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Leaky bilge

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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SAMBA
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:53 am

Leaky bilge

Post by SAMBA » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:30 am

My 1953 33' Sedan Cabin cruiser Samba is stored, covered, in the water here in N Idaho on Lake Pend O'Reille. This year we suffered a partial sinking (long story, bilge pump hung up with debris and failed, discharged battery, etc...) Obviously will go with another level of redundancy with pumps and alarms next year. Bottom was refastened 3 years ago and takes in a lot less water than before, but still sank 2/3 deep in about 3 days time before discovery. It seems like the water seeps in at the chines. Bilge pumps runs every hour or so at rest, more during boating season when we first tie up after running, much less in the spring after winter storage I know the bottom needs seam seal and NOT caulk. Any way to better seal the seam at the chine? When I snorkel under the boat in summer all hull seams appear nicely aligned and flush. Seam at chine does appear to have a small gap.
We can pull the boat and store it every winter, but then I can never work on it in fall or spring. Cost either way is about a wash. My insurance company will definitely not be happy with me if she goes down again!!!
Looking for whatever might help. Thanks
Dan

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Leaky bilge

Post by Bilge Rat » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:38 am

Sorry to say, but it sounds like some structural weakness exists at the chines and the gap now is too great to just "swell up". Bottom refastening is only good IF the frame work is sound and can hold fasteners. The planks swell and stress the screws and the frame work, often splitting the frames leaving nothing to solidly hold the planks. The Slick Seam product might help, but sounds like you know the correct method to fix this.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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tkhersom
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Location: Edgecomb, Maine

Re: Leaky bilge

Post by tkhersom » Wed May 01, 2019 5:26 am

I am with Bilge Rat on this!

Slick Seam is a great product to help fend off water while the planks swell, but if swelling is not preventing the water infiltration it sounds like it is time to start pulling planks and see what is really going on under there.
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

SAMBA
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:53 am

Re: Leaky bilge

Post by SAMBA » Thu May 02, 2019 12:26 am

Thanks to both of you. I'm thinking maybe I will have her hauled at the end of the season and at least have the planks that abut the chine pulled and examined. I know there is a lot of variability here, but exactly how often should the bilge pump be running in a 66 year-old wooden boat when the bottom is in good shape?

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