That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

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Interim
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That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:10 am

My Mac 26S is taking on 20-25 gallons a week. My current thinking is that once it is out of the water, to take a hose on board and start filling the bilge. Then crawl under and see where the leak is.

Is there a better way to go about this?

We think this happened in July when we were hit by lightning. I'm hoping for an obvious hole that I can fix, but with the speed of ingress I am afraid of a subtle crack that will be hard to spot.

--john

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Jimmyt
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:14 pm

i believe it's Ray (nice aft) that suggests putting food coloring in the ballast water to see if it's ballast leaking. Seems like a good idea. After you figure out whether it's ballast water or not, then, I'd pull it and give the bottom a thorough look over.

Lightning can do strange things, so if lightning did cause it, there's no telling what you may find.

We,ve had 8 inches of rain in the last 10 days. I assume you've ruled out rain water?

If none of the above shows anything, then, yes. Water hose and two players... :)

Good luck. Hope it's obvious.
Jimmyt
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2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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Russ
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Russ » Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:48 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:14 pm
i believe it's Ray (nice aft) that suggests putting food coloring in the ballast water to see if it's ballast leaking. Seems like a good idea. After you figure out whether it's ballast water or not, then, I'd pull it and give the bottom a thorough look over.

Lightning can do strange things, so if lightning did cause it, there's no telling what you may find.

We,ve had 8 inches of rain in the last 10 days. I assume you've ruled out rain water?

If none of the above shows anything, then, yes. Water hose and two players... :)

Good luck. Hope it's obvious.
These tablets are supposed to work well for leak detection
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Toilet-Leak- ... /690795665
--Russ

Interim
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:51 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:14 pm

We,ve had 8 inches of rain in the last 10 days. I assume you've ruled out rain water?
I do get rainwater in, and have struggled to find all the leaks. But with no rain in the past week, I still had 24 gallons in the bilge. That doesn't mean I don't have ballast leaking into the bilge, and lakewater leaking back into the bilge. Something to consider.

Knowing my luck, the leak is up in the centerboard trunk.

--john

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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Jacana1 » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:38 pm

My 92 26s was leaking a lot through the deck fittings and bump strip.
I have temporarily sealed the bump strip with a tube of 3m marine sealant. The deck fittings have all been rebedded.
Now there is no leaks.
The 26s has only one through hull fitting below the water line.
This is the centerboard uphaul under the sink. Check the hose or riser for leaks.
When I purchased mine all the drainage tube in the aft locker were also leaking.
If you think the ballast tank has a leak and you are on trailer, maybe you can conduct a pressure test through the vent under the steps. I would suggest no more than 1.5 psi.
With a torch I can view all of the ballast tank for inspection via the inspection openings under the seats.
Good luck, should be an easy fix.

OverEasy
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by OverEasy » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:30 pm

Hi Interim

If you did take a lightning strike it probably went down the mast support tube and possibly the Swing Center Board hinge to discharge into the water.

Image

Image

This you probably already have long ago figured out but for those unfamiliar with the Mac26S model I attached a couple of images for reference.

If your looking for leaks in specific areas might I possibly suggest using very low air pressure of less than 2 psi and soap bubble solution?
Just a thought….

Hope you find the culprit location(s) of your leak.
Dry powder like talcum or powdered food coloring in the suspect areas might help if using flooding of the ballast is used.

Best Regards,
OverEasy 😎😎🐩🐈

Interim
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:16 am

Overeasy--

I think you are on to something. We pulled the boat out for the season yesterday (pause for sadness), and when I crawled under it water was coming out around the pivot bolt. I wonder if this hinge always leaks into the ballast, but never shows because with the vent and inspection ports sealed, there isn't space to take in water.

I haven't torn into it yet so I don't know this to be true. (It's been five years since I pulled the pivot bolt out, and I don't remember if there is some kind of seal). Thoughts on whether that should be sealed, or if it naturally allows a little seepage would be appreciated.

This weekend's job will be to open the inspection ports, check their sealing, and then look at the pivot bolt.

