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post #11 of 30 Old 02-02-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: How much water is normal?

Thanks - I'm hesitant to give the water a taste, because of the greasy engine compartment. I'm actually fairly hopeful that it's freshwater coming from a leak in some cockpit fitting. After drying it out and sailing for a period, there hasn't been accumulated water. That and the above discussion makes me think above-waterline leak. My only other major concern is if it's a tiny leak from a through-hull.

Are there any materials or tints you can use to help find minor leaks? I'm imagining some sort of paper material or dye that you can use to mark around fittings.
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post #12 of 30 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

Get the interior of the bilge as dry as possible then take some paper towels and put them in the bilge races (...what's the right word for the pathways the water takes from the source of the leak to the sump?) ....at various locations around the boat. When you come back and find a wet towel you know the leak is somewhere up hill from that spot. Repeat, as necessary, moving "up hill" -- you'll eventually find the leak. (Some of it may be condensation, in which case there is no "leak").

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post #13 of 30 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

For pure water, the boiling point is 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) at one atmosphere of pressure, and saltwater, the boiling point is raised and depends on the amount of salt. So if it boils at 212 deg F. it is fresh, anything higher is salt.

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

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Originally Posted by Milkjug View Post
My boat takes on ~4 gallons of water between the bilge and engine compartment. It takes about two months to accumulate this much, at which point I slop it all out. This is my first boat and I'm trying to understand how normal this is. After removing the majority of the water, I've looked for minor leaks but can't find anything. Is it typical to always have a small amount of water in the hull?

If it helps, this is a 1978 33 foot Peterson. Overall very hardy, I'd just like to keep water out of the boat.
OK, that amounts to about 1 cup of water per day. Perhaps a bit more than I'd like, but hardly something to panic about. If your stuffing box is in need of maintenance you could easily get that much water. But from what you say, my bet is that you're getting leaks above the water line, probably through ports, hatches, hawse pipe, and likely through deck fittings. It's an older boat. It's bound to have some leaks.

I assume you have a automatic bilge pump? If not, get one. Do check out the thru hulls to confirm all are solid and not leaking, and watch your stuffing box some more. It better leak some when the shaft is turning, unless it is a no-drip box. If it's a tank leaking, then find that and fix it. But really, one cup a day is not a big deal. Less is better, but not something to loose too much sleep over.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #15 of 30 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

If you have a keel steped mast, then depending on rainfall and locations of cutouts for the internal halyards that about of water is not surprising.
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post #16 of 30 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

STANDARD 'leakage rate' for a 1 to 1-1/4" non-rotating shaft in a standard stuffing box with FLAX packing is 1 to 2 drops per minute.

1 to 2 drops per minute (gtt) X 24 hours X 60 minutes = 1440 to 2880 drops per day.
1 milliliter (ml) = ~18 drops
1440 to 2880 gtt per DAY / 18 = 80 to 160 ml / DAY

1 gallon = 3.78 liters = 3,780 milliliters
3 gallons = 11,340 milliliteters

11340 milliliters 80 to 160 ml/DAY = ~70 to 140 days = 2.3 to 4.6 MONTHS

Rx: - YOUR DRIP RATE IS PERFECTLY NORMAL

;-)
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Last edited by RichH; 02-03-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-03-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
If you have a conventional stuffing box, you're supposed to have "leakage".
About 8 drips per minute underway and nothing at rest. If you are not dripping you may be scoring your shaft.
mines a little extra juicy unfortunately

I have about a drip a minute or two at standstill

bummer

BUT better loose than tight...as tight will damage a shaft and render it useless in seconds!

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post #18 of 30 Old 02-03-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
STANDARD 'leakage rate' for a 1 to 1-1/4" non-rotating shaft in a standard stuffing box with FLAX packing is 1 to 2 drops per minute.

1 to 2 drops per minute (gtt) X 24 hours X 60 minutes = 1440 to 2880 drops per day.
1 milliliter (ml) = ~18 drops
1440 to 2880 gtt per DAY / 18 = 80 to 160 ml / DAY

1 gallon = 3.78 liters = 3,780 milliliters
3 gallons = 11,340 milliliteters

11340 milliliters 80 to 160 ml/DAY = ~70 to 140 days = 2.3 to 4.6 MONTHS

Rx: - YOUR DRIP RATE IS PERFECTLY NORMAL

;-)
and there you have it

seems I adjusted mine JUST PERFECT

having no drip at standstill is extreme to me but there are always opinions and likes and ways of doing things

peace

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post #19 of 30 Old 02-03-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

Many ways to find leakage. You can use a Crayola "washable marker" and draw a line on fiberglass or metal. If water drips down it will erase the line.

Or dust a space with plain talcum powder. Water running down will leave tracks in the powder.

Does your two months mean with the prop running? Or not? If the amount of water varies with prop use, it could be the stuffing box. If that hasn't been repacked in five years, it is a first choice to take a look at. Repacking with GoreTex string or Teflon putty may solve the problem.

If the water is coming in from abovedecks with rains, there are ways to find deck leaks and fix them as well. Plenty of threads on that already.

Normal to have water in the bilge? Some, sure, unless you are drying it out. Coupla gallons sloshing around mean you are soaking the keel bolts though, and that's not a good idea.
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post #20 of 30 Old 02-03-2014
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Re: How much water is normal?

The "taste test" is inconclusive.

Rainwater running into an engine bilge where the stuffing box drains to, will taste salty.

The "powder test" is much more effective. Buy a cheap rose bush duster from the hardware store, and load it with DE powder (diatomaceous earth, also at the hardware store).

DE powder is very fine, harmless and cheap. Give some puffs of that around your bilges and watch the water trails illuminate like magic.
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