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Leaks in my little 'ol Mac 25

Discussion in 'Ask A Macgregor Owner' started by arknoah, Nov 26, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Hi,

    Got some problems with leaks in my 1984 Mac 15, or more specifically with water in the bilge and on the cabin sole, and I’m not sure where it is coming from. Some background: in the middle of the 2016 sailing season, I briefly ‘ran aground,” with hitting the sing keel. I raised the keel and went on my merry way. I noticed some weeks later some water in the bilge, but I don’t really know if there was water in there beforehand. I looked under the boat and around the keel last winter and couldn’t see anything. I don’t recall there being much rain last winter, and certainly not enough for me to use my little manual pump to get any water out of the boat.

    However, I’ve noticed lots of water in the boat in the last couple of months. Mostly, it’s in the bilge, but it’s also on the cabin sole under the table, and there is also water on the table, which suggests that not all of the water is coming in from underneath. Last winter, I replaced the seal around the pop top, but I’m not convinced that has worked. I also happened to see some water near the v berth, so I’m wondering if there is some kind of leak in the forward hatch.

    Yeah, I know. A lot of places. Any idea where I should start? Should I have my wife spray water onto the pop top and deck to see where something comes in? And how would I check the keel, maybe from inside to see if that’s the source?

    Any help you could provide would be appreciated!
     


  2. vwjon Mac25

    vwjon Mac25

    Joined Feb 5, 2010
    81 posts, 12 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Oroville, WA
    The chainplates will leak as will the windows.
     


  3. Captain Ron 18

    Captain Ron 18

    Joined Feb 8, 2017
    49 posts, 9 likes
    MacGregor MacGregor 25
    US Baltimore
    On my 1985 Mac 25, I have had a variety of leaks over the years for a variety of reasons. Regarding the strike of the swing keel: do you know what you hit? As in a rock or a soft grounding? While on a voyage about 20 years ago, I hit my swing keel on an uncharted rock in Long Island Sound. Scared the tar out of me, but no damage to speak of. But then I found myself emptying water from the bilge regularly. Turns out the impact had unseated and torn the compressed rubber gaskets on either side of the keel bolt. I decided to replace the bolt and the gaskets at the same time and haven't had a bit of water from that since then.

    The water in the cabin is another issue. I found that if there is water directed towards the front of the sliding hatch, whether while cleaning the boat or from a rainstorm hitting you right on the nose, water will come in there between the sliding hatch and the pop-top. There were no gaskets there, but I mounted peel and stick gaskets on the bottom of the slider which stops the ingress. Also, don't forget the front hatch. Those gaskets are likely shot too, because it usually gets used - a lot. And, of all things, any hole that was drilled into the hull, either by the builder or you, topside, anywhere, needs to be re-caulked from time to time, ie: coax connection, lights connections, stanchions, etc.

    The windows are the other likely culprit. Your boat is now 33 years old. Unless you have re-bedded the windows, the gasket goo they used to bed the windows is kaput and will leak like a sieve in a good rain.

    I wish you luck! Let us know what you find.

    BTW, where in southern Maryland do you sail? I've kept my boat in many marinas in southern Maryland, and my last marina before I moved to Baltimore was on Mattawoman Creek in Charles County. I have to admit, that was great sailing, had some great restaurants you could pull up to, and downright gorgeous!
     


  4. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Thanks, Captain Ron. My wife works for the Navy, so my boat is in the West Basin Marina at the naval base at Pax River. My sailing grounds are the Patuxent River and the Bay near the river.

    And thanks for your suggestions. I can figure out how to reseal the ports and can look to purchase some kid of gasket for the companionway door and slider. What about the seal for the pop top itself. I put in some peel and stick stuff so that there would be a better seal when the pop top is closed, which is pretty much all the time, but wonder how effective it is.

    I've also been searching the forums to see how to locate and replace the keel bolt so I can re-bed and seal it. I have the picture from the old manual, but can;t make hide nor tails of it. The last thing I want to do is wreck it while trying to fix it.

    Thanks again.
     


  5. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Let me check on the chainplates as well. I don't see any evidence inside the cabin by the chainplates, however.
     


  6. timebandit

    timebandit

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    1,774 posts, 30 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US So. Cal.
    My mac always leaks around the slider when I wash it or it rains hard. The chain plates seem to leak between the liner and the hull.
     


