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mulvaneym7
Deckhand

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USA
19 Posts

Initially Posted - 03/06/2021 :  08:37:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Everyone was so helpful with the last dumb question, that I'm coming back for more:) So last summer, my boat took on a little bit of water (I'm actually not 100% sure if it was taking it on or if was just rain accumulating from a leak around the cabin door. About once a month I would need to use the pump. The fun challenge that I have right now is the switch to turn the pump on isn't working. I'm hoping to get an electrician in but we'll see. If I don't, does hand pumping work fine?
Also, is there any way to check to see how water might be getting in, particularly while I still have it in dry dock? Thanks all.

SKS
Navigator

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USA
153 Posts

Response Posted - 03/06/2021 :  10:53:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had rain water infiltration into my boat and it drove me crazy trying to figure it out where.
It turns out that the anchor locker has a very small drain that is prone to plug up. Once the anchor locker fills with water, it overflows into the boat.
For me, it was hard to figure out since the the locker had to fill up first, and that depended on how heavy OR how long the rain would last, so infiltration was inconsistent.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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1838 Posts

Response Posted - 03/06/2021 :  11:57:05  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
While I can't say for sure from here, water in the bilge of a Catalina 25 almost always comes from rain leaks, not from the water the boat is floating in.  (If the boat is out of the water at the time, that narrows it down considerably. )

If the boat is kept in saltwater, and the bilge water doesn't look scary gross, then consider a simple fingertip taste test.

Potential sources of underwater leaks to check are:
  • Lower rudder gudgeon.  This can be a real head scratcher, because it's usually above the waterline when the boat isn't moving, but goes underwater once the boat gets up enough speed to form a stern wave.

  • Through hulls for swing keel cable, galley drain, head sink/head intake (if so equipped).  Also search here on "to-hulls" for info on upgrading the originals in older boats.

  • Sonar and/or speed transducers (if so equipped).  Even if the boat didn't appear to have a depth finder when you got it, check for abandoned transducers from previous installations.

  • Swing keel trunk damage from an uncontrolled keel drop shows up inside the fwd dinette seat locker at the aft wall, on the centerline of the boat.

  • Lastly, hull damage from hitting things, although unlikely, and probably most visible from the outside while hauled out.

On my boats, rain leaks have been the most common source of water getting in.  Every deck penetration is a potential leak.  Because these boats have a deck liner, water can show up far from where it entered. 

The old aluminum framed windows (a.k.a. portlights) are notorious for leaking.  Catalina offers a reseal kit. 

If it hasn't been done recently, consider rebedding everything attached to the deck. 

These boats also have plywood core in the deck, so it's important to prevent rainwater from rotting it, requiring to extremely difficult repairs.  The best way to protect the deck core is to drill holes oversize, fill with epoxy, and redrill to original size, creating a waterproof compression sleeve around each deck fastener.  You can find lots of detailed how-to info on that by searching previous posts here.  It's also mentioned in books on boat repair and maintenance.

Also the anchor locker pan, as mentioned by SKS, above.  I sealed mine around the edges, and enlarged the drain to about 3/4".

Re: "...the switch to turn the pump on isn't working."

Most electrical bilge pumps have both manual and automatic switches.  Is that how yours is set up? 

Sailboat repair expert Don Casey has designed one of the best bilge pump configurations I've found, tandem bilge pump installation.  I also recommend getting (and studying) a copy of at least one of Don Casey's books, This Old Boat or Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual.

Re: "I'm hoping to get an electrician in but we'll see."

If you truly don't know how to safely make reliable electrical repairs, then by all means get competent help with that.  However, it ain't rocket science, especially if your boat still has the very basic original electrical system.

Re: "...does hand pumping work fine?"

You're the best person to answer that question.  Follow the pump's pickup hose, and see if it ends where the water is collecting.  Also test the pump to be sure it still works, and consider installing a rebuild kit if the pump looks neglected but repairable.  Bilge pumps with pickup hoses should probably have a screen (a.k.a. strum box) on the end to prevent misc bilge trash from jamming the pump valves and hoses.

ó Leon Sisson
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 03/06/2021 :  15:56:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is an example of the many questions that can be answered more specifically if we know a few basics about your boat. In this case, the keel type and hull vintage would tell us whether you have a keel cable, aluminum window frames, and possibly the original style thru-hull fittings (disparagingly referred to here as "to hulls". You'll note that most posts here (including this one) have some basic information in a "signature" that you create in your Profile so it appears automatically on each of your posts. Year, SR (standard rig) or TR (tall), SK (swing keel) FK (fin) or WK (wing) are the basics. Hull number (4 digits) and sailing venue occasionally are useful.

