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Date: 11 January 2022. Finding the Leak (part 1)

janice142
 

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.

Side 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 the moment.
 

 

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:

Sunken schooner

 

 


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 fastest results.


 

 

When the vessel is in salt water, this is
what a taste of bilge water will tell you:

 

Fresh:  the issue is in the water tank or hoses inside the vessel.

Side Note: 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.
 

Salt water: 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 saw water:

A THRU-HULL 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 forever.
 

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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COMMENTS:
 

2022

Category: In the Bilges,

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Next Post ~ Temporary Thru-Hull Fix (part 2)

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