Mystery Water in the cabin

Thread starter #1
Hi Gang,

For the past 10 months, I have been refinishing my 14.2. Finally I took her out on Saturday for a test run. A couple of things went wrong. There was so little wind, we couldn't get out of the small harbor. Our plan was to motor out of the harbor and look for wind but the electric trolling motor quit running after about 5 minutes. The only wind there was blew us out of the channel and into the shallows. Really shallow. Lost steerage with the centerboard up and the rudder mostly up. We paddled back to the channel and sailed back to the dock.

Whipped and defeated, we hauled her out and onto the trailer and that is when I saw what stopped the trolling motor. I had about a half gallon of water in the cabin. It got into my home made fuse connection and shorted the wires.

Before you think of all of the normal reasons for water to get in there, consider the following. This boat has not been in water in 3 years. I has been in my garage for 10 months and most of that time upside down when I completely replaced all of the gel coat and most if not all of the fittings including the C.B. gasket. There were no waves or tipping and the boat was dry in the cockpit. The cabin door and gaskets are all new and will withstand a garden hose leak check but again there was no water in the cockpit or over the sides.

When we had her up on the trailer and still on the ramp we pulled the plug and no water came out. The water in the cabin was not enough to get into the holes under the seats and flow back to the drain but enough to cause me to be concerned. Any ideas?
Dry the boat making certain you have no water in it, then float it again and see if it takes up water, if it does you have a leak in the hull. Take it home and put water in the hull while its on the trailer, it should leak out the way it gets in.:eek:
Thread starter #4
I plan on trying again next weekend and will let you know. I am reluctant to put water into the cabin because I know of a few trailers collapsing from doing this. It is a popular technique for hurricane prep. down here.
water equals 8 pounds per gallon. I could work in my 14.2 on the trailer with the mast and boom with out the trailer breaking. I'm 230 #s, add the mast and boom, 25-30 more, call it 250#s, 31 gallons of test water.

Ok, no water test, flip the boat over and carefully inspect the hull for cracks, holes, heavy scrapes, chips. Bad hull to deck seal. You should find it. Get different people to look as better eyes can help.
Thread starter #6
It was flipped over, for 6 months it was upside down while I replaced all of the gel coat. All of it from the rubrail down to the centerboard from bow to stern, there is not so much as a scratch on the hull. That is why I am surprised by the leak.

I didn't want to give my thoughts on where it may be coming from as I was hoping to hear someone reply with the same thought. But, I think it is either a leak around or through the plug or the centerboard well. I had the centerboard our and gasket out and didn't see anything but that is a tough area to inspect.
Water problem

rayhas: My guess is that the water came in thru the plug in the transom. Maybe not sealed right or an improper fit. To chedk on dry land for presence, be sure you lift the tougue real high. Otherwise, transom hole is too high to allow bilge to drain with the plug out. RK
Thread starter #8
Found it, I think. I was prepping the boat to take her out for the 2nd time and I realized the plug wasn't going all of the way in so as to let the O ring contact the fitting. I put some teflon tape on the threads and in went in all of the way.

I won't be testing it today as the wind is now over 17 knots and gusting to 20. A little too much for my wife, skill level and lack of reefing and furling. Maybe tomorrow.
O-ring (un)seat

Found it, I think .... I realized the plug wasn't going all of the way in so as to let the O ring contact the fitting.
It is interesting you say this! I spent a day adjusting my trailer to my new-to-me Capri since it wasn't set up properly. Late this afternoon, while nursing a beer and admiring my new-found skill, I decided to remove the transom plug, "just because it was there."

It was very difficult to unscrew, so I very carefully used pliers. Turns out that while I was buying it I had checked this plug and thought it had been put back in properly, ... but it hadn't! Somehow the O-ring had become twisted off of its seat on the plug.

Good thing, I'm still "parking lot" sailing her. So, moral of the story is check that plug and its O-ring very carefully before launching.

BTW, I just sanded and oiled (Watco Teak Oil) the tiller; I am an amateur woodworker, so this I can do! Now to hone those sailing skills!
Thread starter #10
Confirmed. It was the plug. I didn't see that it in all the way to the hilt the first time. We had her in the water for a few hours on Saturday and all was dry. Great day.
Good news rayhas...

if you search my postings you'll find that I verified the boat will indeed float JUST fine COMPLETELY filled with water, and occupants inside.. HOWEVER it DOES not sail very well that way.

My own personal version of water balast...

Glad she is dry for you...
I'm going to have to search for that one SHNOOL! I'm laughing (with you I hope) as I try to visualize that scene. How in the world did you get enough water out of it to sail to shore? ... or do our boats sail OK when filled up to their gunwhales?

(I guess I'd better add a bilge pump to that other thread on what to bring along).
I will confirm Shnool's findings, they will sail full of water. I have done it once, the first time out. Turtled it, the Hatch was not tight, upon righting it, a friend through me a bucket for bailing, Said the heck with it and sailed it back in. What really made things worst was the ski boat that decided to change course and attempt to sink me be putting his wake over my transom. That really made things interesting.

But it will sail full of water. Also DNR say what the guy in the ski boat did. That was two years ago, I haven't seen that boat back on the lake. DNR ticketed and confiscated the guys boat.