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Old 26-07-2005, 05:22   #1
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Water in the bildge.

I have a problem that is driving me nuts. Let me start with a few facts.

The boat is a Challenger 32.

Engine is a perkins 4-107 with a heat exchanger and fresh water cooling.

When ever I take it out I get a couple of quarts of water in my bilge.

I am not out in a rough sea state, so its not water over the bow.

I have checked all my through hulls and the freshwater system twice and they are dry.

The head, head tank and hoses are dry as well and pumps the way it should.

All the hoses conected to the cooling system show no signs of leaking.

Heat exchanger and raw water pump don't leak.


My next step is to replace all the hose and couplings on the wet exhaust. The raw water is pumping and I don't belive that I have a back siphon problem

Does anybody have any other ideas or suggestions? and no it is not my keel bolts The boat dosn't have them. To add to the mystery it only happens when I take the boat out. I can run the engine all day at the dock and no water beow.
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Old 26-07-2005, 07:39   #2
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OK so I am presuming it is Salt water in the bilge. How is the bilge built. Does it have frames dividing off the area's of the boat? If yes, does the water tend to be at the aft end, cntre or forward section? That may help narrown things down.
There are many area's that it could be. This is one of those "how wet is my piece of string" questions. and you will get many suggestions. So here's a few to consider. I'll leave out stuff that running at the dock would eliminate.
Anchor locker. Are the drains clear. Can a wet locker from anchor rope drain back into bilge?
Rudder stock. While underway, the water can be forced up around it.
Is this a yacht(sail) or...??? A yacht, then what is above water line that becomes below water when heeled over?
What material is it constructed from and construction type. Any possible cracks?
And finally, can you get down into the bilge while underway?? Look for a drip or small trickle of water.
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Old 26-07-2005, 09:50   #3
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Do you only take in water while motoring, or do you still get it when idling (under sail) or sailing ?
If only when Motoring, I’d suspect the prop’ shaft packing gland.
If also when Idling (underway), look at the Cooling System again.
If (even) while Sailing, I’d look at hull flexure issues.
FWIW,
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Old 26-07-2005, 12:11   #4
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Since it does not occur when the engine is running at the dock, one must come to the conclusion that then engine and its associated systems that are used at the dock are not the culprit. What is used when underway that is not used at the dock? The drive train comes to mind. As Gord suggested I would look at the stuffing box.
Stuffing boxes should leak about one drop every thirty seconds. In a couple of hours, some water will collect in your bilge. If the drip is excessive you can tighten the gland nut but not too tight. Some water intrusion indicates that it is being properly lubricated. If you want a dry bilge, you could replace the entire stuffing box with a dripless gland or simply replace the packing with gore-tex packing.

Jim
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Old 26-07-2005, 17:31   #5
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Thanks for your inpput. I only take in water while motoring. I will recheck my stuffing box the next time I am out. I don't think its that. The volume of water is beyond what it drips. I am still suspecting the wet exhaust by process of elimenation. I'll do that after a few more tests. However if it is the wet exhaust, wouldn't it also do it at the dock? Just thinking here.

When the boat is motoring at cruising speed the exhaust through hull is under water, at idle or slower speeds it's not. So I don't think back siphoning is an issue. I'll check th connections around the muffler and see what I find.

I don't belive it it be a hull flexing issue. The Challenger was way over built and strong. I'll let you know what I find.
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Old 26-07-2005, 17:55   #6
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Only two significant differences, between idling & motoring, immediately come to mind:
1. Rotating prop’ shaft
2. Vibration & flexure, due to boat motion
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Old 26-07-2005, 20:22   #7
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Hmm Goretex Packing??

Quote:
Jentine once whispered in the wind:
you could replace the entire stuffing box with a dripless gland or simply replace the packing with gore-tex packing.

Jim
Hmmm Never heard of Gore-Tex shaft packing before. Someone, please tell me more. I need to change my packing this fall when I haul out in preparation for our trip south for the winter.

As for the leak, I would suspect the packing gland too! I learned that it should be "wound" around the shaft in such a manner as water is "screwed" up the shaft with normal forward rotation. In other words, counterclockwise on a shaft rotating clockwise and vise versa. Usually a min of three wraps if space permits under the jam nut. It should then be tightened just to the point that it does not drip at all when the shaft is not turning. When first changed or launched it will take a day or two to soak in and swell up so don't tighten it too much at first. All my experience is based on flax packing and not gore-tex. Enlighten me Oh Wise Ones.

All this having been said, IMHO your boat may be acting just as it should and maybe you have no problem.

Greg
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Old 26-07-2005, 20:56   #8
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Quote:
All this having been said, IMHO your boat may be acting just as it should and maybe you have no problem.
Well Hell, it's a boat, damn it. Something needs to be fixed.

I'll check the gland next time I'm under way.
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Old 27-07-2005, 13:50   #9
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Well Hell Maddog, If we're gonna get anal then you don't even wanna hear my philosophy - - - Ya see, I figure that as long as I keep the inside water line below the outside waterline then I gotta still be afloatin' Right Everbody!!!! hehehehehe

But still, anyone wanna tell me about this gore-tex packing. Hell I cut up my huntin' boots last night and there wasn't any shaft packing in there. What is this, some kind of cruel joke??

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Old 27-07-2005, 17:11   #10
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Quote:
Well Hell Maddog, If we're gonna get anal then you don't even wanna hear my philosophy
Well Hell Greg, if there's nothing to fix. What excuse do I use to sneak away on a week night?
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Old 27-07-2005, 20:28   #11
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Yeah, and if you can't fix anything, ya can't spend money, and if ya can't spend money, there ain't no point in working and ifff.... .????? oops hang about. I see a small hole in my argument. I'm gonna go sit down with a cold beer and think about this theory for a while.
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Old 27-07-2005, 23:37   #12
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Dry bilges are nice

Gore-tex shaft packing:

http://www.e-marine-inc.com/products...g/packing.html
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Old 28-07-2005, 10:20   #13
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Expanded PTFE

‘GFO’ fibre packing installation instructions from W.L. Gore:
http://www.gore.com/MungoBlobs/fiber...structions.pdf

GregB: Note that they recommend separate (cut), offset (min. 90 deg.) rings, rather than a continuous ‘winding’. When (the typical) 3 rings are installed, you might offset each at 120 degrees. Other manufacturers recommend the same.

I believe that GFO packings are actually braided from graphite-reinforced expanded PTFE (‘Teflon’, a fluoropolymer) fibers with corner braid made of aramide (Graphite) fiber impregnated with PTFE suspension, perhaps a with silicone lubricant ... which would be akin to, but not excactly, Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex textile material is composed of a thin, porous fluoropolymer membrane, bonded to some fabric, usually nylon or polyester. The membrane has about 9 billion pores per square inch, making it impenetrable for liquid water while allowing the water vapor through. The result is a material that is waterproof and breathable. The outer fabric is additionally treated with water repellent.

Both are patented and licenced by W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
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Old 31-07-2005, 06:46   #14
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As everyone else has said, it is most likely the packing. I have hed experience with the packing leaking only while under way. This is a likely sign of worn out packing; however... I have a Challenger 40, and am familiar with the design. If you have the modified full keel, no worries about the hull. If you have the fin keel design, check your strut, and check the hull at the rear of the keel. These two areas are weak in the fin keel design, and often develop cracks.
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Old 01-08-2005, 04:47   #15
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Glad to hear that there is one other Challenger owner out there. The boat has been hauled recenting and the strut& keel are fine. I need to look at the packing closer when I go out next weekend.

Just for shits and grins - if the packing is fine, where would you look next?
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