Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    Having bought a Westerly J24 I'm in the process of giving the insides a good clean.

    I've lifted the bilge cover boards to clean the bottom of the boat and as I was scrubbing and rinsing I noticed water was collecting under the keel bolts.

    The keel bolts are mounted ontop of fibreglass but under one of the bolts it appears there's a little hole under the fibreglass that the bolt is mounted on where water is pooling. I didn't think anymore of it until I got outside the boat and looked at the keel and I could see a small amount of water running down the keel, obviously from the inside.

    My boat is on a yard at the moment. The keel bolts are all in good condition along with the plates they sit on, no rust. It just appears there's a little hole where water is escaping from and I'm assuming when she's back in the water, water is likely to come into the bottom of the boat and bilge through it.

    Should I be concerned or is it worth plugging this small hole with sealant or something else?

    On another note, the wood that the bilge boards sit on are wet and were covered in mud and grime. I'm assuming the wood remained wet because the mud helped keep the moisture in. I've cleaned all these up and the wood is still sound and not rotten. I've given it some oil whilst its still wet to act as a preserver. Anything else I should do other than let it dry out?

    It seems like the inside of the boat has been damp because of rain ingress. I made a new mast boot today using storm guard foam and amalgamating tape which should now be water tight, next job is to improve the rain proof of the companion hatch.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Brentwales; 17-09-19 at 16:45.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    South Dorset/moored Poole/lay up Wareham
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    Hmmm...well knowing that there is a hole no matter how small in a place that there should be no hole by a keel stud then I really think you have no option than further investigation as if the leak is serious when you launch, which it possibly is, then you will have the expense of getting her out again & looking. Take the nut or bolt & washer off & inspect beneath. Once the area has been cleaned & the "hole" has been identified then probably ask again if you can add a photo. It possibly could be a crack extending from the keel stud/bolt or simply a less than perfectly tight nut/bolt. Sleepless nights will follow if you don't look while you have the chance. Are you certain that the high bilge water levels leading to saturated sole supports are due to a leaking deck hatch/companionway or are they a clue as to the keel bolt leakage.
    www.seasurveys.co.uk
    Surveying & Shipwright info on GRP, WOOD & so much more

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlilley View Post
    Hmmm...well knowing that there is a hole no matter how small in a place that there should be no hole by a keel stud then I really think you have no option than further investigation as if the leak is serious when you launch, which it possibly is, then you will have the expense of getting her out again & looking. Take the nut or bolt & washer off & inspect beneath. Once the area has been cleaned & the "hole" has been identified then probably ask again if you can add a photo. It possibly could be a crack extending from the keel stud/bolt or simply a less than perfectly tight nut/bolt. Sleepless nights will follow if you don't look while you have the chance. Are you certain that the high bilge water levels leading to saturated sole supports are due to a leaking deck hatch/companionway or are they a clue as to the keel bolt leakage.
    She's been on a yard for 6 weeks before I bought her. When ever we have had rain there has been pools of water by the base of the mast and also some by the bilge which is central.

    I can't see any cracks or noticeable gaps between the keel and hull. And there are no noticeable cracks on the interior of the hull.

    I'll do as you suggested and remove the keel bolt where the hole is and take some pictures.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,426

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    Just for clarification, if the water running down the outside of the keel is definitely from the inside of the boat, where has it got out, if no cracks or gaps in the keel/Hull joint?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    20,378

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    If the water on the outside was originally on the inside, then you cannot launch the boat as water will pour in. To be sure, you could dye the water on the inside with ink or emulsion paint or food colouring and see if the same colour appears on the outside. You then need to find the hole and plug it. A wodge of epoxy putty in there may well be fine but until you are 100% sure of the source of the leak, I wouldn't recommend taking such action.

    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Me; Nth County Dublin, Boat;Malahide
    Posts
    844

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    My boat was previously owned by a sailing club/sail training organisation of which I was a member. When I mentioned to some members that I had bought the boat, I was told by two or three that she had a mysterious leak that no one could trace. During subsequent sailing I became aware of a worrying ingress of water that looked like a leak from the keelbolts, but only on an intermittent basis. At great expense the I had the keel dropped and reattached with no improvement.
    Following considerable trial and error, sailing on one tack and then the other, it became clear that it was a leak from the heads outlet skin fitting, which is quite near the surface, and hence under very little pressure when the boat was upright, and out of the water when on starboard tack, but allowing a steady trickle when on port. The water was not immediately obvious in the under-sink cabinet, but was making its way through internal mouldings and emerging from a limber hole in a moulded rib beside the keel bolts.
    A good way of detecting where water is coming from is to use those blue paper towels to be found in many washrooms.
    It's advisable to ascertain whether or not it's a seawater or rainwater leak and remediate any deck leaks.
    While your boat is on the hard, you could also experiment with flooding the bilge and observing whether or not is actually an increase in the water emerging through the keel-hull joint.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    South Dorset/moored Poole/lay up Wareham
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    The only way of really identifying will be to clean the area back to gel coat and literally look for the seep externally. The keel bolt could be leaking, the keelboat hole could be enlarged and not sealed, the keelboat could be waisted. So many permutations that can be finally discounted once a small bit of investigation is undertaken. Look for hairline crack in gel coat close to keelboat externally. If coming from keel/hull joint then possible keelbolt deteriorating or keel bedding compound failure.speculate a dozen and one different causes but inspect and find just one or two definite causes
    www.seasurveys.co.uk
    Surveying & Shipwright info on GRP, WOOD & so much more

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    There's 4 keel bolts in total. There is a mound of fibre glass, on top of that is a steel plate, then the bolt. Within the mound of fibreglass there appears to be a small hole which the water I was cleaning with today was running into. I can't see any more holes or cracks where water could ingress.

    It's definitely not leaking from any other source as the J24 is a very Spartan boat with no head, sink, or water tanks.

    The small amount of rain that has ingressed only pools either under the companion hatch or the stepped mast. I've dealt with the stepped mast today buy forming a new watertight mast boot.

    I'll take some pictures tomorrow, tighten the bolt and pour down some more water to see if it leaks out of the keel join and report back.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,067

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    when the leak is stopped from the top it will still get into the hull / keel joint as the interior water was leaking out from there

    once back in the water is the water ingress from the outside to the keel bolt(s) going to affect the integrity of the bolts ?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Water leaking from top of keel and other bits

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    If the water on the outside was originally on the inside, then you cannot launch the boat as water will pour in. To be sure, you could dye the water on the inside with ink or emulsion paint or food colouring and see if the same colour appears on the outside. You then need to find the hole and plug it. A wodge of epoxy putty in there may well be fine but until you are 100% sure of the source of the leak, I wouldn't recommend taking such action.

    Richard
    This is good advice although I'd prefer to use food colouring in the bilge to identify the source of the water running down the keel.

    I've previously had a boat that seemingly leaked more when ashore than afloat. (it just didn't leak afloat!) Most of the problems were the hole at the base of the mast and numerous deck fittings and stanchion/pulpit/pushpit holes where the original sealer had dried out after 20 years and started to let water in. A pain given how much rain there is in the winter in the UK.

    But if you really do have even a tiny hole in the bottom, for goodness sake don't launch! Fix it before going anywhere near the water because you'll be surprised how much water a minute leak will let in over 24 hours...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to