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Old 08-07-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
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Hi and help

Hi all. I am new to the forum and look forward to trading stories and tips. I am in year two of owning a 1983 Norther Trawler 35' TriCabin. It has been great. With my wife and 3 daughters we have spent a month on board last summer and this summer.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed my bow dip while at dock or anchor. We started out with most of the boot stripe above water (even that seemed a bit low to me...I thought it would rise as I filled the water and fuel tanks. It didn't). In the two weeks since filllong the fuel tanks (water has been emptied and refilled a few times) the bow is getting slowly lower. Now I only see about a half inch of boot stripe. The bilge is always a bit wet but not enough to trigger the pump. Compartments under v berth bunks are dry (they did get water in over the winter from rain, I think). Any ideas??
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:52 PM   #2
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Hi all. I am new to the forum and look forward to trading stories and tips. I am in year two of owning a 1983 Norther Trawler 35' TriCabin. It has been great. With my wife and 3 daughters we have spent a month on board last summer and this summer.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed my bow dip while at dock or anchor. We started out with most of the boot stripe above water (even that seemed a bit low to me...I thought it would rise as I filled the water and fuel tanks. It didn't). In the two weeks since filllong the fuel tanks (water has been emptied and refilled a few times) the bow is getting slowly lower. Now I only see about a half inch of boot stripe. The bilge is always a bit wet but not enough to trigger the pump. Compartments under v berth bunks are dry (they did get water in over the winter from rain, I think). Any ideas??
Welcome Guido.

Off the top of my head, there may be a crack in the bow under the water line. Just a guess. Have you went aground hard or have you hit anything?

I am sure some other will chime in to give you their thought.

Best of luck

Cheers.

H
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:55 PM   #3
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I don't think it would just mysteriously get lower in the water. There has to be a reason. And it would be adding weight or losing buoyancy. The only other thing would be the hull is absorbing water and I seriously doubt that. Go thru all of the things you have changed recently. Remember when you move something, you are not only adding weight to where you move it to...but you are removing weight from where you moved it from. It is a double whammy. So moving 50lbs from aft to forward is like adding 100 pounds up front. So while you may think some small things move shouldn't cause anything, they might.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Do you have a hollow keel? The GB 32 has one and mine filled up with water because a screw fell out of the stem, the hole was under water while we were under way. That might account for it. Some boats have a small vertical hose or pipe, usually capped off, in the bottom of the bilge. Look to see if you have one? If you do, a drill pump inserted in the pipe will tell the tale. A drill pump may not have the capacity to remove all the water but its a start.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:08 PM   #5
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I don't think it would just mysteriously get lower in the water. There has to be a reason. And it would be adding weight or losing buoyancy. The only other thing would be the hull is absorbing water and I seriously doubt that. Go thru all of the things you have changed recently. Remember when you move something, you are not only adding weight to where you move it to...but you are removing weight from where you moved it from. It is a double whammy. So moving 50lbs from aft to forward is like adding 100 pounds up front. So while you may think some small things move shouldn't cause anything, they might.
That is a good point Baker. But why would the bow still be going lower?

Cheers

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Old 08-07-2017, 02:38 PM   #6
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Welcome Guido.

Off the top of my head, there may be a crack in the bow under the water line. Just a guess. Have you went aground hard or have you hit anything?

I am sure some other will chime in to give you their thought.

Best of luck

Cheers.

H
Thanks for the suggestion. I don't think there is a crack. I bought the boat 18 months ago and surveyor found nothing like that. I have hit nothing since owning it.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Good question about the keel. I did have some drive shaft work done...I will ask the mechanic about that.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:43 PM   #8
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Maybe this is it. We will reach home port today and unload. We have been out with 5 people for two weeks. A lot of stuff has been moved around. Maybe all will return to normal....though there is not really that much stuff forward...
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:38 PM   #9
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Maybe this is it. We will reach home port today and unload. We have been out with 5 people for two weeks. A lot of stuff has been moved around. Maybe all will return to normal....though there is not really that much stuff forward...
Let's hope Guido.

What I cannot understand is why the bow is still getting lower with stuff being moved around. I can see it sitting lower from added weight but not getting lower and lower.

I do hope that is it. Keep us posted on what you find out.

Cheers.

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Old 08-07-2017, 03:59 PM   #10
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Let's hope Guido.

