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Old 02-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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34 Trawler bilge leak

I bought 2005 34 Trawler last August. I like the boat but have been chasing a water in the bilge issue. I finally have determined that the water is coming out of some of the limber holes in the stringers. The holes were not properly sealed in during construction and there are gaps in the limber holes that expose the void between the stringers and hull. Has anybody else had this experience. Thanks
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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A few questions:
  • Where did the vessel spend its first 7 years
  • Is it salt or fresh water (assuming you are berthed in salt)
  • Is the water there all the time or ??? just when it rains, you wash or run the noat
  • What brand of vessel
  • Solid or cored hull below the water line
  • Is the water coming from fore, aft starboard or port
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:20 PM   #3
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Look at the cap rail, inboard and outboard, the deck to hull and house to deck joints. I might be as simple as just re-caulking. They are all areas that water can enter into the engine room.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
A few questions:
  • Where did the vessel spend its first 7 years
  • Is it salt or fresh water (assuming you are berthed in salt)
  • Is the water there all the time or ??? just when it rains, you wash or run the noat
  • What brand of vessel
  • Solid or cored hull below the water line
  • Is the water coming from fore, aft starboard or port
It's a Mainship. It has always been in fresh water. Now in Detroit. The hull is solid core. I was told by the surveyor that there is a built-in small gap between the stringers and the hull and the fiberglass encases the stringer to the hull. This results in a little channel under the stringers. As I mentioned, the limber holes going through the stringers were not encased properly during initial construction. So, if water did get in the bilge it could get into the channels under the stringers. The seller told me that there was a hot water tank leak that resulted in a lot of water collecting in the bilge. I am thinking maybe this is where the water came from and it is still in the stringer system. This winter I checked all the possible places water could come in below the water line and did a massive caulking job on all the joints, etc. I really did not see anything obvious. I won't know for sure until I put the boat back in this spring. I appreciate your responses
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #5
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Did you check the stuffing box??
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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We had an issue with a PSV on our water heater. When motoring the engine would heat the water in the water heater to a temperature high enough to cause thevpressure safety valve to pop open and discharge eater in to the bilge.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your suggestions but I was really wondering if any other Mainship owners have experienced water coming out of the stringers where the limber holes are located?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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we have a 2003 390 and have never experienced that issue. our holes are glassed all around. how do you get water high enough to reach the stringers? our bilge is never completely dry, but the center of our bilge has a deep V about 5" wide at the top that will have about an inch or two of water in it (the bilge pumps don't reach all the way down) this usually comes from condensate from the a/c units and the fridge.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lanceolson View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions but I was really wondering if any other Mainship owners have experienced water coming out of the stringers where the limber holes are located?
This is common on the 2004 -2009 34t. The most likely problem is easily fixed. On both sides of the boat there are two fill points. On the port side it is Fresh Water and Fuel and on the starboard it is Waste Water (Pump Out) and Fuel. There are several screws on each side that hold the fittings in place. Remove the screws and with a tube of 4200 (or your favorite sealant,not Silicon) stick the nozzle end into the holes. Insert some caulk, remove the tube and replace the screw.

The water heater if it leaked on your boat would have leaked all of the water into the section from the genset back. Once cleaned up it would have been gone the next day.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #10
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I did not think of sealing the fitting screws. I will be sure to do that. Thanks
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:10 PM   #11
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Hi Newbie... now no longer Newbie...

I see that this is an old post, but how did the problem get resolved? I too have a 2005 34T, and the little bit of water I get in the bilge is rain water. I have plans to do what Vinny suggested and put sealant in the holes.. another leak I have is at the drain on the stern/port side... that'll be an easy fix I think... I do note that the limbers are not smooth inside - in fact there's very sharp shards inside the limbers and that could mean they are not sealed which could allow water to get into the stringers and below the stringers. Same with your 34T? Any more problems with your 34?
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #12
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2005 34 Trawler bilge leaks

Hi - I determined that water was coming from several sources. The exhaust coolant intake fitting was not sealed properly which allowed water to come in the boat. I took care of that. Water had got into the bilge from when I cleaned the boat one time also.
Now I find water in the starboard side near the outside part of the stringer opposite the generator. I have not been able to determine where that is coming from . This winter I am going to tape off some of the limber holes to see if I can isolate it this summer.
It appears that water is getting into the bilge after a rain and/or boat wash also. I went around and caulked every possible source I could find but that did not help.
I also found that the limber holes are not sealed off properly and found one small area of a stringer was wet with moisture meter.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:55 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info Lance.. water where it isn't supposed to be is a strong source of annoyance for me. I never have had good luck with plumbing or water connections... I'm a novice there... Others have had good outcomes with resealing screw holes on the gunwales so that's going to be the next project I take on. I'm also considering using a round sanding spool? in the limbers to clean off the shards and seal those... for the most part, my bilge is dry, but any water inside shouldn't be there.. a little water invites more water... Also on the upper helm the railing that's screwed to the deck has rotted screw holes and that's a project I may photograph and post...

thanks for the info...

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Old 02-19-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by El Sea View Post
We had an issue with a PSV on our water heater. When motoring the engine would heat the water in the water heater to a temperature high enough to cause thevpressure safety valve to pop open and discharge eater in to the bilge.
Attach a hose to the outlet of the TP valve and run it into a container. This will contain the overflow and you can dispose of it easily. An empty gallon coolant jug works for me.
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