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Old 03-05-2004, 09:33   #1
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Trouble Finding A Leak

I purchased a 1985 Jeanneau Trinidad 48 a couple of years ago. The survey went fine, but after I took ownership, I found a significant amount of water (5-10 gallons) in the center bilge, forward of the engine compartment, every time I took her out. First thought it was packing around shaft. Fixed that and water still came. Sailed her up from Ft. Lauderdale to Wisconsin last June. Water in bilge never tasted salty. It seems to be a fresh water leak, so I tore up all the floor boards and checked all tanks. They seem fine. Just launched the boat yesterday for the new season (Manitowoc, WI, on Lake Michigan). Bilge was dry before launch and had water immediately on launch. Drained it dry at slip and it stayed dry for 3 days while I re-commissioned vessell and fixed many small projects. Went out sailing on 4th day and noticed water on the floor boards as soon as we healed.

Any suggestions on places to look for hard to find leaks. I'm wondering if it could be a deck leak and it's rain water that pools in a side pocket. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 03-05-2004, 12:46   #2
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Mast ?

Water usually penetrates through a Keel-Stepped mast..
Enters both within the mast, and around the deck seal.
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Old 03-05-2004, 14:32   #3
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How about a tank vent line? Maybe it only leaks when the conditions are just irght to start some siphoning?
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Old 03-05-2004, 15:33   #4
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finding leak

Some other places might be through anything that is screwed through in the cockpit area. My boat (steel) has teak slat style seats in the cockpit and, although I located the leaks, I'm having a hell of a time sealing them up. Another place would be cockpit/deck drains- check condition of hoses/clamps. Also check water tank hoses
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Old 03-05-2004, 16:05   #5
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does your bilge pump have a loop in the hose with a anti syphen valve? If so, is the valve working? My boats valve was pluged and the boat started to sink.
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Old 04-05-2004, 14:17   #6
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Cruise Diver,

Check all your hoses to through hulls. I once had a leak that only happened on port tack. After much hunting around and a little bit of thinking I found the leak in the starboard cockpit drain hose. The split in the hose was about a foot up where the hose curved in a too small radius and was above the water except on port tack. To top it off the crack was on the outboard side of the hose ( against the hull ) and not normally visible.
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Old 04-05-2004, 21:28   #7
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Question Fresh water

You say you tasted it and it was fresh water. If that's the case then you only have two options. Your water tanks or rain seeping in.

The tanks----What you could do is fill your water tanks as full as you normally do. Pump your bilge dry. Then take it out for a sail without using any of your water from the tanks. When you get back in check the bilge. If there is water, then check the level on your tank. If no change in the tank level then you can eliminate the water tank.

Rain---- As mentioned, the water coming in a keel stepped mast is one possibility (that is my main source). And other is the deck to hull joint could be retaining some water until the boat moves around then drains down the inside of the hull.
If you have a foam cored deck it could be storing up in there thru any number of deck fittings until the boat gets in motion. If you have thru deck chainplates, check there, it's a common place for water to get in. On my smaller boat it would store up around cockpit seat hatches and when I went out it would drain inside.

Well, I hope this gives you more options............._/)
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Old 08-05-2004, 20:05   #8
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I don't know how many tanks you have, but if you want to narrow it down a little, you could dump some food coloring in your tanks (different color for each tank) to figure out which one it is.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:46   #9
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Cruise Diver,
I've owned a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 for about four months now. Here are all the freshwater leaks that I've fixed:

1) Pinholes in the filler pipes so that leaks only appeared when filling the tanks;

2) Water heater pressure relief valve and AC element connections (only leaked when hot);

3) Condensate drain from aft air conditioner was disconnected;

4) Leak around inspection port on water tank (only when tank was full);

5) Gasket on Jabsco water pressure pump;

I suspect there is a leak in the shower drain but have not been able to isolate it yet.

My approach to isolating has been to plug the limber holes to keep the leaks in place. This helps you track down the source of the leak. Only do this while you are aboard and checking frequently and always remember to uplug the holes later!

Hope this helps....

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Old 02-06-2004, 08:30   #10
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Very well put

Curtis offers concise & accurate info'.
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Old 02-06-2004, 18:54   #11
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How about laying something across each path to the bilge? Something that will indicate what direction the water flows. This sounds like a problem that needs to be divided. Your boat is both large in terms of where it could be and small interms of the whole darn ocean. perhaps a Sherlock Holmes approach would help.

I just did repairs from a winter freeze problem and had to trace fresh water leaks. Leaks ain't no fun.
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Old 03-06-2004, 01:33   #12
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Talcum Powder Leak Detector

Talc works well in indicating water's path of travel.
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Old 24-09-2005, 01:16   #13
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for leak test, try food coloring

I had mystery water coming into my jeanneau sun odyssey 51 in the bilge. Tasted fresh? But where and if from my 8 tanks, which one(s). I used food coloring . One color for each set of two tied together at their filler. I have 4 fillers... which fill the 8 tanks.. Topped them off. Sure enough, I started to see blue in one part of the bilge then green in another.. Out of the 4 colors I used, red, blue, green yellow, I was able to narrow the leaking tanks to two. Remember though, a leak could be on top of the tank so it would only leak when full etc. or on the side, it would leak more volume. Or on the bottom, it would leak all of its contents.
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Old 25-09-2005, 05:19   #14
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If so be it is salt water, I can relate. On my 19' boat on a half tide mooring, I was taking in a bucket full each double tide - checked everything - I thought - finally got underneath and found a bit of bare fibreglass - less than 2 square cms, this was at the bottom of the skeg, filled it, now I take in less than a sponge full every 4 weeks. No one can credit it!
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