  7. jjsbiggs

    jjsbiggs

    Joined Jun 24, 2010
    175 posts, 9 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US South Hero. VT
    Blue Water Yachts will have most everything you need. I bought my keel bolt kit and hatch seals from them. They are great folks to work with.
     


  8. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Way ahead of you, jjsbiggs! I'm going to contact them today about both the keel bolt stuff and about the seal around the pop top.
     


  9. woodzy

    woodzy

    Joined Sep 21, 2014
    74 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina 28
    US Oceanside Ca..
     


  10. woodzy

    woodzy

    Joined Sep 21, 2014
    74 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina 28
    US Oceanside Ca..
    Blue water yachts will have kit to do your swing keel bolt
     


  11. Captain Ron 18

    Captain Ron 18

    Joined Feb 8, 2017
    49 posts, 9 likes
    MacGregor MacGregor 25
    US Baltimore
    Arknoah, I kept my boat at West Basin Marina at Pax River for 5 years when I was active duty AF. I loved the location, but not so much the facility. But it was an easy sail to great restaurants in Solomons and a relatively short sail to the eastern shore.
    A thought about the keel bolt replacement: just remember the swing keel weighs 625 pounds and can bite you pretty good, or worse, if it gets away from you. If you're at all unsure, take it to a yard and have them do it. There are certainly several fine yards all around that area, and you can always trailer it to a more distant location. On my '85, the nut for removing the keel bolt is located in the compartment that holds the battery. Cheers!
     


  12. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Thanks for that advice. I was looking in the bilge and thought that was the bolt for the keel. That's also where a lot of the water seemed to be. If that isn't the location of the keel boat, what is it?
     


  13. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Had a great conversation with BWY last week, and will be resealing around several places like the chain plates, and getting both a new keel pivot bolt assembly and gasket seal for the pop top and hatches. We're hoping that will do it.
    Thanks to all for your suggestions!
     


  14. Theincinerator1

    Theincinerator1

    Joined Feb 6, 2018
    3 posts, 2 likes
    MacGregor 22
    US Jensen Beach FL./Lake Park FL.
    Hey, thank you Capt Ron. I appreciate your help, I too have a soft grounding of my MacGregor 22. And it's taking on water. I think it's from the rubber gaskets. My question is can I change the gaskets without pulling the boat out of the water?
     


  15. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,247 posts, 769 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    Which gaskets?
    Keel pivot bolt? No.
     


    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  16. Captain Ron 18

    Captain Ron 18

    Joined Feb 8, 2017
    49 posts, 9 likes
    MacGregor MacGregor 25
    US Baltimore
    I agree with justsomeguy - to replace the gaskets, you'll have to pull the bolt for the keel, which would drop the keel out the bottom of your boat. Better to have it out of the water and braced so you can change them out. IMHO, you might consider replacing the bolt and the washers at the same time and add a dab of silicone around each hole prior to tightening everything back down. I now sail in the upper Chesapeake Bay and you can run out of water pretty quickly sometimes which makes for soft groundings at speed. But since I replaced everything several years ago, nary a drop!
     


  17. BudGates

    BudGates

    Joined Apr 19, 2012
    1,006 posts, 114 likes
    Macgregor 26d
    US Ridgecrest CA
    Besides that there is too much weight on the bolt to pull it out. Once you have the boat out of the water you'll need to raise the keel just enough to remove all stress on the bolt. Then it will come out easily.
     


  18. Theincinerator1

    Theincinerator1

    Joined Feb 6, 2018
    3 posts, 2 likes
    MacGregor 22
    US Jensen Beach FL./Lake Park FL.
    Awesome, thanks guys. I just bought a trailer to pull the boat out. Wouldn't you know, the trailer cost me $200 and came with a 21 foot sailboat too. I pick it up tomorrow.
     


    BudGates likes this.
  19. arknoah

    arknoah

    Joined May 12, 2010
    237 posts, 6 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Southern Maryland
    Yep. That's what Blue Water told me, too. They suggested I build a platform to put under a scissor jack from my car and bracing the keel so the pressure is off it. I haven't done it yet, but it seems pretty simple.
     


  20. Theincinerator1

    Theincinerator1

    Joined Feb 6, 2018
    3 posts, 2 likes
    MacGregor 22
    US Jensen Beach FL./Lake Park FL.
    I got it out of the water. So it begins, lol. I painted the 21' in a week, and now I'm living on it at Nettles Island, in Jensen Beach Fl.
     


    BudGates likes this.

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