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LoonEnuf 09-07-2012 03:01 PM

Leaks when it rains.
My recent purchase if a MK II 30' has some maintenance issues. The most glaring is water coming into the cabin when it rains. Small leaks at windows/portholes and more severe down the bulkhead just port of the mast. I suspect the water is entering at base of mast and running down bulkhead cavity then down the wall where (I think it called a chainplate) a metal strap is bolted to the wall. Any ideas or fix would help. Our summer is about gone here in Everett, WA and I would like to stop the leak before rains come again.

hellosailor 09-07-2012 05:01 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
Search here and elsewhere, there are plenty of threads about leaks. If the ports are leaking, there's no way to "fill" around them, they need to be removed then rebedded or replaced. Unless you are lucky and just have old gaskets that can be replaced.

As to the mast or deck...leaks can be hard to find. IMO the best method is to seal up the boat, close up all vents and hatches, and stick a heavy cardboard in one of them. Insert a leafblower or shop-vac exhaust in the cardboard and pressurize the boat, then throw soapy water on the deck. The boat will blow bubbles from where the leaks really are, and those places or that hardware needs to be removed and rebedded properly.

One big warning on the soapy water, the deck will be very slick afterwards, wash it down well before trying to walk on the soapy places. Use a brush to scrub them, and you get a clean boat as a free bonus. :-)

miatapaul 09-07-2012 08:37 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
The other issue with leaks is that they are the number one destroyer of boats. The leaks allow for water to get into the core of the deck and hull (if cored). The core gives the deck strength, and just about all decks are cored, most by balsa wood. Some boats have cored hulls as well, and that can be particularly dangerous if the core on the hull gets saturated. Once the core is wet it will have to be removed and replaced with either the top or bottom layer of fiberglass replaced. A very dirty and hard job. Besides the damage to decks and hulls they can cause moisture issues spawning mold making it unhealthy to be in the cabin.

So take care of it soon! I suggest you search for Mane Sail's posts on re-bedding with butyl tape. It is not only the best method it is likely the easiest as well.

LoonEnuf 09-10-2012 02:15 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
Thanks so much for the info. I will get right on the repair.

Gene T 09-11-2012 12:19 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
You probably have a leak under the mast step. The mast step just sits on the deck and there is a hole through the deck for the wires. Water on the deck runs under the mast step and through the hole. From there it can go anywhere. On my boat it ran down the wires and showed up in the nav station / quarter berth area.

Fixing port light leaks is another issue.


LoonEnuf 09-11-2012 02:25 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
Thank you for your post. My suspicion is as you described.

emoney 09-11-2012 02:28 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
My Newport 27 had a few leaks of her own. Best to re-bed the chainplates and pull the ports and do the same. I guess we all get a little "leaky" when we get old. Nothing a little time and effort won't cure, however.

LoonEnuf 09-28-2012 06:39 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
Thank you all for your replys and suggestions. I have stopped the leak I thought might be at the mast. It was port side chain plate. Needed recaulking. A very knowlegable sailor moored a couple boats from me saw me working on it. I actually paid him a very reasonable fee to help out. He further showed me how to stop porthole leaks. I feel really good about this boat. I am planning on pulling her out of the water, replacing the shaft zinc, cleaning the hull. Inspect for blisters. I found a receipt in the paperwork. Looks like 2003 was her last out haul and zinc replacement. Yikes!! Any input here will be appreciated. Should I be prepared to paint hull?

tempest 09-28-2012 07:22 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
Glad you found the leak! I was thinking it might be a chainplate when you said it was running down the bulkhead. I would suggest that you sound out that bulkhead and see if you've got any rot. If the previous owner didn't bother to replace zincs in 9 years, it's likely that this leak has been going on for the same period of time, enough to weaken the bulkhead.

You could also take an awl or an ice pick and see if there's any soft wood around where the chainplate attaches.

Another place to look for leaks are the cabin top handrails if you have them. After alot of searching on my boat, they proved to be a source of several leaks, and they will travel between the deck and the liner until they appear somewhere in the cabin.

chucklesR 09-28-2012 08:00 PM

Re: Leaks when it rains.
A useful tool when searching for leaks is the blue chalk dust you can get an most Lowe's or Home Depots - it's used to refill chalk lines.

Squirt some on the surface of 'whatever' - the leak's will create a track that is easy to follow to the source. A simple vacuum and wet cloth can clean it up.

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