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Discussion Starter #1
Back in February of this year I purchased a 1983 I-30 Bahama. When I first saw the boat (in February), it basically bone dry with just an inch or two of water in the bilge and it had been on the hard for over a year. When I went to start working on it in April, the cabin was flooded with four inches of water. I attributed that to the scuppers being blocked up by the tarp that had collapsed due to snow and water flooding over the transom into the cabin.
I installed an electric bilge pump (amazed that the boat didn't have one!!!) and sailed through the season. I had installed some deck items like fairleads and clutches. I also repaired a stanchion base. I didn't get around to resealing the chainplates.
With the boat on the hard in November, I checked in after a few rain storms and saw the bilge almost overflowing. Pumped that out and then covered the boat with a tarp (I had the mast down) so almost the entire boat except for the last three feet of the cockpit was protected. Weather has been pretty cold (I'm in NJ) but when I would check the boat, I saw water creeping up in the bilge. With a spate of warm weather hitting us last week, I ended up having to pump out an inch of water in the cabin!
This is driving me crazy as I can't figure out where such a substantial leak can be coming from. I don't see any water streaks on the wood near the chainplates.
Any thoughts on where to look next? (It will have to wait until spring. I'll just be pumping in the meantime. Any preferred techniques for leak detection? I'm toying with one that involves blowing air from a ShopVac into a sealed interior. Anyone try that?
Thanks
 

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3 feet of pit exposed? Start with the pit deck and move to scuppers and drain lines. Then I,d try any exposed hdwr.

hth
 

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Hi and congrats on getting an Islander. I have a 1979 Islander Bahama and love it. I had a similar issue, but to a much lesser degree. I would get lots of leaks whenever it rained and was frustrated with never being able to find the actual point where the water was getting in. I finally used the ShopVac method you mentioned ( I actually used a heavy duty leaf blower) and it worked great.

The hardest part is getting everything sealed up without forgetting something you need that you left inside the boat or forgot to block off your solar fan, etc. Once you seal her up and blow the air in, get a spray bottle with soapy water and start spraying everywhere. I found a leak around a port window but the major leak came from the very bow of the boat between the deck and a plastic trim piece that goes around the bow between the toe rails. I filled in the space with silicone and it worked great.

Hope this helps. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Jeff. You've given me hope! And I'll use a leaf blower as you suggest. I'm planning on cutting out a piece of plywood to temporarily replace one of the slats comprising the companionway door and cutting a hole in the center for the leaf blower.

Hi and congrats on getting an Islander. I have a 1979 Islander Bahama and love it. I had a similar issue, but to a much lesser degree. I would get lots of leaks whenever it rained and was frustrated with never being able to find the actual point where the water was getting in. I finally used the ShopVac method you mentioned ( I actually used a heavy duty leaf blower) and it worked great.


Hope this helps. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The scuppers are fine and I do plan on rechecking all of the hardware. Can you give me any examples of other drain lines? I'm not aware of any other than the scuppers.
Thanks

3 feet of pit exposed? Start with the pit deck and move to scuppers and drain lines. Then I,d try any exposed hdwr.

hth
 

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"I'm toying with one that involves blowing air from a ShopVac into a sealed interior. Anyone try that?"
Yes, and it works very well. Don't waste time cutting plywood, all you need is a sheet of corrugated cardboard (a piece of cardboard box) and some duct or packing tape to seal the edges.

Do be warned that when you slosh soapy water on the deck, it becomes very easy to fall off the boat.

Ignoring leaky chainplates can lead to major problems, especially if that water is getting behind trim and attacking your interior wood or bulkheads. If you can't get to that right away, use some sash putty or beeswax and temporarily seal them from above.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good tip. It will be a major PITA (pain in...) crawling around under the tarp...and it's still pretty cold! Has to been done, though.
Thanks

Ignoring leaky chainplates can lead to major problems, especially if that water is getting behind trim and attacking your interior wood or bulkheads. If you can't get to that right away, use some sash putty or beeswax and temporarily seal them from above.
 

