Hunter23 Water under floor boards

DrKGB

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Mar 16, 2020
11
Hunter Hunter 23 Appling GA
I've have an 87 Hunter 23 and I keep finding water under the floor boards in the cabin. It seems to be there after we have heavy rains, but I can't figure out where it would be coming from if it is rain water. I'll go for weeks without any water and then today I removed almost 5 gallons. There doesn't seem to be water anywhere else.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Karl
 

Attachments

Jan 19, 2010
10,007
Hunter 26 Charleston
Running down water leaks is always the hardest. I spent, several years rebuilding all the deck hardware only to discover the leak was from a tiny screw in the track of the companionway hatch
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,007
Hunter 26 Charleston
I have read where people have hosed their boat with a lawn sprinkler and sat in the boat watching for a leak and others who have tapped the boat up tight and pressurized the cabin with a leaf blower... then tossed buckets of soapy water on the deck looking for bubbles
 

P100D

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Jul 24, 2016
129
Hunter 23 Nashville TN Percy Priest lake
Hatch, windows, tracks, and clogged traveler weep holes. Those are the ones that usually cause the issue. Another can be jib sheet track bolts. For rain that is. And if it is on the trailer it always gets water into it. Good luck finding where.
 
Oct 10, 2019
114
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
We thought we had a cracked keel well (2 keels to choose from, always the starboard was wet) and spent some effort to seal it from the inside. But then it stopped raining every day and we realized we just had a leaky gasket on one of the portlights. Never saw anything wet inside except the well. A tube of cheap caulk did the trick for a while, need to replace and reseal them this winter. I'd start with portlights, cheap caulk is, well, cheap.
 
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Jun 5, 2004
37
Hunter 26.5 wichita, ks
in the past, there were several forum topics on the 23’s leak coming from the cockpit drain’s hose, that was leaking in the cabin. Other wise it could come from a lot of places.
 
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Jun 5, 2013
76
Hunter 23 St petersburg
My H23 had / has that issue. The “Had” the portlights were a sieve. Becuase the caulking is black, it is very hard to see any visible intrusion points. I committed bought replacement portlights and the recommended caulking and the problem is gone.

The “has” I posted on my thread that I recently put my boat back in the water. As any exited sailor I am going to the boat, even if just to house it down, as often as possible and noticed the same issue you have. I have narrowed the leak down to the spreaders deck attachment where they are attached to the vberth divider. That “through-deck” has mildew stains and since I have rebedded everithing else, that is the expected point of entry if not, I will keep on taking the floorboard out after every outing and vacuuming before and/or after each outing.
 

P100D

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Jul 24, 2016
129
Hunter 23 Nashville TN Percy Priest lake
My H23 had / has that issue. The “Had” the portlights were a sieve. Becuase the caulking is black, it is very hard to see any visible intrusion points. I committed bought replacement portlights and the recommended caulking and the problem is gone.

The “has” I posted on my thread that I recently put my boat back in the water. As any exited sailor I am going to the boat, even if just to house it down, as often as possible and noticed the same issue you have. I have narrowed the leak down to the spreaders deck attachment where they are attached to the vberth divider. That “through-deck” has mildew stains and since I have rebedded everithing else, that is the expected point of entry if not, I will keep on taking the floorboard out after every outing and vacuuming before and/or after each outing.
If you are talking about the chain plates, I assume. You can unscrew the cover, rectangular piece, dig out and rebed usually with success and screw back down.
 
Jun 5, 2013
76
Hunter 23 St petersburg
Yes, thank you. Sometimes being bilingual in sailing language is tough.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,888
-na -NA Anywhere USA
As a former dealer representing Hunter trailerable sailboats, there would be two obvious places to look at. First the shroud chai plate covers and then the anchor storage drain which will require removal of the triangular wall in the front of the V berth.

The next thing I would do is pressurize the cabin by closing all hatches and covering the entire companionway with a single piece of plastic. Then cut a slit big enough in the plastic inserting a leaf blower and taping around the leaf blower. You are pressuring the cabin when the blower is turned on. A second person with a brush dipped in soapy water over everything looking for air bubbles generally will locate your leaks. Assuming this is a topside leak
 

DrKGB

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Mar 16, 2020
11
Hunter Hunter 23 Appling GA
Thanks for all the good advice. I'll keep you posted on the hunt for the leak.
 

tdboss

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Jun 28, 2015
19
Hunter 23 Longboat Key
I had the hardest time looking for various leaks on my Hunter 23.

First Source

Some leaks were the sliding entry hatch on the top when we got "gully washers". You can tell by various wet spots afterward on upholstery, standing water or watching the drips with an internet camera inside the hunter cabin during a big rain storm. A lighted cabin with an interior internet camera permits. On my dock I have wireless service with an Amazon Show placed inside with a worklight controlled by Alexa, So when the storm starts, I grab a beer and start watching from the house.

The fix

I basically put foam weather stripping at some locations on the hatch pieces to divert water during heavy downpours. Also, I raised the Sunbrella hatch cover with a 2X4 laid on its edge above the hatch to encourage shedding and non-pooling of water on the hatch cover during a hard downpour. A review with the internet camera during big storms validated success. Every time I close the hatch up I place the board under the Sunbrella to make a small tent like structure and wait for the rain.

Sponging on the pocket compartments under the floor boards and the use of a wet dry vacuum on the weep holes in those compartments helps clear the water in the inner hull and dries the interior for the next experiment.

Second Source

The most sinister place for leaks was the joint match between the hull and the top part of the hunter. The rub rail tended to collect water and feed it into the interface gap. The water would run down behind the top edge of the rub rail holder and collect behind the rub rails, instead of draining out the bottom of the rub rail holder. The water would build up and enter the interface between the hull and the top of the boat and then run down the inside of the hull and pool down below

Depending on how the boat was listing the water would accumulate behind the rub rail along the side and enter inside at a spot least expected. I had put on a new rub rail and holder which contributed to the problem.

The fix

I put silicone along the top edge of the rub rail holder between the holder and the hull and drilled some tiny holes on the bottom of the rub rail holder along the side of the boat. The trail of water seeping though the drilled holes, particularly at the stern of the boat informed me that water was accumulating there and seeping inside through the interface between the bottom and top boat halves. Towards the back of the boat (lowest elevation of the boat top and bottom halves), I put some clear silicone at the interface on the inside to encourage the water to stay on the outside.

After doing these fixes, it has been very dry interior in my Hunter 23 (many Florida downpours have occurred). It just takes time, patience and trial and error.
 
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Sep 30, 2011
20
Hunter 23 Clarks Hill Lake
As Dave noted look at the anchor locker drain. Mine had rotted and was pouring water under the V-berth that eventually ended up under the floorboards. It is a bear to remove the wall in front of the V-berth but worth it.
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,157
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
I had to redo my chain plate cover seals because I had water seepage into top edge of the chain plate bulkheads that delaminated the plywood on one side and caused the chain plate to come loose (I had to put a new bulkhead in). I used butyl rubber to reseal where the chain plate penetrates the deck, under the cover. Seems to be working well.