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Discussion Starter #1
Attached is a picture of the two cockpit drain thru hull fittings in my sailboat... a Wilderness 21.

Not evident in the pic is some seepage on the lower threads, especially the left one. I also see some seepage where the large round base meets the fiberglass pad it is anchored to.

The boat is in the water now. After a two hour sail, there is perhaps a pint of water in the bilge.

Is there anything I can tighten to stem this seepage?

Thanks.

Hal Nash
Waldport OR
 

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You can use some polyurethane or polysulphide. First open them a little bit, insert some sealant as close as possible to the thruhull. Tighten.
 

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You can use some polyurethane or polysulphide. First open them a little bit, insert some sealant as close as possible to the thruhull. Tighten.
Thanks for the reply.

However, I don't quite understand what you mean by saying "open them a little bit." Does that mean to unscrew the large white "nut" shown in the pic?
 

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look like someone put in bigger drains then it came with. those drains are just above the waterline. you could loosen the big white retainer nut and put a bead of sealer around the thur hull threads and retighten the nut. if it works then you will be good for another 30 years. if not then you will need to remove and rebid from both sides. looks to me like they did not use sealer and are relying on the epoxy only. do not use silicon seal or 5200. I would use 3m 4200 sealer as it is removable at a latter date
 

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Discussion Starter #6
look like someone put in bigger drains then it came with. those drains are just above the waterline. you could loosen the big white retainer nut and put a bead of sealer around the thur hull threads and retighten the nut. if it works then you will be good for another 30 years. if not then you will need to remove and rebid from both sides. looks to me like they did not use sealer and are relying on the epoxy only. do not use silicon seal or 5200. I would use 3m 4200 sealer as it is removable at a latter date
Thanks for the reply. If I loosen the big white retainer nut, will water starting rushing in? The boat is still in the water. I've not worked with thru-hulls before, so I'm a bit ignorant of their anatomy.
 

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Those thur hulls are above the water line so no water should rush in if they where below the water they would be leaking all the time and not just when you are sailing.
 

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Hnash - DO NOT LOOSEN THE RETAINING NUT WHILE THE BOAT IS IN THE WATER! Your problem is the bond line between the thru hull's outer flange and the outside of the hull has been broken. I can see how this problem originated. The original repairer did a nice job making flat backing plates so the retaining nut have a flat surface to mate. The problem lies with the elbows screwed directly to the stand pipe. When torquing the elbow to align with the hose there must of been some movement of the thru hull itself, breaking the caulk bond. The elasticity of the caulk have been preventing (or slowing down) the leak so far. The proper repair is to haul the boat, remove, recaulk, and reinstall the thru hull. The AYBC way is to use a right angle seacock that can be closed off in this application instead of a threaded elbow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Those thur hulls are above the water line so no water should rush in if they where below the water they would be leaking all the time and not just when you are sailing.
From the attached picture, it does NOT look like they are below the waterline. You can see the thru-hull on the outside of the hull on the far right edge of the picture.

Am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hnash - DO NOT LOOSEN THE RETAINING NUT WHILE THE BOAT IS IN THE WATER! Your problem is the bond line between the thru hull's outer flange and the outside of the hull has been broken. I can see how this problem originated. The original repairer did a nice job making flat backing plates so the retaining nut have a flat surface to mate. The problem lies with the elbows screwed directly to the stand pipe. When torquing the elbow to align with the hose there must of been some movement of the thru hull itself, breaking the caulk bond. The elasticity of the caulk have been preventing (or slowing down) the leak so far. The proper repair is to haul the boat, remove, recaulk, and reinstall the thru hull. The AYBC way is to use a right angle seacock that can be closed off in this application instead of a threaded elbow.
I was afraid of this... shyte. Hmm.... Take a look at the last pic I uploaded... it shows one of the thru-hulls being well below the waterline.

It was a ***** getting this boat in the water and sticking the mast on it. It's only been in the water less than two weeks. Again... shyte.
 

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if they are below the water line then you will need to haul the boat to fix. if they are below the water then they should have valves before the hose to prevent the boat from sinking if a hose leaks or comes off. originally the cockpit drains where in the very stern of the boat just above the waterline, have they been moved. is that the inside of the transom in the first pic
 

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Discussion Starter #12
if they are below the water line then you will need to haul the boat to fix. if they are below the water then they should have valves before the hose to prevent the boat from sinking if a hose leaks or comes off. originally the cockpit drains where in the very stern of the boat just above the waterline, have they been moved. is that the inside of the transom in the first pic
I don't think there were ever any aft cockpit drains in the Wilderness 21... only fore cockpit drains.

