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  #21  
Old 01-09-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

My 1974 Cal 29 has a vent in the fill cap of the water tanks. If they were close to full and you were sailing hard, water could squirt out of the cap into the bilge. If your front tank has a vent hose you might see if you can find it to be sure it hasn't dropped down low enough to leak when you're on that tack. My Cal also had a plastic fitting behind the hanging locker, above the water line, probably used as an air conditioner drain. There was no valve on this just a 3 ft. length of hose that had dropped down. When you sailed the boat hard mystery water would come in the upper bilge. Roam around on the outside of your boat and check for any mystery fittings at or above the water line.

You can easily check for a leaking hull joint since there is no liner on the Cal, just run your hand around on the hull after a hard sail and see if you find any wet areas.

If the water is just in the forward bilge then it's coming from the front somewhere. Could be coming down the anchor locker vent, chain plates or the head ports. The head ports go thru two layers of fiberglass, so water could leak in and just run down the outer layer. Look inside the medicine cabinet after a hard sail and the hanging locker.

Hope that helps,

Bill
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

The plot thickens...

There does seem to be an over-water discharge on the starboard side for the head sink drain that looks like it might benefit from some caulk around the edges. I'll do that soon.

But today, after not being down at the boat for a few weeks, there was no water at all in the forward bilge. That's not surprising since it usually only showed up after sailing. But there was about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of a brown slightly oily substance in the forward bilge area.

I have no idea what that could have been. Had a slightly oily smell, felt slightly oily on my fingers, but had the viscosity of water. Thought the extra teak oil bottle may have leaked but found no evidence that that was true (bottle was fine) and it didn't have the same smell.

I'm stumped about this. I can see it trailing from forward from under the shower drain but can't imagine at all what this might be. I searched my lockers for anything that might be leaking. No path from the engine area to the forward part of the bilge unless the after bilge is full, which it's not even close.

I'm still stumped and this is the first time I've found that stuff in my forward bilge.
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Do you have a 'friend' with access to your boat?

Maybe this is all a plot to drive you mad!!

True story.. a friend of mine put in mucho time to minimize/eliminate rain water into the bilge via the mast.. and every time he thought he'd beat it, a couple of days later there's another 1/4 litre of water in the bilge. Drove him nuts until another friend fessed up that he'd been squirting a bit of water in there for the previous couple of months..

They laugh about it now, but at the time.......
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

If it had a very strong smell I would think rats are visiting. So it is probably water. It is picking up some rust, oily mud or dirt from the anchor locker or the transverse beam and that's where the brown color and oily feel is coming from.

Things to check - Chain Plates it could be leaking down the plywood, picking up some color and oil I redo these every year - bathroom hatches if the hatches were not replaced at some point, they are old style without drains, water collects in them and eventually leaks into the boat, down the side and into the bilge - anchor deck pipe check the cover that it is secure and around the base for leaks - toilet water supply, even when the thru hull is closed water lays in the hose. Water tank hoses and connections, just because the water is brown and oily doesn't mean that it wasn't clear to start with.

Good luck
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Still not sure where it's coming from. Got an inspection mirror and flash light and looked over the baffle into the forward bilge. Barely can fit the mirror/light.

Can't find any evidence of draining into the bilge, but found a wet spot in the bottom of the bilge in the forward part (seen on the mirror).

Is it at all possible that it's seeping up from OUTSIDE the hull? Through the fiberglass? Like seeping THROUGH the hull?

That may be a dumb question, but I'm still learning. If that's true, then maybe it's more when I'm sailing and the keel is flexing the hull?

The CAL 29 doesn't have keel bolts.

It's probably been three years since she was painted. She's actually getting hauled this Wed. for a bottom clean/paint.

-Charts
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Old 05-19-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

My head sink overflows into my bilge if I forget to close it when sailing hard maybe yours does too it took a while to figure it out.
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Old 05-19-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Let me think

There are a bunch of through hulls on which the original install was pretty bad ,wood pads and other such stuff



The Strut is held in with plywood which rots and would allow the bolts to loosen and leak



Clean up around the sterntube as it was a part of the baot that can blister and leak



Wheel or tiller ? the wheel packing will only leak when sailing

With a tiller the shaft is solid and should NOT leak

The glass work on the keel is massive so lets hope it still is as mine has never shown so much as a minor stress crack and if you remove the cover you can see the entire area well

The hull deck joint is glassed form the inside and then has the rubber over it so you would really have to bury the rail to get water in

The chainplates can also really only leak in the rain as again you would need to submerge the boat to get them wet


ALSO how do you pump out the DEEP section of the bilge under the fiberglass motor bed as it is 24" ? deeper than the main bilge

It could hold 20 gallons easy

On my boat a hole was cut in the motor bed a I keep a my main bilge pump in the deep section with the second pump being up on the higher section under the floor cover in the cabin
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Last edited by tommays; 05-19-2014 at 09:25 AM.
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  #28  
Old 05-19-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

The keel on the 2-29 has encapsulated ballast but it does not fill the entire cavity of the keel. There is an empty portion of the cavity at the extreme forward end of the keel (that is very hard to reach) that will continue to hold several gallons of water after the bilge has been "emptied", whether you realize it or not. If the yacht is pitching heavily, some of this will spill out forward and not all will drain back into the cavity. The foregoing can be exacerbated by the drain from the ice-box which exits from the bottom of the box, through a tube, into the forward portion of the bilge (unless that drain's been plugged). If you have any water in the box from melting ice, it will discharge into that area. On our (former) boat, we solved that by inserting a cork into the drain and using frozen plastic bottles of water rather than block ice to keep the box cold.

FWIW...
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Interesting as on the 1970 29' it has a nice finish on the whole surface with the big cavity in the stern

BUT I get the feeling after setting in the lead they just did a somewhat random filling and sealing job
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Old 05-19-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Good luck finding the source. I'll be following your post closely for clues for my own issues. I get a couple of inches of water in the bilge and have done everything recommended. Every time I taste it, sometimes it's salty, sometimes fresh. One time it had the discoloration of the bio pack that I put in the head. The water level stops at 2 inches or so, and I have agreed to not let it drive me crazy any more (or as much) until I pull the boat and get some more input. Seriously...best of luck to you on this!!
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