Salt water leak

Discussion in 'Catalina 309 Group Forum' started by Far Away, Apr 18, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Far Away

    Far Away

    Joined Apr 2, 2018
    4 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 309
    Far Away US Morro Bay
    Hello all,
    I'm having a leak issue with my Catalina 309, 2006 hull number 90. I have sea water collecting in my bilge, several gallons a day, and can't find the source. I believe I have narrowed the leak area down to some where under the galley. Of course this area is very inaccessible. I can just get a finger into there from the access in front of the engine and from the cockpit locker. I have checked all the through hulls and they seem to be fine and I don't have a leak at the prop shaft. As far as I can tell there aren't any through hulls in this area, and I haven't taken any hard hits in the hull. I'm sure this is sea water, as I have tasted it and have drained the whole fresh water system.
    Thank you all for your time.

  2. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    9,032 posts, 3,937 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Do you have a sink that drains through a thru hull? Are all of the hose clamps on the thru hulls tight?
    Has the boat been sitting or sailed and picked up some deck splash that has found it's way to your bilge?
    From this end, no pictures we are just guessing in the dark.
    Are there weep holes (limber holes) that let water move from other areas into this bilge area?

  3. tahomathundr


    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    85 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 309
    US Swantown Marina Olympia, WA
    You do have a seacock in the area of the prop shaft for the seawater intake for the engine. Check the seawater filter and hoses for leaks Also check the freshwater connections just under the the hatch stairs. These are there to drain the pressure water system and sometimes leak with the cheap fittings that Catalina used on 2006 models.

  4. Far Away

    Far Away

    Joined Apr 2, 2018
    4 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 309
    Far Away US Morro Bay
    None of the sea cocks are leaking and I have a dripless shaft seal. This has been going on for several months. I just didn't realize the extent of the problem till I forgot to leave the auto bilge pump on for a few days. It is not the sink drain or any part of the fresh water system, as there is no fresh water on board.

  5. dave_and_dd


    Joined Apr 13, 2015
    98 posts, 15 likes
    Catalina 309
    US Tampa
    FarAway, I had a similar situation in my 309. Turned out to be the rudder tube was leaking at the top where the packing gland is and only when at cruise or high engine rpms. It was not the packing actually leaking, but the sealant gluing the gland to the top of the tube. This put water into the V shaped recess at the bottom of the tube. And most importantly, the bottom couple inches of fuel tank was sitting in stagnant water. (Ended up with a pin-hole leak which needed to be welded.). In addition I kept finding water under the galley.

    I had a thread here somewhere with pics. When I get on a computer, I'll see if I can find it.

    Good luck!


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