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Thread: Finding/fixing leak

  1. #1
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    Default Finding/fixing leak

    Greetings forum -

    New to the Wooden Boat forum. Just bought a new-to-me John D. Little rowing/sailing 11-foot catboat. Took it out for a row over the weekend and noted water coming in from somewhere around where the keel dagger goes through (see picture where I am pointing).

    When I turned the boat over (see second picture) it wasn’t clear where the water was penetrating the hull.

    Any suggestions on how to approach a repair? Both finding the source of the leak and/or how how to seal it?

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

    CC1B2233-D65B-496A-8295-5FF2ADE02426.jpgE75C0B48-5AB6-4ADB-8C0E-D05CCC794406.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    Getting a look under that peeling paint might be a good start. How dry is the wood? It might just be a matter of letting it take up, but I sure wouldn't let that paint hang around there.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    I would (gently) snug up those bolts holding the centerboard case down.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    One needs to ascertain how the trunk/ trunk logs are needed to the keel. Example, rubber gasket, goo from a tube,old fashion bedding compound, etc.
    Yes , clean up that loose paint, and give us a guess why it peeled off only there. Maybe a former owner smeared silicone caulk around , which F’s up future paint.

  5. #5
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    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    On old canvas canoes, I usually suggest to people to put some water in the dry boat and see where it leaks out. Often water under pressure from weight of boat in water can leak in one small spot, run under a keel and then make its way into the boat via a screw or bolt hole somewhere else. Wherever water is coming out is where it is getting in.

  6. #6
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    Guerilla Bay, NSW, Australia
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    I'd had leaks round the centreboard case in my new Gannet dinghy. That paint is coming off your boat because the wood underneath is wet/damp. I'd suggest you get your hand up into the centreboard slot from the bottom of the boat and see if you can feel a crack/slot along the joint between centreboard case logs and keelson (a common leak point). when you can find the gap you then need to a) let it dry completely) b) clean it up & especially get rid of paint or varnish and then c) seal using thickened epoxy, then d) paint/varnish.

    Anyway, that's what I did & now I have a dry boat!

    Good Luck Neil

  7. #7
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    Jul 2021
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    Yarmouth, Maine, USA
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    All good suggestions. I’ll take a closer look under the paint and into that centerboard slot this weekend and see what I find. Perhaps even fill boat with water and see if it comes out the other way like suggested. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    Captain W, please don't 'fill' that boat with water - too much weight inside can do bad things to the ribs and other structure - depending on how it is supported ( cradle / trailer ) - - just a few gallons should show where the leak might be . . .





    Rick

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    Water does not always come out where it goes in .

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    One additional question (which probably has hundreds of answers), but is there a special paint that I should be seeking for her exterior shell? The paint that is on her almost has a “plastic” feel to it. I am not familiar with wooden hull paints. Any general guidance would be helpful. Thank you…

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    There is no such thing as a "last coat" of paint, wether oil alkyd, monothane or epoxy /LP,but there IS a first coat.
    To recommend the best primer, one needs to ascertain the paint system used so far.
    If alkyd oil, thinned out alkyd enamal is the best primer.
    If a urethane , epoxy may be best, but the construction of the boat comes into play.
    There is no short answer to ....bote coatin
    bruce
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 07-19-2021 at 09:58 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    Thanks Bruce. I don’t think the previous owner ever painted her, so I don’t have that as a source….is there any way to tell what type of paint system was used from the paint that is on there now? If I took a chip to WestMarine or similar would they be able to ascertain what type of system was used?

  13. #13
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    Oct 2017
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    It looks like there might be a builder's plate on the inside of the transom, does that say who built her?

    If you are going to take a paint chip somewhere you'll get better info from Hamilton than West.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    Had your boat been in the water for a while before you took it out for your row? Sometimes small, wood boats, even lapstrake ones, need some time (overnight, a few days) to swell and become tight if they've been out of the water fora while (weeks/ months).
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Finding/fixing leak

    The builder’s plate says she was designed/built by John D. Little in Washington Maine (I looked it up - that boatyard no longer exists ). I don’t know what year.

    Good advice rbgarr - I think that was the first time the boat was in water for probably a year or two. Sitting in the water for a little while might make a difference.

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