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  #61  
Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
All great points. Especially the insurance and surveyor one.

I think the holes the OP is referring to are the limber holes in the cross pieces of the frame in the bilge. I have the exact same boat as he does (C&C35 MKIII). Whether these are actually called structural stringers, I am not sure ( I think they are). This frame is what the floor is screwed into. The limber holes allow the water in the boat to drain into the bilge.
Dave is correct I'm referring to the limber holes. Our bilges look very different as chef has the c/b model.
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  #62  
Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

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Originally Posted by hillenme View Post
This yard launches probably 800 to 1000 boats a season and they want to go in the first two weeks of May, so there isn't much personal attention. There is a twenty four hour "float test" - in other words they launch at least 24 hours before your departure date. Apparently, I now know this must mean if it doesn't sink in 24 hours they assume it is good to go. The mast step was completed after it was launched and we had a TON of rain that day so I was not that surprised to find a large amount of water in the bilge as I had no doubt it was raining into the boat as they were working on this. The next day after our delivery it was apparent to me we had a problem.

I called the surveyor and mentioned the location and volume of the leak and he told me "boats leak" deal with it in the fall. Clearly unsound advice, which I obviously did not follow. Surprisingly his credentials were impeccable (Designed, Constructed and Operated a Research Submarine; Served 36 years in the United States Navy retired Captain of M.O.T.U-2 the Navy's inspection team for Submarines and Surface Ships; Twenty Year Member of Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers; etc, etc...) The boat was never surveyed in the water. I purchased it in November when all boats here are hauled out and could not do a sea trial on the boat.

The PO was ecstatic to see it sold and staying in Chicago and has asked to come sailing on it. He's the original owner of this 30 year old boat. I think if he had been trying to knowingly dump a money pit on someone he wouldn't have wanted to remain so close to it and he clearly still has a sentimental attachment to the boat, so I honestly believe this was a problem that he was unaware of.

I'm with you on the washers, they scream repair job - they are far enough aft in the bilge section that they can not be seen without unscrewing and pulling up a section of the floor - a task the surveyor did not do, although it takes about 10 seconds. Regardless, he didn't see them to inspect them.
Everything you are saying here makes sense; you are right about the PO, seems honest if he wanted to go sailing with you after it splashed this season. Without this added background info I'd be suspicious as I stated before, but I can understand where there is more reason to think that he just didn't know there was a problem (if it is a keel bolt issue). Sometimes owners also have their boat repaired by a yard without really reviewing what was done if they are not mechanically inclined. This leaves them relying on the yard for the work being done correctly and there are lots of yards that don't do very good work.

As to the Surveyor; I question his statement about "boats leak". Boats don't leak except at the prop shaft seal; and leaks inside of the bilge and inside one of the floors (sorry for calling them stringers earlier) is not a small issue. Since he was not able to see this problem since the boat was on the hard when it was surveyed he's not responsible for not finding the problem. I was not aware that the aft section of the floor was screwed down. Some surveyors will open up areas if they can be easily removed/replaced others only do what's able to be opened without tools. Unfortunately since it was not visible without unscrewing the fasteners holding the sole down he is also not responsible for not seeing the strange keel bolt that is a suspect repair.

It could be a combination of factors like keel bolts going bad, and the yard may have dropped it causing the keel bolts to fail further. Unfortunately without a witness to them moving your boat (both on haulout and launch) it would be difficult to prove unless there is some visible damage to the keel. Still, you could put in a claim to your insurance and see where it goes. You did nothing to cause this so it would not affect your insurance rates if you did recover the cost of repairs. If you have the insurance company look at it they will hire a surveyor to look at the boat so you won't have to.
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  #63  
Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

Have you asked you PO specifically and clearly?
What were the circumstances such that the keel boat has all those extra washers?

I would want to know the details.
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  #64  
Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

Could this be caused by some wood or plywood in the keel stub rotting and allowing the keel to drop. The washers then being fitted to take up the slack.
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Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

C & C's do not have wood in the sump. Keel stub is solid fiberglass laminate. Use of additional washers was not uncommon if stud thread did not extend down far enough.

