Join Date: Dec 2013
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Re: How much water is normal?
Okay, I'll bite. IMHO there is no such thing as a "normal" amount of water in the bilge! Of course less is better than more, but seriously, it depends a great deal on where the water is coming from...a leaking below-the-waterline hose/thru hull connection is a ticking time bomb, while dribbles down the mast in a tropical monsoon season is a minor inconvenience.
If you're lying in salt water, one (psychologically somewhat unpleasant) thing you can do to quickly narrow the possibilities is to dip your finger in the bilge when it's full and taste it - salty means from below, fresh means from above...now spit!
As already pointed out, the possible sources of water ingress are many - leaking keel bolts, corroded water tanks/fittings (does water level remain the same in water tanks when not being used?), bad hose clamps, leaking engine hoses, faulty scuppers, prop shaft, portlights, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The pisser with some deck/topside leaks is that they start out in one place, but the water may run a good distance behind paneling & furniture before it gets to where you find the water dripping into the interior of the boat. And, don't be too surprised if it turns out there's actually more than one source. Put on your Deerstalker cap, have a buddy turn a hose on and wash the boat down while you poke around with a flashlight, and begin the detective work Sherlock!