So where’s the wa­ter com­ing from?

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin - MARTIN MAS­TERS, via email TONY REPLIES…

I own a 45ft Sea Ot­ter fit­ted with a Ve­tus 34 en­gine and a bow thruster. The boat takes on about 250-300ml of wa­ter into the cabin bilge ev­ery day it moves. The wa­ter sits un­der the stern com­pan­ion­way step. If the boat is static, no wa­ter col­lects in the bilge. The en­gine bilge is dry. I have tested ev­ery

Qwa­ter source: fill­ing and over­fill­ing the wa­ter tank, shower head and waste. I have coloured the shower waste wa­ter with dye.

It is not linked to heavy rain. We do get quite a lot of con­den­sa­tion but not in the sum­mer. The wa­ter is cloudy but odour and colour-free. Have you come across this be­fore?

Have you checked the bow thruster tube and weed hatch for leaks? If the toi­let is a pump-out the hold­ing tank might have a leak and ‘self-seal’.

If you have elim­i­nated leaks from the shower, do­mes­tic wa­ter and are ig­nor­ing con­den­sa­tion, the only other ways wa­ter can get in are from the

Astern gland, the cool­ing sys­tem, leak­ing win­dows, the heat­ing sys­tem, or from a leak in the hull or wa­ter tank. Leaks from the cool­ing or cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem should have a slightly sweet taste of an­tifreeze but only sam­ple the mer­est drop on a fin­ger-tip – an­tifreeze is poi­sonous.

Most Sea Ot­ters use a PSS shaft seal and I would not be sur­prised if it would leak if the shaft was run­ning a lit­tle out of true or the ro­tor is not cor­rectly ten­sioned on the shaft.

This leaves a leak from the hull, bow thruster tube, weed hatch, or wa­ter tank. I would sus­pect the bow thruster or hull. Very small leaks in steel boats’ hulls can ‘self caulk’ and block them­selves with rust. An alu­minium boat may well ‘self caulk’ but it will not rust, so when the leak is sub­ject to vi­bra­tion and/or wa­ter flows, the par­ti­cles may be drawn out of the crack so it leaks again, re-seal­ing when the boat is stopped.

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