Hull construction and leak

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by npac, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. npac

    npac New Member

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    I have a Mod 1 in the water that has developed a hull leak that I suspect is from the forward part of the hull. When I look inside the cuddy I see a joint where it appears the fiberglass folds up about an inch or two and is glued together starting about a foot forward of the cuddy entrance and extending back from there. The joint is delaminated and I think is where the water is leaking in. The leak is so slow, however, that I don't know for sure. Does anyone know why catalina puts that raised fold there, and is that part of a raised sole above the actual hull? If so, maybe the space between the sole and the hull has filled with water and is seeping out through the delamination.
     
  2. #392

    #392 New Member

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    Finding Slow Leaks

    An easy way to trace a small leak is to put water inside the boat and search for water seeping out from below. Don't merely fill the boat w/ water, but set the angle of the boat so that the suspected area is lowest, then with a small amount of water placed in that area, go under the boat with a dry paper towell and a pencil. Wipe the area below dry and see where the first drop emerges, circle it with the pencil and then locate that same area above. The best way to do that this by drilling a hole through from below, (spend 2 bucks on the smallest drill bit you can buy, say 1/ 132 of an inch) .
    Sounds harsh, drilling a hole in your boat, but in reality, if you have successfully located the leak, you already have a hole there anyway, right?
    Hope this helps,
    #392
     
  3. npac

    npac New Member

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    Update. The leak is not from that joint, though I still wonder what that's for. Also, I don't think it's a leak, I think it took on water between the deck and the hull when the rail was submerged the other day. The water seems to be trapped under the seats. Reason I think this is because when I stand on the foredeck then check I can see water running into the cubby hole from under the seats. When I sit back in the cockpit though the cuddy stays dry. At first I had to pump out a lot of water but now it's just a slow trickle. So, what is under the seats that could be trapping water? I have a small bulkhead separating the cuddy from the floor, but there are openings underneath on either side that I can't get to.

    (Thanks #392, I posted this just before you made your post, but that's a good tip)
     
  4. kentth

    kentth Member

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    If it is not a leak and is actually water coming in between the deck and the hull, or when you capsize. What I generally do is to get a good air flow through the boat. I pull the drain plug and then put a small fan blowing into the cuddy. You should then be able to feel air being forced out of the drain hole in the transom. I have found this very effective when trying to dry out the boat. I will also tilt the boat bow high to get the water to flow to the stern.

    Kent
     
  5. npac

    npac New Member

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    The contining tale of my mystery leak. The boat is in the water year round, and it didn't look like it was sinking, so I forgot about the leak. A coupld of weeks ago I opened the cuddy door and pumped out about two gallons. I now check it every few days and remove about a cup a week with sponges.

    Still don't know where it's coming from but it seems to be somewhere under the covered part of the cockpit. Reason I suspect this, the cuddy is sealed from that part by a piece of plywood. When I remove water from the cuddy, water seeps in under the plywood, so it's damned up behind there. If I stand on the foredeck I can get the water to fill into the cuddy.

    Now here is the strangest part. The water is colored reddish-brownish. The boat is in a fresh water lake, and the water is clear, but any water that seeps into the hull gets colored. When I pump it out into the lake I can see the colored water in contrast with the clear lake water. The hull under the cockpit is all sealed, so it's not like I've placed anything under there. Only things I can think of are coloring frrom dissolved fiblerglass glue (very bad) or, if there are floatation blocks under there, maybe they are colored with some dye.

    I guess I will have to pull the boat out, but I first need a trailer.

    Anyone want a free Capri 14? :)

    Another update: Just did a closer examination and I suspect the water is seeping in through the starboard centerboard pivot hole. I looked down the centerboard well and was surprised that the pivot point is below the water line, which makes it an obvious place for water to leak and enter the hull. That's the only "thru hull" point I have, and I barrier coated the bottom before I put the boat in the water, so this is the most likely leak point. I think it's the starboard point because when I dry the cuddy and stand on the foredeck I can see a small trickly of water coming from the starboard side from under the seats.

    I note there is a metal plate on either side of the centerboard well held by phillips screws. I don't want to unscrew them while the boat is in the water, but can someone tell me what those plates access when removed? And if I get it on land, how can I access the centerboard pivot bolt and seal?
     
  6. EGarcia

    EGarcia New Member

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    Here is one scenario. If you had the cuddy open, the boat was in the water, and if the water temperature is below the dewpoint, condensation could occur and collect in the hull. It does not explain the color of the water.
     
  7. npac

    npac New Member

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    That's a thought, but the water accumulates too much to be condensation and, as you say, it doesn't explain the color. I hauled out yesterday and the boat is sitting on my driveway. I looked underneath and I have a theory. The centerboard gasket is really worn, and has a number of small screws holding it in place (besides being glassed in). I assume the screws go into a piece of plywood that forms the box in which the centerboard slides up and down.

    My theory is that there are small cracks where the screws go into the plywood, water is forced into those cracks by pressure, gets the wood wet, and dissolves the bond used for the plywood giving it the color. My plan is to either redo the gasket and screws and cover them with new fiberglass or just get rid of the boat. It's a fine boat if dry sailed, water only accumulates at the rate of about a cup a week if left in the water, but I don't want to dry sail it.

