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Old 21-11-2015, 15:22   #61
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Location: Port Louis, Haida Gwaii (The edge of the world)
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Re: Water from bilge infiltrating keel with encapsulated ballast

This is an interesting subject. The last time I had our boat on the hard, it was out of the water for about a month when I began to see a dribble emanating from the trailing edge of the keel about 1/2 way up from the bottom. It was a light brown colour but I couldn't smell anything.

I drilled into the spot that it was coming from with a one inch spade bit, and it was just totally dry. I didn't have to go very far, just barely into the glass.

So I patched the area with some epoxy resin/fibre (can't remember the brand name off hand). The next day, the dribble was back.

I figured that it must be coming from the bilge but can't explain why the hell I can't follow a trail?

There are no external blisters at all, so I don't see how it could be entering from outside the keel.

I'm still perplexed and curious as to what I'll find next spring when she comes out again.

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Old 21-11-2015, 15:40   #62
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Re: Water from bilge infiltrating keel with encapsulated ballast

My understanding is that most large hulls are layed up in half holds then married together. If things don't go just right, years later paths may develop. I had one where I had water in the sump. So, on the hard hard I dried her out and epoxied her up.....Then years later when I removed the lower rudder gudgeon water starts leaking out. Boat has been on the hard for years.... Another story.. Evidently the water entered in through the gudgeon mounting holes and just seeped up to the bilge. I ended drilling the gudgeon holes oversize, filled them in with epoxy fiber mix and re-drilled correct size. The whole process can be seen on the blog at Gudgeon Leak | Sailing Vessel Vigah I got out about 7 gallons of water.

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Old 22-11-2015, 00:23   #63
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Re: Water from bilge infiltrating keel with encapsulated ballast

The importance of good gel-coat is to keep the water away from the strands of reinforcing glass fiber. This may seem like splitting hairs to some, but if you would think for a moment of single a glass rod. Imagine that you have painted resin on it and allowed it to cure. IF you could remove that glass rod you would have an open tube of resin that water could pass though quite freely. But if you could put the glass rod back in. and then put it in water, A minute amount of water over time might through capillary attraction still find its way through. So In theory as your vessel works under stress in a seaway over time: In a microscopic sense the bonds of resin to glass individual strands could release and wear. Hence the fiberglass core of your vessels become full of capillary tubes that may some how connect and thus cause a passageway for minute amounts of water to find a path through it to a place where it Could collect. Some layups are thus designed to attempt to prevent chafing within the structure, This was the theory taught back in the 1960's

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bilge, enc, keel, water

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