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seekinghappiness 10-11-2007 09:52 AM

Is there a simple way to reseal the exhaust muffler on a 1985 Catalina 30' Tall Rig?
Since I am not mechanically inclined (my expertise is in computer hardware/software) is there a simple way to reseal the exhaust muffler on a 1985 Catalina 30' Tall Rig? The muffler housing has a steady, small water leak on the lower right corner, that ends up in the bilge.

The bilge was absolutely dry during the on-the-water boat survey, and for 3-4 short sailing days on lake Ontario, Sodus Bay area, until a couple of days ago when for the first time, I noticed water in the builge, below the level when the floater switch for the electric bilge pump becomes active, and also noticed some debris that look like sea weed.

I also noticed that for some unknown reason, when I temorarily remove the small threaded draining plug from the exhaust housing, a lot more water that I got used to see, drains into the builge area. Does this mean that the exhaust is getting worse day by day?

Things to consider when troubleshooting this issue: the pump out of the holding tank followed by putting water with a hose through the holding tank valve then again pump-out, motoring in heavy waves that were crashing against the stern (outlet for the engine exhaust center position on the lower end of the stern, and next the outlet for the electric bilge pump), and a docking area that is exposed to wind and waves hitting the stern.

I dried the bilge with a wet 1hp shopvac and the second day I had again a little water in the bilge, this time with no signs of debris/sea weed.

I am a little nervous about this water in the builge, especially since I got used to the thought that my sailboat builge was completely dry.

I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions on how to possibly resolve the water leak issue without recurring to marina repairs (expensive).

saurav16 10-11-2007 10:05 AM

From what i have seen you have to replace it. Its not a fun job due to the tight spaces.

deniseO30 10-11-2007 10:07 AM

the good news is that water lift mufflers aren't all that expensive!

Gene T 10-11-2007 10:08 AM

The leak will only get worse, and water lift mufflers are relatively cheep. I would just change it.

sailingdog 10-11-2007 12:19 PM

The real problem with the leaking muffler isn't water or CO2, but CO, which will kill you stone cold dead. You should probably also have a CO detector installed on your boat. Cheap insurance against getting CO poisoning.

Common symptoms of CO poisoning:


Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning or other illnesses and can have a long term health risk if left unattended. Some of the symptoms are the following.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mild nausea
  • Mild headaches
Moderate levels of CO exposure can cause death if the following symptoms persist for a long measure of time.
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness
High levels of CO can be fatal causing death within minutes.

pigslo 10-11-2007 12:27 PM

Replace it. Too cheap to risk life over. A new fiberglass replacement willlast a long time.

NOLAsailing 10-12-2007 12:00 AM

I'll contribute an echo here. Replace it. This is not an area to neglect.

The Catalina 30 has decent engine access and this is not a terribly difficult job.

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