Join Date: May 2009
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Leaking hull/keel joint
OK, so today we finally got our '73 Cal 27 back in the water, shiny with a beautiful new coat of paint, new standing rigging, newly covered cushions, completely rewired electrical system, and freshly re-bedded hardware.
Everything looks great, we pat ourselves on the back, and then... water in the bilge, seeping up from the bottom of the bilge. The water is seeping in at 1/2 an inch per hour, which I would guesstimate equals half a gallon to a gallon per hour. The boat didn't have this problem last year.
So, should we have the boat immediately hauled out again, or rely on our new automatic bilge pump and hope for the best? The water is definitely coming from the very bottom of the bilge (it's a very deep narrow bilge, about two feet deep and 6 inches wide at the bottom, fin keel stub style). It may be coming from the keel bolts, or from the fiberglass of the bottom of the bilge, it's hard to tell because it's nearly unaccessible. To tighten the keel bolts we will need to cut away nearly the whole floor of the cabin, and remove some plywood structural supports that are inside the bilge (it's fiberglassed in, what a dumb design).
After the boat was hauled last fall there was a tiny crack (catalina smile) on the forward keel/hull connection. Nothing worse than I see on a quarter of the other boats in the yard. We cleaned it up, inspected (no obvious problems other than superficial one), filled in with 5200, and enclosed in a narrow band of fiberglass cloth for good measure.
But now I'm guessing there is more movement between the hull and the keel than this little crack made it seem.