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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Hi,

I have an older 14 with an added jib (1983). Recently, I put a new righting system on the boat, and took it out for the day to practice righting it. Once the wind picked up, I succeeded in capsizing it. The boat laid on its side (one hull in the air) but then shortly went all the way over, turtling, with the mast completely underwater. A ranger came by to help me right it, and together we watched it do exactly the same thing, again. The ranger commented that I must have a bunch of water in one of the hulls, and sure enough, when I got back to shore, there was a bunch of water in there, especially the left hull, which was the one laying in the water when I first capsized it. I removed the drain plugs under the rudders, and tried to drain the hulls by lifting each of them to a steep angle with the help of someone else. Some water came out, but not nearly enough. The hulls still are heavy, and I can hear water splashing around in there. I'm not sure why this excess water won't drain. I checked to make sure nothing was blocking the drain holes, and there is nothing blocking them.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What is going on, and how can I get the water to drain out of there? Also, I checked for any leaks, and I couldn't find any. My boat got blown off its trailer by some heavy winds a couple weeks ago, and there was a small hole that I patched with bondo. I don't see any other holes anywhere else. If there's a leak, how can I find it?

I really appreciate any help with this. I talked to some more experienced hobie users, and they had never come across a problem like this.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Location: north florida
I have the same boat, have not had the same malady, can only offer suggestions as if it were mine. First, I'd make a fitting out of a rubber plug and a schrader (tire) valve and pressurize the hull through the drain plug hole. You could do this with an air compressor or even a hand pump while your helper goes all over the hulls with soapy water. If that effort bombs, I'd turn the whole boat upside down and see if any water runs out anywhere. You might even consider filling the hull with water from a hose, adding some food coloring and watch for seeps. As a last resort and considering you think you've got water trapped in the hull, I'd drill very small repairable holes in the top of the hull with the boat upside down to see if you can find and drain the water. Maybe once the trapped water has drained and you patch or caulk where it got in, you'll be OK. Best of luck to you.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
eastbay wrote:
I have the same boat, have not had the same malady, can only offer suggestions as if it were mine. First, I'd make a fitting out of a rubber plug and a schrader (tire) valve and pressurize the hull through the drain plug hole. You could do this with an air compressor or even a hand pump while your helper goes all over the hulls with soapy water. If that effort bombs, I'd turn the whole boat upside down and see if any water runs out anywhere. You might even consider filling the hull with water from a hose, adding some food coloring and watch for seeps. As a last resort and considering you think you've got water trapped in the hull, I'd drill very small repairable holes in the top of the hull with the boat upside down to see if you can find and drain the water. Maybe once the trapped water has drained and you patch or caulk where it got in, you'll be OK. Best of luck to you.

OK, this is such bad advice, I can't let it go.

DO NOT PRESSURIZE YOUR HULLS WITH AN AIR COMPRESSOR. It's not necessary and there's a good likelihood you'll explode the hull/deck seam. For real. It doesn't take much pressure to do that - less than 5 psi.

First of all, *something* is blocking the water from running out. There is a small space underneath the pylon shoes that may be blocked by a piece of the plastic bag the flotation blocks are (were) in. In old boats, the plastic gets brittle and breaks up, clogging the drains. In reality, it could be anything - it doesn't really matter.

Strip the boat down to the hulls / frame - remove all the rigging and the rudder system. Turn the boat upside down (in grass) and lift the bows so the water can drain past the pylons. Keep the bows up as you roll the boat back upright so the water stays in the back end. Use a long, thin object (coat hanger?) to fish any objects out of the drain holes as the water drains out.

That should take care of the water in the hulls, now figure out where it's getting in:

Take a vacuum cleaner (shop vac) set on "blow" and have a buddy hold the hose close to, but not completely blocking the drain hole. The object is to raise the pressure inside the hull slightly and allow any excess to blow back out. Now go over the boat with soapy water - anywhere there's a fitting, including where the pylons come out of the hulls and the underside of the deck lip. When you find the leak(s), mark them with a pencil. When you're done, clean off the soapy water and seal up with silicone.

On the back end of the boat, remove and re-install the gudgeons and rudder plug housings with fresh silicone seal. Make sure the o-ring on the drain plugs are in good shape and are slightly compressed when the plug is installed.

That should take care of the problem - without destroying the boat.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:55 pm
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Thanks for the advice. It makes sense that something must be blocking the water from draining out.

It sounds like a lot of work, so I really hope I find the hole that's causing the leak. I'll let you know how it goes!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:31 am 
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I have a similar problem on my boat, not as much water, but still more than acceptable after a short sail. Did you find the leak using the described method?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:06 pm 
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I didn't use the shop vac, but I just inspected my boat really closely to see if I could see any holes. I'm sure the shop vac would work, but if you don't have one, I would suggest looking very carefully at your boat, and sealing up anything you suspect as a leak with silicone. It seemed to take care of the problem for me!

Also, check any screw holes (such as in the rudder assembly) to make sure that the old silicone hasn't worn away. You could reseal suspected areas with a fresh app of silicone.

Hope that helps!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:14 am
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Location: DC Metro
So that's what that plastic is, I've been pulling it out at every draining.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:51 pm 
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If you have an older boat, the plastic is probably from your floats, which probably became brittle and broke.


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