    If anyone wants a cheap/free boat let me know, but you have to pick it up on your trailer. I live in Virginia.
     
  8. EGarcia

    EGarcia New Member

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    I would be interested in purchasing the rudder/tiller/hiking stick
     
  9. npac

    npac New Member

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    Fixed the boat. Thanks for the suggestions you gave me on line and in PMs. Here's what I did for those who may have a similar problem.

    Had to rebuild my trailer because I had taken it apart before storing it under my deck, and it was all rusted. That's a different story. Hauled the boat out, lifted it off the trailer with the help of a buddy, took out the c/b by removing the four screws that holds the plate, and flipped it upside down.

    Once upside down I power washed it, lightly sanded the suspicious areas, and only found 2-3 spots that looked as if they might allow a small leak. They were all around the c/b box, around the water line, where some of the gelcoat had cracked lose, possibly affecting the fiberglass underneath.

    I then removed the platic plates holding the c/b gasket down. The screws came out easily and so did the plates and the gasket, they were just stuck on with silicone. I cleaned and lightly sanded all around the box, used marine grade epoxy to cover the couple of suspicious places, recaulked around with silicone, replaced the gasket and plastic plates, and problem solved.

    Never have figured out why the water that leaked in got a brownish/reddish color, but I was told it may be a common bacteria that's harmless but turns reddish in standing water.
     
  10. EGarcia

    EGarcia New Member

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    Congratulations ... I am happpy to hear about your success.
    Did you take any pictures? I am curious what the assembly looks like in case I need to do a repair. I had a lot of water enter my boat, but I believe it was for other reasons. I described it in the thread, "Tipping Over and Taking In Water" How did only two of you manage lift the boat off the trailer and turn it upside down as well?

    ED
     
  11. npac

    npac New Member

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    I read your thread and you're right, your problem is different than mine. I've capsized mine (who hasn't?) but didn't take on much water. It doesn't surprise me, though, that a capsized boat will take on water, since there are so many fittings (cleats, mast step point, etc) that could leak. I would seal all of those fittings with marine silicone, and make sure your cuddy is water tight.

    No, I didn't take photos, but they are not necessary, since it's obvious how things fit together when you flip the boat over.

    Lifting the boat off the trailer is not a problem if you go slow and easy. To take it off, we tipped the trailer up so the boat would start sliding off, then slowly move the trailer up to allow more of the boat to slide off until it was pretty much off. With the stern on the ground, two people can lift the bow at that point and we had a third person pull the trailer out from underneath.

    Once the boat is on the ground it can be tipped pretty easily by two people, you just lift on port or starboard, get it upright, then move to the other side to lower it upside down. The Capri 14 listed weight is 320 pounds, but that probably includes the mast, boom, etc. With all that off, it may only weight 300 or less. So with one end resting on the ground, there are only 150 pounds to lift, or 75 pounds each.
     
  12. SHNOOL

    SHNOOL Member

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    Sorry npac, but I have too.

    I am glad you found your leak, and were able to repair it.

    Nope, not everyone has capsized their capri. 10 years owning my capri (no longer an owner), and sailing MANY MANY times... never capsized. However, I have filled the cockpit about a half dozen times!

    Also, one thing nobody mentioned here, if you are a mod 1, the DOOR leaks! You are sitting in the water all the time, the door will allow water in.. the angle of the door (plywood you mentioned), is such that rainwater runs across it, while it is in the water. That rainwater has a direct path to the bottommost part of the boat. Sure popping the drain plug allows it out (if you are out of the water say on the trailer).

    With temperatures high, and low light levels, there ARE certain bacteria that turn the water red as well. Actually rust colored. Same bacteria that exist for shallow wells, or surface water point source wells (I know, my water was terrible red from this in a previous house, and no it wasn't rust, have that in this house!).

    So you had an obvious leak... and I am surprised at where.. however, don't lose it if you still have water each time you visit your boat. Is probably the door to the cuddy.

    PS: If you are leaving your boat moored, and you don't already have a motor. Get a trolling motor, and a small deep cycle battery. Also get a small bilge pump and motor. Another choice would be a tarp over the bow half of the boat while it is moored/docked.
     
  13. npac

    npac New Member

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    Well, guess you're a better small boat sailor than me. Actually, the first 2-3 times I capsized I did it on purpose, to make sure I could get it back upright. I got the boat flipped by pulling on the c/b, but had a tough time getting back onboard, so I installed a small swimming ladder. The next time I capsized I was leading a local regatta, on the last downwind leg, and tried to squeeze a bit more speed by moving forward and steering with a tiller extension. A sudden wind shift caused me to accidentally jibe and because I was forward I couldn't react in time. Oops... there went the regatta.

    I really checked to make sure I didn't have a rain leak problem. Dried the bilge out, waited a week with no rain, and found new water, so I knew it wasn't coming from the top. But you're right, there are lots of chances for water to come from topside.

    I did have a small trolling motor and battery, which I used when there was no wind and I just wanted to troll around, that was a nice arrangement. And I was thinking of a small bilge pump before doing the fix.

    By the way, I traded in my capri the other day for a (ugh) small pontoon boat, so I'm no longer a capri 14 owner, but sure was a lot of fun.
     

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