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Old 27-09-2010, 09:59   #1
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Fresh Water in the Bilge

I have recently noticed that the bilge pump runs when it is raining or when I wash the boat. Fresh water from the topside is getting into the bilge. It would seem that the most likely path would be the hull deck joint. Another possibility would be the seal around the lifeline stanchions.

Has anyone else noticed this and tracked down the leak?
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Old 27-09-2010, 10:04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Sailor View Post
I have recently noticed that the bilge pump runs when it is raining or when I wash the boat. Fresh water from the topside is getting into the bilge. It would seem that the most likely path would be the hull deck joint. Another possibility would be the seal around the lifeline stanchions.

Has anyone else noticed this and tracked down the leak?
Yes, your leaking is coming from the left stanchion post on the port side, second from the bow pulpit. All leaks develop on the port side.
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Old 27-09-2010, 10:07   #3
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THE leak? THE leak? I've had several, but now I'm down to only two.
Good luck finding it. Best to start with a friend holding a hose.
Aim it at anyplace suspect and get as close to that area as possible where you can see the hull. Chain locker? Mast/hull area? Companionway slide? Winch mountings?
Bow pulpit mounting? The list goes on and on.
At least your boat is relatively small and simple.

BTW, welcome to CF.
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Old 27-09-2010, 10:12   #4
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xxuxx's response, well, xxuxx

That, of course is only true on the left coast.

Chasing leaks comes right between changing choker valves and removing oil stains in fiberglass on my list of Top Nautical Pita's I swear water flows up hill and into the wind as it seeks its own level in and outside a hull. It creeps along headliners, darts across dark voids and drips on you face when you sleep.

The best thing to do is have the boat flash frozen in a very large meat locker, take it completely apart, track all the frozen water trails with an airhammer and fill the holes with oakum and pine tar. then sell it.
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Old 27-09-2010, 10:13   #5
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Any topside fitting or deck penetration should be suspect. One time I had rainwater coming in through the bolt-rope slot on the keel-stepped mast. Caulking and an improved mast boot fixed that one.

One trick you might try is to pressurize the interior of your boat, then apply soapy water around the deck fittings and look for bubbles. I tried this, using a leaf-blower into the chain pipe, and masking tape to cover all the known gaps. I found some leaks that way, but there are still some small ones I haven't tracked down. This technique isn't guaranteed, but it might help. At least you get a clean topsides when you're done!
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Old 27-09-2010, 10:26   #6
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If your bilge pump is turning on just by washing down your boat, I would take a good look at the cockpit drains also, leaks are a biych to trace down.
Dry day, just wet down certain areas and go from there with yout search
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Old 27-09-2010, 11:38   #7
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NC - You have some funny suggestions here. My thoughts are to make sure your shower sump is working if you have one, otherwise it could be draining to the bilge. Also, is the water tank leaking perhaps? Thirdly it could be your anchor locker. A little rain would get in that way.
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Old 27-09-2010, 12:30   #8
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If your bilge pump is turning on just by washing down your boat,
Yeah, thats a big leak if the sump pump comes on.
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Old 27-09-2010, 13:07   #9
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My boat has, since I hunted them ALL down, had only one place that will allow water in and that is around the lazarette lid. When(if?) I wash the boat with any form of water power it will fill the track around the lid faster than it can flow away if there is more than one ant corpse, 3 cat hairs, some cigarette ash, or a leaf. I will, one day, apply some weather stripping to the edge in the vain attempt to stop this one and only leak on the boat.

To find a leak I have used washable markers on smooth shiney surfaces and talcum powder on more course ones. Apply your choice before applying water for best results. Good luck and have fun...........m
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Old 27-09-2010, 13:08   #10
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I've found a lot of leaks on our boat...............Does that help?!?
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Old 27-09-2010, 13:57   #11
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I know my boat has leaks because the bildge does get water in it. But they seem to only do this when no one is on the boat. Doesn't matter how hard it is raining or the sea is breaking on the bow when I'm on the boat I can not find any water at that time.
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Old 27-09-2010, 17:49   #12
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Some good suggestions here. Some do not apply due to the structure of the boat. I will give some of the others a try.

Thanks!
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Old 27-09-2010, 18:27   #13
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leaks are sneaky.they do things on purpose to drive you nuts.my boat is taiwanese and has more tiny annoying leaks than i can count.. leaky teaky....chinese water torture...and, the bigger they get, the more lil leaks they grow...lol --gooodluck in finding all and making yours a water pruf boat....
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:40   #14
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We had chronic leaks from the two cockpit lockers. Put new seal on and we make sure they are not only closed but latched when we leave the boat.
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