Repairing a leak

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by jbd214, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. jbd214

    jbd214 New Member

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    What should I do if I have a relatively new boat (07) that is taking on some water.
    I have tried identifying the leak with soapy water but was not able to identify the spot.

    I believe the water is coming in from the centerboard trunk when the boat is torqued during sailing. It looks like there is excess material on the inside in that area perhaps the result of the previous repair attempt.

    The material is soft. I have read that epoxy works better. It is a good idea to try to chisel out the material and replace it with epoxy?

    Thanks
     
  2. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    Did you see bubbles from the centerboard trunk? Before making a repair that you are unsure of, you should fill the hull up with air using a compressor. Put soapy water everywhere until you see bubbles.
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    DO NOT FILL IT UP WITH AIR FROM A COMPRESSOR

    You will be fixing the hull/deck joint in various locations if you do.

     
  4. jbd214

    jbd214 New Member

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    I taped the vent, used a bicycle pump and then applied the soapy water. Could not find the leak with that method.
    What should I try next?
     
  5. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    you don't want to use high pressure or it will definitely cause damage
     
  6. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    A few of the places that are hard to find that you might not think of as a leaky spot are the thru hull bailer fitting, the screw for the autobailer, and the traveler fairleads and other deck fittings. These leaks you can't see with the bailer on, they can be fixed with some marine silicon. The bailer leaks will usually mean alot of water in the hull even with a small leak. You wouldn't think that the deck would leak that much, but with wind and waves water will run over the deck and fill your hull up with water. Even in light air the fairleads will be in the water during roll tacks. The seam around the edge of the laser is another spot that leaks can easily form. Check for cracks, chips and any damage that could have been caused from your dolly, or transporting your laser. The centerboard trunk is another place that is hard to find leaks, they are more likely to form around the seams. If you think you know where the leak is you can put some silicon on it and see if it stops, if it does you know where the leak is and can repair it.
     
  7. MiLLz

    MiLLz Member

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    I have heard that marine silicon sealant which is soft and flexible is a better choice than epoxy because the epoxy can crack under stress whereas the silicon sealant will just flex. The choice is yours.
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    silicon

    silicone

    Generally...if you read the label and get 100%% silicone and not some product like silicone II or Acrylic / silicone...The bathtub sealant is the exact same stuff as the window and door and the tub and tile and the aquarium and whatever silicone you might buy. Most "high temp" silicone sealants are simply regular silicone with blue dye. and may not in fact be as temperature resistant as the clear stuff...as the dye sometimes melts at lower temperatures.

    When silicone is the best sealant...which is rare on a sailboat and never on a Laser...you can use whatever silicone you can find and not spend money on "Marine" labeled material.

    For Lasers. 3M 54200 is almost always the best sealant. ...especially for fittings such as the traveler eyes where any extra strength you can find might save the fitting and sometimes even your weekend.
     
  9. PiersHS

    PiersHS Member

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    If you do use a bicycle pump to find leaks then make sure you tape over the breather hole under the hiking strap at the stern end. If you don't then all the air will exit there
     
  10. aTeXuN

    aTeXuN New Member

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    I just acquired a Laser that has a small 8" crack ending in a thumbnail size hole in the fiberglass on the starboard side. It's more of an indentation than a hole but the glass is definitely cracked and needs to be cut out and replaced. The only way to repair from the inside is to cut a hole in the deck and work it from there or cut a hole in the side of the cockpit facing the starboard side. Either way I would just fill the hole I cut with something like a FatBag, i.e. another portal.

    I was wondering if any of you folks might have an opinion on what would be the better route to take.

    You can see a pic of the crack and the "hole" here

    Thank you for your ideas!
     
  11. jbd214

    jbd214 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the advice.

    I re-seated the auto bailer screw with new silicone and used a putty knife to put silicon in the centerboard trunk seem.

    I seem to have stopped the leak.
     
  12. glexpress

    glexpress Member

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    I'll echo the sentiment that there is no need for pumps or compressors for the soap/bubble test. Your lungs will work just fine, if you don't have enough lung capacity for the job you probably couldn't make it up a flight of stairs and should reconsider Laser sailing.
     

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