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Help with Leak and Hull Weight

Jim Miller

New Member
Need some advice on what to do with my 1982 Sunfish. Hull is in beautiful shape but I noticed a little water sloshing around inside when I pulled it out (was on the water for a week tied to dock). Drained using the top edge drain (maybe a quart if that came out). Weighed the hull and it weighs 143 lbs now. Not sure of the weight of that year hull (~130lbs?). I know I need to find the leak, suspect the auto bailer, but do I need to add an inspection port to dry it out or just fix the leak and not worry about the potential extra weight. Advice really appreciated. Thanks Jim (sailing enthusiast, not a racer)
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
It seems to me people are very quick to add inspection ports. You are right to hesitate. Do a leak test first- YouTube videos explain the process, which is quite simple. It doesn’t take much air- don’t over-pressurize the hull! Once you pinpoint the leak you’ll know if you MAY need a port to best repair it. Are you able to store the boat indoors for the winter? Or are you a lucky one who can sail year round?
 

4cpus4me

Active Member
Its stored in a closed garage (no Heat) in western Maryland. Sailing season is about over here. I'll post what I find from the leak test. Thanks
My 1979 had some seam separation between the deck and hull, particularly by the transom, and slight leaks in some of the combing screws (mine are screws not rivets). Leak test exposes most problems and it is a great feeling to hunt down and fix all the issues. Removing the aluminum trim to expose the seams was no big deal and rivets back on very easily. :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
It seems to me people are very quick to add inspection ports. You are right to hesitate. Do a leak test first- YouTube videos explain the process, which is quite simple. It doesn’t take much air- don’t over-pressurize the hull! Once you pinpoint the leak you’ll know if you MAY need a port to best repair it. Are you able to store the boat indoors for the winter? Or are you a lucky one who can sail year round?
For $5, an aquarium air pump, adapted to fit into the deck drain, would provide a gentle "breeze" through the hull. ("Wet" air exiting through the bulkhead hull vent--all winter long).
 

shorefun

Active Member
Matress air pumps. Lots of volume and no pressure. I was just trying out a manual one I have and it worked great.
 

Jim Miller

New Member
Finally was able to run the leak test. Found slow bubbling out of the halyard cleat screw and also found a 3/16" hole about 2" below the main sheet cleat inside the cockpit. Not sure what the 3/16" hole was from. Have trouble believing those were the cause of water in the boat. Sprayed a lot of soapy water around the bailer but no bubbles. I still suspect the bailer. The boat sat in the water for a week a couple of times and water did build up in the cockpit but not to the level of the hole. Any ideas? Thanks
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
That 3/16” hole in the forward cockpit wall is supposed to be there and keeps the hull from becoming over-pressurized. You should cover it with a piece of tape before you do your leak test, and remember to uncover it when you’re done.
Did you fill the mast step with water to see if it holds? If you suspect the bailer just remove it and reinstall, checking around hole.
 

Jim Miller

New Member
Ok, good to know about the 3/16" hole. No I didn't fill the mast step, good idea. Once water gets in does it mean its waterlogged (is probably 13lbs heavier than dry from what I can tell)?
 
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