Disaster Averted - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 01-31-2003 Thread Starter
kmeeks's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pacific Northwest / Mexico
Posts: 52
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Send a message via Yahoo to kmeeks Send a message via Skype™ to kmeeks
Disaster Averted

So over the last week or so I started to notice a small increase in the water collecting in my bilge. Since my refrigeration drains into the bilge - at first I thought - no worries - it is probably just more moisture in the air this week.

Then about 2 days ago I became more concerned as I was sitting in the salon and heard the bilge pump kick off - water must have risen higher than usual...

A quick check of my through-hulls indicated they were dry and secure...

Perhaps the recent flush-out of my water tank had resulted in an unknown leak springing open in the foot pump or water lines? No - everything checked out ok...

I started looking around and noticed a reguler dribble coming from the direction of the engine compartment. At first it appeared as if the water were coming from under a layer of fiberglass - perhaps a crack in the hull? But how?

Opening the lazarette in the cockpit, I climbed into the hold and started feeling around with my palm to see if I could determine where the leak was coming from...and my tension only mounted higher when I felt my hand splash into a huge puddle under the fuel tank...

Then I move the flashlight [or torch, as my girlfriend calls it] back further into the darkness.


A steady drip...

Falling about 8 inches...

From the rudder stuffing box.

Memories of reading about various rudder post failure stories flash through my mind. Boats have been sunk by such failures.

Images of coming home to my boat sitting on the bottom rise unbidden.

A quick walk over to my neighbor - Greg (we both own an Islander 32) - for a meeting of minds...perhaps I can tighten the bolts on the stuffing box further to suspend the leak?

Back to the boat.

Pull out my trusty set of Sears Craftsman wrenches [thanks Dad for teaching me about having good tools]

Crawl into the hold.

I was skeptical that this would work - (I mean, those bolts looked pretty solid already) - but imagine my amazement when I realized that all 4 bolts on the stuffing box appeared to be loose. Now how did that happen? Engine vibration? About 2 turns on each bolt and the dripping stops.


I am reminded of the advice given to me by an excellent marine surveyor here in California (Matt Shulz, ''mattschulz@shulzsurveyors.com'') - "...be sure that you do your own inspection of the boat every month so that you''ll notice when something begins to change". Thanks Matt - I''ll certainly increase my vigilance level.
kmeeks is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Disaster Aid GordMay General Discussion (sailing related) 0 08-16-2004 12:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome