How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hours?

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How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hours?

Postby cauclair » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:21 pm

How much water is the DS supposed to take in the bilge after 2-3 hours of sailing?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:40 pm

The short answer is: none.

My DS1 never takes any water in normal sailing.

A DS2 might be expected to have some water come out of the holes for the CB lines (the water in the CB trunk can be under pressure when the boat sails fast, and as the lines exit through the wall of the CB, water can get out that way). That water would end up on the cuddy floor, and from there, drain into the cockpit (not the bilge, which on a DS2 is the space between the hulls).

The most common source of water in the bilge is a bad seal involving the CB. On a DS1, if the CB handle gasket is old or not tightened, there may be a small drip into the bilge. On a DS2 there are some places where similar leaks can allow water from the CB directly into the bilge. However, there's also a chance that water from the cuddy or the cockpit can get into the bilge, if there are cracks or unsealed openings.

In rough water, you may get some spray from hitting waves. That water will end up in the bilge for an older single-hull DS1, but for a double hull boat, will only do so if the cockpit floor isn't sealed properly.

Finally, there are some through-hull bailers that could be a source of leaks. These would be my first suspects if the water enters the boat when just sitting on the water and not actively sailed (no pressure in the CB trunk).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:21 am

Thank you for the detailed response.
Much water comes out when the tramson plug is removed after sailing
How do I get to the handle gasket? From under the hull where the CB drops or from inside the cockpit, or cuddy?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:41 pm

If I were to install a bilge pump (that is until the CB leak or other leak is fixed), any suggestions on where I would install the pump?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:57 pm

Define "much water". It may take considerable time to drain even a few gallons. From a total weight perspective, you could easily carry 10-15 gallons and not be in real trouble. (The added weight would be that of another crew member.)

I sail locally with a fleet of mixed dinghies, all of some older vintage. Every once in a while some take on a bit of water due to developing a leak that the owner hasn't gotten around to fixing yet. Watching them drain their boats, you'd think half the boat was water.

We sail on a lake small enough to swim to the nearest shore from anywhere and races are limited in time (around two hours on the water) and there are many boats around to assist, should someone really sink his boat. So attitudes are sometimes a bit casual.

I would worry most that you don't understand your source of water well enough to be sure that the problem stays manageable (even with a pump). A leaking CB handle gasket, or leaking up/downhaul cable opening are unlikely to get rapidly worse. A crack in the hull or other cause may be a different issue.

If you do understand the source of water and can be confident that it stays within certain bounds you may want to double check the amount. If it is just a few gallons, a pump may not strictly be necessary. (I understand from your other post that you have purchased one already. If you always carry a battery with you, I agree, you might as well mount it - the work needed for that, including routing the drain for the pump in a permanent way, is not going to be that much less work than fixing your leak, though.)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:14 pm

By "through-hull bailers" do you mean holes through the hull? The boat does not have any.

I have accessed the inside of the bilge (twist off round caps in each side of the cockpit)and can see at least two cavities/holes/spaces (damaged fiber glass) through which the water might be coming in.

Wondering if I can use Marine Tex putty? Any suggestions?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:58 pm

Not sure of the total amount, but the water drains for a good 30 minutes or so.

I was able to open the two twist off caps in the cockpit and see at least two sections that might be the culprit. The bolts appear to the CB appear to be tight, but I will apply a sealant as well. I have sailed under these conditions before and was not overly concerned with the issue. I was fixing the hull detaching from the deck and notice some old repairs at the bottom of the hull with a minor leak, which eventually led me to addressing the water in the bilge.

I have not purchased a pump yet as I intend to fix those two holes in the bilge. Any suggestions on what product to use?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:28 pm

If you have holes or cracks in the hull the approved repair would be to apply new laminate using fiberglass cloth and laminating epoxy.

In principle, for a "puncture" type damage that is small (1'4" or less) and well defined, you could use 3M High Strength Marine Filler.

But even there, the chances are that any impact that caused that puncture also damaged some of the surrounding laminate. You'd definitely would want to grind off any damaged laminate, and by that time you may have a shallow V depression around your hole which would then best be re-built with fresh laminate.

For cracks, the real issue is that they are under stress and you not only need to seal them but restore strength in that area. You start by grinding them out into shallow grooves - if any laminate that you expose looks "milky" you grind that away as well (intact laminate is clear - it will look dark).

Then you rebuild the laminate.

In an awkward corner, you may grind out the crack a bit, fill with 3M High Strength Marine Filler and then add a 2-3 layers of laminate as a "patch" over the inside, making sure your patch tapers in thickness by making each layer 1-2" narrower.

If you just "caulk" such cracks, they will likely work loose, or worse grow. Especially if near the centerboard.

I found a hole on my boat (looked like a bullet hole) that someone had caulked and then painted over. When I refinished the boat I was able to push that caulk right through. To imagine that any contact in that area could have reopened that hole at any time (well below the waterline) is a scary thought.

Laminating is not particularly difficult, if you haven't done it before you just need good instructions. Both West System and System Three offer publications on their websites that explain the basics. (SystemThree is widely stocked locally, so that's what I use, but West System, or MAS Epoxy are also reputable brands)

Keys to success for working with epoxy include careful measurement and thorough mixing. By all means, put a piece of wax paper on your workbench and laminate a trial piece. That will give you confidence and allow you to correct any mistakes. If the trial piece turns out well, keep it; you can later use it as a patch somewhere (if cured you need to sand it, but can then glue it in place with epoxy).

