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HR43 mk1 - salt water entry into the aft cabin - help wanted

Nov 6, 2006
9,183
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Welcome aboard..
I can't be of much help; not familiar with the construction, but look carefully at the rudder bearing and that vicinity, at the waterline.. It seems unlikely that there'd be a void around the stern tube .. If the fiberglass skeg is attached to the hull, (as opposed to being part of the hull lay-up) the attachments might be suspect as well..
 
Aug 2, 2021
6
Hallberg Rassy 43 mk1 Chiavari
Hi,
Reduced size of video, Here it is clear the water coming in,
Any ideas?
many thanks
 

Attachments

Nov 22, 2011
957
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Hi,
Reduced size of video, Here it is clear the water coming in,
Any ideas?
many thanks
I had an issue that presented itself similarly on my Ericson 26--an utterly different boat, but perhaps with an analogous problem.

In my case, there was a small void in the layup where the rudder tube was bonded to the underside of the hull. This slight void provided an ant farm-like path up and into the top of the boat's skeg, located aft of the rudder tube. We initially assumed there was some kind of leak in the aft end of the skeg because of where the water showed up. However, we discovered that it was actually coming from a void originating in the rudder tube bonding, some distance below (forward of) the skeg, and migrating upwards, under pressure.

The way we eventually discovered it was with the boat hauled out and with the area inside the boat filled with water. Standing outside of the boat we could see where the water was exiting--obviously by the same path through which it was entering when the boat was in the water.

Obviously, our boats are completely different. But I just mention this because if there is some kind of ingress through a void or crack or what have you, you might be able to trace the source in a similar way to what we did.

By the way: The fix in my case was for us to put the small "ant farm" void under a vacuum and suck resin through until it came out the other end. No more void!

Of course, you would want to eliminate all the usual suspects, such as a rudder stuffing box leak, propshaft stuffing box leak, through hull leak, etc. But once you have ruled out all the obvious culprits, you might consider what I've mentioned here.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,786
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
By the way: The fix in my case was for us to put the small "ant farm" void under a vacuum and suck resin through until it came out the other end. No more void!
Brilliant solution :clap: ! ! !

Did you apply the vacuum to the interior or the exterior ? Usual practice is to try to stop the leak on the outside. I've got two nickels and a ball of lint in my pocket that says @accaerre43 's problem is similar to yours.
 
Nov 22, 2011
957
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Brilliant solution :clap: ! ! !

Did you apply the vacuum to the interior or the exterior ? Usual practice is to try to stop the leak on the outside. I've got two nickels and a ball of lint in my pocket that says @accaerre43 's problem is similar to yours.
Ralph,
Yes, the solution was indeed brilliant. However, as much as I'd like to bask in your adulation, the solution wasn't mine: my good friend Neil came up with it.

Anyway, the void in this case was where the rudder tube was bonded to the underside of the hull. That's where the water entered and it showed up in the hollow of the skeg inside the boat. So here's what we did:

1. Rudder was removed.
2. I made a dam with epoxy putty so that we could add vinylester resin into the aft end of the skeg without having it run downhill into the bilge.
3. The underside of the rudder tube was blocked off.
4. The top of the rudder tube, inside the cockpit, was set up to pull a vacuum, thus sucking the pool of resin from the skeg, through the void, and out the bottom. To do this, we used a wooden bung in the top of the rudder tube into which the hose of the vacuum pump was inserted.
5. Then, we ran the vacuum pump until it pulled the resin through the void and out the bottom.

I've attached some pictures showing what we did. I added a red circle around the void, which you can see if you look closely. I have a short video of the pump running in the cockpit, with the hose connected through the bung, but I can't upload that video here. I did provide a picture of the pump itself, before we hooked it up.

Rudder tube void.pngIMG_0347.JPGIMG_0354.JPGIMG_0351.JPGIMG_0353.JPGIMG_0352.JPG
 
Aug 2, 2021
6
Hallberg Rassy 43 mk1 Chiavari
Alan,
Thanks for the description, surely the solution you adopted could be fine in my case too.
My problem however is that I see where the water enters the cabin from but I don't know where it enters the hull from.
Alan, Rlaph, do you have any suggestions on what to do to find where to seal by vacuuming the resin outside?
Thank you
Antonino
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,786
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
I see where the water enters the cabin from but I don't know where it enters the hull from.
Perhaps follow @Alan Gomes advice:

The way we eventually discovered it was with the boat hauled out and with the area inside the boat filled with water.
and fill the boat from the inside and see where it leaks on the outside. On the hard of course. The proceed from there as @Alan Gomes has suggested.

