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Discussion Starter #1
So where do I begin? I bought a 83 Starwind 19 early in September. It was cheap and was a single owner boat. The PO died last year and the boat had been sitting for a while. I replace the winch, bow stop, and put better tires on the trailer. I step the mast in my driveway and see 2 of the shrouds need replacing and the forstay while I'm at it because that's an important one. I get my new rigging back and run out of time with my friend trying to get it in and have to return home without getting it in.

(I've always wanted to sail, read some books, done some help out sailing cruises but nothing of substance)

Fast forward to today. I have another friend that has sailing experience (good for me) and the weather is great so I'm up for get this boat wet today. He asks if I mind if his wife, friend, friends wife and baby come along because they are in town for a few days and arrived today. Sure no problem. So it's 5 adults and a baby.

After trailering it to the water, setting up rigging, outboard, etc, I finally get it in the water. I motor out to the open lake and we raise the main.

I'm ecstatic, the boat is moving along and everyone is enjoying the view and the late afternoon sun is great. We're probably out about a half hour and I'm loving it!

Then all hell breaks loose.

My friend's wife says, hey is that water normal inside? I look in the companionway and the water is 6 inches deep. Yikes. Looks like it's rising and I don't have a bilge pump. After dropping the main, we fire up the outboard and make sure everyone has a life jacket. (Worst feeling ever, the water is filling and I'm afraid the boat may end up totally going down.)

We get it back to the boat ramp and I get the trailer in quickly, pull the boat and it's crushing the trailer with weight and breaks the winch. It is hanging on the back of the trailer emptying water out of the aft scuppers. Pouring out.

I had brought a second winch with me, turns out a great idea. We get it back on the trailer and take down the rigging. I tow it home and begin the inspection underneath. Nothing is leaking. The cabin has 8 - 10 inches of water in it after driving it home.

I don't understand where the water came in so fast? It's the entire hull compromised? Ugh.

I spent 2 hours with a shop vac getting the water out. I estimated from all the dumping out, probably 150 gallons of water.

Here are some pictures because everyone loves pictures. I didn't get the ones that count of the water inside, I was too concerned getting water out instead of taking pictures.

Any thoughts on what could have happened?

I've owned power boats for the last 10 years, and also have a tritoon I bought new 2 years ago.


Thanks!
 

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.

Any thoughts on what could have happened?
!
Where is the water draining from in the last photo? Was that drain or scupper well secured when out sailing? How does the o-ring on it look?

Does you boat have a centerboard? My first suspect would be centerboard seals/brackets.
 

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Did you replace the hoses from the cockpit drains to the through hulls and double clamp them. Could be something simple like old hoses and clamps needed replacing or something very common such as forgetting to put the bilge drain plug in place. If the scupper float on the cockpit drain failed the cabin would not fill up first as the water would be bubbling up through the cockpit drains around your feet unless the hoses had failed. If the centerboard trunk failed catastrophically then you usually would have had a flood of water pouring out of the bottom of the boat around the centerboard when you put it on the trailer.
 

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The entirety of the fiberglass is not compromised. You have just so many hull penetrations and one of them is leaking. It’s either at the penetration itself or, if a hose is attached, anywhere along it’s length.

Does your vessel have a bilge drain plug? Was it installed, did it come loose?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So the water is pouring out of the drains that lead out above the waterline. The boat is tilted back not fully on the trailer and the water was so high it was draining from the cockpit area. I was seated working the tiller and no water was inside near me on the floor but down below in the cabin the water was filling. I didn't see any water even dripping out anywhere after my 30 minute drive home.

It was dark outside and I went in and had a quick dinner. No water in my driveway, on the road or anywhere. The boat had about 150 gallons of water inside it at this point. I saw small patches of darker wet on the hull but nothing was dripping or seeping water. I figured it should be coming out somewhere but nothing. There were some lake weed blooms inside not just straight water but I don't know if that was from the area that was sealed with plywood where the above seating is covering or entered from a hole.

I never dropped the keel. It has a line just before the companionway entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't know if there is a bilge drain plug, I'll have to check that out. There are hoses inside that lead to above the water line to let water out through a bilge pump and for the sink drain. I'll need to get in and look at it later.
 

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Do you have any pics of how the centreboard trunk penetration is sealed from the interior of the boat? I am wondering if its possible the boat was overloaded/over trimmed to the point the centre board penetration was submerged.

I guess you figured this out, but bring a bilge pump and bailing can.

