I'm back...and other tales of woe

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gyroplanes
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I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by gyroplanes » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:31 pm

Boy, it has been a while, but I'm back for good.

TIP: If your Tohatsu acts like mine did, I found the problem. I was asking on here about my Tohatsu 50 (1998 vintage OEM) it ran like a top until my son said at full throttle, it would quit. I experimented and found out that anything over so many RPM it would shut off (not slow down, or sputter, or lose cylinders, one-at-a-time) It would restart every time and run for an hour below XXXX (I don't remember) RPM. Every dealership in the Chicagoland area seemed very baffled. I used to teach engines and rebuilding them at an Aviation Vocational school and I love engines. The suggestions I got from most of the dealers were laughable.

The Tohatsu America tech guys were a whole lot smarter, but could only guess that it was the computer. Computers cost more than the motor. My brother in law bought it from me for $100 and was happy keeping it under XXXX RPM. He is a tinkerer and decide to do the water pump impeller.....bingo! Full throttle all day until the fuel runs out.
I'm guessing the higher throttle was overheating the engine and a fail safe was shutting it down, I never thought of it and neither did anyone else.

NEW problem. I sailed my 26X up to Chicago, actually motored up with 3 foot waves at full throttle (Suzuki 90 HP) (14 MPH GPS)(6 people) as a fuel burn test. About 6 GPH. Pounding through the waves, with a nice light cockpit spray, on a hot sunny day.
We sailed on a beam reach the 16 miles home. Someone noticed the bilge had 7-8 inches of water under the cooler compartment and same in the seat bilge aft of the sink / stove area. about 2" in the aft cabin sole, dry forward. We returned in 6 foot confused seas, plowing through the waves constantly.

I'm guessing the rub rail or bow ring? Maybe the hose from the ballast to the overboard (RV) gate valve? I have sailed in worse conditions and left the boat in the Marina all season for 8 seasons, but I have never had more than a quart of water and only in the cooler (aft dinette seat)

I just sold my business and have retired to a life that should put me back at grace with the sea. I think the water ingress isn't the work of King Neptune. ANY IDEAS?
Thanks in advance, Tom

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Herschel » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:39 pm

My thoughts would be looking for multiple small avenues such as chain plates, loose overboard discharge hoses for sinks, any underwater intake valves (I had an underwater intake valve/plumbing for electric toilet that leaked when open and running WOT), any deck fittings such as might exist for wiring for mast lights, radio, and wind instruments, non-watertight gasket on forward hatch, unsecured or improperly adjusted ballast tank valve, loose hose between motor well and overboard discharge.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Starscream » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:30 am

Boy, of all the problems to have on a boat, water ingress is one of the most worrisome. So many possible sources, and what if it gets worse?

Lots of discussion on this forum about the "through hulls": both sinks and the motor-well drain. Can test by plugging the drain from the outside and filling up the drain hose, they should be able to hold standing water.
Ballast tank leak? Also lots of discussion about that. Can test with dyed water. I've heard of one or two cases of cracked ballast tanks.
Centerboard rope? I think I read once how the water can get up through there in pounding seas, but not really sure about that one.

I once filled the port bilge with a few inches of water, and I traced that to a leak from my main water tank. At least it was the freshwater tank and not the blackwater tank.

Water can get in the hatches too, especially in rough conditions. I've buried the nose in waves up to the front hatch a few times, although you'd think that the wet cushions in the V-berth would be a dead giveaway if that was your problem.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Chinook » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:32 pm

We had water problem after pounding into rough seas on the Neuse River a couple years ago. The deck/hull seam under the rub rail in the bow area was the culprit. After so many years of use, and a lot of flexing of the hull in rough conditions, waves can force their way up under the rub rail and through the opening seam. We had wet bedding in the vee berth area, and considerable water in the bilge. I used some hull sealant under the rub rail and the problem hasn't reappeared to date.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Be Free » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:31 am

There is no question that you have a fairly serious leak somewhere if you had 7" of water anywhere in the bilge. Previous posters have mentioned all of the likely places for water intrusion. I'm going to assume that you did not have a leaking fresh water tank (my first unexpected wet bilge), or that you have any type of non-factory through hulls. If a previous owner installed any through hulls that would be my number one suspect.

You mentioned that you noticed the water on the way back after running into waves for several hours with a light spray into the cockpit. You did not mention how much gear you had on board (most of us carry way too much) but you did have six people and full ballast so we can assume you were sitting fairly low in the water. Your engine is close to optimal for the "X" in terms of weight aft. Unfortunately, in a reasonably stock setup that means that you are probably a little heavier in the stern than you would prefer to be. Four or six people in the cockpit would make this even worse.

If I were trying to track this down, this is the way I'd do it.

