Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Baffling water, re-vistited

  1. #1

    Unhappy Baffling water, re-vistited

    I posted this problem long ago and I am still fighting the issue. I had discovered water leaking from the edges of my cabinets last spring, I took off the doors and drilled into the cabinet edge and discovered water. I believe I have taken care of the cabinet issue, but I drilled about a dozen 1/4in. holes in the fish box and let them drain all summer. Recently I drilled out a one-inch hole through the fish box wall, leading to a foam filled chamber, that was completely dry, next to the other holes in my fish box. (I need to post a photo, as this sounds confussing) The wall core is 3/4in plywood, it is moist around the cut edge. I have been baking the fish box with a heater most all of the time. It has produced gallons of water over the course of the summer from just a dozen 1/4in. holes. The fish box wall is also the wall under the cabin door, the main bulkhead dividing the cabin and back deck.
    I have gone through everything and cannot find a entry point for the water, all chambers are dry. I have narrowed it down to that one wall or section has water in it. This makes no sense! Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default

    As you said, pictures. The more the better.

  3. #3

    Default Here are some pictures

    The fish box goes well below the cabin floor, even though when you walk in from the back deck you step down entering the cabin. The drain plug (visable in the photo with the glove) is the drain plug for the hall way floor inside the cabin. The big hole below it is what I drilled, in that hole is a chamber under the cabin hallway floor full of dry foam. The 1/4 holes all over only go half-way through the core and only the lower ones leaked water, the upper ones were always dry. Where does the water come from? How come it continued to leak all summer? Why does it stop when I put the heater in there and start again afterwards?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

    Default

    Another pic looking forward toward the cabin. (The photo without any holes visable is looking at the aft wall of the fish deck.) It is a perplexing issue! I know the first rule is to find the entry, I'm out of places to check. I know fiberglass boats naturally gain weight as they age, is this water just moisture that is natural? There is no rot and it is all still very firm. I don't want to seal off the holes until I have solved the mystery. Thanks guys for the help -as always you'll be paid with coordinates to fishing hot spots.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    23

    Default Water intrusion

    I had a similar problem on a Trophy I own, and mine ended up just being a poor fiberglass bedding job around a thru-bulkhead drain that allowed standing water in the bilge to come in contact with the plywood core and get wicked up into the wood. The final repair was to cut out, replace and reglass the bad wood. Having said that, I don't think that's what's causing your issue.

    Gallons of water in the core wood isn't natural, and while I'm nothing close to being an authority on fiberglass boat hulls, I did an extensive amount of research on the subject while figuring out the proper fix for mine.

    If you have that much water in there, the wood, while good now, will very likely eventually rot, leaving you with a fiberglass shell full of dry-rotted wood. My understanding is that different hull manufacturers bedded their structures with varying thicknesses of fiberglass. Some actually layered the glass in thick enough that even if all of the wood rotted, there was enough fiberglass that the hull was still structurally safe. Others were more stingy with the glass, and if the rot is left unchecked, it will eventually turn the boat into a giant lawn ornament.

    Have you checked the stringers that the bulkhead butts up against for water intrusion as well? You might consider taking it to a marine surveyer that has a moisture meter. They're not 100% reliable, but it may help expose the whole problem area. You definitely want to keep pursuing this until you pinpoint the source and correct whatever's wrong. If you end up with rot that spreads to the stringers or other major structural areas and your boat is made by one of the latter type of manufacturers I mentioned, the next time you come down hard running through big chop could very well result in a cracked hull (or worse). On the other hand it may never give you a problem...but I tend to lean toward the side of paranoia in that regard.

    Hope this helps, Brian

  6. #6

    Default

    I think you need more views for this problem than you'll probably get from this site. Maybe try posting the questions and photos on a site like http://www.boatered.com/forum/ that has lots of people with lots of experience.

    Wonder if the water that's draining out is fresh water or salt water. At least if it's salt water, and if it stays wet, it won't rot (or so I've heard) because the mold can live in those conditions. Have you pulled off your rubrail and re-sealed the screw holes?

    Have you contacted Sea Sport with the question? If you can't find the source, I second the suggestion that you hire a surveyor. Note that a surveyor I hired when I found some gelcoat cracks couldn't use his moisture meter that day because it was too humid outside.

