Bilge taking on water

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by ziola, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. ziola
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: San Diego

    ziola New Member

    I've had my sailboat for a couple months now and the bilge has stayed dry the whole time. Yesterday it was starting to overflow so we pumped it out and this morning it's already about 3/4 full already. What problems could be causing it to build so fast? I'm thinking maybe it's from my sink? Any help is appreciated.
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Any perforation can leak. The usual suspects are through-hull fittings, hoses, shaft stuffing box(on inboards) and keel bolts.
  3. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    That request couldĀ“nt be broader formulated.

    What about watching the area for a while, to see or hear where the water comes from?
  4. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Is your wife unhappy when sailing?
  5. ziola
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: San Diego

    ziola New Member

    thanks for the ideas. going to keep my eye on it to try and figure where its coming from. I'm new to sailing so your help is appreciated :)
    Bistros~ no unhappy wife, I am a woman ;)

  6. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Ziola, I think you need to describe the type of material the hull is made from. Fiberglass? Wood? It's easier to diagnose a problem like yours knowing as much as possible about the construction.
    If the boat is fiberglass, look to through-hull fittings first. Shut them all and see if the leaking stops. Typically, there is one for engine water intake, one for toilet intake, one for toilet discharge, possibly for sinks as well, one for a depth transducer, and one for a knot meter, and that covers the usual holes. They can also leak from the crack between the through hull fitting and the hull itself, which will require hauling the boat.
    While some hull penetrations have no valve to shut, all the in or out water pipes should.
    Once all the valves are shut, pump the bilge and see if it still leaks. If not, open each valve one by one with enough time between valve openings to observe whether water is entering.
    If the boat is wood and the above doesn't work to discover the problem, you should haul the boat ASAP and see where water pours OUT. This won't necessarily pinpoint the leak, but it will probably help to localize it.
    My guess is you have an old hose leaking near the through hull fitting. It's not safe to fool with the hose without a shut-off valve unless you have experience as it will pour water while you swap hoses (a tapered plug should be at the ready). Sometimes valves are not even installed, believe it or not.
    If it is a cracked hose leaking and there is a shut-off valve connected to the through hull, just replace the hose.
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