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Old 19-03-2013, 20:55   #1
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Water seepage through bilge (encapsulated keel)

Boat is an East Coast 1965 Pearson Triton (encapsulated lead keel, no false keel). It's been in the water for a year after a major refit. No (obviously) visible cracks/holes/crazing seen while it was on the hard for 6 months. No groundings or bumps since launch.

I'm not sure how but I have water seeping in through the spider cracks around the forward u-bolt (1 of 2 used to lower the lead ballast into the keel cavity by builder). Bolt is rusted badly now and causing more bulging/spider cracks. The aft bolt (lower in bilge) also has spider cracks but less corrosion and no seepage.

Any idea what's going on here and what the fix is?
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Old 19-03-2013, 21:43   #2
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Re: Water seepage through bilge (encapsulated keel)

first thing to do is taste it!
then you will know if it is salt water,or fresh coming from condensation or a leaky water tank.

if it is salt,on an encapsulated keel the chances are you have a gouge on the bottom or leading edge of the fiberglass keel molding,or leaking rudder pintles on a full keel boat.

tempory fix is to dive down with underwater epoxy and try fill the gouge.

next thing to do is to haul out,leak should become evident with close inspectionwill need to chock the boat quite high to be able to work on the underside of the keel.
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Old 19-03-2013, 22:16   #3
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Re: Water seepage through bilge (encapsulated keel)

No need to taste. Water/holding tanks empty right now. Hasn't rained in 2 weeks. Thought condensation but dried the area real well and then 15 minutes later...wet again. Dried it off and watched...about 5 minutes and noticeably wet from the spider cracks...5 more and full-sized drops running to bilge.

I suspect the gudgeons (it's "full" keel) but not sure how water would get uphill past the low spot of the bilge and the other u-bolt (which would be in the path and lower).

In this pic you can see where I cut off the u-bolt as I planned to grind it out and epoxy/glass over this area where it was rusting...until I realized it's seeping.
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Old 19-03-2013, 22:23   #4
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Re: Water seepage through bilge (encapsulated keel)

if you think of the keel area as a sealed tank,
where it is leaking out is just the first place it can leak once it is full.

when they put the ballest in they generally poured resin on top,with a bit in the bottom,then glassed over the top.,but invariably you will find voids where water can travel
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