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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 04-10-2006
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Checking for leaks?

I'm new to sailing and have a question about testing for leaks in the boat.

I have a 1972 Sunfish and I was wondering what is the best way to check for leaks? Besides sinking in the middle of the lake, that is.

Do I just put some water in the hull and see if anything comes out?

Brian
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Old 04-10-2006
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Brian,

How about have someone pick up the bow while you listen at the stern to hear if there's any water slooshing around...Having a little water get intio the hull isn't a problem if there's a drain plug for removing it, and you remember to use it.
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Old 04-11-2006
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Use compressed air. One of those portable 12 V compressers you can carry in your trunk to refill a flat tire should work. Use the fitting supplied with the compressor for filling air mattresses and jam that into the drain hole, then wipe a mixture of dish soap and water around all of the seams and fastener locations and see where the bubbles come out. I have read you can actually do this on bigger boats using a shop vac with the hose on the outlet side to pump air into the cabin (after sealing as much as you can with duct tape). Let us know how it works out.
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Russ Duff
Catalina 38, Hull #112
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Old 04-12-2006
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Hey, thanks. I'll give it a shot this weekend and I'll report back.

Brian
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