--john

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Salty Dog II
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Salty Dog II » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:11 am

Hey everyone!
So I've noticed water in all four sections of aft bilge, The boat is on a lift and cleaned the bilge numerous times. Thought it was fittings from motor well to thru hull, bilge pump hoses, rod holders that were drilled thru deck or pedestal seal leaking. Found out its the port side slide tube to control the engine and wiring going to the engine same side. With a garden hose it really lets in the water. During rainy season we really pick up a lot of water in bilge.
Anyone find this problem with your boat and what did you do about it. The wiring with rubber seal just needs addressing. The real problem is the control tube. Thinking anything I put around the rod is going to add resistance to steering control. I've got 2 bilge pumps one in front of batteries and one port of same area. I've had cushions floating at times due to abundance of rain water. Any suggestions

Salty Dog II

OverEasy
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by OverEasy » Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:24 am

Hi Salty Dog II

The aspect of floating cushions scare me! :| :o

We’ve only ever had some relatively minor nuisance rain leaks at the cable penetrations of the stern motor control cables and pedestal cable penetrations on our Mac26X…

We sliced our nuisances with a little WD40 and some Great Stuff Pond and Stone Foam
Image
This product is designed to get wet and/or immersed in water. It is black in color. It lasts.

What we did was to:

FIRST mask off the area carefully and throughly with blue painters tape and the thicker (2mill) vinyl sheeting. (Yes overkill in some people’s book but it avoids the cleanup incase of an “oppsies”). CHECK the interior back side of the penetration (we forgot to do this :o :( :? on one hole and it dribbled down into the aft bilge space) and block the back side with either wax paper or plastic wrap (preferred).

SECOND we sprayed the cables and interior of the boot cone with WD40 (or other silicone mold release spray). This is so you can get the stuff out/off if you need to in the future to install new control or electrical cables in the future.

THIRD we carefully sprayed in the Great Stuff Pond and Stone Foam a little at a time allowing it to expand and fill all the voids. Be careful to avoid overfilling as it can make a mess when it oozes out. Best to leave it alone until it finishes curing and then carefully trim the excess.

NOTE: ALL GREAT STUFF FOAMS STICK TO JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING AND CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE FROM EVERYTHING. Especially older gelcoat and you! Use good nitrile disposable gloves.

(We tried using a plastic bag to contain the foam on a prior non boat project and found that the foam did not cure properly at all! :x :? )

The WD40 does a fairly descent job of making a boundary non-adhesion layer so one can get the foam off should the need arise. Meanwhile the foam expands to fill up all the nooks and crannies and surfaces to exclude any water from ingressing.

A light coating of some light lithium grease on the moving rod should allow it to move back and forth through the expanded foam. (The control tube arrangements on the Mac26X differed from that of the Mac26M.)

Hope this helps!

Best Regards, Over Easy 😎😎🐩🐈

OverEasy
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by OverEasy » Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:40 am

Hi Interim!

Something to consider is that the hinge pin all by itself can potentially machine itself through the side walls over time (with or without a lightning strike).

When I pulled my swing keel center board on our Mac26X we found the pivot pin edges were originally shear cut and had sharp edges. We also found electrolytic corrosion of the pin and bracket had added to the pin end sharpness.

I made a new pin from SST and gave a nice radius to the pin edges. I also cleaned up the sides where the pin ends contacted the trunk sides and applied some fiberglass filling compound to fill in any wear.

Hope this helps some.
Best Regards,
Over Easy 😎😎🐩🐈

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Jimmyt
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:52 pm

Salty Dog II wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:11 am
Hey everyone!
So I've noticed water in all four sections of aft bilge, The boat is on a lift and cleaned the bilge numerous times. Thought it was fittings from motor well to thru hull, bilge pump hoses, rod holders that were drilled thru deck or pedestal seal leaking. Found out its the port side slide tube to control the engine and wiring going to the engine same side. With a garden hose it really lets in the water. During rainy season we really pick up a lot of water in bilge.
Anyone find this problem with your boat and what did you do about it. The wiring with rubber seal just needs addressing. The real problem is the control tube. Thinking anything I put around the rod is going to add resistance to steering control. I've got 2 bilge pumps one in front of batteries and one port of same area. I've had cushions floating at times due to abundance of rain water. Any suggestions

Salty Dog II
Can you include a pic of the suspected trouble area?
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

Interim
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:25 am

OverEasy wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:40 am
Hi Interim!

