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Old 16-12-2017, 23:40   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Boat: Compass 28
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Possible keel leak

After a roughish grounding a few weeks ago, I have discovered brown water in the keel water tank">fresh water tank. The water was clear beforehand, and the colour leads me to think it's not seawater, and it didn't taste particularly salty, more like slightly metallic and there is no oil slick.

I'm wondering if a leak has developed from the cavity below the bilge through into the FW tank. I know the space below the bilge has had gooey water in it in the past, as somebody (before my ownership) left open screwholes in the upper part of the bilge that allowed liquid to drain there.

The boat is a 70's build semi-full keel fibreglass with encapsulated lead keel. There is a cavity above the lead, below the bilge, and the FW tank is in the hollow aft section of the keel. It's and Australian Compass 28.

On the slip, the keel looked undamaged except for some gouges which I filled, but I'm concerned there is concealed damage.

Anyone able to shed light on with this situation?

Cheers, Graeme
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Old 22-12-2017, 16:23   #2
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Location: Now based on Florida's West coast
Boat: Pearson 34-II
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Re: Possible keel leak

I just saw this Lockie. I would try a borescope first and see if you can detect anything wrong. Otherwise, it's drastic engineering: you'll have to remove your floorboards to see if there's any damage below. I hope this helps. Good luck and safe sailing . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathrustra
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Old 22-12-2017, 16:42   #3
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
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Re: Possible keel leak

Hi, Graeme,

I am not an expert on Compasses, but if the FW water tank was damaged from reaction to the impact, and it cracked, the brown, especially if your keel metal is iron, suggests rust. So, if you have access, I would empty the tank and have a close look at whatever's happening inside the encapsulation. You may need to replace the tank, but it would be nice to get it out whole, and fix it, if possible. In any event, you will eventually feel better if you understand fully what is going on there.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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