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Follow up on "Running out of hair to pull out", Raw water leak.

Sep 25, 2008
434
Catalina 30 MKIII Varuna Boat Club
Hi guys,
Today I implemented the strategies several of you were kind enough to suggest. First the stuffing paper towels in every crevice.....No results with that.
Second, cover the engine with talcum power....Again, no results.
This time I had my son with me and my frustration seemed to be very entertaining to him. He stopped me and indicated what he noticed while I was about to remove the heat exchanger for examination.
Just to port of the stuffing box, the hull begins its rise under the cabin floor. Under there, he noticed a 4x4, partially glassed starting at the point at where the stuffing box is, and going back to the stern. He also pointed out that if I move the flashlight back and forth at the end of the 4x4, a wet shine appears to be winding forward through the imperfections of the fiberglass of the hull. This water, partially hidden, here and there, travels to the aft engine mount and down into the oil pan pit!! Sunofabitch!! Once I stopped cursing my stupidity and stubbornness, I realized that a couple of you guys were absolutely correct in advising me to check the rudder packing. Since I had run out of time, I buttoned everything up and we went home. I later researched on this site and found one sailor that had exactly the same symptoms, (about a gallon of water in the bilge while running about an hour or so). He found his rudder post packing to be failing and simply changed it out......
So, Tuesday I will again visit my boat, examine the rudder stuffing and probably proceed with repacking.
I am finding that as I age, (now 75), I am becoming more stubborn, but fully realize that we NEVER stop learning.
Thank you all for your assistance and replies and Happy Sailing!!
Ralph
 
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Sep 14, 2014
1,049
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
I have used red food coloring in a very soaked sponge at entry points to pinpoint leaks within fiberglass layers. Had small crack near front of mast base that came out inside cabin 4 feet away in overhead after a 20 minute wait. Patience and persistence grasshopper!
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,093
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Hi Ralph,
I know on my 93 and on a friends 95 and according to the attached diagram from Catalina, the rudder tube extends above the water line into the steering mechanism compartment. There is no packing at the top of the tube that can leak.
That compartment has a drain in the bottom at the aft wall. You can barely see it because of the radial wheel. Dirt can easily plug that drain. I back flush it from the stern with a hose to clean it out. If the compartment fills with water it could make its way to the bilge but that wouldn't leak just when running.

Since you only get the water when running I'd take a look at the two lower stern thru hulls and the exhaust exit fitting on the stern. Under power they can be at or slightly below the water line. Failed sealant could allow water to seep in around one of the fittings, into the stern and make it's way forward.
On my 93 there is a removable teak panel, about 12 x 12, on the aft bulkhead of the quarter berth. Remove that panel and you have pretty good access to view that area of the stern. I think the 95 also as compartment lids on both sides of the helm seat that may give you a good view of that area.

Attached is diagram of the steering system from Catalaina.
C30 Steering Installation 1989.jpg
 
Sep 25, 2008
434
Catalina 30 MKIII Varuna Boat Club
Hi Ralph,
I know on my 93 and on a friends 95 and according to the attached diagram from Catalina, the rudder tube extends above the water line into the steering mechanism compartment. There is no packing at the top of the tube that can leak.
That compartment has a drain in the bottom at the aft wall. You can barely see it because of the radial wheel. Dirt can easily plug that drain. I back flush it from the stern with a hose to clean it out. If the compartment fills with water it could make its way to the bilge but that wouldn't leak just when running.

Since you only get the water when running I'd take a look at the two lower stern thru hulls and the exhaust exit fitting on the stern. Under power they can be at or slightly below the water line. Failed sealant could allow water to seep in around one of the fittings, into the stern and make it's way forward.
On my 93 there is a removable teak panel, about 12 x 12, on the aft bulkhead of the quarter berth. Remove that panel and you have pretty good access to view that area of the stern. I think the 95 also as compartment lids on both sides of the helm seat that may give you a good view of that area.

Attached is diagram of the steering system from Catalaina.
View attachment 197789
Thanks for the heads up Ward. I will examine it when I am able to get to the boat over the next few days. I do keep the drain clean, but am concerned about the 2 nylon fittings top and bottom….. more about the bottom one.