The laminated in place frames/stringers were layed up over foam forms, the same stuff florists use to stick stems in floral arrangements. For form only, not structural. After years of water & bilge debris penetrating it will deteriorate, but the laminated structure remains intact.

Owner should be evaluating cause of keel being loose (not just that it is loose) - severe previous impact (look for fairing repair at bottom leading edge of keel, upper aft edge, laminated frame/stringer repairs in sump) or keel bolt deterioration. Any experienced yard familiar with this type of construction will look at these as first & second obvious causes. The smile is enhanced in your case due to loose keel spliting the fairing material on the joint.

Keel bolts don't undo themselves. There is an underlying cause. Aside from any undetermined structural repairs it is a nuts & bolts installation with an sealing/bonding material between. Finished off with refairing, barrier coat & antifouling.

Talk implying how easy it is to do aside - it is labor intensive, requires the right equipment, and often includes grinding to bare glass to create clean bonding surface. IMHO don't discount this as an unskilled labor project. Experienced yard skills are needed.
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  #66  
Old 06-13-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

I feel for you brotha.

The thing that concerns me is hiring someone to fix an unknown problem and putting yourself at their mercy. Once you pay $3,800, you will surely pay another $3,800 or maybe $5,000 to get your boat put back together. They will have you over the proverbial barrel. What percentage of the value of the boat will you pay to "fix" it? I certainly would not take it back to the same outfit that launched it. Tough economic times cause people to do things to ensure their own survival at others' expense.

At least start the project as a DIY job. Bring in a different marine surveyor once you drop the keel and find out what kind of repair is really required, before you pay someone a large sum of money.

It might be best to write off the rest of this season. Put the boat in the most convenient place for you to work on it, with the limited time that you have.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-13-2013 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 06-13-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

Crowley's Boat Yard in Chicago where the OP launched from I beleive is a very reputable place, Much like Zanheisers, Harbor Haven, Port Annapolis or Hartage in our area. They have more business than they can handle. I would supervise their work carefully.

This problem you have I would use a professional as was mentioned before.

Dave
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  #68  
Old 06-13-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Crowley's Boat Yard in Chicago where the OP launched from I beleive is a very reputable place, Much like Zanheisers, Harbor Haven, Port Annapolis or Hartage in our area. They have more business than they can handle. I would supervise their work carefully.

This problem you have I would use a professional as was mentioned before.

Dave
Crowley's is very busy. Staying on top of them is key, as you said Dave. I called three days in a row before getting a hold of the glass guy but I'd rather think that he's out there completing work orders on the boats that are holding us up than chatting with customers, so I'm not too upset. I would only consider having a pro do this and with as much work as they have going on there I'm sure there is no way they are in the habit of giving precious lift time to some DIYer who will take three times as long to do the job.

The OP did launch from Crowley's and the glass guy I spoke with today has been there 27 years, so he's handled anything that was done on the boat. He said he knows he has never touched this keel, apparently he's sure he'd remember it. It's never been rebedded, he's the only one who would have done it. While he was also perplexed by the stack of washers on the keel bolt he wasn't convinced it indicated a repair. As I said, he claims he would have been the one to do it and wasn't certain it wasn't done by C&C.

Unfortunately, I'll also have to pay to take the mast down so they can get to that keel bolt, but hopefully they help me out on price for that.

He said there is a chance there is not also hull damage under the keel, despite the odd manifestation of the leak, so fingers crossed on that.

They are going to do what they can to get us back in by next weekend, but it sounded like that would take a miracle. I know they have some bigger, much more expensive boats that need work done before the Mac, which we aren't doing this year.

I'm devastated to be out of the water, I was on it almost daily before this. I'm glad we are getting it taken care off though, and if this guy has spent 27 years at a yard with 1,000 boats I'd have to guess he's seen just about everything. Also, considering how much more expense Crowley's is than the other half dozen or so yards in Chicago he must be darn good at what he does. I have no worry the work won't be done correctly.
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  #69  
Old 06-14-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

In the end, its your boat, and the most important thing is that YOU are comfortable a) with the work being done and b) with the price it will cost to have it done. It sounds like you've found a good person to do the work. Good luck! Keep us posted!
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  #70  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Help pinpointing a leak

Have they diagnosed the leak yet?
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