What I cannot understand is why the bow is still getting lower with stuff being moved around. I can see it sitting lower from added weight but not getting lower and lower.

I do hope that is it. Keep us posted on what you find out.

Cheers.

H.
I just emptied the holding tank (at sea) and asked my daughter to go top speed to see if that would shake more out of the holding tank. What it did is trigger the bilge which pumped some pretty stinky grey water. I think I have a forward part of my bilge which is lower than the bilge pump...
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:28 PM   #11
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I just emptied the holding tank (at sea) and asked my daughter to go top speed to see if that would shake more out of the holding tank. What it did is trigger the bilge which pumped some pretty stinky grey water. I think I have a forward part of my bilge which is lower than the bilge pump...


That would make sense and it sounds like you are on the right track.

Thanks for the update.

Cheers Mate.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:46 PM   #12
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I just emptied the holding tank (at sea) and asked my daughter to go top speed to see if that would shake more out of the holding tank. What it did is trigger the bilge which pumped some pretty stinky grey water. I think I have a forward part of my bilge which is lower than the bilge pump...
Check where your shower drain goes. Some boats will have a bilge that is hidden. Also, you mentioned "a" bildge pump. Many boats have more than one. If yours has a bilge pump in a forward bilge that isn't working, and you have a shower, anchor locker or a FW leak into that area, then you could get bow down.

With as much bow down attitude as you describe, I would doubt that it is just the gear from the 5 of you.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:49 PM   #13
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Check the drain from the anchor chain locker isn't blocked
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:48 PM   #14
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Check the drain from the anchor chain locker isn't blocked
Good thought. Will do. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:59 PM   #15
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Thanks for the suggestion. I don't think there is a crack. I bought the boat 18 months ago and surveyor found nothing like that. I have hit nothing since owning it.
Keep pursuing all possibilities and more than likely coming from inside-shower, holding, weight shift. However, do not eliminate something from consideration when you don't know what the problem is yet. If you don't figure out the problem, then it becomes time to haul and check what you can't see inside.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:42 PM   #16
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Check where your shower drain goes. Some boats will have a bilge that is hidden. Also, you mentioned "a" bildge pump. Many boats have more than one. If yours has a bilge pump in a forward bilge that isn't working, and you have a shower, anchor locker or a FW leak into that area, then you could get bow down.

With as much bow down attitude as you describe, I would doubt that it is just the gear from the 5 of you.
Yes, I think you are onto something. We arrived back at home port and I took some off two heavy coolers that had migrated to the foredeck. It helped a bit (that and having emptied the bilge and holding tank). But I still don't have the whole bootstripe out of the water as it was. I checked the bilge area...I have suspected a hidden bilge. My only bilge pump is easily visible but on a part of the bilge raised about an inch. Just aft of that is a small collection area that never dries. Forward of the raised bilge is a collection area that disappears forward under the holding tank. A forward shower does empty into this area but is out of commission. Since emptying the bilge and holding tank about 2 hours before docking and now (6 hours later, dockside) the bilge is pretty full, but not quite enough to trigger the (high) pump. So I used a wet vac and brought up about 6 gallons of pretty nasty bilge water (I had done this about a week ago). i will check it again after a few days dockside and see if it refills.
Continued thanks for your thoughts!!
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:40 AM   #17
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Forward of the raised bilge is a collection area that disappears forward under the holding tank.
What kind of holding tank is it? Steel or what? There may be a small leak in the tank and is leaking forward of the tank into the bow and your bilge cannot pump it out.

I recall you saying you had your daughter go full steam head and you seen a sticky gray water run back. I would check the tank as well if you can.

Cheers.

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:04 AM   #18
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And in addition to finding the problem, you need more bilge pumps including having them at the lowest point. Having water that remains always and won't pump out isn't acceptable.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:04 AM   #19
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What kind of holding tank is it? Steel or what? There may be a small leak in the tank and is leaking forward of the tank into the bow and your bilge cannot pump it out.

I recall you saying you had your daughter go full steam head and you seen a sticky gray water run back. I would check the tank as well if you can.

Cheers.

H.
The holding tank is FRP. I don't think it is leaking, but no suspect is off the hook yet!
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:05 AM   #20
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And in addition to finding the problem, you need more bilge pumps including having them at the lowest point. Having water that remains always and won't pump out isn't acceptable.
Yes - I can't deny that. Would be nice to have a dry bilge!
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