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Salt Water in Bilge

Sep 30, 2020
2
O'day 28 Blaine
Hey everyone,

I recently bought my first boat, a 1980 O'day 28, after a long sailing hiatus.

I took it from Anacortes to Blaine, WA to be moored yesterday, and I noticed that while underway, the bilge was filling with water. I checked it at the dock and it was nearly full with saltwater. I've been monitoring it for the last few hours, and the water level does not seem to be rising. A couple inches of water are in the bilge, but that's been the case since I first looked at the boat a couple weeks ago.

The original engine was replaced with an outboard and most of the interior systems were updated in ~2010.

Any ideas what could be causing this??
 
Jul 26, 2009
229
. . .
What kind of shaft packing gland/stuffing box does the boat have? You may just need to adjust the gland nut a bit.

Never mind, just saw that the engine was replaced with an outboard...

How did you determine it was saltwater? Any chance you have a fresh water tank leaking?
 
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Likes: ianmcc444
Jul 27, 2011
4,239
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Check around the rudder post shaft/tube for possible ingress. Also, maybe the scupper drains/hoses. When motoring, the engine pulls the transom deeper into the water. If there’s a hole or crack back there, that’s when the water might be getting in. Also in following seas more than a couple of feet high, which can happen when sailing as well.
 
Last edited:
Sep 30, 2020
2
O'day 28 Blaine
What kind of shaft packing gland/stuffing box does the boat have? You may just need to adjust the gland nut a bit.

Never mind, just saw that the engine was replaced with an outboard...

How did you determine it was saltwater? Any chance you have a fresh water tank leaking?
tasted the water in the bilge; salty. Also, all tanks were replaced around 2010. Inspected them today and didn't notice any cracks or leaks
 
Jul 5, 2011
545
Oday 28 Madison, CT
Head Seacock and thru hull. Holding tank seacock and thru hull, galley seacock and thru hull, head thruhull, knotmeter and depthfinder transducer thru hulls in bow near holding tank are all possibilities also.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,953
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
:plus: @odaydokay has identified the usual suspects. If not the thru hull or the valve, then the attached hoses have clamps which can leak.
 
Jan 27, 2008
2,967
ODay 35 Beaufort, NC
Check your keel bolts, you could have seepage through your keel joint when underway with the keel stressed while heeled over.
 
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Likes: LloydB
Sep 24, 2018
1,170
O'Day 25 Chicago
Check your keel bolts, you could have seepage through your keel joint when underway with the keel stressed while heeled over.
I remember reading in an O'Day brochure that the keel and hull are all molded at once instead of attaching it later. This may only be true for the centerboard models
 
May 17, 2004
2,921
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I remember reading in an O'Day brochure that the keel and hull are all molded at once instead of attaching it later. This may only be true for the centerboard models
On the 28 the keel is bolted onto the keel stub, not encased in the hull. So it is possible, but I haven’t seen too many reports of keel joint issues on the 28 so it’s probably not the first place I would look. My guess would be one of the fittings just above the waterline like sink drains, anchor locker drain, or cockpit drains.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,170
O'Day 25 Chicago
On the 28 the keel is bolted onto the keel stub, not encased in the hull. So it is possible, but I haven’t seen too many reports of keel joint issues on the 28 so it’s probably not the first place I would look. My guess would be one of the fittings just above the waterline like sink drains, anchor locker drain, or cockpit drains.
If memory serves me correctly most of the keel issues reported were on late 80's boats presumably after O'Day was sold off
O'Day 302 Loses Keel - Check Yours!!
 
Jan 27, 2008
2,967
ODay 35 Beaufort, NC
Not necessarily a production problem but these boats are over 30 years old and the sealant may be failing. Good idea on a boat this old to re-bed the keel or at least scrape out the sealant around the joint and refill it with new sealant and fair it. A prior post noted a possibility of the fitting above the water line, also look at the hoses attached to those fittings, rubber degrades over time and can crack. I've had cracked hoses on my own boat, so anything older than about ten years should be replaced. Again it's possible these are thirty plus year old hoses. I had a leak into the bilge and found one of the hoses from a cockpit drain was cracked. It only leaked when sailing or under power as the stern squats down putting that area under water. No leak at the slip or at anchor.
 

pilott

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Dec 19, 2016
5
Hallberg Rassy Rasmus 35 Kemah
Back siphoning through the bilge pump outlet? When you are heeled over, that throughhull submerges?
 
Jan 19, 2010
800
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ENGINE WAS REMOVED... but what about the shaft and stuffing box?