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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I am new to the forum. We are looking at a Tanzer 26 that we like and it is very well maintained but I found some damp in the bilge.

According to the seller, he bails about a couple of inches into a bucket every two months in the winter but a bit more in the summer, when it's sailing.

I attach a photo of the bilge. I am aware how difficult it is to asses from a post but I would welcome any opinion or advice from more experienced sailers.

It is one of the things that frightens me the most on a boat purchase. How much water in the Bilge is normal ?

Thank you
 

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That is a pretty clean looking bilge. Water leaks are not uncommon on old boats. First you need to figure out if it is rainwater or seawater.

If it is rainwater you need to figure out where it is leaking. Widows and deck fittings are the most common culprits. Deck fittings can be easily rebedded, but if they have been leaking for a long time you could also be dealing with core rot in the leaking areas, as noted in your "spider crack" thread. It's all repairable, if you are a hands-on type of person.

If it is seawater, there are fewer possibilities. Check through hulls and keel to hull joint, as well as any hardware bolted close to the waterline such as rudder pintels, swim ladder mounts or outboard brackets. Worst case would be the keel to hull joint, which might explain taking on more water under sail. Re-bedding the keel is not a big deal on such a small boat, but it is a bit of work.

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Discussion Starter #3
The bilge damp was in an otherwise very well kept boat. I am considering a second more detailed look through the whole boat.

The spider cracks were on a second boat that was not as well maintained. The way they were following the whole deck gave me the impression that it had been under some mayor stress at some point. Some of the cracks were running down into the hull. It didn't feel right.

I really appreciate the information, this is very helpful.
 

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If the boat is in the water you can dry the bilge thoroughly and then observe. If the keel joint and/or bolts are leaking you should see signs of it pretty quickly. I have a boat about that size and I wouldn't consider dropping the keel a small deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi paulinnanaimo, thank you very much for your reply.

Is there a way to test that there is no rot on the stringers while the boat is in the water? it is forty years old so it worries me that any water may have gone inside over time.

The boat is reaching the top of our budget so we are trying not to spend much more for the first year at least.

Best
 

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Someone else should know more than I regarding stringers, I am not aware of any in a boat like that. A bit of water isn't necessarily anything to worry about. Our boat is 41 years old and there are a couple of minor leaks. I am not concerned because they drip down the fibreglass sides without touching anything else, the drips do not even make it as far as the bilge before fading out. I am not going to re-bed 50' of toe rail over nothing. As ShockT pointed out, it could be any number of minor things; but if you determine that the keel or bolts are leaking, that is unacceptable in my opinion and not an easy fix. Making certain that the water didn't do permanent damage on the way to the bilge is the important part.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you again, if it was a cheaper boat I would not worry and take the risk.

For what I have seen, it is one of the most difficult thinks to determine, it could be nothing or it could be a write off. That is why it scared me when I saw it.

So far I was lucky to see bone dry bilges, until I came across this one, but they may have just been dried for the showing.
 

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There are no stringers in a Tanzer 26.

Hull is fabricated from fiber reinforced resin and taken from a two piece female mold. Decks, topsides and superstructure are of FRP cored sandwich construction while the bottom is uncored. The hull and deck shells are supported by bonded FRP liner sections with integral frames and floors. Main bulkheads are inset in the liners and some partial bulkheads are FRP bonded to the hull.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
There are no stringers in a Tanzer 26.

Hull is fabricated from fiber reinforced resin and taken from a two piece female mold. Decks, topsides and superstructure are of FRP cored sandwich construction while the bottom is uncored. The hull and deck shells are supported by bonded FRP liner sections with integral frames and floors. Main bulkheads are inset in the liners and some partial bulkheads are FRP bonded to the hull.
Does this mean there is no possibility of rot if there has been any leak over the years ?
 

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Does this mean there is no possibility of rot if there has been any leak over the years ?
The only thing that can rot are the plywood bulkheads. That should be readily visible.
 
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