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Hey all,

Just back from a great trip out for an overnight anchorage (saw dolphins, whales, and more).

But I saw again an issue that I've been meaning to post about and pick your collective brains for clues.

I keep my CAL-29 on a mooring ball. Normally her bilges under the cabin floor are nice and dry. However, if I take her out sailing for a day or two (like this last trip) with lots of pitching and rolling and heel her over a lot, there's a couple of inches of water in the forward part of the bilge under the cabin sole at the end of the trip.

So I'm trying to think what it might be from. Here's my thoughts. What am I forgetting?

1. Shaft packing gland. On the CAL29, this would fill the bilge under the engine first, and if it got high enough, go over the baffles and forward into the bilges under the cabin sole. But this isn't the problem here. Monitored during use this trip (and others) and there's just the tiny bit that'd you'd expect. Not even regular drips, just a drop or two every few minutes. Bilge under the engine has some water in it, but no where near the top where it'd overflow into the forward bilge areas.

2. Icebox. Nope, it wasn't running and didn't have anything it it. It wasn't cold. The CAL29's icebox does drain to the bilge, but this can't be it.

3. Condensation from elsewhere. Maybe, but why only see it in the bilge after a long sail? Wouldn't I see that all the time?

4. Water over the bow and going down the chain locker? Maybe, but I don't remember any waves coming over the bow. I don't think this is it.

5. Rainwater leaking down from mast step? Nope, no rain on this trip. On the rare times it rains (in San Diego), as long as she stays on her ball her bilge stays dry even with the rain.

6. Shower drain? The CAL 29 shower drains into the bilge but I don't use it. No water leaking in the shower pan from anywhere that I can see or think of.

7. Something in the head system? Maybe, but the bilge doesn't stink like I think it would if it came from something in the head. Use the head on the mooring ball with no water in the bilge afterwards. Water only shows up after a sail.

What else could it be that only shows up after a rigorous sail?

-James
 

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Check valve in line from bilge pump to thru hull,,. Do sinks fill with water when heeling



Hey all,

Just back from a great trip out for an overnight anchorage (saw dolphins, whales, and more).

But I saw again an issue that I've been meaning to post about and pick your collective brains for clues.

I keep my CAL-29 on a mooring ball. Normally her bilges under the cabin floor are nice and dry. However, if I take her out sailing for a day or two (like this last trip) with lots of pitching and rolling and heel her over a lot, there's a couple of inches of water in the forward part of the bilge under the cabin sole at the end of the trip.

So I'm trying to think what it might be from. Here's my thoughts. What am I forgetting?

1. Shaft packing gland. On the CAL29, this would fill the bilge under the engine first, and if it got high enough, go over the baffles and forward into the bilges under the cabin sole. But this isn't the problem here. Monitored during use this trip (and others) and there's just the tiny bit that'd you'd expect. Not even regular drips, just a drop or two every few minutes. Bilge under the engine has some water in it, but no where near the top where it'd overflow into the forward bilge areas.

2. Icebox. Nope, it wasn't running and didn't have anything it it. It wasn't cold. The CAL29's icebox does drain to the bilge, but this can't be it.

3. Condensation from elsewhere. Maybe, but why only see it in the bilge after a long sail? Wouldn't I see that all the time?

4. Water over the bow and going down the chain locker? Maybe, but I don't remember any waves coming over the bow. I don't think this is it.

5. Rainwater leaking down from mast step? Nope, no rain on this trip. On the rare times it rains (in San Diego), as long as she stays on her ball her bilge stays dry even with the rain.

6. Shower drain? The CAL 29 shower drains into the bilge but I don't use it. No water leaking in the shower pan from anywhere that I can see or think of.

7. Something in the head system? Maybe, but the bilge doesn't stink like I think it would if it came from something in the head. Use the head on the mooring ball with no water in the bilge afterwards. Water only shows up after a sail.

What else could it be that only shows up after a rigorous sail?

-James
 

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Leaking hull deck joint, about the only option left after you have excluded the other culprits. This is the only thing I can think of that would let water in while sailing hard but not at the mooring. I forget how this is put together on a cal 29, but at some point they all leak and on a 30 plus year old boat it is more likely than not.
 

