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Boat Leak?


Fishook

Question

How does one go about determining why/how their boat very slowly takes on water? At the end of the day, I will bilge out maybe a gallon of water. I have replaced my live well pump because it was cracked and I could see it was blowing water out as it pumped to the live well. Thought this was the problem but still have a small leak somewhere. Any ideas or how to check for leaks? How can you tell if there is a bad rivet(s)? Boat is a Lund Mr. Pike. Thanks.

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When on the trailer, fill the boat with water. If it has a floor, stop before getting the floor wet. You are looking for a leaking rivet(s). Inspect each rivet that is above the water, checking to see if they are loose or pulled away from the metal. If it leaks and is covered with water, one would expect you would see a drip or two coming from the rivet(s). You are right to check the live well connnections, as well as the boat plug, etc. Good luck.

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We get alot of boats at the shop with leaky keel seals. If that's the case, you'll see water running out of the back of the keel by the transom.

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When I raise the lift I have noticed a steady stream of water draining out of two keels at the stern/below the transom. I didn't think a thing of it but it is exactly as you indicated. Assuming that is my problem, what do I need to do to get it fixed? I sure appreciate the replys from everyone.

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Fishook:

The keel on my boat has some small drainage holes. Check to see if your keel has them. If it does, the space between the hull and the keel is always flooded and the drip is normal. I think they are in there to prevent water from freezing and doing substantial damage to the hull or the keel.

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Musky's right. The keel on a boat isn't watertight, so you will see water running out when you tilt the boat. If it's a keel issue, where the leak occurs is at the front of the hull. There is a seam about a third of the way back where they begin to wrap the hull around to create the bow of the boat. This seam is sealed with a gasket and held in place by the keel. The only way to tell if it's the culprit is to have the boat sitting level and begin to fill the inside with water. You'll see it run out the back of the keel by the transom.

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First, thanks to both Steve and Musky for the replies and suggestions. I will give it the test to see if the problem is the keel seal. Couple other questions: a) if it is a keel seel, can it be repaired? B) What would be a rough cost estimate? I am thinking I am a year or two away from a new rig but I also know how worthless a leaking boat is.

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My old Lund has a hull made with one sheet of aluminum for the bottom and two more for the sides. They are joined near the waterline by an overlap with two rows of rivits. I fixed a leak this way. If you look at the outside where the joint is you will see that the joint is filled with some sort of sealer like window calk. Gently force this back into the joint with a small screwdriver point and then using a marine epoxie, fill the void you have created. I packed the old sealer about 3 inches on each side of the leak and filled it with epoxie. I did not have loose rivits and only a very slight dent.

Good luck

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BillP-

I couldn't thank you enough for that suggestion! I have an older lund and it has been leaking for a few years. I've been looking at that seam as my possible leak point and I just haven't known If I should try and do something like you suggested or not. I'm going home and trying it out tonight! grin.gif

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BillP: I thank you for your advice. I think I have all the pieces to now start looking to fix my leak starting at the bow. Have to go to Canada next week but not taking my boat. Can't wait to get back to mine in MN and check this all out. Thanks again to all who responded to my question.

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Gus

The original filler looks like window putty and apparently dose not harden. The product I used is called PC-11 Marine grade. I have had real good luck using it to stop leaks on pipes we will see how well it holds up on the boat but since it remains somwhat flexable I think it will work for the long run.

Bill

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