic items. He states that he sails the boat on a weekly basis and he will be taking me out on a test sail tomorrow.

I am new to owning a sail boat (though I have worked on a few) and wanted to know about Keel Seepage. His add states that he has some normal seepage from the keel (about a half gallon a week) according to the add. Is this a normal thing or a sign of a damage keel? The sail boats I worked on were all very new and every day after taking guests out we had to take a little water out of the bilges, but I can only assume that water came from the desk as guests were walking around.

The boat is a 70's model C&C 29' and I am hoping that this may just be something that the bilge pumps have to deal with in an older boat. Is this the case? Should I be worried?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

Jeremy
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Old 06-07-2013, 20:48   #2
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

never heard of keel seepage in a glass boat it may be the stern gland
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Old 06-07-2013, 20:51   #3
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

Would that be a major issue? Something to deter me form buying the boat?
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Old 06-07-2013, 20:55   #4
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

My advice, and i own a c&c in the past is Run away!!!! no matter what history the owner say it, c&c is famous for keel smile at the Fw edge , but water in the bilge mean the joint fail, probably a grounding or keel bolt loose, the proper repair is expensive , droping the keel , inspection keel bolts, replace or not, 5200, etc,,, labour.... taste it if is salt water, dry the bilge bone dry and check if is coming water by the bolts , a leaking keel joint is very bad for the bolts, who know in wich condition are the bolts and for how long the boat is making water by the keel...
Good Luck...
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Old 06-07-2013, 20:56   #5
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There is nothing 'normal' about keel seepage and depending on the layout of the keel, bilge, etc, it could be a real pain to fix.

Could be a number of things and without knowing the cause it's hard to tell the solution and what it'll cost.
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Old 06-07-2013, 20:59   #6
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

How expensive of a repair are we looking at? Ball park worst case?
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Old 06-07-2013, 21:09   #7
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

We do a Keel job in a Kirie feeling 2 years ago, something around 8000$, but is not the same scenario, the feeling break tabing inside and furniture.. how much is asking the actual owner for the boat?
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Old 06-07-2013, 21:11   #8
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

The boat is less than 5k and I don't plan on owning her more than two years or so ( idea is to upgrade) I have read on other forums and websites that some water in the bilge of a c&c is to be expected. Also read that the stuffing box is often the culprit. Owner had the stuffingBox re done this year. Not really sure how to proceed.
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Old 06-07-2013, 21:11   #9
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Depends on too many variables to say with any surety. I'd expect it to be in the mid-to-high thousands by the time a proper repair was done.
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Old 06-07-2013, 21:28   #10
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

Well i reply as you mention keel seepage, dont know who say c&c are famous for making water at the keel , but is not true, is a keel joint failure, fin keels bolted on are prone to that if a serious grounding or bolt damage happen.. is not something related to c&c`s , again check for posibles leaks apart from the keel sump... to be sure...
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:56   #11
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

stuffing boxes are supposed to drip a wee bit to cool and lubricate you should be able to grease them after use and they should stop.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:34   #12
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

if it is truly seepage from keel---find a different boat.. if it is packing gland, is normal.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:51   #13
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

1/2 a gallon a week (coming up!) is a lot - no matter what the source. and stuff like that don't get better on it's own, I am sure it started as a cup......my bet is that the owner is knowledgeable because the water ingress has increased over time and he has looked into the problem and fix, done the math and decided that financially makes no sense......and wants to sell with the problem declared so no comeback (makes sense), even at the cost of a low sale price (low is better than none!).

The owner does seem clued up which is good, and also has sorted the stern gland in recent times should exclude that as source......I have no personnel knowledge of the boat in question, but whilst "they all do that" may be true (I dunno) - nonetheless most others boat makes / models do not.

Apart from the cost of repairs (I suspect you are already thinking whether you need to do more than a quick bodge and then keep fingers crossed!), have to bear in mind that:-

a) keel may drop off at an inconvenient time (the bolts / glue / fibreglass will be deteriorating)
b) the water ingress may (will?!) increase - will need bilgepumps working 24/7. Most boats sink at the dock.
c) a damp (or wet!) bilge will tend to smell (stuff grows in it!)
d) likely she will be uninsurable as is (you may be willing carry own risk, but depending on locale Marinas may require it).
e) resale will be next to Nadda (and a slow PITA) or less than Nadda!

Overall, I would walk. or run! - even for free would be a long hard think (with a calculator!).

Cheap boats always have a cost, some can be handled (exactly what issues (and how many!) varies from buyer to buyer - mostly about what skills each have, but cash also important).....but some problems are best left to the Vendor!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:03   #14
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgprudhomme View Post
Would that be a major issue? Something to deter me form buying the boat?

if it is keel--YES!!!!!!!! RUN !!!!!!!

this is a buyers market---run and find a good boat.. they do exist.

if it is actually packing gland, is fixable easily.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:25   #15
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Re: Normal Keel Seepage

I know on my boat owners website, the designer of my boat says there should not be any keel seepage absent a hard grounding that breaks something loose.
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