Date: 11 January 2022. Finding the Leak (part 1)
This boater's nightmare became a multi-part series. This is
part 1. If you prefer everything on one page like me, the
Thru-Hull Leak Series
contains all articles published regarding the leaking thru-hull fiasco.
Note: If I am able to return to the
sailboat in question, I will update. For now, this is
everything I know. Thank you.
It was a bad day a couple canals
south of here recently. Life lessons were reinforced. One neighbor
owns an older production sailboat. He
experienced the nightmare of water intrusion. Locating where the
problem originated was the first priority. Here is what was done.
Like responsible boaters, the
owner checks his vessel regularly. He had pumped the bilge dry the
previous afternoon. The following morning water was up once again.
There was obviously a leak however locating same was the problem of
This is the ideal...
Though the sailboat pictured on the right
appears similar to the one featured in the
(Joshua Slocum's) Spray replica Anja
article, they are two different vessels.
Nobody wants to become this boat:
The first order of business
when taking on
water is to locate where the water is coming in.
Due to a recent injury the boat owner enlisted the assistance of my
neighbor who invited me to ride along. Fortunately the sailboat in
need was just a couple canals away.
Upon arrival our
emphasis was in finding where the problem originated. Wanting to
know if the water was fresh or salt, I did the finger in water/taste
test. There probably is a better method however mine offered the
vessel is in salt water, this is
what a taste of bilge water will tell you:
the issue is in the water tank or hoses inside the
Though a lot of people swear that attaching to
pressurized dock water is fine, I am old enough to believe this is a
rapid way to sink your boat.
indicates water was coming from outside the hull, and
thus a MUCH more serious problem.
The bilge water was definitely
salty. Because the transom is higher than the keel on this sailboat,
I opted to start aft. Lifting hatches and checking, we noted zero
water. This eliminated one area of the bilge.
Next the main bilge hatch was opened. That is when we
↑ cover had blown. At
some point an inferior cap had been installed.
Most of us have
utilized a temporary repair at some point or another. The problem
with this is that too many folks do not return and properly finish
the job. That temporary cap/cover was installed years ago when closing
off a thru-hull without a valve. Galvanized steel does not last
The unit had rusted out from the
inside. When it finally broke fortunately the stream of water was
discovered before it became even larger. That the entire end did not
fail is indeed fortunate.
A wise boater
checks the bilges every day.
Tomorrow I will share with you the
initial part of the resolution for this leak. Thank you for reading.
Have you ever had a thru-hull issue?
And, what happened?
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In the Bilges,
Manatee Mornings ~
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Temporary Thru-Hull Fix (part 2)