Why is there a foot of water in the cabin?


Jan 22, 2008
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
One of my dock neighbor's powerboat had a water hose lined up to his boat. The pressure reducer did not fail, the hose fitting on the boat end did. The stern of the boat was down about 6 inches before anyone noticed. The hose was in the cockpit and usually wouldn't have been a problem but the owner was working on the engines and had to go to town for a part. And of course, the hose flipped itself into the open engine hatch and luckily down into the bilge.


Jan 29, 2018
Beneteau 411 Branford
We had upgraded to a C30 the previous fall. I had winterized the water and engine systems. Now it was spring. The yard launched the boat while I was away in a business trip and put it on a mooring. I returned two days later and went out to inspect the boat and found easily 6" of water above the floorboards. I connected the batteries and the bilge pump started.

The water drained after a time. The only damage was the springs in the starter.

The root cause was the foot pump in the galley that was used to rinse dishes with seawater. The pump froze over the winter and dislodged the seals. It was thankfully a slow leak that was easily fixed. Always drained that pump after that.


Jan 20, 2005
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
this happened to a friend on a delivery of a BRAND NEW SWAN from florida up to annapolis. full moon goo weather on the atlantic, crew were down below all asleep. denny gets up to use the head, steps into a foot of h 2 0. calls all hands, mayday to USCG, they are 50 miles off the mouth of the chesapeake . (no bilge pump hi water alarm on a $650,000 boat. ) frantic scramble to check where's it coming from. it's salt h 2 0 , not fresh! crew crawling under cabinetry, pulling up floor boards. no thru hull diagram supplied. on a $650,000 boat. USCG sends a helo w a carolina moon, new swan boat is in real trouble, may be a crew evac. water is fast approaching engine-kill height, crew wants to try to rig raw water pump for engine to use as extra bilge pump but figures it's too dangerous due to flotsam in water etc. then someone discovers that the PLUG for the knotmeter instrument has come out, thus flooding the boat. knotmeter plug is still attached, they re -inserted it. by now a USCG boat has arrived and supplies hi volume electric pumps. uscg stood by for massive pumpout . boat engine was saved, swanboat made it in under her own power. a reconstruct of the cause: the sensor for speed was mounted right past the turn of the hull, with instructions to twist it in then and then lock the lever down. the prep crew had twisted it in but han't locked the lever down. it popped out. the boat flooded. the new owner WAS NOT PLEASED. when my dockmate denny related this to me, i promptly made a diagram of all the thru hulls on my boat, and installed a double bilge pump switch with a piercing high water alarm.
Oct 29, 2005
Hunter Marine 326 303 Singapore
Once on a passage, I noted my floor rug in cabin was wet on the side nearer edge. Boat was heeeling on that side. Checked the bilge to find in water filled almost to top. Realise bilge pump wasn't working due to badly corroded wire joint. Uses manual bilge pump and fixed faulty wiring. Upon return from passage, installed bilge high level alarm so that I won't get caught by such surprise again.

Ken Y