finding a leak - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-20-2019 Thread Starter
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finding a leak

I discovered some water which should not be where I found it. This of course means there is a leak. It not the plumbing system... as water was found above the water line. So I assume something in the deck is the cause of the leak... and as the deck slopes aft and also outboard I am thinking the water is also a run off which has found a place to penetrate the deck. Because of the location I am thinking one of two locations... the screws where the dodger bow fitting is screwed to the deck/cockpit coaming... or the aft end of the genoa track. I reset and bedded the less likely dodger fitting. We had a lot of rain and so if the evidence is there I will not look at the track.

Once the water penetrates the deck... it would likely then travel on the top of the GRP head liner to the lowest point.

I DID discover the top of an upper cabinet which joins to the head liner wet a few months ago... thought it odd but now I think this is where the water is coming down and ends up inside a formica lined bin below this cab bulkhead... which catches and holds the water. Water leaves no evidence on vertical surfaces as they dry quickly. A test may can the stream in progress.

Should I test the track by opening the hose and let a good stream of water flow down and aft along the high side of the track?

Should I remove the entire track and re seal each bolt and bed the track?

I can't access the nuts under the deck because of the GRP head liner. I suspect they are glassed in. If not removing the bolt will cause the bolt to drop and that is a disaster. I am assuming the track is bolted and not screwed. Screwed down I could remove it fill holes with epoxy, bed track and re screw the track

Or should I loosen the bolts enough to inject sealant (silicone).. but not enough for the bolt to potentially drop down and tighten the the bolt?

Or should I remove the aft screws (location of the suspected leak).... inject something like silicone and screw them back down?

Of course leak could be higher... like a deck hatch...

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors
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pay attention... someone's life depends on it

Last edited by SanderO; 04-21-2019 at 08:38 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-20-2019
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Re: finding a leak

I HATE deck leaks. How can they appear below someplace 50' away from their origin on deck when you have only a 38' boat?

The last one I chased turned out to be a snap for a dodger that had backed out and gone unnoticed. Of course, the stain below was a long way away.

The way I found it was 2 people, one on deck with a hose, me down below. Don't have the hose person move too fast, if the river of dread is long, may take a while for the water to propagate to drip down below.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-20-2019
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Re: finding a leak

I removed and re-bedded a fixed port, and removed and re-bedded a Genoa track, before discovering that the leak was coming from the hand rails on the cabin top and traveling down.

I guess the point is that I'd start spraying water on the track, if that doesn't leak, work your way up, leaving some time in-between the soakings. ( like a day or two.)
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-20-2019
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Re: finding a leak

When my track was leaking it was very difficult to determine if it was actually the problem. Using a long narrow piece of plastic, I taped it firmly over the entire ingress with the plastic in place.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-23-2019
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Re: finding a leak

Do the soap bubble test. Fastest and cheapest way to find ALL the leaks where they really are. There's no downside to it, and no better or faster way to find the leaks.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-23-2019
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Re: finding a leak

When I had a leak that defied all conventional attempts to find it, I eventually tracked it down using a garden sprayer. In my case it was a leak at the hull deck join
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