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New boat, wet bilge, just want to sail!

Discussion in 'Ask A Catalina Owner' started by jsherm, Apr 15, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jsherm

    jsherm

    Joined Apr 15, 2018
    5 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 22
    Sea otter Us Westler lake
    So I just got to Catalina 22. It has a soft wet bilge and I just want to go sailing. I have a place to keep it in the water. My question Is should I address this issue now or this next winter???
    I have a barn to store it in this winter and will be able to dry the boat out completely.
    I just put a new bottom job on the boat and was hoping to get her in the water and try to fix leaks and such while I could still enjoy her in the water.??? Anybody know about the soft bilge issues on a 77 c-22?
     


  2. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,382 posts, 963 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Jsherm,
    I don't know about the soft bilge issues you are describing. However, if you have addressed exterior bottom issues and put a good couple of barrier coats with bottom paint on it. Why not address the bilge problem with the boat in the water?
    A heater and fan, bleach and epoxy all work just as well at the dock as on a trailer. Or, do you have larger issues than a soft bilge? Are there leaks you haven't tracked down? Is there an access limitation to the areas of concern?
    Just throwing some ideas out there. I don't know enough about your problems to offer more than food for thought.

    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  3. jsherm

    jsherm

    Joined Apr 15, 2018
    5 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 22
    Sea otter Us Westler lake
    There is like 1/4 inch ply wood in the bottom of the bilge that is soft, and I cannot believe it is structurally important.
     


  4. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    945 posts, 136 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Pictures wold help.
     


  5. jsherm

    jsherm

    Joined Apr 15, 2018
    5 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 22
    Sea otter Us Westler lake
    My question is, once in the water, don't these boats have a little something in the bilge most of the time?
    I'm not going to change the general condition of a 1977 boat in one season by letting her sit in the water ?
     

    Attached Files:



  6. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,382 posts, 963 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Jsherm,
    As long as the bottom is not leaking. The water actually cradles the boat better than anything else. No extra stress here or there. If you are not out for a sail or sitting in the rain, the bilge should be dry. It should be dry anyhow, but almost all older boats like this leak somewhere above the waterline. If the bilge is not dry, look for leaks around thru-hull fittings, keel bolts or CB pin, then cracks in the hull's exterior. You don't want her in the water after you find something like that. Rot and mold actually pull water out of the air and hold it so finding a rotted board that is wet doesn't automatically indicate a leak. However, if you think there is the possibility that such a leak might exist, don't put it in the water at all until you've either found or and fixed it or you've dried everything out thoroughly and are putting her back in the water as a test to help find the leak.
    There are some things you can do to fix the rotted plywood in or out of the water. You will have to be the one to decide where it works best for you.
    To arrest the dry-rot until you have time and facilities to do a better job, dowse the infected area with strong bleach and let sit over night. Then dry it out completely. Use heat and air exchange (a fan).
    To fix it, remove all the infected wood you can and replace with either new wood and epoxy resin or just fiber glass. If you think there ous some need to structural support, mold ribs and/or stringers into it or add an extra 1/4" of marine grade plywood and encapsulate in glass.

    There is no way for me to say if the wood is important to the structure ood the hull. It looks like it is intended to help.
    I assume you've already had her out for a test sail when buying the boat.

    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  7. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    945 posts, 136 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Jsherm: I can't tell whether the pictures that you posted whether those just spalling/surface cracks or something worse in the helpful pictures you posted.

    I didn't' see anything that Catalina should call structural for the plywood in those pictures. I don't believe would reasonably have had exposed plywood in the bilge that was structural like that. I suspect those are just items which you can replace.

    I'd get a wet dry vac, put the boat in the water and see if water comes in. If it seems to be staying dry, then tie it up at a slip and watch it for a bit. Then, try the same thing while watching it closely while sailing on opposite tacks. After a while, I hope and suspect you'll come to some faith in this being something that maintenance can solve. BUT take it slowly to start with.

    The approach of replacing or stabilizing the "wood" as Will describes above is one that isn't too complicated. YOU should keep the bilge as dry as you can and make sure that any "wood" is sealed all around and that the screws through and in it are sealed with LifeCaulk or something similar. The bottom of the plywood is more important than the top you can see to attend to.
     


  8. DrJudyB

    DrJudyB

    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    178 posts, 108 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA



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