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Congrats on your IB30 - I have an 81 that I've been through similar issues with - it ended up being an issue with the windows in the salon - the big ones - water was literally pouring in and sliding down the sides of the boat under the vinyl headliner - I ended up ordering new windows for it and after I mounted them most of the issues went away - I'd love to have a completely dry bilge, but in most bots (especially with a non-dripless stuffing box) I don't know if this is a reality - I'm always sure to keep an eye on it and the auto bilge pumps work well to keep it under control. Every month or so I do suck it dry with the shop vac, but its never more than a gallon or so that the bilge pump leaves behind.
Other culprits besides what you've mentioned, are the Jib tracks, and the toe rails - in general terms these were factory sealed, but depending on the conditions the boat has been kept in the sealant is capable of failing - the good news is Islander made it very easy to reach all of the nuts under the deck for removal and re-bed - even if some boat yoga is involved in getting to them - they are ss, 1/4-20 with 7/16 nuts - there are a bunch of them. Hope this helps - PM me if you have other questions.
Eric
 

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one last thought; don't forget that the ice box drains into the bilge (at least it does on mine). Make sure you don't have some crazy leak that's getting into the bilge via that route.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting. I did have some leakage in the cabinet under the ice box but couldn't for the life of me figure out where it was coming. Since it wasn't significant, it kept slipping down the "To do" list. Sigh...

one last thought; don't forget that the ice box drains into the bilge (at least it does on mine). Make sure you don't have some crazy leak that's getting into the bilge via that route.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I took a quick look under the cockpit through the stern locker to check out the scupper situation. There weren't any obvious cracks in any of the hoses but it wasn't raining so I can't attest to no leakage from there. The hose layout did cause me some concern, though. The hoses from the scuppers run down to the hull bottom and then follow the hull up at a slight incline before they exit the thru hulls out of the stern. I can easily see water accumulating in the hoses and then freezing over and preventing any additional water from passing through unless the hose defrosts faster than the cockpit. I can foresee lots of playing around with a garden hose splashing water around come spring...
 

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Get some chalk - the blue powder used for chalk lines is what I like - and spread it around any suspected area, then hose down the boat.
Drip lines will lead you back to the source eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Very clever! I assume that would be done a section at a time, waiting for some time for the water to dry before moving on to the next section.
 

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Congratulations on a great boat. I've owned two, both '79s, and have rebuilt both from the ground up. And I agree with the comments posted so far, your best bet will be the hoses draining the cockpit to the stern. If the cockpit was all that was exposed to the rain/snow, then that's where the leak must be. Also check the actual stern drain fittings. The factory installed cheep plastic ones in '79 and they have a tendency to crack. Also have a look at anything down hill from the cockpit locker lids. The drains built into the sides of the seats direct a lot of water. Is there anything owner installed in the line of that water passage? I've seen manual bilge pumps mounted there, with cracked rubber covers, allowing all sorts of water in. My current Islander B30 has previous owner mounted outdoor speakers mounted in line with the drain path of the lazerette water. The speakers were old and ruptured and not sealed properly in the first place. Again, lots of water into the bilge.
On the issue of windows in the main cabin, yes they have a tendency to leak. They are relatively easy to pull out and I certainly would if there was any sign of a leak. The backing to the cabin sides are plywood. I've seen B30s with major rot in this area (not mine, thankfully!). Clean up the plastic frame and the opening, then use a good sealer (and lots of it) to re-bed the windows. Mark Plastics in California still makes direct replacements for these boats. I purchased new ones for out boat a number of years ago, came on budget and on time.
If the toe rail leaks that's a relatively easy fix. I doubt the actual sealer is leaking, it's most likely the bolts holding the deck to the hull. Something as simple as tightening the nuts will usually solve that problem. At worst the bolt has to come out and be re-bedded with a sealer. Time consuming, but doable.
As I've mentioned, I've rebuilt two of these boats and know them quite well. I can send you more information if you wish.

Bert Vermeer
Sidney, BC
[email protected]
 

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Congratulations on a great boat. I've owned two, both '79s, and have rebuilt both from the ground up. And I agree with the comments posted so far, your best bet will be the hoses draining the cockpit to the stern. If the cockpit was all that was exposed to the rain/snow, then that's where the leak must be. Also check the actual stern drain fittings. The factory installed cheap plastic ones in '79 and they have a tendency to crack. Also have a look at anything down hill from the cockpit locker lids. The drains built into the sides of the seats direct a lot of water. Is there anything owner installed in the line of that water passage? I've seen manual bilge pumps mounted there, with cracked rubber covers, allowing all sorts of water in. My current Islander B30 has previous owner mounted outdoor speakers mounted in line with the drain path of the lazerette water. The speakers were old and ruptured and not sealed properly in the first place. Again, lots of water into the bilge.
On the issue of windows in the main cabin, yes they have a tendency to leak. They are relatively easy to pull out and I certainly would if there was any sign of a leak. The backing to the cabin sides are plywood. I've seen B30s with major rot in this area (not mine, thankfully!). Clean up the plastic frame and the opening, then use a good sealer (and lots of it) to re-bed the windows. Mark Plastics in California still makes direct replacements for these boats. I purchased new ones for out boat a number of years ago, came on budget and on time.
If the toe rail leaks that's a relatively easy fix. I doubt the actual seal is leaking, it's most likely the bolts holding the deck to the hull. Something as simple as tightening the nuts will usually solve that problem. At worst the bolt has to come out and be re-bedded with a sealer. Time consuming, but doable.
As I've mentioned, I've rebuilt two of these boats and know them quite well. I can send you more information if you wish.