    I hope that there's not enough water in there and that it's not confined enought that freezing it (and expansion) over the winter won't hurt anything.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    I would look into something like this: http://www.inspectkeywest.com/boats.html



    Using an infrared thermal camera you can see the temp difference and it makes water stand out, I have seen a couple shows where they have used it to identify the source of leaks in houses. According to the link above I see no reason it wouldn't work in boats as well.

  8. #8
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SOLDOTNA, AK
    Posts
    949

    Default

    years ago a friend had a bayliner that i believe sank because there was a gap between hull and superstructure he got in rough seas and water splashed in and filled boat with water...
    depending on style of boat i would check any areas like that.
    any area that has something screwed into the fiberglass i would check and rescrew after putting 5200 or something similar in the hole

    good luck Pat
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  9. #9

    Default FYI: This is a 1991 Sea Sport

    Thank you guys for the insight. This summer when I discovered the cabinet leaks, I removed the frames/doors, drilled holes into the edges and dried it out. Then used acetone to displace the water and bake the interior with heaters for days. Inside one cabinet a crack appeared at the base of a wall (it leaked water), I removed the dinette table post and base plate, as it was on the other side of the wall. The hole is about 4in and looking inside with a light and mirror is easy, it was bone dry and still had saw dust probably from the day it was built. My conclusion: The water is trapped in the plywood itself, but from where?
    I bought a high-end moisture meter and am monitoring it. Problem with moisture meters is they can be questionable, for example: It gave readings on walls that are 1/4 fiberglass only -no core. The inside gunnel wall on the fish deck is plywood cored and the plywood edge is visable, lay on the deck look up and there it is, makes no sense! Sure it drains down, but no seal or anything?
    I do have the heaters keeping it warm until I find a cure, drilling holes into everything has proved more accurate than my $450 moisture meter! The thermo image stuff looks like something I might need to consider. Post any story big or small, anything to help me get a clue with this, I really appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage and Seward
    Posts
    506

    Default Finding Deck Leaks

    A friend who took his sailboat south for the dream life style of bumming around on a boat in the south seas found a great way to find those deck leaks that can be really difficult to find. He posted the following on his website, SVDaydreamer.com:

    Finding Topside Leaks
    When it rains, do you ever have any drips inside your boat? Were you always able to find the deck fitting that needed to be rebedded to stop it? Or did you try to find it by putting a hose on deck and moving it around to see when the drip starts and stops? And how well didn't that work? Or did you just start rebedding at the closest fitting and move out to further ones until the drip eventually stopped?

    If so, you know there's often no apparent connection between the location of a drip inside and the source of the leak outside. However, there is an almost foolproof way of finding all your deck leaks and you can be comfortable that it'll work OK because it involves the use of the sailor's friend -- duct tape.

    The idea is to seal up the boat as air-tight as you can get it, then lightly pressurize the interior with a high volume air blower and spray the deck etc. down with a soapy solution. The pressurized air will get out any place water can get in (and then some) and bubbles in the soapy solution will show you where the topside leaks are.

    Take a roll of duct tape and seal up every vent and opening you can find including lazarette hatches, dorades etc. etc. Close every sink and head thru-hull. Rent a high volume, low pressure blower from a convenient rental outlet (electric motor driven squirrel cage blowers are commonly used to dry out flooded carpets etc. and provide ventilation in closed spaces so they tend to be easy to find. I haven't tried it but a leaf blower might work in a pinch.) Depending on your specific situation, you may also want to rent some flexible ducting too. Hook up the blower so it blows into your boat - thru a port or companionway slide perhaps - use some more duct tape to seal it up, maybe using a bit of thin plywood. Mix up some dishwashing detergent and water in a garden sprayer or something similar as if you were getting ready to blow some bubbles, BUT DO NOT spray it on the boat yet. Now start the blower and find all those hidden holes, e.g. coaming bins, and venting spots that you missed the first time and seal them up with duct tape too. The boat doesn't have to be air-tight by any means but huge openings will let too much air out to maintain a pressurized interior. Now you can turn the blower on again and proceed to spray the soapy solution all over and look for bubbles. You'll probably be amazed and perhaps a bit dismayed at all the leaks you'll find. Happy caulking!

