AMF Windflite leaking

wardie

Member
I am getting a lot of water inside the hull every time I sail. It has a Depiersa (spelling?) push/pull bailer. The metal housing attached to the hull isn't pointing straight back I'm thinking someone messed with it or it hit something? Anyways the hull is full of a lot of water. I turn the boat on it's starboard side and open the drain and lots of water comes out. My friend thinks it's the bailer. I can see the ball inside the bailer opening ? I don't have much experience could a bailer leak water into the hull??
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
It may be the bailer but most likely the water is coming in somewhere else. Remove the bailer and make sure the hull to cockpit is bonded and no gaps. Then fill the mast step with water and if the water level stays then the mast step is okay. Then I would go around the boat and re silicone all hardware. Then the next thing to do as suggested earlier is the leak test.
 

fhhuber

Member
Bailers don't really exclude water from back-flowing, they just slow it down a lot. Just a little dirt on the seating surface (whichever type valve.. flapper or ball) and it leaks back into the boat. They mainly keep you from constantly being ankle deep in the cockpit.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
fh, he is referring to water in the hull, not the cockpit.

Wardie, I think you have a leak. Sailcraft could be right, but Windflights have few pieces of hardware, so it would have to be an incredible gap to allow much water in. I'm afraid it's time for a pressure test.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
this is the question, "I don't have much experience could a bailer leak water into the hull??"
If or when you remove the bailer (DePersia), you'll see that the cockpit and hull are tightly merged together—call it bonded—at that junction. Leaks shouldn't be possible at that site. If you are uncertain as to the seal around the bailer, remove it, and install an 1¼" expandable freeze plug at an auto parts store. (~$5) Otherwise, you should be able to see water leaking into the cockpit through a defective or loose bailer. If your cockpit floor is significantly damaged, water entering the cockpit from the bailer could be re-entering the hull there.

A second test (to positively eliminate the bailer as the leak-source) is to caulk the outside hull around the bailer and seal the bailer's opening. Silicone caulk is easily removed, but push some bread or toilet paper into the bailer first to reduce the amount of caulk needed.

You might be able to gently rotate the bailer to its correct orientation when caulking. Try a wood dowel to assist in turning it.
 

fhhuber

Member
If you suspect water getting between deck and hull via the cockpit drain... you need to remove the drain, clean up the fiberglass and do a leak test. SLIGHTLY pressurize the hull via the hull drain and apply soapy water to the suspect area.

Lots of threads about leak testing.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
If you suspect water getting between deck and hull via the cockpit drain... you need to remove the drain, clean up the fiberglass and do a leak test. SLIGHTLY pressurize the hull via the hull drain and apply soapy water to the suspect area. Lots of threads about leak testing.
What are you doing, writing at this early hour? ;)

I've had no occasion to do a pressure test. Did I read (here) that one's lungs are a sufficient pressurization source? :eek:
 

wardie

Member
I don't have any water in the cockpit that I haven't dragged in there when getting into boat. When I take the boat out of the water there definitely is water in the hull and it takes a while to drain it. Maybe there's a half gallon maybe more. Hull has a couple very small spots with hairline cracks but nothing I could detect that would allow this much water in. I have a friend who IS a sailor (not like me I'm just playing at it) and he said that much water in the boat must be coming from a bigger opening somewhere. He noticed the bailer housing is at an angle not straight back which gave rise to maybe it's leaking?? I noticed the ball just laying inside housing. I don't know but there's a ton of water in the hull that I have to drain each time. When I drain the boat it's up on it's starboard side and when the water looks like its stopped draining I grab the bow and lift up and down in a rocking motion then more comes out. I do seem to get most of the water out. Yes maybe the leak test is in order. I am bummed it seemed so light when I bought it? I also think the PO wasn't honest when he sold it to me. This much water had to of been noticed before and the hull was very light when I lifted it before buying and I asked if their was leaks. Caveat Emptor huh?
Thanks for all the help.
 

Rudder

New Member
"you'll see that the cockpit and hull are tightly merged together—call it bonded—at that junction. Leaks shouldn't be possible at that site"

2004 Sunfish Worlds, the boats were leaking at this connection so bad, they had staff from Rhode Island factory there after the complaints. The boats were leak tested by staff, bailers removed because of the bubbles, the joint between the cockpit and hull caulked and bailers reinstalled.
 

fhhuber

Member
You'd be surprised how much a hairline crack opens up once you apply the water pressures involved in sailing.

