Senior Smart Aleck
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Thanked 70 Times in 65 Posts
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak
Sorry to hear about your leak. There are many potential sources, you will have to determine the source by the process of elimination. It appears you have correctly eliminated the propeller shaft fitting and probably anything aft of the bilge as the source, although water can make its way forward or aft or laterally throughout the boat. In addition, sometimes, water will accumulate in one area of the boat, then be released and redirected by the movement of the boat through the action of sailing or motoring and the stringers and ribs in the boat.
If you were in salt water, we could advise you to taste the water to determine if it is fresh or sea water, but your boat's location in the Great Lakes makes that test unfeasible.
Check the water tank and all thru-hulls, including the head intake thru-hull, the speedo and depth sounder thru-hull, the sink drain thru-hull, the icebox drain thru-hull, the engine cooling water intake, and any thru-hulls that have been abandoned. Test and examine all seacocks for leakage. You also need to check all hoses and fittings, the engine exhaust elbow and the water pump. In fact, it is a good idea to grab the hoses and manipulate them to determine if the material is still solid. Sometimes, a hose will dry rot or develop a slow leak along the spiral seam, although it appears to be fine. With a new-to-you boat, it is certainly advisable, inexpensive and relatively easy to replace all hoses.
Next, check the potential hull structural elements entry points: the keel bolts, the rudder post, a bow thruster, if the boat has one.
In the meantime, I second Jimgo's good advice about setting up solar power and an automatic bilge pump. You need to work quickly or haul the boat. I know from a previous thread, you were plan to install 2 automatic pumps.
You have gotten some good advice. In lieu of adding food coloring, you could add some red RV/Marine antifreeze to your water tank and pump some through the head.
Last edited by jameswilson29; 05-14-2013 at 06:22 AM.