• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Water in bilge...

Jan 2, 2019
39
Newport 30 Gig Harbor, WA
My bilge has been staying pretty wet..Today i dried it..left for half an hour and came back to an inch of fresh water. I finally caught it in the act. Its coming in from the front up the bilge...up top, trickling down the front edge of the bilge and in. The ice and stuff drains in from the large hose in there right? So what do you guys think? Would freshwater leak end up there? Water tank isnt empty...but i haven't really checked levels closely. Ideas? Experiences?

Jazzy
 
Jan 2, 2019
39
Newport 30 Gig Harbor, WA
I havent run across anything obvious.. Ill keep hunting. If you stuff your hand in the bilge and reach up to the top of it..bow end... theres a space there. Wet.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,093
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I don't know your boat but another common source from the forward area is the anchor locker drain. If the drain runs from the locker to the bow area a fitting or the hose can leak and run down the inside of the hull, under the v berth liner and to the bilge.
 
Jan 2, 2019
39
Newport 30 Gig Harbor, WA
Locker drain is a simple hole in the locker. Is there anyway to check anything with the mast? Doesnt look like it without droppimg mast etc?
 
May 24, 2004
6,768
CC 30 South Florida
In the typical boat there are gallons of water trapped in the hull stringers under the sole. That water gets dislodged and flows into the bilge with boat motion. Walking back and forth may dislodge some water and healing the boat under sail will dislodge much more. The source of that water is sea spray, rain leaks, plumbing leaks, wet bathing suits, wash downs. It is trapped, it will foul and can stink.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,879
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
What is the history of your boat and the water in the bilge. You said,
My bilge has been staying pretty wet
Is that since you have owned her or just in recent weeks, months...?
You're in Washington, so cold water, ocean, lake? Have you considered condensation? It is freshwater you are collecting only?!.
You dried the bilge and it refilled in half an hour, how long have you left it and how much have you seen at the deepest? Condensation can collect in the mast, on the inside of the hull, in tanks, anywhere moist air comes in contact with a cold surface, of course.
Do you have any flotation foam that could be wet and slowly dripping? Since you didn't say anything about the weather conditions, I assume you are getting spillage from collected water. What model newport is it?

-Will (Dragonfly)
 

SG

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,670
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
Is the water salty (I assume you're not in a lake); or is it (relatively) "fresh"?
 

19thol

.
May 2, 2014
111
Hunter 30 St.Petersburg, Fl
In my 30 year old Hunter, we had a 1/16" hole develop in the hull. Couldn't figure out how the water was getting in, all through hulls were bone dry, was definitely salt water. Was trying to locate something between the hull and liner with a borescope with no joy. Finally had to have her pulled out of the water, still couldn't find anything, imagine searching the bottom of a 30 footer with a magnifying glass. No evidence of an impact or any other cause, was just painted last summer. Hope you get away cheaper than we did.
 
Jan 2, 2019
39
Newport 30 Gig Harbor, WA
Hi guys, thanks for all the interest. Sorry I was off working for a bit. I will try to give more detail...
What is the history of your boat and the water in the bilge.
- I've had the boat a few months. Before me it was sitting on the hard for quite a while I would assume. Possibly a year or two?

Is that since you have owned her or just in recent weeks, months...?
- I would have to say it has been like this the whole time.

You're in Washington, so cold water, ocean, lake? Have you considered condensation? It is freshwater you are collecting only?!
- Its definately freshwater, so Im happy about that! It sits in salt water in Gig Harbor.

You dried the bilge and it refilled in half an hour, how long have you left it and how much have you seen at the deepest?
- I've only happened across it with the bilge pump not running, but when I get to it usually theres and inch or so. The bilge seems to slop forward some, so the deepest water is toward the bow. Maybe 2 inches tops. It doesn't usually run all the way to the other end. Stops around the pump of course..

Do you have any flotation foam that could be wet and slowly dripping? Since you didn't say anything about the weather conditions, I assume you are getting spillage from collected water. What model newport is it?
- I don't know of any flotation foam. Haven't seen any anywhere. Its a 1978 Newport 30 Mk II.

I dried it before this last trip of mine. I've been gone for 4 days and stopped by on my way home just now. Same thing! I don't think its rained. I marked the water tank level, and that didn't seem to change any. It probably had 1 inch in it today. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, my only concern really is that if there's any leak at all in the bilge floor at all there's water rolling down into the keel. The original asbestos/resin seal on top of it was a mess when I got it and I have since fiber glassed the bilge, but who knows if its a solid seal. Some of it was very hard to get to while glassing...
Am I stressing over nothing? Ive talked to two local Newports, both are wet in the bilge.

Jazz
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,879
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
When you bought her or first looked at her, was she on the hard? Was there water in the bilge only after she was put in the water? It is sounding like condensation more and more. If no water collected while out of the water when the bottom and sides were exposed to air, but water started to collect at a regular pace after being put in cold ocean water and it hadn't been rainy, that could be condensation or shifting reservoir of collected water. If it was a reservoir of water that had spilled over from being caught behind a bulkhead or someplace, it would stop soon after settling on her waterline and your pump would clear it.

