Help me...Spock. Leaky question - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-23-2009
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Help me...Spock. Leaky question

I have a 14' Skimmar circa 1972, fiberglass hull, retractable keel. It leaks. The cockpit doesn't fill up but the "inner hull" does and will pick up about 2-4 gallons per hour until she sits heavy in the water. I suspect it has something to do with the retractable keel (moonpool effect?) because water pressure recently popped the seal on a plug in the keel housing that 'boxily' sticks up in the center of the cockpit. Patched that, but she still takes on water. The fiberglass hull is showing numerous cracks that aren't leaking yet, but there is strain.
Wore out boat? Junk it and salvage the rigging and hardware? Pour fiberglass patching goop down into the inner hull? Gorilla glue the microfractures? Call McGyver? Eat a sandwich, drink a glass of milk? Thoughts?
Thank you,
Spencer
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Old 08-23-2009
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Dude, I can't help you - but I have to say that I like your style. My advice would be to call McGyver, give him a sandwich and Gorilla glue - set your swing keel on stun and watch the fireworks.

Make sure to film it and post it here.
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Old 08-23-2009
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It would be nice to know where it is leaking first before giving up. It may be possible to lightly pressurize the inner hull.
Then some soapy water painted on the out side will bubble where the leak is.

Be very very careful with the pressure.
The smallest pressure even 10 lbs can cause the whole thing to explode.
But with care you can find the leak then decide how to proceed.
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Old 08-25-2009
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"Good, now do Lincoln" Kirk, help me"
My brother has a glass dinghy that leaks between hull and liner. We haven't tried to fix it. You might try rolling the outside with heavy paint. But it sounds like a faster leak. Try to estimate the work and materials involved vs the purchase of another old boat.
Good does triumph over evil. (but it requires hard work)
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Old 08-26-2009
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On the next haul out, pour some dye between the hulls, then look for colored water, the leaks should be very close and clearly marked even if they are just hairline fractures.

Ken.
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Old 08-26-2009
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Welll....Look on the web for how to inject expanding foam into walls and voids without bursting things apart. Typically you drill some 1/2" holes low to inject the foam, some more of the same high to allow excess foam to bleed off instead of blowing things up. Then you inject low-expansion foam (safer) or high expansion foam (more bouyancy) between the hulls and you've turned your boat into a Boston Whaler of sorts.

The hulls will be forever glued together, but it sounds like that's not a problem. You will need to watch the holes and wipe off excess goop while the expanding is going on, and shoot some goo into a shoebox first to get some idea how much it actually expands under your weather conditions. (Heat and humidity matter.)

Ain't elegant or proper...but it just might be a way to go. No one is the wiser if you get some plugs or bungs to cap over the holes after you've made them. (And cap over the bottom holes right away after you inject the foam, of course.)
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