Known cracks = fix it.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The bailer only fits in that hole, and yes you could have a gap where the cockpit bottom and hull seam SHOULD be bonded. We have repaired a boat where water leaked in through that seam, it was probably damaged by someone hammering an old metal bailer off, maybe that was me.....

Other common leak areas are the daggerboard trunk, rudder fitting, mast step, splashguard trim holes and anywhere on the hull deck seam.

There are over 30 designed holes in a Sunfish, a few less on a Windflite, so to ask someone if an old 1970s boat leaks is really not a fair question. We know they do. What we should ask is how much and where, so we know what we have to deal with. If the boat is "dry" and lightweight when we bought it then we should be able to maintain it that way, even if it means draining some water after sailing. We find the leak and fix it when the opportunity presents itself.

I'll guess you have a hairline crack in the daggerboard trunk and/or a gap in the bailer seam, both easy repairs.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
When you pull the bailer out you may be able to see a visible gap in that cockpit/hull seam. If there is a leak there then inject some epoxy or polyester resin/hardener, then clamp lightly if needed to close the gap.

The leak test is fun, and you get a clean boat out of the deal!
 

wardie

Member
Well guys half a days worth of squirting (a little at a time) on the bailer nut and I unscrewed the bailer and removed it intact from the hull. There is no separation at all in the hull so I'm going to have to look at the repairs that have cracks in them along the bottom of the hull. Another single hander said its usually the dagger board trunk?? I have no idea if the leak test will work there ?? anyone care to share how they went about checking dagger board trunk?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I'm going to have to look at the repairs that have cracks in them along the bottom of the hull. Another single hander said its usually the dagger board trunk?? I have no idea if the leak test will work there ?? anyone care to share how they went about checking dagger board trunk?
1.Tape the vent hole
2.Tape the bottom of the daggerboard slot (duct tape)
3. Draw a bubble over the top of the slot/trunk with your soap solution (dishwasher detergent diluted with water about 1:1).
4. Apply light pressure into the hull and watch.

You might as well put soap on all areas that could leak.
Did you test the mast tube? Just fill it up and see if the level drops over several hours
 

wardie

Member
Ok I'll do this but I've never tipped the boat over or had any chance for water to get into the mast hole. I think maybe those repairs in hull or the trunk is at issue. I will follow your instructions and report back.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Does your hull have a owner-installed drain through the transom? If so, check that area for leakage. Actually, that can be checked after a sail by raising the bow on land. Water shouldn't be exiting that point.

The worst "leak" scenario would be that there's a crack in the daggerboard trunk. Go here to check on the "shotgun-approach" to sealing that point. Starting at the BEGINNING | Page 7 | SailingForums.com

It's the part of the boat that is always deepest in the water. The hull bottom flexes a lot against the trunk.

Here's a view of the trunk interior from the top. What appear to be cracks to the left is a delamination of glue that the previous owner had used to narrow the trunk for easier adjustment of the daggerboard. (I think). :oops:



'Course, they've designed the Sunfish to take some whacks, but they couldn't prepare for every boating situation! :eek:

GEDC0039-001.JPG
 

wardie

Member
I want to install the block I purchased a year ago and the only way to do it on the Windflite is through a port I would have to install. I decided to do this first instead of leak test because I could inspect the trunk inside and install my main sheet block. I thumped the deck listening for hollow versus solid sounds and felt I was correct in the placement of the hole but it looks like I've caught a small portion of the foam block. I chipped away some foam at an angle so I can get to the trunk and main sheet block location. I am attaching photos. I did notice what seemed to be a hole like thing I can feel it with my finger. I'm going to vacuum everything then acetone the trunk base and fill that area with epoxy/fiberglass resin. when it cures flip the boat and do the same on the bottom opening and let that cure. By that time it has hardened I 'll have the main sheet block on and I'll be ready to leak test.

daggerboard port side.jpg oops.jpg
 

wardie

Member
also has anyone noticed the darker slightly wet area under the scraps of foam at the rear of the dagger board?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I'd caution everyone to be careful when "feeling around" for internal leaks in raw fiberglass, as you might get blood on the Styrofoam and daggerboard trunk. :oops: On a white deck, don't leave spots of blood for long—they're very hard to remove or paint over. :(

On the other hand, the DNA in your blood can prove that you're the owner of this boat. :confused:
 

wardie

Member
I looked down the dagger board slot from the top and could see where the material is coming away not sealed and I'll start there. This forum has truly been wonderful and I went back many years and saw that some of you were original posters! So cool many of you have stuck with the forum which allows us newer guys a chance at learning from some of the best Sunfish people out there. I'm playing on attending the Devils Lake Regatta Sept. 17th and 18th to watch, learn , ask questions and enjoy some good racing. Anyone else attending or racing?
 

wardie

Member
on my Depiersa bailer. I did not see an o ring on the metal housing where it mounted to the hull. Is it okay to just run a bead of 5200 sealant on the metal housing and install a new round gasket where the nut tightens the bailer to the inside of the hull??