Your boat is under 20 feet, so it should have a capacity plate saying the total number of persons allowed on board. Its worth checking.
 

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Do you have any pics of how the centreboard trunk penetration is sealed from the interior of the boat? I am wondering if its possible the boat was overloaded/over trimmed to the point the centre board penetration was submerged.
I am going to just guess that the boat was overloaded but only by a person or two and a baby. I don't think a few 100 extra pounds should affect a boat's floatability like it did.

Note to self: don't take a baby out on a shake down sail.
 

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If I remember correctly, the centerboard is sealed from the cabin, except possibly where its pivot pin is mounted in the centerboard 'pocket'. The line for controlling the centerboard, the pennant, runs through a hose from the cockpit sole to the below-waterline centerboard pocket. The sink drain hose T's into that hose. I think that connection is close to the waterline. Try checking that.
 

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hard way to learn but would say honestly you were lucky given your cavalier approach to handling an unfamiliar boat. Rule 1: know your boat! None of us has any business taking a day party out until we know the basic condition of boat systems plumbing through hulls etc etc. Since things got wet empty out the wet gear clean her all up and get on your hands and knees with a flashlight and check things out. Dont be in a hurry..ask yourself what is That thing this gizmo that wire this hose then check the valves. Take a close look at hose couplings the sink drain (an under appreciated threat!) Jot down any problems. Then do a gear inventory count life preservers flares yadayada. Then prep yourself for a test launch with an experienced friend no guests crowds or babies! Ease the boat in and check all thruhulls drains etc secure the boat away from ramp and let her sit. Check all fittings and bilge again. When you are very sure the boat is remaining dry drop the centerboard 1/3 down and see if any seepage occurs anywhere. If all is well take her for a short run and if all is still well haul sail and take a short sail Return to dock and check everything again especially inside along gunnels, thru hulls (yes again!) If all is dry you did not find a leak or obvious flaw by being this thorough, you have a mystery to solve : what happened Last time! Until that issue is resolved and the boat secured you have no business taking anyone out in your boat. I strongly suggest you avoid being in a hurry to do anything on a boat practice foresight and due diligence always. Thereafter have fun but read Chapman's, Sailing Illustrated and at least three other good general sailing guides this winter until you realize just how truly lucky you were on that first trip.
Best of luck with your boat and what can be a wonderful sport if aporoached responsibly.
Fair Winds

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info. I do agree, I wasn't planning a party cruise on the boat. The weather was scheduled to be sunny, warm with light winds. I live in NJ and it's November. I wanted to get the boat in the water once and see what was what. I was happy my friend was available so I could get it out. Last minute he asks if I mind if his 3 friends come along because they are in town for only a few days from England. I preferred not going solo so I agree if they didn't mind and knew it was the first time out on the boat. His friend also has sailing experience. The lake is a tiny lake with nobody out on it. I came prepared with tools, extra winch, extra tires, etc. I wouldn't say I just willy nilly decided to take the boat out. I had all proper safely equipment on board, just wish I had a bilge pump with me.

Do I wish I did it different, sure but I was trying to get the boat in the water before having to wait another 5 months. I replaced 3 stays before taking it out and went over other aspects of the boat. It's my first sailboat but I'm not unfamiliar with boats.

The only below water line hole is the one for the sink drain that comes to a valve. No water leaked out of the hull or that hole when it was sitting on the trailer with 8 inches of water in it. I will plug it anyway because I don't want any issues for something that doesn't need to be on the boat.

Here are some photos of the centerboard and bilge area and hoses that contain the line to raise and lower the centerboard. I'm going to replace them and seal the hose. Also looking to see if the fiberglass areas around the centerboard could be an issue a wouldn't know until I replace the other hoses and test it wet again.
 

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The good news is that a leak that bad should be easy to find.

I had one that was would only show up when sailing and usually heeled over. After driving me crazy for over a year, when crawling around in the back of the boat checking the rudder cables, I found a crack in the bottom of the bilge pump hose as it made a sharp turn into the thru hull. Seems it only leaked water when the thru hull went under water at speed.
 

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Here are some photos of the centerboard and bilge area and hoses that contain the line to raise and lower the centerboard. I'm going to replace them and seal the hose. Also looking to see if the fiberglass areas around the centerboard could be an issue a wouldn't know until I replace the other hoses and test it wet again.
When you replace the hoses put two clamps on each connection. The clamps should be opposite facing of each other. The fact this is not done shows some shortcuts in previous maintenance. Replacing them might solve the leaks or you might find the issue when crawling through your boat.