Sometimes you can sleuth out a rain leak by simulating the rain with a hose, and then opening up every hatch and door below to try to spot a trickle heading for the bilge. Another trick, where a source is suspected but not proven, is to draw some colored chalk lines perpendicular to the suspected flow (generally inside the hull), and after the next rain, look for breaks in the lines where the trickle washed the chalk away. Many of the leaks discussed run between the deck and the interior liner, so they're only visible down inside the hull. Aluminum-framed windows are a common culprit. It's a rare C-25 owner who hasn't been perplexed by rain water in the bilge.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4821 Posts

Response Posted - 03/06/2021 :  18:56:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If youíre not certain that your manual pump works or drains the correct area, go to a kayak, canoe or boating store and purchase a double stroke hand pump with two extra hoses.
Hereís an example hand pump:
https://www.amazon.com/SEACHOICE-19151-Handy-Bilge-Pump/dp/B00Y9P8EDW/ref=sr_1_7
Itís also handy if youíre ever boarded by the USCG or Lake Patrol doing a safety inspection. Youíre required to have a working dewatering device.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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mulvaneym7
Deckhand

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USA
19 Posts

Response Posted - 03/07/2021 :  13:10:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent. Thank you. Ordered the recommended bilge pump. Great to know that water is common and that my suspicions that it is likely the rain makes me much less anxious- very reassuring. I will work on the signature as well- problem is I don't know if it's a standard or tall rig. I know it's not a swing keel but I honestly don't know the difference between the other two. Thanks again everyone!!
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
443 Posts

Response Posted - 03/07/2021 :  19:25:38  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You'll want to know whether you have a standard rig or tall rig, and it can determine the advice you'll receive on some questions, so here's a suggestion. Secure the main halyard to the end of a 30' measuring tape (securely!), and haul it all the way up. The SR mast is 28' long and the TR mast is 30' long. BTW, make sure the tape is securely attached to the halyard (no, I'm not being excessive on this point). As you spend more time with your boat you'll have more questions, and this forum can provide a great deal of valuable information. Please consider becoming a member to help support it.

The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 03/07/2021 :  21:41:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keels (other than swing): Link to the brochure page here. The wing keel has a horizontal wing on the bottom, and projects only about 2' from the bottom of the boat. The fin is about another foot deeper (for a total draft of 4').

If your boat is earlier than 1987, the odds are against it being a wing--that's when it became a regular option. Some older boats were retrofitted with wings, but almost all up to then were fins or swingers.

If you're not sure of the year, it's the last two digits on the Hull Identification Number on your registration and stamped into the transom just below the rub-rail on the starboard side.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 03/07/2021 21:42:36
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mulvaneym7
Deckhand

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USA
19 Posts

Response Posted - 03/08/2021 :  04:45:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah gotcha- I know the draft is 4' so it sounds like a fin and it was a 1987. So that's helpful- I'll work on getting that signature together. I do appreciate everyone's help and I think I am a member- I paid my dues but it does look like in my name on here it says I'm not- so I'll look into that. Thanks everyone!
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dlarama
Deckhand

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USA
2 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2021 :  00:32:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really appreciate this thread and especially Leonís post offering suggestions. After drying - again - the various low points in my bilge after going out after some dungeoness earlier this morning I decided to get serious about figuring out where water was coming in from. Wiped dry all bilges and watched - and waited - for water to creep in. None! Then I decided - it must be the happening when we are on the move, water splashing up onto the bow and coming in through the bow eye. Thatíll be the culprit - nope! Checked with a hose, dry and sound inside. I knew there was a lot of water sloshing around in the tank, so I pulled the hose and let it drain out and cleaned it all up. Maybe there was a leaky hose, but since the water I was finding in the bilge was salty and it hasnít rained in a few weeks, I pretty much knew that was a fools errand. (by the way, how do you get that tank out - cut it out?)

I chalked lines all over the inside of the the storage areas and bilge and we headed out to pull our pots late in the evening. With the auto tiller set and my co-captain and first mate ready to shout ďdanger!Ē I headed back below to check on the situation. More water! At least a quart spread out, so somehow water getting in. The storage under the V berth was dry and no sign of water running through any of those chalk marks -i it must be in the stern.

I had left off all of the access ports - really the whole inside of the boat was a mess and torn up - so I stuck my head under the quarter berth andÖ there it was. The trail of water, running right down the valley in the hull from somewhere behind the quarter berth wall. I. Checked on the girls up top, then headed back in and pulled the access hatch.

Water, dripping quite steadily, right in through the lower gudgeon. Bingo. Iím glad I found it. Leonís post - it doesnít leak at dock so it is hard to nail down - helped me get in the right direction.

So, I am hoping to back the boat into the slip and pull the gudgeon, clean up the inner and outer holes, epoxy and redrill, reseal it with life seal all around the inside and outside, and get back out there.