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Check your drain line from the anchor locker. If the fittings are loose, you could be picking up water when heeled over. Should be a simple fix too.
 

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Yup- your water holding tank is probably the culprit. Taste the water. At least you'll narrow down the source that way.
 

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I would look at the rudder tube gland. I think it will be similar to your stern tube gland. Underway water can be forced up and past the gland, it is one of those out of sight out of mind maintenance thing.
 

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Jib tracks? Lifeline stanchion bases? Other deck fittings?

Here's a trick-
Buy some "diatomaceous earth" (silica powder) from your local hardware store, and a cheap rose bush duster. Puff just a little bit of this in your bilge to coat the sides. After a while, you should see trickles tracking through the powder that you can track back to the source.

Don't go nuts with the powder, but it won't hurt your pumps, it doesn't clump or paste when it gets wet.
 

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Hey,

A few years ago I stated getting water in my bilge after sailing or motoring. Never while sitting at the mooring. It drove me crazy. After a few weeks I found the exhaust flange, where it exited the transom, was leaking. When the boat was sitting still the exhaust was above the water line. When motoring or sailing fast the flange would be submerged and allowed water in. I sealed it with caulk and that solved the problem.

So check for through hulls that are above the water line at rest and submerged when underway and good luck to you.

Barry
 

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I noticed a similar problem to Barry's on my O'day 35 (also similar to Barry's :)).

The wet exhaust hose that ran from the mixing elbow to the waterlift muffler (one of the few hoses original to the boat) had a longitudinal crack in it where it met the muffler. It looked fine, until I removed it. I would get about ½ gallon every hour of motoring. This hose has since been replaced, and I have added a CO detector to the main cabin.
 

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I think the water tank is your problem, Mine a Cal 28 is a fiberglass tank with a screwed down top , The seal is caulked . It is under the Vberth , where is yours? ..Dale
 

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The suggestions on this thread would take a few hours to confirm or deny, if not longer. Determining if it is salt or fresh water can save a lot of time.
 

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The suggestions on this thread would take a few hours to confirm or deny, if not longer. Determining if it is salt or fresh water can save a lot of time.
Yep, good idea, but absolutely determine if it's ANYWHERE in the plumbing for the head, holding tank, macerator etc, BEFORE tasting it. Don't ask:puke
 

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These are all good suggestions. The water tank does seem very likely - it has a vent in the top of it, of course, so having spillage when heeled or rolling is just about unavoidalbe - but you may well be hesitant to taste the bilge water. So, instead, drain most of the water from your tank, maybe filling a couple of gallon jugs to take with you next sail. If you still have water in the bilge afterwards, keep looking at the other suspects.
 

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Can't recall.. is the Cal 29 a bolt-on or encapsulated keel?
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for the thoughts! Good ideas for me to check. The fresh-water usage is definitely something that I do only on big sails so checking the tank for the cause and inspecting the lines from it to the pump to the sink will be some of the first things I check.

Draining it out and seeing if it returns after the next sail might be a good thing.

Keep the ideas coming!

To answer your question, it's an encapsulated keel. No keel bolts for me! :)
 

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The water under the engine might not be reaching the top of the baffles, at rest. However, what happens when you go sailing and you are healing? The water then slops over the baffles. Result - water in bilge.

My Bristol does this all the time.
 

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Your engine raw water system may have a non return valve vented loop type thing, Vetus make some and they are great however they require peorodic cleaning or they start to ooze water out the drain pipe into the engine bay.

One way to check that, and freshwater cooling system is to put empty plastic bottles under any drain pipes under or around the engine.

Tasting the water will not get you anywhere unless theres a LOT of water. A couple of gallons of fresh water sloshing around the bilge for aweekend will taste like salt, or worse.

Dont go ripping out deck fittings etc until you have done the normal stuff of lose hose clamps, vented loops, etc.


Mark
 
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You could put food dye in the fresh water tanks. Then check the color of the water in the bilge after you sail.

Regards,
Brad
 
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