This will be an extensive process requiring innovation but from the look of the size of leak you have shown, a necessary one as well.

Best of luck, and as repayment for @Alan Gomes guidance and my mental wanderings, please photo and post your work as you proceed.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,786
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Yes, the solution was indeed brilliant. However, as much as I'd like to bask in your adulation, the solution wasn't mine: my good friend Neil came up with it.
Damn @Alan Gomes , I ALMOST wish I had a leak like this in which to apply your solution. This, I could dig into with gusto :biggrin:.
 
Nov 22, 2011
957
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Alan,
Thanks for the description, surely the solution you adopted could be fine in my case too.
My problem however is that I see where the water enters the cabin from but I don't know where it enters the hull from.
Right. That's what makes it tricky.

Take a look at this photo. I've marked where the water entered vs. where it showed up inside the boat. The way it presented itself on my own boat was that water would just well up in the very aft end of the skeg and then run downhill into the bilge. So Neil and I naturally assumed that the water was entering from the aft end of the skeg, more or less directly below where the water was entering the boat. So that's what we set out to repair initially.

In tearing into the skeg, we did see a number of voids in it and figured we had identified the issue. You can see from the photo the initial glass work that we did on the skeg to repair the leak--or so we thought. Well, after splashing the boat with this nice newly reinforced and glassed-over skeg, water was still entering the boat and showing up in exactly the same place! What the heck!

It was only on the second haul out that we were able to discover the true source of the water ingress. And then we put Neil's genius idea for rectifying it into play.

I've alerted Neil to this thread and he is now watching it. I'm sure he'd be willing to weigh in here with more specific advice if it's needed. Neil used to work for some of the 70's boat builders in southern California (e.g., Jensen, Islander) and so knows his way around this stuff. Here's a few things he pointed out to me via email last night, and I'll pass them on as they might be useful:

"I haven't studied your boat [i.e., my Ericson 26-2] that closely but I believe the hull came out of a one piece mold rather than two halves joined together and if true, that was the problem with the poor glass work in the area of the skeg. It is exceedingly difficult to laminate inside a deep, narrow profile. The molders never stood a chance."

"I just looked at this guy's pictures. He may be a good candidate for our vacuum infusion technique but the boat will have to be hauled out and from what I can see, the prop shaft will likely need to be removed .... Like us, he should create a reservoir to hold water on the inside of the boat where it appears to enter and then look for where it comes out on the outside to learn the path of the leakage. Only then can a vacuum plan be developed to be certain to address the problem area.

On second thought, acetone would be a better - although riskier - detection medium because 1) it's density is less than water, like around 75% and 2) it will help dry out the leakage path in preparation for the resin."


Water ingress path.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jan 4, 2006
3,786
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
On second thought, acetone would be a better - although riskier - detection medium because 1) it's density is less than water, like around 75% and 2) it will help dry out the leakage path in preparation for the resin."
Excellent idea for better detection, but far more important, the acetone will wash out and dry the ant farm passages in preparation for the epoxy infusion. Suck the passages dry with the vacuum pump.

Did you say that you used polyester resin or epoxy ? Epoxy would be my first choice as I have accidentally managed to drip epoxy on recently waxed gel coat and tore off the gel coat when I tried to gently scrape it off when I noticed it after it was set up. The only thing epoxy will not stick to is water and air. Also, epoxy is much slower setting.

I've alerted Neil to this thread and he is now watching it.
And expecting the appropriate royalties :pimp:.
 
Nov 22, 2011
957
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Excellent idea for better detection, but far more important, the acetone will wash out and dry the ant farm passages in preparation for the epoxy infusion. Suck the passages dry with the vacuum pump.

Did you say that you used polyester resin or epoxy ? Epoxy would be my first choice as I have accidentally managed to drip epoxy on recently waxed gel coat and tore off the gel coat when I tried to gently scrape it off when I noticed it after it was set up. The only thing epoxy will not stick to is water and air. Also, epoxy is much slower setting.



And expecting the appropriate royalties :pimp:.
We used vinylester resin.