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Old 07-08-2018, 10:23 AM   #1
Airstream345's Avatar
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Random Question: A Survey "Soak Test"

I was washing my boat yesterday and started wondering if anyone ever considered asking for a "soak test" in their purchase survey? Setup a sprinkler for an hour or more and see what leaks. In the RV industry soak tests from the mfg and leak tests from dealers is pretty common.

I would think it especially useful with older, teak decked trawlers.

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Old 07-08-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
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Not sure it’s needed. A good surveyor should be able to spot stains on the interior left by leaks. That said if stains are found, a good soaking with a hose should show if they are still active leaks.

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Old 07-08-2018, 11:17 AM   #3
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I'm not sure it's needed either. An older, Taiwanese teak decked trawler is going to leak - you don't need a test to determine that . If not leaking through to the interior (best case), leaking into the deck material (worst case).

A more sure test used in the RV biz is the 'blower test' in which a blower or vacuum cleaner is attached after all the known openings are sealed with tape. On a typical trawler, it may not work cause there will be so many leaks you won't be able to hold any pressure.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:20 PM   #4
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I think it could be a good idea.

I bought a 2005 Catalina 400 MkII in 2010. It was based in Marina Del Rey in SoCal. During the sea trial and survey in August the bilge was so dry it was dusty. We bought the boat and moved it to the PNW. It rains here. A lot. Shortly after the fall rains started we noticed a leak behind a locker that was draining into bottom of the locker.

It took me many frustrating hours to figure out where the leak was coming from and eventually fix it (temporarily).

I would have loved to have found that leak before the boat was purchased. I doubt the owner would have fixed it, but I would have been able to negotiate a significant price discount.

Having said that, I would have taken a very significant soak test to be able to spot that leak. I know that I spent hours with a hose trying to find the leak and it wasnít as effective at finding the leak as good olí PNW rain.

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