Good luck.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby 109jb » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:34 pm

Like Greenlake said, if there is hull damage it is probably something that you should take care of sooner rather than later. I personally have worked on fiberglass boats for years and it really isn't that bad. I would not use something as a patch as that just means you will have to grind it out for a proper repair. Many like to use epoxy resin, but I personally prefer to use the same resin system that the boat was made of. the vast majority of fiberglass boats were made with polyester resin. The way I have always done repairs is to grind or sand the affected area with 60 grit paper until you have sanded all the nasty top layer grime off and given it a good tooth for bonding. Then paint on the resin with a brush before laying one layer of fiberglass mat, followed by layers of cloth that will provide the strength. The mat is to insure a good bond to the substrate as the random orientation of fibers works better than the uniform orientation the cloth has. The cloth and mat are in the same resin layer so bonding between them is insured. If you are going to do multiple layers in multiple sessions and using polyester resin then use laminating resin. If doing multiple sessions with epoxy, then get some peel-ply, which is dacron fabric and put this down when you end a session, When you start the next session pull up the peel ply and you have a proper surface for the next layup. Otherwise you need to sand between sessions. Good luck.
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:20 am

The attraction of epoxy is that it bonds better to already cured polyester (i.e. old laminate in your hull). It also doesn't shrink on curing. The downside is that exposed epoxy needs UV shielding. And while many claim that you can get gelcoat to bond to epoxy, desirable when the repair is on the outside of the hull, it may take a bit of care. The downside of polyester is the strong smell - might be an issue if you work in a basement garage. Then again, if you want to use mat, you have to make sure the one you want to use is compatible with epoxy - not all are.

So, you ave your choices.

Sometimes the differences aren't enough to matter for a repair line this. Either one may give you acceptable outcomes.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:46 am

When laying on my stomach in the cockpit through the two twist off caps I can see what appears to be two holes near the CB housing (no open access through the cuddy). It appears that to attempt to repair them, I will need to open a space (make a latch) in the cuddy. I could then patch the holes, and if needed in the future put the pump(s) there as well. I do not see any other way. Any suggestions?
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby badgley » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:02 pm

Wow, 30 minutes of draining sounds like it could be a lot of water, even through a slow draining plug. I agree with others that any water entering through damage in the hull is something that 1) you probably want to take care of soon and 2) requires structural strengthening with new cloth and resin, not just 'plugging' with sealant. Maybe I'm being dense, but is there a reason you need to do this from the inside? If it's through the hull, would it not be maybe more easily repaired from the outside? If you can post some pictures it might be easier to help. However, yes, any work you need to do in the bilge is usually done by clever installation of new access ports. If you get Roger's book it has lots of great suggestions on accessing different parts of the bilge and what to expect in there with regard to how things are arranged.

Another place to inspect on the DSII is the two holes where the CB lines travel through. If the little donut/collar pieces have degraded or fallen away and you sail in a lot of chop you can take significant water through those as well. Also, if you're sailing with a lot of heel, an opened hull/deck joint can take a lot of water in quickly.

I also agree with others that taking on no water is a very reasonable/attainable goal. The bilge of my DSII stays dry regardless of sailing conditions or time on the water. Personally, I'd put time/money into fixing leaks rather than installing bilge pumps. If I've got enough of a leak that needs pumping after 2-3 hours, it would make me nervous to rely on a bilge pump to address the issue. I'd be worried that somewhere in the hull is one small stress away from letting even more water in even more quickly...
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:32 pm

If small (circular) holes without extensive cracking you might indeed try to fix them from the outside. If there's cracked / weakened laminate near the hull/centerboard connection, then it's easier to add additional laminate on the inside as you can create a "bump" there which you can't on the outside. However, as noted, if would require cutting some access holes. To keep cuddy/cockpit floor watertight, access holes should be for the circular "deck plate" style screw-in ports.

Totall agree with @badgley that you definitely need to go after the source first, if it's that much water (I assume it's really draining for that length of time, not just a bare trickle. To give a comparison, when I hose down my DS1 (open hull), water drains for about 5 mins, but may trickle for longer.
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby cauclair » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:16 am

I was able to fix the problem. I started by making an inspection opening in the cuddy. I then put the boat in the water without the mast just to see how much water was coming in. Not only was water coming in fast, but I could see a small hole and weakened surrounding area around the housing of the keel. There was much internal damage caused by the water over the years. Eventually, I applied fiberglass on the inside, and later on the outside. On the outside, it appears that one of the previous owner must have damaged the hull by hitting rocks and made fiberglass repairs. I stripped the damaged fiberglass and applied new one on both ends of the keel housing.

It was my first time working with fiberglass, and even so I had been intimidated at first, I would say I was very successful. I applied 2-5 coats depending on the severity of the damage. I put the boat back in the water again without the mast just for observation and besides a minuscule amount (I suppose due to the bottom opening below the hull where no plug can fit), the repairs appear to be working.

Going on the water with sails and all next week.
Next year, I intend to paint the hull and the deck.

Thank you for the advice.
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Re: How much water is the DS supposed to take after 2-3 hour

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:21 pm

Great! And thanks for the update.

As you found, working with fiberglass is a skill that's fairly straightforward to acquire; and there are a lot of good resources out there.
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