I don't think that is the inside of the transom in the first pic. But I will look today to check for sure.
 

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You may be right, I sail on a Burns 21 which is the latter model of the wilderness 21 We had the last one built and they may have changed the location of the drains. ours went straight out the transom. we kept ours on a trailer at the club launch
 

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With a 21' boat, it is possible that you can either careen the boat, or take a line from the masthead to a dock/shore fitting and haul it over sideways, so that you can lift one side of the hull pretty much clear of the water, at a time. That would allow you to remove and rebed one side, and then come back to do the other. And removed and rebedding is really the right way to go. "Do once and do it right" instead of patching and kludging. And, if the big white nut splits....uh, yeah, you're going to need to do something like that real fast anyway.
If there's any type of crane or an overhanging dock structure, you may also be able to tie a line around the read of the hull and simply lift the rear clear of the water. Hauling isn't the only option, although for 21' you may be able to have a local marina give you an overnight haul, i.e. they haul you last thing in the day, leave you in the sling, launch you again in the morning and that gives you a few hours between the haul and sunset when you can do a fast job.

A PITA but something that can be done. I used 5200 to replace a speed log throughhull once. The previous one had been put in the same way. Didn't matter, the new one was larger than the old one, would require a large hole to be drilled. The old fitting was easily split with a saw and then imploded into the hole. The 5200 was practically the same as the frp of the hull, which doesn't seem to bad for what is intended to be a permanent installation.
 

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A proper repair as described previously is what should be done at some point.
If you are a good swimmer, underwater epoxy( the type made for emergency repairs) could be rolled into a 'stringlike' format and applied around the perimeter. The stuff does work.
 

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Throughulls (of mismatched plastics yet) below the waterline and without seacocks ..... keep an eye over your shoulder, Mr. Darwin is on the hunt.
 

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On a 21 foot boat the drains are likely below or at the waterline (my Contessa drains were underwater, Precision are underwater with anyone in the cockpit).

Can't this just wait until the season is over? A liter of water isn't going to sink it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A proper repair as described previously is what should be done at some point.
If you are a good swimmer, underwater epoxy( the type made for emergency repairs) could be rolled into a 'stringlike' format and applied around the perimeter. The stuff does work.
Throughulls (of mismatched plastics yet) below the waterline and without seacocks ..... keep an eye over your shoulder, Mr. Darwin is on the hunt.
On a 21 foot boat the drains are likely below or at the waterline (my Contessa drains were underwater, Precision are underwater with anyone in the cockpit). Can't this just wait until the season is over? A liter of water isn't going to sink it.


Thanks for the comments. I thought about trying splashzone underwater epoxy. I'm a good swimmer but 55 degree water.... nah. Yes a proper repair will be done.

As for being a future Darwin Award winner, it's a little late... I've already passed my genes on to two of the next generation. As mentioned above, yes, a proper repair is in order.

Finally, yes, waiting till I haul it back out is what I've chosen to do. I'll be monitoring the water ingress each time I use the boat... which is often... multiple times a week. And you are right, a little water even up to a gallon is not an issue... but by then the bilge pump will kick in.
 

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HNash. I believe that George has it right. If, indeed the though hulls are under water, you need to haul. The good news is that you can just haul the boat for a short time, and fix the problem. Most yards will work with you to schedule this haul. For example, they haul it before they break for lunch, then splash you after lunch. If you've never done this type of repair before, get someone to help you. It's a bummer, but at least it shoul be (knock on wood) a relately easy fix. Good luck!
 

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HNash. I believe that George has it right. If, indeed the though hulls are under water, you need to haul. The good news is that you can just haul the boat for a short time, and fix the problem. Most yards will work with you to schedule this haul. For example, they haul it before they break for lunch, then splash you after lunch. If you've never done this type of repair before, get someone to help you. It's a bummer, but at least it shoul be (knock on wood) a relately easy fix. Good luck!
Hauling it is a bummer. The only place that hauls it uses a sling which means I have to unstep the mast. And since the mast is not deck stepped (no mast hinge), I have to have a different location stick the mast for me. My previous boats all had mast hinges/deck stepped. Using the crane to stick my mast damaged the Windex. All in all, it was a ***** to do. So, no, hauling is a pain.

If I could find a trailer tongue extension, I might be able to back the trailer deep enough to float the boat on the trailer, pull it out and do the work the next couple of days and then re-launch.
 
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