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Old 16-03-2012, 22:11   #16
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

I experienced the same issue some years back on a different boat. The keel was a cast iron bulb fin and was working in heavy seas. (lots of pressure against a keel ) Put the boat on the hard and dropped the keel. 2 of the bolts were rusted badly so replaced them all . Bilge was dry from that point on. Did not have to step the mast to do this but is was exp. boats have lost their keels at sea and for obvious reasons do not stay upright well, without them !!
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Old 16-03-2012, 22:12   #17
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

PS You can have them xrayed in some yards.
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Old 16-03-2012, 23:32   #18
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

I was taught the baby powder trick. Liberally sprinkle baby powder around the top part of the keel sump and go sailing. If it's leaking from above the keel bolts from somewhere else in the boat you will see the water "trail" in the powder. If the powder stays dry but the bilges are wet it's from the bolt holes.
Good luck.
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Old 17-03-2012, 00:02   #19
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

I do not know your boat, but in most boats the keel bolts are the lowest point in a wet bilge. I do not know how you determined that these bolts are the culprit, but if they, in fact, are the source, this needs immediate attention.

That said, let me add where much of the water that accumulates in many wet bilges comes from:

**keel-stepped mast has many openings from the top to the sealing boot.
**leaking fresh water system
**leaking deck-hull seal
**leaking anchor chain bulkhead
**leaking cutlass bearing and/or shaft packing
**leaking ball-cocks

Have you eliminated all of the above? BTW, it is easy to check for salinity using a TDS meter...this will eliminate some of the sources that would leak from rain water (mast) and fresh water systems.

Our previous boat was a Beneteau 46. The largest contributor to our bilge water was the mast and there was little that could be done about it. The bilge was very shallow and healing caused some of the water to come above the floor when healed. At one point we lost some oil which also drained to the lowest point of the bilge. We had a mess when we healed over with that oil. We learned to drain 100% of the bilge water before heading out for a day of sailing and when out longer than a day, to check it daily.

Hope this helps.

Bill
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Old 17-03-2012, 02:34   #20
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

We definitely haven't ruled everything else out. We have a dripless shaft seal, I just sealed the anchor locker bulkhead, the mast of course will add some rainwater...I should have checked for salinity.

Now that I've checked, the upper rudder bearing looks like it was leaking. Its a nylon collar maybe 12 inches above the waterline. The hull was pretty wet just underneath. It would be nice if there was an o-ring inside but I doubt it.

I'll have to do some more investigation. Like I said, in most conditions the bilge is dry but in this case we had driving rain, 12 ft following seas and gusts to 35 knots over a period of 30 hrs. In the end we pulled about 5 gallons of water out.

Next opportunity, we'll put eyes on the rudder bearing and keel bolts before we notice the water on the cabin sole.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 17-03-2012, 06:00   #21
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

If it's the keel joint/bolts, you should be able to dive on the boat and see if the joint is exposed at all. If you can't see the joint, start looking elsewhere for the leak
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Old 17-03-2012, 19:54   #22
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Re: Keel bolts leaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefossl View Post
Now that I've checked, the upper rudder bearing looks like it was leaking. Its a nylon collar maybe 12 inches above the waterline. The hull was pretty wet just underneath. It would be nice if there was an o-ring inside but I doubt it.


Thanks for all the input.
Sounds like you might get lucky and find the source at the rudder. Our rudder has a packing gland and grease pump. This is a neat package if you can make it work. The pump is a hand knob driving a plunger. The 1/4" copper line delivers grease to the packing. Seals & lubricates.
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