Real thru hull leak

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Billy
First Officer
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:50 pm
Location: Dunn NC 2001-26X140 "XX"(DoubleCross)

Real thru hull leak

Post by Billy » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:57 am

For those of you that have been chasing those illusive leaks, here's a new place to look.

I have often found water in the bilge underneath the galley of my X. For years I have searched for the entry point. I have resealed almost ever place imaginable. After years it was finally revealed to me. A true through hull leak. Yes, my X was actually leaking through the hull.

Since most Xs list to the port, naturally the leakage would always pond there. While stowing gear after launching, I noticed water on the starboard side beneath the forward dinette seat. I knew the boat was dry before launching and thought it could be water from a previous sail, so I sponged it out. Upon returning a few minutes later, the same area had water ponding again. Once again I sponged it out and waited, and once again water started to accumulate. This time I sponged it out and laid a paper towel against the hull. The water started wicking to the towel and I located its entry--invisible to the human eye.

The water had been entering on the forward starboard side, traveling under the dinette, crossing sides underneath the companionway ladder and accumulating beneath the galley. (Remember the natural port list of an X I mentioned?) I marked the entry point with a permanent marker. After the weekend sail (and occasionally bail), I place a magnet in the bilge at the marked point. I then went outside and slid a small roofing nail over the exterior until it hung to the magnet. Several of my friends and I have examined this area with magnification and can find no indication of a hole or crack. I then placed a small piece of vinyl tape, (that I keep on board just in case of such an incident), over the area indicated by the magnet and the nail.

I took the boat out again and no water came in this time. I ran the boat easy, I ran it fast ( up to 36 mph) and turned it hard for a couple of hours. And I let it sit. The bilge stayed completely dry. Problem isolated.

I'll probably spray the entire hull with a barrier coat of imron later, after some repair of course. Is is possible a hull could be too lightweight? lol.

Anyway, just thought sharing might help someone down the road.

Billy
(BTW, until someone makes a bigger X, I'm keeping what I got!)

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