Do not pay much attention to where you are finding the standing water. The entire bilge is connected under the cabin sole so water can freely move into any part of the boat. Because you are (probably) a little heavier in the stern it will run aft and (probably) first show up through the little hole under the ladder. That is what it is there for.

First, and easiest, is to check the plug on the air vent under the V berth. If there is water in the collar then you need a new plug. If the plug is not installed, you won't be the first one of us to forget it and get a lot of water in the bilge during a choppy trip.

Second, I'm still assuming that you run a little low in the stern and high in the bow. The cockpit drain is easy to access and can easily account for all of the water if it is leaking. It is easy to test by filling the well with water while plugging the exit in the transom. The cockpit drain is, in my opinion, the only truly poor design decision in the "X". It is very easy for a following or confused sea to run up into the engine well. The water should then drain from the bottom of the well, through a short, flexible vinyl tube and out through a small through hull fitting in the transom. The tubing is held on with a single hose clamp on each end. If either end of the hose is loose, of if the hose itself is damaged, then a significant amount of water can enter from either direction. If you have never checked this, it was originally covered with a piece of pressed board that covered all of the plumbing and wiring that runs in the stern. It is held on with a couple of screws and is easy to access.

The next thing I'd check would be both of the sink drains. They are very easy to check on a trailer, a little harder in the water. As previously mentioned, plug the exit and fill the sinks with water. The hoses should hold water without leaking. Since they are supposed to be above the waterline, unless you were very heavy or heeled over quite a bit. You said that the leak occurred while under power so these should not have been under water. These are not a high probability, but the are easy to check.

The bow ring and deck joint are both possible. Powering through a heavy chop could definitely show up a problem in either place. Neither is easy to check directly but you should see where water has run either in the V berth or inside the storage areas on either side of the boat. Unfortunately, this will only show up while the leak is occurring so you really can't check it after the fact. On a trailer, you can use a hose to simulate the waves being pushed up the sides and against the ring.

Chainplates and forward hatch are unlikely. You were not getting enough water on the topsides of the boat to account for that much water.

Leaks in the ballast tank are rare therefore unlikely. As stated previously, dye in the ballast is the best way to check. I have heard of the gate valve leaking and allowing ballast to slowly dump out while under power or slowly leak in while at rest. This leak can be dangerous when you don't have the ballast you expect to have but it does not leak into the bilge.

Please let us know what you find.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by gyroplanes » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Thank you all for the suggestions, here are my ideas.
Be Free wrote:There is no question that you have a fairly serious leak somewhere...... or that you have any type of non-factory through hulls.
No through hulls or hull damage.
Be Free wrote:You mentioned that you noticed the water on the way back after running into waves for several hours with a light spray into the cockpit. You did not mention how much gear you had on board (most of us carry way too much) but you did have six people and full ballast so we can assume you were sitting fairly low in the water. Your engine is close to optimal for the "X" in terms of weight aft. Unfortunately, in a reasonably stock setup that means that you are probably a little heavier in the stern than you would prefer to be. Four or six people in the cockpit would make this even worse.

Exactly how it was.

Be Free wrote:Do not pay much attention to where you are finding the standing water. The entire bilge is connected under the cabin sole so water can freely move into any part of the boat. Because you are (probably) a little heavier in the stern it will run aft and (probably) first show up through the little hole under the ladder. That is what it is there for.

I have a 1998 X . I was not sure all bilge areas were connected. I have the valve and vent under the step. Ballast water to the finger tip measuring hole.

Be Free wrote:First, and easiest, is to check the plug on the air vent under the V berth. If there is water in the collar then you need a new plug. If the plug is not installed, you won't be the first one of us to forget it and get a lot of water in the bilge during a choppy trip.
Not on my model, I think?
Be Free wrote: The cockpit drain is, in my opinion, the only truly poor design decision in the "X". It is very easy for a following or confused sea to run up into the engine well.
I often have my left foot down near the motor "well", that foot, along with my right foot on the cockpit sole, were getting quite wet with "pooping" over the transom. I found the motor well full of water the day before and used something to poke it until it drained. Hmmmmmmmm? Got something to check here for sure.
Be Free wrote:The bow ring and deck joint are both possible. Powering through a heavy chop could definitely show up a problem in either place. Neither is easy to check directly but you should see where water has run either in the V berth or inside the storage areas on either side of the boat. Unfortunately, this will only show up while the leak is occurring so you really can't check it after the fact. On a trailer, you can use a hose to simulate the waves being pushed up the sides and against the ring.
I have a hose at my slip right near the bow. An item to check for sure, 20 years old, probably should be checked, rebedded and tightened anyway.
Be Free wrote:Leaks in the ballast tank are rare therefore unlikely. As stated previously, dye in the ballast is the best way to check. I have heard of the gate valve leaking and allowing ballast to slowly dump out while under power or slowly leak in while at rest. This leak can be dangerous when you don't have the ballast you expect to have but it does not leak into the bilge.
What about the hose from the ballast tank(s) to the gate valve? (If I have one?)
Be Free wrote:Please let us know what you find.
I sure will. We all learn from this forum. (I wish I would have learned about the water pump impeller)

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by gyroplanes » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:11 pm

Sorry I only answered one reply, but it covered the most and I figured I'd use my limited computer time better in one swoop.

