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Sun Cat water in the hull

Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
I'm brand new to sailing and got a free Sun Cat that has been swamped. I have it cleaned up and sailing but it takes on water that I can't find the source of. I've replaced the self-healing valves on the stern and looked at the cockpit drain lines which do leak a bit. They wouldn't account for the water coming in while floating.

I'm thinking of:
1. Replacing the gaskets on the centerboard bolt. They are misshapen. Ideas or helpful hints?
2. Inspecting around the keel by removing the trailer guides. Repairing any bad Fiberglas though I didn't see any during the clean up phase.
3. Taking it off the trailer using wooden or styrofoam blocks, ropes on the cleats and mask tied off to a tractor or tree and two 2x4 and plywood stands for balance. Use the tractor to ease it over on its side so I can get to the inside of the centerboard well. Repair any bad Fiberglas or just put on a heavy coat of resin and then painting (I need to paint the hull anyway!)
4. If all the above fails, take it to a shop!

First, how heavy is it? Will I damage it laying it over? Can I get it back upright using the cleats and mast? It would make me sick to ruin a great boat. Any suggestions, tips, cautions or ideas are most welcome! And yes, I have given this a lot of thought.
 
Apr 2, 2007
29
-Catalina C-36 Hull 1041 & Marshall 18 Catboat - W2CWL Punta Gorda, FL
Sun Cat Waterin hull

Hi;
Yes, well I had the same issue in a Picnic Cat made by Compact. The issue is in the construction of the centerboard trunk and the method in which the trunk is attached to the hull of the boat. That is where your leak is at that joint. It took for ever to figure out where the water was coming from and once located, it was not an easy fix.
I'd suggest you contact Gerry H at Compac Yachts and discuss the issue with him. Regrettably, this is a rather common and known problem with several models of Compac Yachts. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but mine had to be returned to the factory for repair as it could not be done locally
.:cry:
 

Attachments

Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
BTW, was the leak inside the trunk or around the outside where it mates? In other words, could you glass around it to seal it?
 
Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
Ok, factory charges $1600 to replace the stainless steel centerboard vault with a Fiberglas vault and a new centerboard. Considering this is what mine looks like, I may have found the source of my water in the hull.

In addition, the cockpit drains are leaking but that isn't the source of this much water!
 

Attachments

Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
I think I can fix the cockpit drains by cutting off the majority of the horizontal piece and adding in a new piece with two unions. I may wrap the remaining pipe with some epoxy tape (if that proves to be waterproof.

Comments, suggestions, additions or deletions to this or the centerboard vault post?
 
Apr 2, 2007
29
-Catalina C-36 Hull 1041 & Marshall 18 Catboat - W2CWL Punta Gorda, FL
A common and known problem with the popular Sun Cat. Sorry it's happening your boat. You can try that idea but you'll still have to deal with the centerboard issue. There is no inexpensive fix on that one.
 
Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
Thanks! Considering the boat was free, I'm ok with the expense! Road trip to FL in my future this winter.
 
Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
Hutchins did a great job replacing the centerboard vault, repainting the bottom and applying new strips. They repaired the gaff boom end and put keepers on all the mast and forestay pins. I even have a new long pin just because. All the work was done quickly and professionally. I was the holdup picking it up, finding the time to go get it. The price was extremely reasonable. If your Sun Cat is taking on water, this is the way to go! I could not be happier.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2, 2011
489
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
Good info as I'm in the market for a Suncat.

I have found the simplest way to find a leak. While on its trailer, add water via garden hose and crawl under the trailer to find the leak. Of course you'll need to start with a dry boat inside and out.
 
Aug 16, 2015
25
Compac Sun Cat Lake Hartwell, SC
Funny you should say that but mine didn't leak OUT when I tried that. Put it in the water and the trunk would leak almost 1/2 gallon per hour. Hutchins did a great job and I don't have water in the boat. Dusty dry! The cockpit drains were fine too. I was able to test and rule them out using the garden hose. The stainless centerboard trunk had deteriorated so that it was leaking in the corners and around the bolts. My advice is to avoid all the hassles and the "Deer in the headlights" look from the local sailboat marina like I got when I asked them about fixing it. Go to Hutchins. Fast. Friendly. Right the first time. Very reasonable. Besides, Clearwater is a nice town to visit.
 
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Mar 2, 2011
489
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
When you say the centerboard trunk deteriorated do you mean the sealant/gasket around the stainless or something else?

Good to hear a boat builder stand behind their product so well.