Outside air over the water is both colder and wetter. It can warm as it filters into the boat during a normal exchange of air and become warm moist air on the inside coming into contact with surfaces that are now kept cold by the ocean water. It certainly can happen inside the mast too. The sun warms the mast during the day which warms the air inside. Warm air holds moisture better than cold air, so it will pull more moisture in with it from outside. At night, when the mast cools, the moisture in the air on the inside begins to condense on the cooling aluminum and run down to the foot where it collects inside. I've been thinking of using this action as a watermaker. I'm not saying that's where your water is coming from, but that is the kind of phenomenon that can cause what you are describing.
There are anti-condensation paints, thermal-coatings or anti-sweating coatings you can get. I know nothing about them, but I want to remove the vinyl lining on my boat and will probably have a similar issue if I end up keeping Dragonfly in the water for any length of time. Luckily, she's a trailersailer.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,844
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Jazzy , not being familiar with the details of a Newport, one looks at the general suspects.
FRESH WATER SOURCE
  1. Internal fresh water system leak
  2. Deck fitting leak
  3. Window leak
  4. Deck crack leak
  5. Water in mast
  6. Chain plates
  7. Leak from wash down
It is a process of examination detective work.

For example: If your mast is deck stepped you need to have weep holes at the base so water accumulation in the mast can get out. These weep holes get clogged, water level builds in the mast and water eventually finds a way out of the mast, often into the boat. Answer clean weep holes.

Example 2: Boat has been on the hard. Sometimes the bedding for deck hardware fails. (Gets knocked, small crack, pressure washing dislodges bedding allowing water to get in) you need the track down the area of intrusion. Follow the clues to the offending suspect and fix the issue.

The good news is it is a nuisance not a boat sinking issue.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Jan 7, 2011
2,829
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Hi guys, thanks for all the interest. Sorry I was off working for a bit. I will try to give more detail...
What is the history of your boat and the water in the bilge.
- I've had the boat a few months. Before me it was sitting on the hard for quite a while I would assume. Possibly a year or two?

Is that since you have owned her or just in recent weeks, months...?
- I would have to say it has been like this the whole time.

You're in Washington, so cold water, ocean, lake? Have you considered condensation? It is freshwater you are collecting only?!
- Its definately freshwater, so Im happy about that! It sits in salt water in Gig Harbor.

You dried the bilge and it refilled in half an hour, how long have you left it and how much have you seen at the deepest?
- I've only happened across it with the bilge pump not running, but when I get to it usually theres and inch or so. The bilge seems to slop forward some, so the deepest water is toward the bow. Maybe 2 inches tops. It doesn't usually run all the way to the other end. Stops around the pump of course..

Do you have any flotation foam that could be wet and slowly dripping? Since you didn't say anything about the weather conditions, I assume you are getting spillage from collected water. What model newport is it?
- I don't know of any flotation foam. Haven't seen any anywhere. Its a 1978 Newport 30 Mk II.

I dried it before this last trip of mine. I've been gone for 4 days and stopped by on my way home just now. Same thing! I don't think its rained. I marked the water tank level, and that didn't seem to change any. It probably had 1 inch in it today. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, my only concern really is that if there's any leak at all in the bilge floor at all there's water rolling down into the keel. The original asbestos/resin seal on top of it was a mess when I got it and I have since fiber glassed the bilge, but who knows if its a solid seal. Some of it was very hard to get to while glassing...
Am I stressing over nothing? Ive talked to two local Newports, both are wet in the bilge.

Jazz
If you are in salt water, and are getting fresh water in the bilge, I think you are over reacting.

I am sure you want to dry it out, but I don’t think it will sink your boat.

Greg
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Sometimes a dusting of talc powder will help you to see the source of water intrusion.
 

SG

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,670
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
The Newport 30's, JazzyDaze, have a deck stepped mast. So it's not intrusion from the mast unless
  • You instrument or lighting wiring is a pathway. I trust you've ruled that out?
  • The mast base plate and attendant base block assembly might leak; however, you'd see that right away.
So I'd start with the area forward of the head (i.e., the mast post). You should be able to see if the path of the water is forward of there.

Then' I'd work the starboard, then the port side of the cabin area.

Finally, I'd go aft working the starboard, port, and cockpit. sides of the aft third of the boat from the companioway aft.

You'll find the leak or leaks.

Before you do that, JazzyDaze. I've seen people that have water from the the fresh water tank filling process at the fill tube from the dcck; or even the vent if you're overfilling the tank.

If you've sailed the boat on tacks which heel the boat over and pitch a bit in a seaway. Then see if the boat is just having perched water in the bilge or stringers.

I trust you've looked over the anchor / foredeck hatch and the connection to the drain.

I know you have some humidity out in your neck of the woods; but, I doubt that much. You DO HAVE A LOT OF RAIN.