using vacume pump for deck leaks - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012
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using vacume pump for deck leaks

hi men,

first time poster...long time lurker.

i have some issues with wet deck core....yep...i must be the one millionth person . ......apologies!!!

we have a 23 foot "hood" masthead fin keel yacht...... an old fibreglass girl that deserves to live a nice shiny new life.

I have removed the galley, head, comp posts, lockers (pretty much everything) out of the boat and we are renovating. (make longer bunks and open it up a bit and modernize.

blokes.....my idea is this: i have some wet core issues and am the kind of person that's not afraid of a bit of work or spending cash, so id rather re-core overhead than fanny around with drilling holes and drying/filling (not to say that wont work...prob works nicely and i was tempted)

so....is it possible to hook up a compressor (at a low pressure) to the deck core....and pump the core up....(a teeny bit).....and then use water (and maybe some detergent) to see where the bubbles comes out around your fittings etc?

anyone done this?

dave
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: using vacume pump for deck leaks

I saw a fellow in Pensacola Florida do a similar process in reverse. He taped plastic over all of his obvious openings from the inside of the boat then taped his shop vacuum hose to the upper most hatch board closing off all the opening he could. He was basically pressurizing the boat from the inside and soaping the decks to find small leaks. Seemed to work pretty well. He probably only raised the pressure inside by a psi or two but was enough to cause bubbles above when there was a leak.

Happy hunting!
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Old 07-13-2012
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Think the opposite, tape the areas like hatches etc (area that normally leak) and blow air into the hull with a large fan. Use a garden sprayer filled with children's bubble soap and spray suspect areas. Theoretically you're idea should work, but since you've got the furniture and other interior elements removed, it's time to get on with the task. Remove the fittings to be rebedded and get out the skill saw. Edit, LOL timing is everything.
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: using vacume pump for deck leaks

i would be concerned that pressurizing the core could cause more damage - like breaking good bonds between the fiberglass skin and core. The traditional methods of a moisture meter and tapping with a small hammer will locate the problem areas. Rebedding fittings in that area properly will then stop further water intrusion.

Silvio's idea of pressurizing the cabin may find leaks into the cabin, but not into the core.
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: using vacume pump for deck leaks

How about this:
1. Pressurize the cabin and use soapy water to find all the leaking fittings.
2. Reverse the flow and pull a vacuum in the cabin.
3. Pour epoxy into all the fittings that leak!

I'M KIDDING!!

OMG what a mess that would be! Little stalagtites of epoxy hanging from the overhead.
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: using vacume pump for deck leaks

@ carbonsink62

god i wish that would work!!!

anyway....now ive found that the stringer above my compression posts is rotted (the ply inside the polyester tabbing)

Is every single piece of wood on this boat rotten?????.....(yes it appears that way)
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