Another note, when I take out any kids I insist the parents bring a PFD for the child and the child wears it while on the water. It is just me playing it safe. I don't think I would ever take a baby out sailing because as you have seen things can happen and it would be hard to keep a babies head above water if something does.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The baby was wearing a PFD.

She had it on before boarding the boat.

I have 2 children of my own. In NJ it's required for 13 years old and under to wear it. I've owned boats for the past 12 years, have a slip I rent every year, I live 50 feet from the largest lake in NJ. (This year is a draw down year so that lake wasn't usable.)

I took it to a tiny man made lake nearby.

I don't know why everyone is thinking the baby wasnt wearing a PFD. I had jackets for everyone on board also.
 

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Water pressure is an amazing thing. When submerged, water ingress was being pushed in, under pressure. When you hauled, it was just gravity draining it out, so I wouldn’t expect to find the leak that way.

Could have been a small crack in a hose, leaking valve, loose clamp or even failed bedding on the thru hull. None would allow much water back out.

The good news is you have a very limited number of places this could be occurring. I would update/upgrade them.
 

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Leaks can be hard to find.

Is there a cockpit drain that goes out the transom? Look below decks at both ends of that drain line.

Centerboard trunks can be a source of leak. It looks like most of the centerboard is housed in the shoal keel, but look around the top of the trunk for any signs of laminate separation.

And the Dread Previous Owner (DPO) might have installed a drain plug somewhere in the hull to keep the interior drained when it is sitting on the trailer. Inspect the underside to see if there are any other through-hull fittings besides the sink.

And while you are at it, replace the hose on the centerboard trunk cable and sink... both look suspect.

Good luck with your search.

test launch...Ease the boat in and check all thruhulls drains etc secure the boat away from ramp and let her sit. Check all fittings and bilge again. When you are very sure the boat is remaining dry drop the centerboard 1/3 down and see if any seepage occurs anywhere. If all is well take her for a short run and if all is still well haul sail and take a short sail
excellent advice. Some leaks can be found only by getting the boat wet.
 

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Ok you don’t get it.....as evidenced by making excuses for what you did.
You did something very unsafe.

The CAPTAIN is the one who is responsible. Period
Your decisions MUST always be made with safety in mind first. You failed to do that and were pressured by another person to take guests on an unproven to you boat you had never previously tested. You should have said no.

So what is was a lake .
so what it was calm.
So what it was good weather

You took out an untested boat you don’t know well with passengers and endangered everyone. Had someone gotten hurt or injured in this escapade who do you think would be held liable?
YOU WOULD

Thankfully nothing really happened. You get a second chance. If you don’t correct this poor judgement decision starting by owning it , you will repeat. The water is not forgiving, not prejudiced and should be respected. If not your life....than others.

Sorry to be so blunt....b
 
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Ok you don’t get it.....as evidenced by making excuses for what you did.
You did something very unsafe.

The CAPTAIN is the one who is responsible. Period
Your decisions MUST always be made with safety in mind first. You failed to do that and were pressured by another person to take guests on an unproven to you boat you had never previously tested. You should have said no.

So what is was a lake .
so what it was calm.
So what it was good weather

You took out an untested boat you don’t know well with passengers and endangered everyone. Had someone gotten hurt or injured in this escapade who do you think would be held liable?
YOU WOULD

Thankfully nothing really happened. You get a second chance. If you don’t correct this poor judgement decision starting by owning it , you will repeat. The water is not forgiving, not prejudiced and should be respected. If not your life....than others.

Sorry to be so blunt....b
And this is why I love internet forums.

I understand the responsibility of being a CAPTAIN.

I was not making excuses, I was giving reasons for my judgement call.

The "lake" I was on has a depth of 7-12 feet maximum. The weather was beyond calm. I wasn't sure we would have wind to sail. Temps were in the 70's.

Nobody was at risk of losing their life. At max a 100 yard swim to the shoreline would have been required. I had more than enough life jackets for everyone, throwable float cushions, flares, air horns, whistles, and capable swimmers and a certified lifeguard on board.

The worst case scenario involved everyone getting wet and me having to pay to have my boat retrieved from the lake bed.

I own my judgement call. I was going to go out solo if my friend wasn't available.

It's a 19 foot boat on a tiny, calm, still body of water on the day I was going out.

To everyone with the helpful comments thank you.
 
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