My friend checked my boat twice in the last week. The bilges are dry and the batteries won't crank the motor.

I was tipped that Walmart Marine batteries are a great value and a good battery. Series 27 deep cycle was just under $100. Any experience with them?

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by RussMT » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:58 pm

I've heard Wally batteries are high rated and cheap. That's what I replaced mine with. 2 deep cycle batteries.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Catigale » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:33 am

If you back about 10 years in history you will find my compression pole on my :macx: was made of substandard materials, aka mild steel instead of stainless, and corroded out.

This leaves a massive through hole leak forward whenever the bow is loaded by more than about 200# - I woke up one morning to a foot of water in the boat.

Check that pole by looking back from the table seat, forward locker.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by gyroplanes » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:46 pm

The woe got worse. :(

In my last post I mentioned that my friend said "the bilge was dry" (he even sopped up the traces with beach blankets). I never got back to my boat, until the time came to haul it out of the slip.

Apparently, the water came back and sat motionless in the poorly ventilated cabin for about 3 months. The mold damage is devastating. Black, gray and green mold is all over the interior. My own personal terrarium.......... UGH! I couldn't bear to look inside, I left that to the boys. All removable items were relocated to a dry place at home (garage) The boys said they will fix it all in the Spring. :?:

I got on the boat one time this season, just once (read earlier post) :(

I promise that next season, sailing will be a much, much higher priority. :)

Any tips on mold removal from cushions, walls, first aid kit, etc? It's all I am going to be thinking about this Winter. :?: :?: :?:

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Jimmyt » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:03 am

The best advice I can offer is wear your PPE, especially respirator (not a dust mask). Exposure can make you quite sick if you're not reasonably careful. It's not a bio weapon, but does deserve reasonable respect. It appears that the legal and health communities are trying to make it the new asbestos.

I've used several methods on salvaged flood cars, a flooded house, and my sailboat. The house and one car was in the condition you describe. Fortunately, my boat was a milder situation.

I've used a 10% bleach solution to soak fabrics, and carpets in - followed by a LONG drying period prior to reinstall. I have used the same approach on wood framing, using a sponge to manually remove growth. Spraying with a garden sprayer before working it will keep the spore distribution to a minimum. I did not have a problem with discoloration, but I wouldn't rule it out. Decide if the item is damaged enough where discoloration is not your biggest concern before washing or soaking with mild bleach solutions.

I used concrobium on my boat after it stayed outside for an extended period after our house fire. Sprayed liberally, then wiped down. It kills growth, but is not a stain remover, so you have to follow with a cleaning process. For cloth and carpet that wasn't heavily damaged, I sprayed it with concrobium, worked it in, then dried it for an extended period. Vacuumed with shop vac after drying. Non porous items received a final clean and wipe with a damp cloth.

Tilex, and similar products will kill growth and remove stains, but may discolor items. It has to be rinsed, so factor that in when deciding where to use it. Also, using these products in enclosed spaces creates a health hazard. If you use any of these products inside your boat, make sure you set up a good vent fan and use an appropriate respirator.

Getting the materials bone dry after cleaning is key to preventing regrowth. It is difficult in porous items, cushions, carpets, etc. I bought a dehumidifier with a piped drain connection and ran it continuously for months (probably dried before I got back around to it, you should be able to tell by the water output). For the dehumidifier to do any good, you have to create a sealed environment. So, if you put it in the boat (use the boat as your final drying area), make sure to plug up the gaps around the companionway hatch with a low perm material.

Remove what you can and clean it outside. Dry it in the sun as much as possible before placing it in your drying area. Winter is a good time to do this project as long as it's above freezing and the sun is out. Although, if you are in Chicago, it may have to wait till spring for most of the work. On thick and porous items, use your wet vac to remove as much moisture as possible.

Sorry you're dealing with this. Good luck!

Jim

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by 1st Sail » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:33 pm

My boat was clean and polished when I bought it in Nov '08. It wasn't until I got it home I discovered the boat had a leak at the transom to deck joint. Once I opened everything up I found place that you couldn't see covered with a thin layer of mildew and white mold. I used a portable steam cleaner, stiff brush and tilex. Then steam cleaned all the surfaces again. So far I have kept the bilges dry, run the solar vent all summer the mildew never returned.

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by BOAT » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:14 pm

what are gyroplanes?

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:49 pm

A flying Greek sandwich?

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Re: I'm back...and other tales of woe

Post by BOAT » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:55 pm

huh, . . i wonder what they look like?

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