Also when I pulled my brass plug one of the o rings was shredded the other intact. I am going to carefully remove the one that is intact and take it to an Advance Automotive they have metric and sae o rings and you can only buy one. Would anyone need the size for reference?

BTW PB Blaster is one heck of a product to spray on several times throughout the day and it really penetrates the threads I loosened the bailer nut with a 1 3/16" box wrench with no problem. Once I get it sorted out I'll use never seize on the threads when I put her back together.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
5200 would be very unwise if you think you might ever want to remove the bailer. Regular silicone would be a better choice.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
on my Depiersa bailer. I did not see an o ring on the metal housing where it mounted to the hull. Is it okay to just run a bead of 5200 sealant on the metal housing and install a new round gasket where the nut tightens the bailer to the inside of the hull??

Also when I pulled my brass plug one of the o rings was shredded the other intact. I am going to carefully remove the one that is intact and take it to an Advance Automotive they have metric and sae o rings and you can only buy one. Would anyone need the size for reference?

BTW PB Blaster is one heck of a product to spray on several times throughout the day and it really penetrates the threads I loosened the bailer nut with a 1 3/16" box wrench with no problem. Once I get it sorted out I'll use never seize on the threads when I put her back together.
Agree with PB Blaster. An engineer-friend recommends Kroil. On-duty Navy friends use Marvel Mystery Oil mixed with kerosene! Marvel Mystery Oil is just (high-detergent) ATF with a mint scent. :cool:

Never-Seize comes in different solutions that might react badly in a watery environment. :confused: I'd wrap two or three layers of Teflon tape around the threads instead.

On O-rings, remember to measure (or compare) for "fatness".

Regular silicone sealer would be my choice as well. Don't expect a new paint job to stick to it. :(
 

wardie

Member
My mistake I meant 3M sealant. I am taking my time and repairing all hull areas after the dagger board trunk repair. I'll read up on never seize and see if one is compatible. I really don't sail in anything but small lakes no sea water.

half and half acetone and atf I am told makes an excellent penetrant as well. For ease PB Blaster is my choice.

I have some airplane/modeler epoxy two part system it doesn't say anything about whether you can use underwater any ideas? Maybe a trip to West Marine is best and use whatever they suggest.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
West Systems makes a relatively-inexpensive "kit" that may provide enough epoxy and hardener for a daggerboard trunk repair. (There's plenty of fiberglass cloth). I suspect they don't include enough epoxy to help sell their expensive cans. :rolleyes: But there's no substitute, and no hazard or odor from the hardener. Polyester hardener vapors are toxic!

My mistake I meant 3M sealant.
5200 is a 3M sealant. ;)
 
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mixmkr

Well-Known Member
it's odd, but on a boat that stays in the water, you would NEVER use silicon on ANYTHING below the water line. Seems common on a Sunfish, but it's not like that Sunfishes are moored or anything... Silicon is for deck hardware and stuff like that. Something that you'd probably re-bed down the line. I stopped using anything else other than 5200 on stuff on the yachts I work on, if it's going below the waterline. It never leaks and therefore I never have to disassemble anything...like a thru hull or whatever. If I do remove it, the high quality of it totally outweighs trying to getting it apart again.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
West Systems makes a relatively-inexpensive "kit" that may provide enough epoxy and hardener for a daggerboard trunk repair. (There's plenty of fiberglass cloth).
Edit to add:
You might try West Systems "Repair Kit".

I think I paid less than $40 for it; however, don't expect that supply of resin/hardener to go very far. That "repair" kit comes with packets that you tear, and "milk down" the automatic/proper mix. Since there's some waste involved, I'd try a wood dowel of 3/8" diameter to wrap the packet around to assure you're getting all the resin mix out. (Wish I'd thought of that back then). :confused:

There's enough other useful West Systems stuff included to make the purchase worthwhile anyway. You'll need more Nitrile gloves, available in 100-count boxes from Harbor Freight. Latex gloves also work with West Systems.
 
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