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Old 06-06-2010
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Leaky Bilge

I have a J-37 with that seems to be taking on water slowly while at the mooring. The bilge pump needs to cycle every 4-6 hours or so. The water is definitely salty. When she was hauled there were no obvious signs of cracks/separation around the keel. The stuffing box is also not leaking. I can't really see under the engine to examine a keel bolt right there, but I'm having a hard time thinking it is in fact a keel bolt leek. My through hulls don't have signs of obvious weeping either. I'm stuck, anybody have any ideas?
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Old 06-06-2010
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Could be the rudder shaft I suppose. Did you check all the hoses? Head filling up? You should be able to tell where the water is entering the bilge and trace it back.

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Old 06-07-2010
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G'Day Allegro,

I don't want to sound overly dire, but with the number of J-boats that have lost keels in the past few years, I'd really want to have a good look there. Might also contact the folks at J-boats... I'm sure they don't want any more of that sort of publicity, and might be feeling helpful.

We had a similar experience with our previous boat (built by Palmer Johnson, not J boats). Turned out that the hull flexed when she sat on her keel, and eventually some cracks developed in the root of the stubby keel that allowed water to seep through. Ain't likely to get better with time, whatever the origin.

Good luck with it, mate.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Fame Cove, Pt Stephens, NSW, Oz
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Old 06-07-2010
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My suggestion is to dry the bilge as best as you can and put down some powder to help you track any leaks. It's hard at a mooring since the boat's movement will make the tracks of the water through the talcum powder more difficult to follow.

Tod
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Old 06-07-2010
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Thanks guys - all sound advice. I know it's not from the rudder post, which has a history of issues with this boat. It was replaced and I inspected it thoroughly. I was not aware of the keel issue on other J-boats. I'll certainly follow up with that one. Thanks for the powder tip, I haven't heard that one.

With the engine amidships just over the keel bolts it's really hard to "see" under the drip pan but I'll do my best.
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I had a mysterious leak into the bilge. Followed it back to the hose connection from the bilge pump to the thru-hull exit. There was a little leak at the hose clamp so that a little water was always running back down the hose and back into the bilge. You could only spot it when the pump was operating.
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You need to check every hole in the boat that is below or near the waterline. I found a little leak once from the grounding plate screw that was just weeping a little bit. I found it because I sat in the bilge for several hours looking for drips.

Another time I found an aggravating leak that came from a paddlewheel knotmeter through hull that would not leak when underway, but would leak a small amount when at anchor.

A friend of mine had his ice box leak into the bilge - that was hard to finally locate because we are in fresh water.

Oh, well - keep looking and good luck.

By the way, if you decide to sit in the bilge and stare at the hull, it helps to have a cushion to sit on. And put some music on the stereo. And have an adult beverage.

Best Regards,

e

.::.
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Old 06-07-2010
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Having owned two J24s the brand has had issues with keels throughout its history

Even the 1970 C&C 35 i sail on had to have some glass work in the keel area as it aged
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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