Inside, I didnít see any nuts and it looks like the bolts are just pushed through a backing plate made out of wood. Does this sound like something any of you have seen? I wonder if someone glued the gudgeon on? Iím really curious as to what will happen when I start turning those screw heads. Inside, the bolts are completely coated in some thick white stuff - it looks like paint - could it be gel coat or something like that?

Darren
1980 Catalina 25 Tall Rig - Gratitude
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3857 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2021 :  07:16:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That backing plate is made of brass or bronze and the holes in the plate are threaded for the bolts so you might not have nuts. The white stuff is just from when they built the boat and is some sort of mystery epoxy mix. Catalina might of just smeared it on the inside to lock the plate and bolts along with waterproofing. Kind of like a caulk. This is a photo of my upper gudgeon (bottom is the same) after I cleaned it all up. I added the locking nuts because the plate is not very thick and is a soft metal so it doesn't have many threads in it . This is probably why the bolts come loose over time.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 07/04/2021 07:17:37
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4821 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2021 :  12:49:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Darren, glad you found the leak. That was devilishly hard to spot (now) knowing that you had to be underway to find it.

As I recall a long-long time ago, yes my gudgeon bolts were got loose and I found that they were only screwed into a threaded backing plate. I replaced my bolts right quick with some slightly longer bolts and added nylock locking nuts to the ends to keep them securely in place. And yes, you should get some boatlife polysulfide caulk or butyl tape to waterproof the bolts.

Might be a good idea to overdrill the holes, then pot with epoxy and redrill (as mentioned in another recent thread). This will keep your transom core plywood dry.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1838 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2021 :  13:48:39  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'd like to echo Bruce's excellent advice about longer bolts, nylon locking nuts, and butyl sealant.
 
I'm a recent convert to butyl tape after rebedding my portlights (windows) for the second time.  I also used butyl tape to install a set of the latest improved gudgeons on my Catalina 25.  A bit of advice from experience ó store unused butyl tape in your freezer, and keep it cold right up until you apply it.  In even mildly warm weather, it has the consistency and adhesion of used bubblegum.  Butyl sealant will also ooze out under clamping pressure far longer than other sealants, because it never really hardens into a solid.
 
Regarding gudgeon bolts, while you're getting longer ones, consider going up a size to 5/16" and add some fender washers under the nuts.  Those three original 1/4" screws are the same size as used on the Catalina 22, except the C-22 uses four of them.  The lower pintle & gudgeon in particular are subjected to a lot of force when steering in big waves, or (heaven forbid) running aground with the swing keel fully retracted, or hitting bottom while maneuvering in reverse.
 
Cranking down on those bolts against plywood core between fiberglass skins can crush the core and distort the fiberglass, possibly fracturing it.  Therefore pintle & gudgeon bolts are a particularly appropriate location to apply the drill oversize, epoxy fill and redrill method of sealing off the core material and creating a cast-in compression sleeve.  In addition to pre-coating the holes with epoxy to saturate the exposed core material, I then reinforce the poured epoxy with some milled glass fibers which makes it more resistant to cracking, yet allows the resin to flow past the fibers out into any remaining small voids in the core material. 

ó Leon Sisson
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dlarama
Deckhand

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USA
2 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2021 :  23:24:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is all very helpful! The heads up on the threaded backing plate in particular, certainly fits what I am seeing. I will definitely pull the gudgeon out, redrill larger and epoxy, then upgrade to longer 5/16 size with fender washers and lock nuts - maybe some Loc-Tite for good measure. Iím hoping that my limited use of the boat since owning it has just wetted the core and that I wonít find more significant rot damage, it all seemed solid upon purchase and seems solid from the inside now when knocking around on it.

Iíve got a good roll of butyl and Iíve been using it here and there for rebedding things, but thereís something reassuring about squeezing that life seal out of a tube and finding it cured tight against seams and around bolts. Iíll probably continue to go back and forth with both.

In the gudgeon kit it looked like they included 3m 4200 UV - is that something I should reseal old gudgeons with instead of butyl or lifeseal?

As for epoxy, I was thinking of going with a tube of the West Systems six10 - I have a soft core deck issue (forward lower shroud eyebolt) and am replacing those eye bolts with the new CD kit, so was going to just get the easiest/best epoxy I could find to do repairs and the epoxied holes. Iím not really interested in getting elbows deep into epoxy world right now, as is these two issues are keeping me from feeling great about going out so Iím looking for quick and dirty repairs that will get me back out sailing!

Thanks again for all of the insight and help!
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3857 Posts

Response Posted - 07/06/2021 :  03:24:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
3M 4200 is what I used in my photo above.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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