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26S Ballast Tanks

A forum for discussing topics relating to older MacGregor/Venture sailboats.

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26S Ballast Tanks

Postby Interim » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:10 am

I have a 94 26S.

The question:
There are two access ports in the salon to get at the centerboard bolt. When we go through those ports, are we inside the ballast tanks?

The context:
I have a leak or leaks on deck. When it rains, I get water in the bilges. This spring we pulled the centerboard to get it painted, and upon reinstallation we took the opportunity to install new rubber bushings and washers. It rained two nights ago, and by happenstance I tilted the boat (in the driveway) and a pint or so of water came out around the centerboard. I can't figure out how this happened. I don't think the bilges would flow into the tanks. There could have been water left in the tanks from last fall that we didn't fully empty out, but if we properly tightened the centerboard bolt then it should not have leaked out, right?

And if it does allow water communication between the lake and the tanks, do I care? As long as it stays full, we are in good shape. Or are we?

--john
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Re: 26S Ballast Tanks

Postby Sumner » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:05 pm

I have an earlier S ....

Image

Image

... where you access the pivot for the center board from the outside. If you don't get an answer from someone here that has a later S like yours then I'd post here also ....

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner ... emoval.jpg

There are a number of S owners there also and some of us post on both the boards as they are both great resources.

Once you remove those inspection plates I believe you are in the ballast tank. Slight leaks between the ballast tank and the water are not a huge deal but you don't want the water in the ballast tank lowered to where it would slosh around, not good. I've heard of some people having the inspection plates leak slightly so that water from the ballast tank is entering the boat. Never heard of the other way around happening. There are a number of other places that the boat can take on rain water. My two primary ones were around the windows and the chain plates. Fixed that mostly with 3M 4000. I don't think my rub rail leaks but I've heard of that happening. A deck fitting could also leak.

Good luck,

Sumner

============================
1300 miles to the Bahamas and back -- 2015

The MacGregor 26-S

The Endeavour 37

Trips to Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Canada, Florida

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Re: 26S Ballast Tanks

Postby grady » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:03 pm

My S is a later model, 1994, 4697 to be exact. It has the access plates like you described. Yes those ports are inside the ballast tanks. Did you seal those plates back up after accessing the pivot bolt? I have had my plates off a couple of times and have had no issues with leaks resealing using black RTV. If it is leaking into the balast tank you will have a bigger issue when you are in the water. It will leak from the balast tank into the boat. I do know that the balast tank will retain water for a long time. After sitting for months when I move it I get water coming out of the drain.
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Re: 26S Ballast Tanks

Postby Interim » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:02 am

Thanks. At least I know where I am now :)

What do you use to seal the inspection ports? Mine came out with a little clear grease (or vaseline) on them, but that's it.

--john
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Re: 26S Ballast Tanks

Postby Bfranchini » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 am

Hi, I own a 1991 26S with the centerboard installation as shown by Sumner's picture. I'm intrigued about this talk about inspection ports on the ballast tanks. I looked everywhere but I cannot find any access to the ballast tank other than the set up under the companionway stairs... Is it possible that the first 26S didn't have inspection ports?
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Re: 26S Ballast Tanks

Postby Sumner » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:04 pm

Bfranchini wrote:.. Is it possible that the first 26S didn't have inspection ports?


Early S's accessed the centerboard pin like in my pictures. Later one's accessed it from in the cabin,

Sumner

============================
1300 miles to the Bahamas and back -- 2015

The MacGregor 26-S

The Endeavour 37

Trips to Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Canada, Florida

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