1985 hunter 31 stern leak


Apr 27, 2020
Hunter Hunter 31 Brooklyn, ny
I have this weird leak at the stern of the boat right in the middle behind the engine all the way at the rear. It completely rotted the wood piece that's back there, and I'm wondering if anyone had a similar issue and what it might be?
May 27, 2004
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Well, I'll play twenty questions...
Is the "exhaust thru hull" near the wet area?
Does the wet wood taste 'salty'?
Is there a cockpit/scupper drain fitting in the vicinity?
Is there a hull/deck joint nearby?
Are there any deck fittings, i.e. cleats, chain plates, etc, above or near the wet area?
How close to the wet area is the binnacle?
Has it rained a lot lately?
Is the pic a screen grab from a horror movie?
Do you have a wet/dry vac? :biggrin:
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Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@LeslieTroyer recently repaired damage to his rudder. When we explored the damage, we discovered a crack that really was a hole and a volume of water that was leaking into the boat.


Until you get the boat out of the water, you may never know what really is going on.


Apr 16, 2018
Hunter 31 Saylorville Lake
I am chasing the same or similar symptoms in the same model and year (H31 1985). I replaced cockpit scupper hoses pre-launch and was confident I had it beaten as one hose was clearly shot and had visible holes when flexed slightly. Doesn’t look like it I’ve cured it yet as under way, starboard tack, the site of previous repairs to the through hull area doesn’t appear to leak. This is easy to access as it’s in the rear of the quarter berth. I could see water in the hose a few inches up when heeled to the port side. The starboard through hull is behind the fuel tank and was a merciless b^*tch to replace the hose. I’ll try and slither down there when on a port tack and take a look today. There is a history of leaks around these through hull areas on H31-34 boats of this vintage.


Aug 18, 2015
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
Here is my experience (we had a 1983), and then I will try to find the thread where this was discussed in great detail.

1) The plastic cover over the access to the manual bilge pump, and the rubber seal around same, and the screws holding in the rim around the whole apparatus, are all suspect. My plastic cover was cracked, the rubber was degraded, and the screws needed to be bedded with butyl tape.

If water comes in at this location, it drops down to the lazerette, which communicates freely with everything below it. The laz is not a closed box.

2) Our cockpit had a custom screen enclosure. The panels zipped into the bimini, and attached at the coaming with standard rotating tab fittings. Those fitting were screwed into the coaming, and all needed bedding with butyl tape. There were about 40. This may not apply to you.

Edit: Your bimini hardware should be properly bedded though.

3) On our boat, the starboard cockpit scupper drain (the part below the plane of the cockpit floor) was a fiberglass tube and could not leak. However, the port side scupper drain was a fitting that attached to the hose in the aft quarterberth. That fitting passed through (in order from top to bottom) the cockpit floor, and airspace of about an inch, and the false ceiling above the quarter berth. In our case the fitting was not properly bedded, and was allowing water under itself, which flowed down the fitting into the airspace, then flowed unseen across the "top" of the quarterberth ceiling toward the wooden bulkhead that separates the quarterberth from the deep starboard storage area. I changed the fitting, bedded it correctly, and used thickened epoxy to build a waterproof tunnel for the fitting to pass through what was no longer airspace.

This one was tough to find, and needed a borescope camera to confirm. More detail is in the thread, if I can find it.

4) The lids to the three cockpit lazerettes are not waterproof. If the wind and rain combine correctly, water will flow around the back side of a lid and make entry. This was particularly true for us relative to the aft laz lid on the starboard side. We kept originally kept PFDs in that location, and they were almost always wet.

5) Your steering pedestal may be leaking.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Chasing leaks on a sailboat is a pain, but worth it for a dry boat. I'll go look for that thread.

This is one thread, but I'm looking for another:

Found it! It's long, but worth a read:

Unfortunately, some of the information that I recall being in the thread was probably in various PMs I exchanged with various folks in the thread. The title relates to a leak in the area of the fuel tank, but on page 2 takes a turn toward another area of leakage. There is also a post that talks about the laz lids not being watertight.
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