110 Cookson Lane | Whitefield, ME  04353 | 207-232-7600 |  tim@lackeysailing.com

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Southerly | Wednesday, October 8, 2014

One of the reasons Southerly's owner brought her here was to help tracking down--and, hopefully, fix--a series of deck leaks that he'd noticed over the past few seasons.  He'd provided me with a list of places he'd noticed water after rainstorms, but tracking down their source had so far eluded him.  We hoped that, with the boat stored outside before beginning the project, there'd be a chance to see the leaks in action, which would be greatly helpful to locating their sources.

An opportunity presented itself a few weeks after the boat arrived on site, with a heavy series of rain showers one morning. I did my best to take advantage of the real-world leak test.  We received over two inches of rainfall, mainly in several strong thunderstorms during the wee hours and into the normal work day that were too significant for me to go out to the boat at their height.  Later, however, with a more moderate rain underway, I headed out to the boat to try and track down the leaks in action, with the following list from the owner as a guideline:


  • Port side cockpit locker evidence of moisture, docklines damp.

  • Base of hanging locker damp.

  • V-birth (sic) starboard side cushion wet under port light.

  • Suspect entry point for water is companion way roof.

  • Minor water puddles is both starboard side hinged lockers under louvered doors.

  • Port side same area dry.

  • Water in head sump under grate, suspect port in head.

Starting in the port cockpit locker, I observed that the hull was indeed wet with the ongoing rain.  Climbing in the locker, I tracked down an active leak at the forward outboard side of the stanchion base just above; there were no other signs of ongoing leaks that I could find, so it appeared that this stanchion base (which was directly over the wet area) was the culprit.


Inside the boat, I noticed the countertop over the stove was wet, and could track this immediately to a leak in the aft deadlight frame above (port aft deadlight).


The upper lockers above the starboard settee, behind the louvered doors, were damp and stained within, as noted by the owner, and I could easily see (with active drips and leakage visible) that the aft lower chainplate was the cause of the forward staining and wetness in this locker.  There was also a drip off one of the nearby holes in the edge of the cabin liner here.

The after area of wetness in this locker appeared to be coming from a hole in the hull/deck flange above, aft of a toerail bolt.  In this photo, I'm pointing at the hole, just aft of that bolt with the wire tie (and water is visible on the yellow butt connecter).  The toerail fasteners themselves in this area were dry to the touch. 

In the hanging locker, the chainplate attached to the forward bulkhead was leaking merrily, which seemed to be the sole (but significant) source of water in this locker.  The cabin sole at the forward end of the main cabin, as well as in the passageway, was wet (standing water in areas), and this chain plate leak appeared to be the source for this water, as the hanging locker drained directly into this area.  Belatedly, and with photos only, I noticed a drip on the teak fiddles on the shelves in the locker, so later I'd go back and see what was directly above that spot, as this seemed to be another source into the locker.  No other obvious sources of leaks that could account for the hanging locker and cabin sole were visible.

The head sump, as observed by the owner, had some water in it as well.  I couldn't locate an obvious source in the head; the port seemed to be dry.  However, given the volume of water that seemed to be leaking into the hanging locker and out onto the cabin sole (which was adjacent to the head), I thought it likely that this was also the source for the water in the head sump.  We'll see.


In the starboard V-berth, leaks were obvious from the porthole above the aft end of the berth.  I could also see brown staining on the overhead beneath the wooden surround of the overhead hatch.


This inspection was a good start towards stemming these leaks.  The good news was that it did not appear the toerail was leaking, as originally hypothesized, but I hoped for another chance to troubleshoot during another rainstorm.

Total Time Billed on This Job Today:  .75

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