  11. #11

    Default

    Fish Witch,
    WOW, that is ingenius! I would really have to work to plug up the hole the control wires and stuff goes through. I understand the concept and will have to try it next summer when I can run the water hose, that sounds interesting. Thank you for that!
    Here is your fishing tip: Seward two summers ago, mid-silver season (after they left Pony Cove and before they hit inside the harbor). No ones is catching anything around Fox and Hive, we go for a cruise to see bear glacier for something to do. There is a Dad and a bunch of teenagers in a average size boat right off the beach 20-30ft from the shore in about 12ft of water in the corner where the glacier lagoon empties into the sea. They are yarding in the silvers, we are creeping up to them but don't catch anything, they limit out in minutes and leave. We edge in shallow where they were and limit out in one little spot, pass after pass we nail em'! Even caught a huge ling we tossed back! The spot was the size of a tennis court, anywhere else and nothing. Haven't been back since then, but its a spot that limited our boat that day.
    Thanks again for the info, if I discover something new next chance I work on it I'll let everyone know.

  12. #12

    Default 1989 Pilot House also leaky

    I am also on the hunt to determine the locations of leaks on my boat. There is great information/ideas posted here to detect moisture along with Fish Witch's post using pressurized cabin/soapy water to find the locations. I have a 1989 SeaSport Pilot house and towards the end of the 2008 season during the blowing Whittier rain storms I found about 20 gallons of water inside beneath the floor. The water is fresh, brown color, and doesn't smell like poop. This leads me to believe the water is possibly coming in around the window trim, through the plywood and daylight at hose/wire penetrations. I am sure there are other areas that I will also try to locate and seal. I sent an e-mail to SeaSport asking if they could help pinpoint potential problem areas from their experience or reports from other owners. I will post any enlightening information they send me.

    I sealed the two drain holes in the bulkhead (refer to Myers Pics) between the interior cabin and the the fish hold (shouldn't be getting inside right?). Installed a macerator pump on cabin side in the lower hole to pump the hold out and wires in the top hole (Sealed hole with PL200 afterward) to a fish hold float switch to pump water out while I am gone. The boat is bow heavy and water on the deck during pouring rain can fill up the fish hold.

  13. #13

    Default

    Rhorn,
    Here is something for you that might stir some ideas; One day I noticed an inch of water in a compartment but no where else. The fresh water holding tank for the sink sits in the cabinet/shelf that was full of water. The "fill cap" outside on the gunnel seal had failed and when the leaves piled up recently it diverted water around it more than normal. The gas cap is mounted flush next to it on a smooth surface, about two feet away the water cap is mounted on a tread surface. Basicly the silicone seal failed and the tread grooves and leaves channeled water between the metal cap fitting and the fiberglass and into the cabinet. I unscrewed the cap, pulled it up, ground a smooth spot, rebeded it with 5200.
    Water in your compartments means hatches, through hulls, windows, anchor lockers, are leaking.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Myers,

    Have you ever pulled the plastic plugs out of the sides of the engine comparments? If the seals in the floor fail (which most of the time they do) the water will fill up the areas around the fuel tanks. On one side of the boat water can then travel the entire way to the bow area.
    If these plugs are not pulled and there is water around the tanks it could freeze and crack something and it would be hell trying to find the cracks under the floor area.

  15. #15

    Default

    Snowwolfe,
    My gas tank wall is right in front of the engine with nothing between them (look at the engine pulleys and your looking at the metal gas tank...) the only plug that I know of is the one forward of the gas tank in the fish box wall. Are there others? I'm not understanding what plugs or where. Is your tank like mine, sitting between the engine and fish box?

  16. #16

    Default

    Snowwolfe, do you have side storage compartments one on each side of the engine box? I do not have those, just the fish box in front of the engine.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    I have two storage boxes in front of the engine compartment. One is what I consider wet storage and the one closest to the cabin is a huge fish box.
    I have built in 60 gallon tanks on each side of the deck. These tanks underneath the deck but are separated from the engine compartment by fiberglass enclosures. There is a plug on each of these enclosures.

    Seems to make sense that with your boat there are spaces on each side of the engine compartment. Either they are storage areas or filled with foam. I seriously doubt they are solid. Ever pull the deck floor to see what is underneath?

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Here is a photo from Sea Sports web site of the 22 foot model. I brushed in red on the areas where my tanks are. Each of the areas under the tanks have a plug that can be removed and then the water will drain into the bilge.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19

    Default

    The sides up near the bulkhead are filled with foam (cut a hole looking for water once) the sides next to the engine I assume have foam also?

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Maybe they are foam, but water can still leak inside of them. Some types of foam will absorb water in the long run.

    Have you ever pulled up a floor panel from the deck over any of these areas we talked about? It may help you if you did, just to rule it out if nothing else. If any had water in them it could of froze.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •