Desperately leaking for answers - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-23-2006 Thread Starter
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Desperately leaking for answers

As a first time keel boat purchaser, I recently had a 1977 CS27 (that I am supposed to buy in a week) surveyed by an accredited surveyor. He spent at least 4 hours gong through the boat, and hammer sounded the hulls, deck, and coachroof. He found no structural problems except for a few small voids in the cockpit floor. However, it’s been a few days since the survey and there has been some very heavy rain. Last night I checked around the boat and noticed some wet cushions and water stains below 4 fairleads and 2 cleats on the coachroof (all 6 items are fastened with the same type of screws). In the galley area, when I reached into the back wooden compartment (storage area without a door approximately 12” long by 12” deep by 6” high that abuts the fibreglass wall of the cockpit) the water there was at least 1” deep and amounted to a cup or two of water that I needed to scoop out. I’m assuming this water would typically run straight down, but the boat is angled back at least 10 degrees while on the hard causing the water to collect where it did.

I know the current owner used a power washer with some frequency, and I suspect that he has blasted any sealant material away in the process. I was away for 15 minutes of the survey so I’m not sure if the surveyor used a water meter. The surveyor is now in Europe and can’t be reached. Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated:

1) If this water typically went straight down the sides (as it would when the boat was sitting level in the water) would it have just run into the bilge or should I check for an accumulation elsewhere?

2) Other than sealing all 6 of these fittings with marine adhesive sealant, is there anything else that I should do?

3) Is there a good reference book that a first time keel boat owner should read?

Thank you in advance for your advice.


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post #2 of 6 Old 05-23-2006
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Leaks, and the requirement to fight them are part of boat ownership. Resealing should take place on a regular basis every few years, just for piece of mind. That said, an adhesive sealer such as 5200 is really not the best choice. Life caulk or 4200 are better, because the next time you go to reseal the areas you will be better able to remove the old to put on the new. Also remember to let the caulk cure a bit before really mashing down on it.
I would have someone get a water meter on all areas that may have leaked before buying the boat. Pounding isnt going to tell you how soaked the roof is. Unless you want to spend a lot of time and money on her, it can be cheap insurance. My .02
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-23-2006
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The CS Owners Association is very active and helpful. I suggest you join the discussion board – questions like this appear to be answered within a day or two. Good luck.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-23-2006
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We've owned our CS36T for five years and we still have a few leaks to resolve, so leaks are somewhat BAU (business-as-usual). The CSOA email group is the right source for advice. I would be surprised if any of the deck hardware leaks, that doesn't seem a been a general issue. If you have the Beckson opening ports, they are frequent sources as can be the mast boot (or is the 27 deck stepped?) Should you end up rebedding any deck hardware be sure to re-install your fittings through epoxy plugs to permanently seal the core areas - CSOA has plenty of threads on these subjects.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-23-2006
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I guess I should count myself as fortunate that my boat doesn't leak. Even in the torrential rains we had the last two weeks, the interior is dry as a bone.

One good way to trace a leak is to sprinkle talcum powder over the areas you think are leaking and then hose down the exterior in those areas. If there is a leak, it will show in the powder.

If it is the fittings that are leaking, I would remove them and check to make sure whoever installed them sealed the core in the area they are in, if the deck is cored. If not, I would remove some of the core in the areas around the fittings and fill it with thickened epoxy to prevent any water that does eventually leak from migrating into the core and causing the deck to delaminate.


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Last edited by sailingdog; 05-23-2006 at 02:50 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-23-2006
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unsweetened cherry koolaid sprinkled around like the talcum powder will turn bright red when water hits it. Very easy to find leaks.
for obvious reasons best used in 'hidden' areas.

used to leave some in hard to see areas for very quick visual inspections, peek in and if you see red take a better look.

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