Author Topic: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?  (Read 326 times)

Offline chasesurf

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1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« on: August 17, 2017, 09:35:00 PM »
Hey! I'm excited to have found this forum and have been reading and learning lots so far.

My prior sailing experience was crewing on a 32' cruiser doing island hopping in the Ionian Sea in Greece for a month which was amazing - and obviously got me thinking about wanting to own my own boat ever since.

I just purchased a 1987 Compac 16 from an older woman who learned to sail on her and used her regularly in Smith Mountain Lake. I live in a tiny lake and keep her on my dock at my house and wanted to not only learn to sail but also how to fix up a boat myself. I found her listed on Craigslist and went to check her out. Overall she looked pretty good; the previous owner reported no issues and she looked well kept. We took her home a week later.

We put her in the water at the beginning of the week and everything looked great. I worked over the weekend and when I got back to see that the cabin had some significant water inside. I pumped out the water and took out the pads and carpet and inspected the boat - it had been raining all weekend so I looked for obvious signs of water from above. Since this weekend I've checked her daily. No more rain but she's been taking on about a liter of water in 12 hours. I can see there is water up under the Fiberglas cover over the cement in the floor of the cabin. We are pulling her back out of the water tomorrow. The transom cockpit drains do not seem to be the source - there hasn't been any leaking around them since pumping the water out of the cabin.

I know a few people mention tipping her back to drain out the water. How do I go about inspecting the hull for the source? I have Don Casey's Sailboat Maintenance Manual for some guidance to start.

People have mentioned drilling a hole at the bottom to let the water drain out. Will I need to remove the fiberglass in the cabin to check the strength of the concrete? The wooden berths only have some water stains but the wood doesn't seem to be damaged or rotted on inspection. Eventually I'd love to completely update her so I'm willing to put the work in.

Thanks!

Offline JTMeissner

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 07:53:27 AM »
I have a 1976 CP-16, and after a complete refit I found water in the bilge after many rains...  After pumping it out, I found water rushing in to pool again in the bilge.  Even though I thought I had sealed everything, the water was coming in from under the berths.  Not exactly sure how the water got in, but nonetheless...

So, if you had water pooling, even clearing it out, the space under the berths is not completely filled with foam, so there can be water kept there that will find it's way to the bilge.  I drilled some weepholes in the bottom of the berths (from bilge to cavity, not through the hull) and water poured into the bilge.  Once I dry that out I'll close the holes.

A source of water into the cabin has been where the sidestay tangs run up from the inside through the deck seam.  That area is difficult to protect from above to stop water getting in, and requires a lot of sealant to close the opening. Time will likely work an opening as well. Also, rain seems to find its way around the hatch boards, especially after trailering and the hatch slide has shifted forward. 

Currently, I have a tarp over the whole area to ry to prevent more water getting in from above (which in comparison, is better than water getting in from below) while sitting in the marina.  Something to fix before winter.

-Justin

Offline Duckie

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 08:09:24 AM »
I have an 88 and the most problematic thing on her is the deck plates at the back of the cockpit seats.  Mine leak when it rains.  There are two possible faults that can occur there.  First, the O rings could be no good which would let a lot of water it pretty quickly.  Or the seal between the plate and the deck could be no good. 

 If you have her out of the water, go over everything below the waterline with a fine tooth comb to see if you can find a leak.  If there isn't anything obvious, try using a garden hose.  You can sit inside while someone sprays her down.  That should give you a good idea of where the leak is pretty quickly. 

Al

Offline Mas

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 06:48:11 PM »
Hey Chasesurf, congrats on the 16! we have an 87 16 that was sailed on Smith Mountain Lake as well by the previous owner. Right now the only leaks i could find was the teak strips that hold the companionway slider in place. They were leaking thru the screws that hold the teak in place. Used some 5200 sealant and removed one screw at a time and then replaced it after dipping the tip of the screw in the sealant. Seems to be fixed.

We had a 23 before that i found water up to the bottom of the motor mounts (inboard diesel model) one winter while she had been on her trailer so not from below. After pumping it out and running the ole hose over it from bow to stern could never get it to leak again. Go figure. My theory was frozen scupper pipes from melting snow (cockpit was filled with snow) then way cold followed by heavy rain which would have filled the cockpit up till it spilled over into the cockpit lockers thus into the boat. Ironically the tarp i had up just covered the cabin area as the ports were weeping a little water till I could replace the rubber gaskets which needed warmer weather to accomplish. That tarp acted was a funnel for the rain to spill into the cockpit, which of course is normally no big deal.

Not sure if any of this is helpful but I am sure you will figure it out. BTW do you have thru hulls, like depth or knot instruments?

Meanwhile are you in Virginia?
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31

Offline chasesurf

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2017, 04:24:39 PM »
These tips have been great! I think I found the source of the leak. I had been checking at regular intervals to try to get an actuate measurement of how much she was taking on at a time. She's had less and less water needing to be pumped out every time I've checked. We pulled her out of the water yesterday. She was bone dry underneath and I inspected her and couldn't find any obvious cracks, holes or signs of damage on her hull. I then used a hose to try to see if rain water had been the cause - well I realized that during the first storm she had plugs in the transom cockpit drains. She had taken on a lot of water in the cockpit and I realized there were four small holes at the bottom of the cockpit that drain right into the cabin. Not sure why they are there but most likely cause is the rain water getting in at that point.

Why would there be four (two sets of two) holes on the port side in the bottom of the cockpit? It looks like the would have been used to attach some hardware.

Glad I got to do a full inspection on her!

Offline chasesurf

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 04:25:50 PM »
Not located in Virginia but in NC in Durham. But man, Smith Mountain Lake is so stunning. I'll have to go back and explore more there!

Offline Tim Gardner

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 08:45:19 AM »
SML is a great location, and the lake is stunning.  As a year round resident I can sail in all twelve months.  It is somewhat cool in Jan. & Feb., but there are the occasional 55-60^ days. 

From my dock, a typical view at sunset.  Then what my neighbors see quite often.
"The sea is selective, slow at recognition of effort and aptitude, but fast in sinking the unfit"  - Adm Felix Riesenberg.

Offline Citroen/Dave

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Re: 1987 New to me with possible leak in hull or keel?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 11:15:03 AM »
Chasesurf,

I'm glad you found the leak and now have a dry boat. 

I sail my C16 off a trailer from a marina near the downstream end of SML.  While I think it is the prettiest end of the lake, islands, mountains, broad waters, and etc., Tim's C19 makes the other end look gorgeous, too.

Good luck making your investment the best boat you may ever own.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 11:16:39 AM by Citroen/Dave »
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