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50 Post Bilge Leak

Discussion in 'Post Yacht' started by Soulstice, Dec 6, 2019.

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  1. Soulstice

    Soulstice Member

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    I have been finishing up winterizing the Post after this first season and I have found a small trickle of water that I cannot find the source of.

    In the hallway bilge after the guest room, the first access panel has the pumps for the heads and the valves for the holding tank. In this bilge to the Port side there are two holes that drain into the bilge. One large one that is about 1" in diameter and a smaller one below it. This is where I am getting a constant trickle from and when I stick when finger behind it there is 1/4-1/2" of water in a small channel. I cannot find where this water is coming from. I believe it is just above the waterline and after today, all my AC systems and thru hulls are closed. Maybe this was from one of the systems running and it will stop but I wanted to see if anyone had any ideas of where this water might be coming from.

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  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What does it taste like? It could be a freshwater plumbing leak. Which direction is it flowing from?
  3. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    That's a limber hole (I think that's what they call it) which allows water outside the stringer to run to the keel line and eventually to the forward bilge pump. The water outside the stringer can originate anywhere outside the stringer along the length of the boat ( mine comes from a poor cockpit gasket) But can also come from emptying fresh water or antifreeze into the bilge during winterization. See if you can get a rolled water absorbent pad in there to mop up what might be only a small amount of residual water. If it stays dry, you're probably good. If you're on the hard, the lay of the boat on the stands may be preventing that water from completely running thru the limber. But if it keeps getting wet ( puddling) you might have to look further. Is it clear or pink? Salt of fresh?. You can see from the darker stain running from the hole, that it is active from time to time, which is why it's there!

    If you pour a half gallon of pink antifreeze behind the engine and tranny outside that string running thru the engine room, you should see it coming out of that hole in about 5-10 minutes.

    In my situation once I'm covered no more water gets in thru the cockpit hatch seal and rain or wash water running forward stops. I probably should fix that seal....
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Your AC is off...could be the head if that is still on. Check all the hoses and clamps from the sea water intake , the seacock , onward to the head its self to the holding tank/treatment system etc. sounds like sea water leaking in somewhere .
    Or it could be fresh water from your freshwater system if you here your water pump run briefly every so often .
  5. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    You taste it first !! Lol your a wild man Capt J ...lol.
  6. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Now, that is funny!!!
  7. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Lol, you better have the paramedics and poison control on the phone when you taste anything in my old Ocean bilge ! Lol...
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Is that smaller hole factory?
    Send a colonoscope thru those limber holes & paths.
  9. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    The limber hole is factory, don't know about the little one - I don't have the smaller one.
    The drain does not seem active, so the indication is that your not getting new water. A borescope will only confirm you have water, but I don't think it would ID the source, but if you have one take a look. I'm betting it came from your recent winterization. That's why I asked the color.

    I wouldn't freak out - the limber hole seems to be working as designed - to evacuate water trapped on the out side of the stringers. The main thing is that its not constantly flowing, that would indicate an active leak rather than a transitory event.

    If you want to see that effect use a 1/2 gal of antifreeze as I suggested.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    That smaller one may have been done after market if there is any kind of "lip" to the bigger limber hole at its junction with the bilge surface? That would act like a small "dam" Dunno….
  11. Soulstice

    Soulstice Member

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    Today it tasted like salt water although it did look like some pink anti-freeze came through the other day. It is still flowing but I can't tell what direction it is coming from. Maybe I will suck some out and feel where it refills from.
  12. Soulstice

    Soulstice Member

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    I just turned off the AC, heads, and all other water systems on Friday when I was winterizing. I also just took apart my intercoolers, heat exchanger, etc; so there is also a lot of draining into various bilges although the only thing forward in this area would be the head supply lines and the AC raw water lines I think.
  13. Soulstice

    Soulstice Member

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    Beau, thanks for the feedback on this. The limber hole makes sense. I have noticed this small weeping for the last week but I have been winterizing and the boat is still uncovered so we have been getting a good amount of rain and some snow. I winterized everything on Friday, drained the fresh water and salt water from various systems. Up until Friday afternoon, the AC, water systems, and heads were still operating.

    The main limber hole is not leaking, this is simply a weep from the small hole below. The previous owner probably put this hole in so that water would not sit just below the limber hole for periods of time. I am getting wrapped this week, so hopefully this will simply go away as you mentioned yours does. There did seem to be less water in the bilge today.
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I'd watch it, but based on my experience with Bodacious, that limber hole is working as advertised. When your back in the water, if you are getting a constant stream out of that hole then I'd be concerned. Assuming you're on the hard now ( I winter in the water) let us know in the spring how its going, thx.
  15. Soulstice

    Soulstice Member

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    I winter in the water as well so I am going to keep my eye on it. It is enough water the lowest bilge pump runs briefly every 60-90 minutes but I can find anything really leaking. I will see what happens this week as I am done winterizing and it should be getting wrapped in the next two days.
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    hmm. Depending on how much water you got in the bilge during winterization, there may be "pockets" of water still trapped which move as the boat rocks? I have that cockpit gasket issue so until I cover for the winter I get water in the bilge every time I wash, rinse it down, or it rains. You certainly want that dry for the winter, because when the water temp goes down in January, that bilge pump area can freeze. I leave an energized 100 watt light bulb in that area over the winter just for that reason.

    First step put a white rolled up paper towel in the hole lets see what color the liquid is. If its pink, it probably residual antifreeze. If its clear then is it salt or fresh - I think you can judge that with a specific gravity meter. If its fresh, then its coming from inside the boat - once you run out of a possible 240 gals of fresh water you're done. If its salt it's coming from outside the boat and you probably want to find that source sooner than later. Just some thoughts?

    Also, though you just found this leak now, if it salt or fresh water it probably been going on for some time. Have you ever noticed it before your winterization?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I'm in Jax FL. Not a lot of winter problems down here that a lil trouble light or golden rod can't take care of.
    But I think this may be a good idea;
    Pour a bunch of safe antifreeze in the bilges. You don't want that water to freeze.
  18. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    If it is an active leak, I suspect the antifreeze would get diluted and eliminated over time. Once I get covered for the winter I pump everything dry in the bilges. I leave the light on only in case some water gets in there between my visits. I wouldn't want to leave the boat with an active salt water leak - what happen if it gets bigger?
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Pull out the margarita mix.
  20. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Indeed!