Engine Room water leak

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  John Reynolds 1 day, 3 hours ago.

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  • #8609

    John & Sally Savage
    Participant

    Recently developed a small water leak (quart or two per day) from top screw on genset fuel filter bracket mounted on forward engine room wall, port side of fresh water tank (2005 GH37). Brackett is NOT mounted on fresh water tank wall, don’t see why there would be any water behind that bulkhead. I have a picture:

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  • #8612

    Avocet is an N37 so I’m not familiar with your layout. But I am thinking that a flexible borescope with wireless video could help you find the source of the water. Using an older model of this – https://www.amazon.com/Vividia-VN-WF200-Wireless-Inspection-Borescope/dp/B009PMHUK2 – we were able to find the leak in our shower dump box. Same cost as one hour of a technician’s time.

    Dick Hermann
    Avocet N37-08

  • #8614

    Henry Dennig
    Participant

    John,
    If I am understanding your situation, I am guessing the water is in the bulkhead (front of engine room, and aft of galley) from perhaps galley sink plumbing, or rear pilot house lockers down the wall?
    If the leak is between your water and fuel tanks, can you go further down the wall (not to floor level as there is a 2×4 probably as the base framing), and drill a small test hole to see if the water comes out there?
    With water coming into engine room, any found in the galley bilges?
    If I remember correctly, your boat has a SeaTech/Whale water manifold on the bulkhead wall under the galley? Could that be leaking across the screws?
    We recently had a surprise leak which turned out to be the air conditioner condensate pan splashing over the lip when the boat was in bouncy seas.

  • #8615

    Joe Pica
    Participant

    I’m also not familiar with your plumbing setup. However, can you tell whether the water is fresh(house plumbing system) or outside raw water/salt? If the leak only occurs after rain broken chalkseal/scanting/stanchions leak. If fresh potable water could be a leak in a plumbing connection located under a cabinet false floor(behind toe kick) that finds it’s way back(as most our bow have a bow up attitude) to an access at that bulkhead. Dick’s crevasse camera is good idea. Amazing how far water will migrate from source. Several boats (mine included) had port lights that were not completely seal where they are set in the cored part of the hull. Water would get in and fill the false space between the interior cosmetic “v” board and fiberglass hull until it would find an exit. A small 1/8th” hole(easy to fix, don’t go through hull😳) drilled thru the V board into a hollow space at a bottom rear downhill spot will reveal any water. A moisture meter can also, however they are very finicky. Good luck this is not an easy hunt! Pictures shared via a Drop Box link would help helpers/kibitzers.

    Good Luck!

  • #8617

    Henry Dennig
    Participant

    John,
    If you can email the photo to Andy Allen, I think he can add it to the post. Andy Allen andy@annieandy.net

  • #8618

    John & Sally Savage
    Participant

    Water appears to be fresh, but has brownish color and small particles. Talked to a service tech today on phone and he had similar comments to others here. He recommended buying a mosture meter rather than paying him to make a service call. I had not considered water migrating through the cross bulkhead. I suspect it may be coming in around the large rub rail which I believe covers the seam between the hull and superstructure. Will start w/ re-caulking the rubrail.

    Any ideas about how much damage is being done by the watr infiltration?

  • #8619

    Joe Pica
    Participant

    Very doubtful that the water is coming via the rub rail flange mount. It is an outward flange joinedbetween the hull and deck that is screwed and glued, then fiberglassed together where they meet inside the boat making it a solid joint. The chaulk between the hull and rub rail does nothing to seal that joint.

  • #8621

    seadream47
    Participant

    I second Joe’s comment about the hull rub rail joint. That joint is glued, screwed and then glassed over with roving from the inside after mating. The hull is essentially a single piece. There’s zero chance of water entry through that joint.

  • #8626

    James Wascko
    Participant

    Any news on this water leak yet?
    Hopefully fixed!
    Jim

  • #8641

    John & Sally Savage
    Participant

    Leak appears to be rain related and probably coming through pilothouse side windows, but haven’t found the exact spot yet.

  • #8731

    hjhazeltine
    Participant

    “Water appears to be fresh, but has brownish color and small particles.”

    Blue Skies has had the same thing. The brownish color and small particles comes from construction debris as the water travels across the top of the tank. This may sound unrelated but it is. I found scrap pieces of plywood and dry wall screws on top of my port fuel tank. Evidence of no quality control.

    “I suspect it may be coming in around the large rub rail which I believe covers the seam between the hull and superstructure.”

    This is your most likely suspect. On Blue skies the rub rail seal got fractured in one 18″ spot port side forward while lifting the boat at the yard. Then later on the water hose on the bow was left pressurized and leaked on this spot on the rail. Days later I find brown water in the port dungeon. Our boat lives under cover and the only water that fell on her during this time was from that leaky hose. It took me a while to put these three items together.

    “I second Joe’s comment about the hull rub rail joint. That joint is glued, screwed and then glassed over with roving from the inside after mating. The hull is essentially a single piece. There’s zero chance of water entry through that joint.”

    All of our boats are individuals and lived totally different lives during their construction in the shed in Gainesville. This is not a mass market product. The hull joint is over 70′ long and the chance that there is one small void to allow water to pass is not inconceivable by a manufacturer that cannot be bothered to inspect for debris.

  • #8842

    John & Sally Savage
    Participant

    After an unsuccessful and exhaustive hunt for another source of the leak, we went ahead and had the rub rail resealed. No leakage since the rub rail was resealed!

    We have been through a lot of rain since the repair and still no more leakage.

  • #8873

    Hi John,

    We have an N37 and have a rub rail where the seal is separated from the hull by 1/8 – 1/4 inch at the top for 12 – 18 inches. Do you know what the rail was sealed with and the application process?

    We haven’t discovered any leaks yet, but there is some staining below the rub rail that seems to be caused by the open seal.

    Thanks!

    Jerry Williams

  • #8875

    John & Sally Savage
    Participant

    Jerry: Unfortunately I was not present when rub rail resealed. I think they dug out the old sealant and reinstalled, maybe black 5200?

  • #8884

    John Reynolds
    Participant

    We had a similar situation, i.e. rub rail separated from the hull by 1/8′ to 1/4″, on Easy (now Balena). I used 3M black 5200 sealant. Mask off the areas that you don’t want covered by the 5200, e.g. hull and top of rub rail. Apply a heavy bead and press it in with your finger, protected by a glove. Note the drying time on 5200.

    Before sealing I would check and see if the rub rail is loose. If you can move the rail to close the gap, then some SS screws should be used to re-attach the rail. I would contact Mirage for the correct fasteners and repair procedure.

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