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Leak detection--I-30 Bahama

Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Back in February of this year I purchased a 1983 I-30 Bahama. When I first saw the boat (in February), it basically bone dry with just an inch or two of water in the bilge and it had been on the hard for over a year. When I went to start working on it in April, the cabin was flooded with four inches of water. I attributed that to the scuppers being blocked up by the tarp that had collapsed due to snow and water flooding over the transom into the cabin.
I installed an electric bilge pump (amazed that the boat didn't have one!!!) and sailed through the season. I had installed some deck items like fairleads and clutches. I also repaired a stanchion base. I didn't get around to resealing the chainplates.
With the boat on the hard in November, I checked in after a few rain storms and saw the bilge almost overflowing. Pumped that out and then covered the boat with a tarp (I had the mast down) so almost the entire boat except for the last three feet of the cockpit was protected. Weather has been pretty cold (I'm in NJ) but when I would check the boat, I saw water creeping up in the bilge. With a spate of warm weather hitting us last week, I ended up having to pump out an inch of water in the cabin!
This is driving me crazy as I can't figure out where such a substantial leak can be coming from. I don't see any water streaks on the wood near the chainplates.
Any thoughts on where to look next? (It will have to wait until spring. I'll just be pumping in the meantime. Any preferred techniques for leak detection? I'm toying with one that involves blowing air from a ShopVac into a sealed interior. Anyone try that?
Thanks
 
Jan 22, 2008
296
Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch Longmont, CO
Not sure if this applies - you mention that the last few feet of the cockpit are open to the weather. Is there a drain line from the cockpit to ??? Look for where those drains go and make sure they aren't clogged or disconnected.

Just a thought, I had issues similar to this on an older Hunter with disconnected cockpit drains.

Good luck
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Victor:
This is what I saw in your reply: "Is there a drain line from the cockpit to ???" Not sure what you mean by the three question marks unless that's some sort of transmission error.
 
Oct 25, 2011
572
Island Packet IP31 Lake St. Louis, Montreal
You may want to check the hoses for the cockpit drains. I knew mine were bad but I was shocked at the actual state when I changed them out last year. Each of the "cracks" in the attached picture was all the way through to the inside of the hose, allowing plenty of wather to escape the hose into the boat. :eek::eek::eek:

Cheers

Matt
 

Attachments

Jan 22, 2008
296
Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch Longmont, CO
The 3 ??? were meant to indicate I didn't know where your cockpit drains led?

Sometimes they feed directly to the bilge or sometimes they lead to some other external drain. If they get clogged with ice or debris they can freeze and burst just like any other hose or I have seen them work lose from their fittings due to the freeze thaw cycle.

The amount of water you are seeing indicates its more than just a leaky chain plate.

good luck,
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Nice! Looks like one of the sand worms from the movie "Dune"!

You may want to check the hoses for the cockpit drains. I knew mine were bad but I was shocked at the actual state when I changed them out last year. Each of the "cracks" in the attached picture was all the way through to the inside of the hose, allowing plenty of wather to escape the hose into the boat. :eek::eek::eek:

Cheers

Matt
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Understood. I agree that it can't just be the chainplates.
Thanks

The 3 ??? were meant to indicate I didn't know where your cockpit drains led?

Sometimes they feed directly to the bilge or sometimes they lead to some other external drain. If they get clogged with ice or debris they can freeze and burst just like any other hose or I have seen them work lose from their fittings due to the freeze thaw cycle.

The amount of water you are seeing indicates its more than just a leaky chain plate.

good luck,
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,701
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Since you would need a substantial area to collect a lot of water, the boat was covered and you don't have any streaks inside the cabin, I would look at the cockpit too.
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
I took a quick look under the cockpit through the stern locker to check out the scupper situation. There weren't any obvious cracks in any of the hoses but it wasn't raining so I can't attest to no leakage from there. The hose layout did cause me some concern, though. The hoses from the scuppers run down to the hull bottom and then follow the hull up at a slight incline before they exit the thru hulls out of the stern. I can easily see water accumulating in the hoses and then freezing over and preventing any additional water from passing through unless the hose defrosts faster than the cockpit. I can foresee lots of playing around with a garden hose splashing water around come spring...
 

IB3089

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Feb 8, 2010
2
Islander Bahama30 Stamford, Ct
I have an Islander B30 and have replaced the scupper hoses which do freeze and split if water sits in them over the winter. The splits are not visible and the water does flow into the bilge. I've learned to make sure the cockpit is covered during the winter and put antifreeze in the lines.