water in bilge of small boat - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-01-2009
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water in bilge of small boat

Today after sailing I noticed about 2 inches of water in the bilge of our 22 foot sailiboat. Never saw water in there before. Keel bolts are there and its always dry. We don't use a sink or head on the boat so I'm guessing the water is either rain water(it rained alot the last few days) or its coming in through the hull(I hope not!). I'll be checking on it in a couple of days when we head back...meantime, anyone have any hints, could this be rain water or do I need to be concerned about something else?
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Old 08-02-2009
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With the available information and not knowing what kind of boat you have, the following comments may or may not be of value. Most likely, it's rain water, but here are a couple of additional thoughts. In a previous boat, a Venture 24 with swing keel, we had a leak at the pivot pin for the swing keel and had to reseal that area. On our Catalina 22, we had a leak where the tube for the keel cable joined the hull on the outside. Dealer fixed it by resealing this area by applying 5200 sealant. Also, check any other thruhulls or hose clamps that you have that may be below the water line. Make sure that overboard drains are clear and not backing up (as in water in cockpit or anchor locker). If this happens and the drain to hull connection is not sealed well, the water could come in the drain connection or overflow into some area, such as a low opening companion way or hatch, where water doesn't normally enter. Hatches that are not sealed well might be another source, but getting 2' of water in boat seems a bit much for this source.

Last edited by NCC320; 08-02-2009 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 08-02-2009
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Unfortunately the fastest and cheapest method is to taste the water. If it is salt water that means it is coming form down. If fresh it is coming from up.

You might also try to boil some amount of it. If it leaves salt deposits (white or near white crystals) in the cup it is sea water, otherwise fresh.
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Old 08-02-2009
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The taste test also works to identify water originating in the head.
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Old 08-02-2009
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thanks

fortunately we don't have a head, only daysail the boat. thanks for the ideas. thought about tasting it after we got home, will have to check it out later in week.
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Old 08-03-2009
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Might want to use a hiking type of water purifyer before you "taste" that water. Ther has got to be a better way...
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Old 08-03-2009
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Check the bow eye (where the trailer winch cable attaches) it only leaks when sailing.
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