Bert Vermeer
Sidney, BC
[email protected]
 

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Get some chalk - the blue powder used for chalk lines is what I like - and spread it around any suspected area, then hose down the boat.
Drip lines will lead you back to the source eventually.
I do the same thing, Chuckles, but I use talcum powder. It smells better and it is easier to clean up.
 

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I am also collecting water in the bilge which I believe to be fresh water.
I have checked: most toe rail bolts, windows, chain plates, cockpit scuppers (by looking for water tracking and inspection while raining, also filling cockpit with water a bit), anchor chain hinged hatch, rudder packing, mechanical shaft seal, cockpit hatch over 'new' engine. There is a little pocket on the starboard side by the forward port side of the diesel tank which collects water. This water is then drained to the bilge through a drainage hole located there which drains water forward of the battery box under the companionway and into the bilge. I think this location is part of the pathway of the water ingress. I note that from time to time there is water collected in the aft portion of the starboard 'vertical' storage compartment behind the settee. I have wondered if this is condensation on the inside of the hull collecting. I will recheck the toe rail bolts above. I have placed tell tale paper towels all over the place to see if they get wet, for example in the hull hatch in the head, both sides and forward, on the insides of the starboard hull where it is accessible through the storage openings behind the settee, in the fiberglass channels on each side of the engine, an the channel under the engine. My best lead appears to be the starboard side somewhere behind the hanging locker. Perhaps it is coming in by a deck fitting to the starboard side of the companionway where the main halliard winch is mounted on top adjacent to the sliding hatch and then running down the inside of the aft portion of the cabin on the starboard side. I removed the electrical panel mounted there and looked inside but did not see a leak. Hmmm. Well I hope this will help others to think of where their leaks might be coming from; for me I will keep looking when time permits.

PS - I wondered if my bilge pump had been operating. I was going to put an hour meter on it, but instead I put a teaspoon of food colouring in the bilge water. It has not diluted its colour much in a couple months, so there is not much flow. If the bilge pump had run, I would expect the food colouring to be diluted.
 

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Just purchased an I30 Bahama and am also having the leak problems. I know for a fact that the main cabin windows are leaking....I have felt the foam under the liner after a rain storm...soaking wet. What I did not realize is just how much water can get in through them. My second and third suspects are the genoa track and the toe rail. Personally, I dread messing with the toe rail. Luckily after inspecting the plywood affixed to the hull near the hull/deck joint revealed no staining from leaks....Out of curiosity...does anyone know what was used for bedding the toe rail from the factory? Being who I am.. I want to rebed the toe rail.
 

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Welcome to sailnet and to the world of Islander Bahamas! So you likely have the same leaks I had - it is unlikely the toenail or Genoa track - it is most likely that your windows are the main culprit - this is easily remedied. You have two choices: re-bed the original windows or if they are crazed like mine were, get new ones. I ordered mine from Mark plastics in Corona CA - just Google him - great product and great customer support.
If you choose to re-bed the oricinals, use a good sealent (removable) and do the following:
1. remove the old windows (about 10 minutes apiece) - give everything time to dry if wet
2. Clean the outside surfaces well - acetone and mineral spirits do a nice job after the scraper and orbital sscruffy pad (the 2" disk on the end of a drill motor works well)
3. Apply the sealant to the windows about a 3/16th bead does a good job - it should ooz a bit when you fasten it in there. Re-screw from the inside. - Be sure to go back and clean-up the excess on the outside.
4. Enjoy your new dryer boat!

If you want to do the toerail, its Phillips on top, and a 7/16 nut and washer underneath - they are lock nuts so you'll need someone to help you - it can be done in a day if you work at it. Islander put zippers all along underneath and with a little boat yoga you can reach every nut. Re-bed as described copius times on this forum according to your own preferences.

There are pictures in my Album here to help with both projects - PM me with any questions.
 

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Thanks!

Yea, I have been in contact with Mark Plastics. Definitely getting new windows from there....Old frames are cracked on the inside and I'm pretty sure getting the old frame off the outside will result in breaks.

I have previously restored an Islander 30 Mk II....completely replaced bulkheads...fabricated new bulkheads for aft lower shrouds...and completely replaced the plywood attached to the side of the deck where the windows were.....To prevent any future rot I will be epoxying the edges of the plywood and a few inches in all the way around the windows..I figure while its off it cant hurt.
 
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