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Old 01-05-2014
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Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Hey all,

Just back from a great trip out for an overnight anchorage (saw dolphins, whales, and more).

But I saw again an issue that I've been meaning to post about and pick your collective brains for clues.

I keep my CAL-29 on a mooring ball. Normally her bilges under the cabin floor are nice and dry. However, if I take her out sailing for a day or two (like this last trip) with lots of pitching and rolling and heel her over a lot, there's a couple of inches of water in the forward part of the bilge under the cabin sole at the end of the trip.

So I'm trying to think what it might be from. Here's my thoughts. What am I forgetting?

1. Shaft packing gland. On the CAL29, this would fill the bilge under the engine first, and if it got high enough, go over the baffles and forward into the bilges under the cabin sole. But this isn't the problem here. Monitored during use this trip (and others) and there's just the tiny bit that'd you'd expect. Not even regular drips, just a drop or two every few minutes. Bilge under the engine has some water in it, but no where near the top where it'd overflow into the forward bilge areas.

2. Icebox. Nope, it wasn't running and didn't have anything it it. It wasn't cold. The CAL29's icebox does drain to the bilge, but this can't be it.

3. Condensation from elsewhere. Maybe, but why only see it in the bilge after a long sail? Wouldn't I see that all the time?

4. Water over the bow and going down the chain locker? Maybe, but I don't remember any waves coming over the bow. I don't think this is it.

5. Rainwater leaking down from mast step? Nope, no rain on this trip. On the rare times it rains (in San Diego), as long as she stays on her ball her bilge stays dry even with the rain.

6. Shower drain? The CAL 29 shower drains into the bilge but I don't use it. No water leaking in the shower pan from anywhere that I can see or think of.

7. Something in the head system? Maybe, but the bilge doesn't stink like I think it would if it came from something in the head. Use the head on the mooring ball with no water in the bilge afterwards. Water only shows up after a sail.

What else could it be that only shows up after a rigorous sail?

-James
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Old 01-05-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Check valve in line from bilge pump to thru hull,,. Do sinks fill with water when heeling



Quote:
Originally Posted by chartscharts View Post
Hey all,

Just back from a great trip out for an overnight anchorage (saw dolphins, whales, and more).

But I saw again an issue that I've been meaning to post about and pick your collective brains for clues.

I keep my CAL-29 on a mooring ball. Normally her bilges under the cabin floor are nice and dry. However, if I take her out sailing for a day or two (like this last trip) with lots of pitching and rolling and heel her over a lot, there's a couple of inches of water in the forward part of the bilge under the cabin sole at the end of the trip.

So I'm trying to think what it might be from. Here's my thoughts. What am I forgetting?

1. Shaft packing gland. On the CAL29, this would fill the bilge under the engine first, and if it got high enough, go over the baffles and forward into the bilges under the cabin sole. But this isn't the problem here. Monitored during use this trip (and others) and there's just the tiny bit that'd you'd expect. Not even regular drips, just a drop or two every few minutes. Bilge under the engine has some water in it, but no where near the top where it'd overflow into the forward bilge areas.

2. Icebox. Nope, it wasn't running and didn't have anything it it. It wasn't cold. The CAL29's icebox does drain to the bilge, but this can't be it.

3. Condensation from elsewhere. Maybe, but why only see it in the bilge after a long sail? Wouldn't I see that all the time?

4. Water over the bow and going down the chain locker? Maybe, but I don't remember any waves coming over the bow. I don't think this is it.

5. Rainwater leaking down from mast step? Nope, no rain on this trip. On the rare times it rains (in San Diego), as long as she stays on her ball her bilge stays dry even with the rain.

6. Shower drain? The CAL 29 shower drains into the bilge but I don't use it. No water leaking in the shower pan from anywhere that I can see or think of.

7. Something in the head system? Maybe, but the bilge doesn't stink like I think it would if it came from something in the head. Use the head on the mooring ball with no water in the bilge afterwards. Water only shows up after a sail.

What else could it be that only shows up after a rigorous sail?

-James
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Leaking hull deck joint, about the only option left after you have excluded the other culprits. This is the only thing I can think of that would let water in while sailing hard but not at the mooring. I forget how this is put together on a cal 29, but at some point they all leak and on a 30 plus year old boat it is more likely than not.
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Old 01-05-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Hole in the upper portion water tank? Only spills out when heeling.
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Check your drain line from the anchor locker. If the fittings are loose, you could be picking up water when heeled over. Should be a simple fix too.
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Old 01-06-2014
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Yup- your water holding tank is probably the culprit. Taste the water. At least you'll narrow down the source that way.
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Old 01-06-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

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Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
Yup- your water holding tank is probably the culprit. Taste the water. At least you'll narrow down the source that way.
I agree. Determining whether it is fresh or salt water will narrow it down.
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Old 01-06-2014
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I would look at the rudder tube gland. I think it will be similar to your stern tube gland. Underway water can be forced up and past the gland, it is one of those out of sight out of mind maintenance thing.
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Old 01-06-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Jib tracks? Lifeline stanchion bases? Other deck fittings?

Here's a trick-
Buy some "diatomaceous earth" (silica powder) from your local hardware store, and a cheap rose bush duster. Puff just a little bit of this in your bilge to coat the sides. After a while, you should see trickles tracking through the powder that you can track back to the source.

Don't go nuts with the powder, but it won't hurt your pumps, it doesn't clump or paste when it gets wet.
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Old 01-06-2014
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Re: Mystery water in bilge in CAL-29

Hey,

A few years ago I stated getting water in my bilge after sailing or motoring. Never while sitting at the mooring. It drove me crazy. After a few weeks I found the exhaust flange, where it exited the transom, was leaking. When the boat was sitting still the exhaust was above the water line. When motoring or sailing fast the flange would be submerged and allowed water in. I sealed it with caulk and that solved the problem.

So check for through hulls that are above the water line at rest and submerged when underway and good luck to you.

Barry
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