Forum Home
IntroductionBrowse
Our MacGregorExploringArticlesAbout this Website
ManualsDealer InfoSailing LinksSupport this Website
Forum Home

Ballast leak

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: Paul S, tangentair, beene, Heath_Mod, Hamin' X, kmclemore, Catigale

Ballast leak

Postby davera20023 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:17 pm

My 26x has a leak in the water ballast. My boat is dry until I fill the ballast. What is the best way to find the leak? It is annoying as when my boat sits idle for a week, the ballast slowly fills with water and then starts filling my interior. I remove about a gallon a day.
Any suggestions?
davera20023
Just Enlisted
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:13 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby RussMT » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:49 pm

That's extremely unusual to have a ballast leak.
With that said, you could place a dye in the ballast to see where it comes in.

Image
https://www.homedepot.com/p/AM-Conserva ... /203620775

Also, I'd check other possible places. Rainwater is very common.

If your interior water is dyed, you know for sure and can search for a flow, otherwise, it's rainwater.


--Russ
User avatar
RussMT
Admiral
 
Posts: 5462
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:01 pm
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Herschel » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:50 pm

First, let me share that I have had a ballast leak in the past and got to the bottom of it (no pun intended)! :D but I do have a question. Is your boat in the water or on a trailer?
User avatar
Herschel
Captain
 
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby davera20023 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:42 am

Hi Herschel,
I only have the issue when my boat is in the water. If I keep the ballast empty, I do not notice the issue. When the Ballast is full, I see the water filling the area where the kitchen sink is (walk way).
Let me know if you have any suggestions.
Thanks,
Don
davera20023
Just Enlisted
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:13 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby kurz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:45 am

check all your mods. I had a friend with an :macx: . The local dealer fixed an AC converter with screws into the ballast tank. Worked fine the first 10 years... then startet to leak :evil: :evil:
kurz
Captain
 
Posts: 694
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:07 pm
Location: Zürich, Switzerland, Europe
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Starscream » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:15 am

I hope for you that it isn't really a crack in the ballast tank. I've read that it can be very difficult and possibly expensive to repair.

I would check the ballast vent very carefully, hoping that the problem is there and not in the structure of the tank itself. I would load the boat up, fill the ballast, find some choppy conditions, and have someone below watch the vent valve very carefully. On late X's the valve is up front, on early X's it's somewhere else, near the stairs I think. I have heard of leaks coming from the vent up front, if the "bowl" surrounding the vent has been modified, damaged or removed, and the plug is less than a perfect fit.

Of course, since you may have a hole letting water in, be very careful that you have the appropriate bailing mechanism in case of emergency. It may work to simply open the rear gate-valve and drain the ballast at full throttle if the leak gets worse, but I wouldn't leave the dock without a high-capacity bilge pump, and certainly not with passengers who aren't aware of the situation and able to take care of themselves. Even then, in the US, liability would be a big issue if a friend did come along to help find the leak, and something bad happened.
Starscream
Captain
 
Posts: 576
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:08 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Jimmyt » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:30 pm

If it were mine, I'd get the bilge dry and gather 3 or 4 buddies with good flashlights and at least one borescope. Then I'd pull out all of the interior cushions, covers, etc. I'd get people stationed around the boat and open the ballast valve; and have everyone start looking for the trickle. You might have to do it a few times to pinpoint the leak. But if you can find the general area, you will eventually be able to locate the leak. The bore scope will let you look in places your face won't fit.

Idea 2:
If you've got water in the bilge, you could open the ballast valve and pressurize the vent hole with your shop vac exhaust. A good shop vac will have enough pressure to blow the ballast out. Once empty, close the ballast valve, but keep the shop vac on the vent hole. If the tank is empty, skip the first step and just use the shop vac to pressure the tank. Then, you can look for air bubbles in the bilge water to locate the leak. A few drops of dish detergent here and there in the bilge might be necessary to get a bubble trail you can find.

DONT USE COMPRESSED AIR. ANY SIGNIFICANT AIR PRESSURE COULD DAMAGE YOUR BOAT. Use caution with the shop vac also. Use only enough pressure to bubble the leak.

It's been done before on this forum. As I recall the owner (or boatyard) had to remove a section of cabin floor to get working access to repair the crack.

Good luck! Hope you find it quickly.
User avatar
Jimmyt
Captain
 
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Re: Ballast leak

Postby LeePierce » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:48 pm

Is the sink drain above water when the ballast is empty and under when ballast is full?
Far more likely the sink drain hose is leaking.
Sticking a plug in the drain might be a quick an inexpensive test.
LeePierce
Deckhand
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:14 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Herschel » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:46 pm

davera20023 wrote:Hi Herschel,
I only have the issue when my boat is in the water. If I keep the ballast empty, I do not notice the issue. When the Ballast is full, I see the water filling the area where the kitchen sink is (walk way).
Let me know if you have any suggestions.
Thanks,
Don


My leak was from a mod the PO had made when he installed depth and speed gauges through the ballast tank. He had thought the PVC he glued around the intruments would be water tight, but it turned out not to be the case. I finally had to have the intruments cut out and the the hull and the upper deck of the tank itself resealed. So, the first thing I would do is to examine the ballast tank to see if any possible mod has been made that deteriorated the water tight integrity of the tank. If that is negative, then the shop vac/dish soap techniques appears sound to me. Putting a colofred dye in the ballast water has been used as well to help detect the source of the leak.
User avatar
Herschel
Captain
 
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Spector » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 am

We had a crack in our ballast tank. In our case the water was collecting under the table/head area. The crack was on the inboard side of the port tank. Simple to fix once it was opened up but tracking it down involved cutting open the floor. Yours sound like it must be on the outboard side.
Open floor and crack location
https://photos.app.goo.gl/NXD8x3PgfZNBM2sFA
The crack
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6twUuehgvMJmgf1TA
The finished product
https://photos.app.goo.gl/deWDyqgENUNNKpSG6

This gives a good idea layout of the layout of the tank in the X in case anyone is unfamiliar

Image
User avatar
Spector
First Officer
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Calgary AB, 98 26X 'Cenoté' 2002 Yamaha 60 HP
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Ballast leak

Postby Stevenhigbee » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:02 pm

davera20023 wrote:my boat sits idle for a week, the ballast slowly fills with water and then starts filling my interior. I remove about a gallon a day.


That suggests first that the seal for the ballast inlet through-hull isn't sealing. Then after the ballast tank is full, you get water coming into the interior. What do you have that seals the interior ballast check port? That's the most likely culprit. While the water could be coming in from the ballast tank, it could also be coming in from elsewhere due to the draft increasing with the ballast. I'm not sure what you have on the X protecting the the keel cable, but on the S it's just a plastic tube with a hose clamp--I would check that.
Stevenhigbee
Chief Steward
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S


Return to MacGregor Powersailor Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 18 guests

Copyright 2004 - 2018 © HK Innovations