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Old 29-06-2015, 12:58   #1
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mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Hi everyone,
I am trying to maintain a dry bilge. I have dripless shaft seal.

Mast is keel stepped. I get water in my sump under the mast when it rains, and if it rains hard enough, that sump can overflow into my primary bilge.

I have sealed the mast track with sealant just above partners to keep water from going down that route. The external collar around the mast is intact and watertight. It seems the water is coming in from the inside of the mast, not outside. I am thinking possibly where halyards exit?

Anyone have same problem and find a solution?
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Old 29-06-2015, 13:24   #2
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

inside of the mast, as in down the wires through the cabin roof?
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Old 29-06-2015, 13:44   #3
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

I have the same problem. I also would be interested in any suggestions. I believe it is water from the masthead sheaves, or from the halyard exits, as you said. As much as I like a keel-stepped mast, this is one drawback.

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Steve
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Old 29-06-2015, 13:52   #4
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

A surprising amount of rainwater will get into the mast via the various openings that must be there. As you suggest, the haly ard exits and the sheaves at the head are the culprits and can't be practically sealed. There is a dam at deck level and a drain hole there, but it is difficult to effect a true seal there, some six and a half feet up the tube, and with two conduits having to pass through it.

Our solution is to direct the water that gathers at the base of the mast into our shower sump where there is a small pump with a float switch. When an inch or so of water collects thee, it is pumped overboard. The remainder of the bilge remains dusty.

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Old 29-06-2015, 14:22   #5
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

I like what Jim Cate said, but I am curious how it works. On my boat the mast step is lower in the hull than the shower sump and the run off channel from the mast goes directly to the bilge sump, so there would have to be some way to get the water "uphill" from the base of the mast after trapping it there to the shower sump. How do you do these tasks on your boat?
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:49   #6
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Or seal up the bilge around the mast step and put an automatic pump in there. Same thing as using the shower sump.
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:51   #7
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

convert your mast to a deck stepped version
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:05   #8
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moody46CC View Post
I like what Jim Cate said, but I am curious how it works. On my boat the mast step is lower in the hull than the shower sump and the run off channel from the mast goes directly to the bilge sump, so there would have to be some way to get the water "uphill" from the base of the mast after trapping it there to the shower sump. How do you do these tasks on your boat?
That IS a problem. From our dam, the drain tube is only slanted at about 2 or 3 degrees, just enough for the water to go to the shower sump.

With your problem, I'd use "mast towels" (i.e., older, less cherished towels you dedicate to the job), and, keep on changing them. Then they go into the regular laundry. If you prefer to go the throw away route, use super absorbent sanitary napkins, which you can wring out into the toilet or sink, and re-use till they give up. I think it is more ecologically sound to re-use old terry towels.

Ann
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:12   #9
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moody46CC View Post
I like what Jim Cate said, but I am curious how it works. On my boat the mast step is lower in the hull than the shower sump and the run off channel from the mast goes directly to the bilge sump, so there would have to be some way to get the water "uphill" from the base of the mast after trapping it there to the shower sump. How do you do these tasks on your boat?
Yes, the practicality of this method is idiosyncratic to individual boat design.Our mast step sits upon a massive timber "H" beam which raises it some 200 mm above the hull, whilst the shower sump is actually part of the hull, so there is some gradient for the drain.

Depending on the exact configuration, it might be possible to construct a dam around the mast step itself and install a small pump there. Whether it is worth the trouble or not is questionable!

Jim
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:53   #10
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Dear Cates--appreciate the answers. I suspect the towel approach might be the best. Going to the boat two days from now for a couple of weeks, so I'll wet-vac her dry when I get there and try the towel solution. If it takes a long time for the towels to get saturated, and then perhaps dry out between rain and showers, it might work. If the towels get saturated fast and lose their absorption ability, I'll have to look at making a dam or just do what I do now--just wet-vac her dry when I return after being away for a while. I'll experiment--and thanks.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:19   #11
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

My main reason for this is to keep the keel bolts dry and keep mildew away. My bilge has a heavy epoxy coating so I don't think I'll have osmosis from inside.

Trouble is, my mast sump area (and my mast step is elevated above bilge on a massive stringer structure so easy to isolate) also contains 3 of the 10 keel bolts. One idea I had was to cut 4 inch stubs out of 3 inch PVC pipe and use non-permanent caulk to glue them down around each keel bolt to form a dam around each to keep them dry. Anyone try this?


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Old 29-06-2015, 20:36   #12
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

There was a discussion on this topic on the thread Bestevaer 49ST - Page 21 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Look for estarzinger's posts on how he prevented water from leaking down the mast.

There are also a number of other threads on the pros and cons of keel stepped masts that may also have some information.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:57   #13
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Hi everyone,
I am trying to maintain a dry bilge. I have dripless shaft seal.

I am thinking possibly where halyards exit?

Anyone have same problem and find a solution?

You would be correct. We can ship up to 15 gallons in an all-day toad-choker. There is a calked diverter in the roller furling back half of the mast that prevents water. Without it, we get another 30 gallons in a big rain. The forward mast part has no diverter. Water enters at the mast head & halyard ports. I have a dike & drain around the foot of the mast to pick up this water and pump directly to the main bilge. This works. I am working on a direct drain hose without pump.
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Old 29-06-2015, 21:20   #14
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Without a inner plastic dam inside of the mast is really if not imposible to keep the bilge dry, most popular mast makers have in their catalogs dams for diferent mast profiles, so next time you drop your rig for whatever reason fit a inner dam and say good bye to rain leaks trough the mast....
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Old 29-06-2015, 21:35   #15
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Re: mast leaks into bilge- what to address?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
There was a discussion on this topic on the thread Bestevaer 49ST - Page 21 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Look for estarzinger's posts on how he prevented water from leaking down the mast.

There are also a number of other threads on the pros and cons of keel stepped masts that may also have some information.
How about a closer link to the subject? That thread has 24 pages to it.
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