Something to consider is that the hinge pin all by itself can potentially machine itself through the side walls over time (with or without a lightning strike).


Best Regards,
Over Easy 😎😎🐩🐈
I think (and hope) this is my issue. I haven't looked at the pin in three years, so several things could have happened.

First I need to winterize the outboard so I can pull the batteries, and then I'll have access. I'll report back what I find.

Thanks for the help.

--john

Interim
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:53 am

The weekend brought first hope, and then renewed mystery.

Quick description for non-26s owners: Under the sink is the line that lifts the centerboard. It goes down through a fiberglass tube that is raised about 4" from the sole. This tube goes into the top of the centerboard trunk, which lies between the ballast tanks. Thus, the tube has direct access to the lake. From the top of the fiberglass tube, a rubber tube is attached and extends upward another 6" or so. It overlaps the fiberglass tube and is secured with a hose clamp. The rope line from the salon runs under the counter and sink, connects to a wire line, which is turned 90 degrees through a sheave and down these tubes to connect to the centerboard.

***
The lightning charge caused some level of sparking from one of my batteries, stored under the sink. This sparking superheated the gelcoat, and melted it around the fiberglass tube, and on the raised portion of the sole which makes room for the trunk. There were a couple cracks in the gelcoat, so I was hoping these were my water leak areas, but I ground off the gelcoat and didn't see any damage to the actual fiberglass. I did glass over the ground out areas, just in case.

New theory (which I need reactions to): The heating of the gelcoat on the fiberglass tube distorted the surface so it is no longer a smooth surfaced cylinder. Perhaps this broke the seal with the rubber tube, allowing water to splash up the tube and leaking between the fiberglass and rubber tubes. Recall from my previous posts that this would need to be 3-4 gallons a day.

I think this theory first depends on the waterline. Does anyone know how close the top of the fiberglass tube is to the waterline? (Yes, I could have checked had I thought of this before pulling the boat out). Any other ideas, concerns?

--john

OverEasy
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by OverEasy » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:27 am

Hi Interim

Forgive me if I’m mistaken but I believe you are wanting to know if the height of your interface is above or below your floating waterline while you are ashore on the trailer.

There is generally some witness marking on the hull but most often is in-distinct and probably misleading for what you probably should be looking to reference.

The last thing you would want to happen is to have something that is marginally above water when empty only to find it starts to leak when the boat is loaded with people.

There is a water line painted on the hull which is your guide it the design load flotation point for the vessel. (NOTE: Important to remember if you ever repaint your hull or add bottom paint… Don’t lose it!) anyway any through hull fittings must be above the top of the water line mark at a minimum. (If you load up and you can’t see the factory waterline anymore you are over loaded! :o :? )

Generally you can use the rub rail or the lip of a window or other reference to transfer the exterior vertical distance to the interior location to verify that there is at least than minimum distance above loaded design waterline.

A higher distance is always better …. :D :D

Best Regards,
Over Easy 😎😎🐩🐈

Interim
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Re: That Sinking Feeling: Water coming in

Post by Interim » Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:09 am

I measured the elevation from the hull deck joint to the water line on the outside, and then the hull deck joint to the top of the fiberglass tube under the sink. This isn't precise, but it is clear they are within an inch or two. Water can easily splash to the height of the fiberglass tube.

I then took a water bottle and poured water down the top of the rubber tube, and as much flowed between the rubber and fiberglass (and thus into the bilge) as flowed down the fiberglass and out the bottom.

We have hope that the ingress source has been found, but will not know for sure until we float it next spring. If I'm right, a little 3200 will cure this.

Thanks for everyone's input.

--john

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