• 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

Where's all this water coming from?

waleks

.
Jun 23, 2021
2
Sirius 21 Toronto
Hi all!

New owner, old boat! I purchased this vessel a year ago and have slowly been putting her back together. She's on a mooring now and I've realized she's steadily taking on water. Whether bobbing around in the bay for a few days, or after a day of sailing, I am generally finding a few inches of water in the cabin. It is mostly in the compartments under the starboard bench seats as well as the main floor area.

I have been slowly fixing leaks where I find them (cockpit drain thru-hull, anchor locker drain, winch strap hook, etc), but this has me stumped. It seems that the water is potentially coming in to the foremost starboard bench compartment and then flowing into the others.

I am speculating that it has something to do with the keel. Our water levels are quite low at the moment and, after leaving the boat tied up and keel down, I came back to find the keel bouncing off the bottom and 6 inches of water in the cabin after only one night. I have since started winding up the keel when leaving the boat, which reduces the water intake but does not eliminate it.

I have attached a few photos for reference. Has anyone had a similar issue and have some advice? I plan to do a dive on the hull when the water gets a little warmer to see if there is some real damage. I want to fix this properly but, for now, I'm also thinking of mounting a bilge pump somewhere but I'm a bit unclear as to where would be the best spot. I've noticed a breaker for it on the panel so I'm hoping there's an easy solution for that. Thanks for your help!

PXL_20210622_230738451.jpg


PXL_20210622_230749389.jpg
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,986
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I would try to put the pump at the lowest part of the bilge. If water in compartments isn't draining to that area you can put limber holes in so water stuck in a compartment will drain to the bilge. You need to consider the run of discharge hose which has to be well above the waterline and not too long.
This pump won't keep you boat afloat after the battery runs down.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Sirius 21 Pointe-Claire
In my Sirius, under the forepeak there are closed compartments that are supposed to have foam for floatation - though that is likely completely disintegrated. On the port side there is a hole drilled between the compartment and the next locker (and further aft from locker to locker). This allows water to drain from these compartments to the lowest locker.
If I'm not mistaken, the starboard side chain of drainage is interrupted by the head area, but there is a hole drilled between the foremost starboard locker and the low bulkhead forward of it that separates it from the head and on which the dividing wall is built. This bulkhead is connected to the keel trunk as far as I know.
If I understand it correctly, - and if you can't see a leak - it is likely the leak is in the keel trunk in that area. This is because it seems your lockers are filling first, then, when the level is high enough to spill over the higher area much further aft, under the cockpit, the water enters the cabin floor.
As far as I understand, the keel holding bolt is above the waterline. I know this because I don't have it, just an empty hole, and no water comes in.
So, maybe the pivot bolt leaks - though you would likely see that as it's accessible, or there is more likely a leak in the keel trunk that is filling first the lockers and then the cabin floor.

I had my cockpit hose come off last year and half sink the boat as the cockpit locker is connected inside with the cabin, but you say the cockpit hoses are OK.

Maybe this is all a wild goose-chase on my part, but if it were me I would pull the boat out and deal with it. Otherwise you might end up pulling the boat out from much deeper.
My two cents.

Keep us posted.
 

waleks

.
Jun 23, 2021
2
Sirius 21 Toronto
I think you are bang-on here. I was confused as to how the water was getting from the lockers to the cabin floor, but your explanation makes total sense. I think I will drag the boat out and have a look at the keel trunk soon. I'm imagining that damage in that area could come from the keel banging around on the fibreglass over time?

I definitely had a big issue with the cockpit drain thru-hull and had chocked that up to be the only reason the boat was slowly sinking. That's all good now but it seems I still have some work ahead of me!

Thanks for your help!

In my Sirius, under the forepeak there are closed compartments that are supposed to have foam for floatation - though that is likely completely disintegrated. On the port side there is a hole drilled between the compartment and the next locker (and further aft from locker to locker). This allows water to drain from these compartments to the lowest locker.
If I'm not mistaken, the starboard side chain of drainage is interrupted by the head area, but there is a hole drilled between the foremost starboard locker and the low bulkhead forward of it that separates it from the head and on which the dividing wall is built. This bulkhead is connected to the keel trunk as far as I know.
If I understand it correctly, - and if you can't see a leak - it is likely the leak is in the keel trunk in that area. This is because it seems your lockers are filling first, then, when the level is high enough to spill over the higher area much further aft, under the cockpit, the water enters the cabin floor.
As far as I understand, the keel holding bolt is above the waterline. I know this because I don't have it, just an empty hole, and no water comes in.
So, maybe the pivot bolt leaks - though you would likely see that as it's accessible, or there is more likely a leak in the keel trunk that is filling first the lockers and then the cabin floor.

I had my cockpit hose come off last year and half sink the boat as the cockpit locker is connected inside with the cabin, but you say the cockpit hoses are OK.

Maybe this is all a wild goose-chase on my part, but if it were me I would pull the boat out and deal with it. Otherwise you might end up pulling the boat out from much deeper.
My two cents.

Keep us posted.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Sirius 21 Pointe-Claire
Re cockpit drain: mine failed where the hose exits the back. The drain is fixable without pulling the boat though.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
May 14, 2009
19
Sirius 21 Pelican Yacht Club, Manitoba
Both my starboard lockers get some water after heavy rain or pressure washing. I think mine might be leaking by the chain plate.