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my boat took on water..lots of water

stromero

New Member
I took my sunfish out for the second time today. it seemed a little sluggish and extremely sensitive to any change in my seating position. when I got back to shore I opened the port in the cockpit and the hull was full of water. not just a little but gallons and gallons. I couldn't drag it out of the water so I bailed it out. I don't see any obvious cracks or holes in the hull.

1) does anyone have any ideas of how to locate leak(s)?
2) any problem with drilling a hole in the transom and installing a drain plug?
3) would that much water in the hull damage anything internally (is my boat ruined?)
 

Sailflow

Active Member
I would do a leak test before doing anything else as you need to stop the water from coming in. This video shows how to do it, just use very low pressure. If it took on a lot of water it is could be the lower part of the centerboard trunk.


There are many experts on this site that can help with the fixes.

Do you have pictures?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Your boat is not ruined. Your problem is fairly common. How long have you owned the boat? The flotation in the boat is foam blocks, and its possible they have absorbed water, which also can be solved without any drastic action. You can tell once you get the boat emptied out - you can tip in on edge on a bathroom scales and get the boat's weight - you will need a friend to help with that. Depending on when the boat was made, it should weigh between the low 120s and 140 when dry.

The leak test is they way to go - typically repairs are not too much trouble.

The drain in the stern seems like a good idea until you know that the boat has a lot of spray-in foam used in construction. Boats from the '60s and 70's often have so much that the water cannot make its way to the transom to drain if you put a hole there!
 

stromero

New Member
Thanks folks. This was my second trip out on the boat. I've had it for 3 weeks. I had a catamaran for a while so I know how to sail a bit. I'll have to try the leak test and see where it goes next. I may be back asking for repair tips!
 

wjejr

Active Member
Thanks folks. This was my second trip out on the boat. I've had it for 3 weeks. I had a catamaran for a while so I know how to sail a bit. I'll have to try the leak test and see where it goes next. I may be back asking for repair tips!
You probably already know this, but you will want to make sure that the air pressure is really low when you blow air into the hull. Even an extra one pound per square inch is going to equal a lot of pressure that will try to push the deck and bottom of the boat apart and separate the foam blocks from the hull.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Common leak areas at the daggerboard trunk. And the mast step if you get water over the deck. Also the seam inside the cockpit bailer hole if the cockpit hull has split from the hull. If you have a hull-deck split seam and you spend a lot of time with the rail in the water you can get water there. And check for small crush spots in get coat, esp along the chine and the keel, the fiberglass can fracture, sometimes from a keel roller pushing through if boat is tied down too tight.

If they put a port in the cockpit I'd guess there was a previous daggerboard trunk issue.

We also use our shop vac to put air in the hull.

 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Watch this video and you'll see why we don't like transom drain plugs.


You have to raise the bow pretty high to get water out at the transom, and there is a lot of structure back there and maybe foam that interferes with water draining, plus you can't get the plug at the low point.

The low point is there by the daggerboard trunk, I'm sure we can help you find the leak but get a sponge too :)
 
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