Dealing with Leaks

  • January 18, 2019 12:51 PM
    Message # 7009135

    I suspect there are already postings on how to fix leaks, but I didn't see how to search the forum for old topics.

    I moved aboard my 28w seven months ago, and prior to that I'd never stepped foot on a boat (for all intents and purposes). So, now I'm dealing with what I can only imagine is a common issue: leaks. I returned home from a three week holiday, and discovered that it had been storming nonstop while I was gone.

    It looks like there are small leaks in a few place, but a big area is the rear berth, above my fuel tank. I don't know where to begin with fixing a leak: how do I pinpoint it? How do I seal it? Could the leak have caused any sort of structural rotting I need to be concerned with? Any sort of specificity in products and techniques you can give me would be greatly appreciated, because when I say I'm new to this, I mean totally fresh. I'm attaching some photos—you can see in one where there's obvious sunlight pouring in from somewhere, but maybe the fiberglass is just a little translucent? I've no idea.

    Thanks all.

    (And please check out my other posting—I've got solar issues to deal with!)

    5 files
  • January 18, 2019 4:48 PM
    Reply # 7009430 on 7009135

    Hey David , it looks like you have the dreaded cap rail leak . Don't worry though it's highly unlikely it's anything structural . It's just a pain  to fix , but you are young and you can handle it . First you must dig/strip out as much of the old calking as possible from the outside and the inside , then sand the cleaned out space  and  wash it with acetone . Now get a calk gun and a few tubes of the correct type of Sikaflex . (there are different types) I'll look into it . From what I understand Sikaflex is good stuff . In the past I have used BoatLife , I don't recommend it as it dries and cracks in almost no time . Hopefully someone will come along with some more info .

    OK , I think we need Siaflex 291 .

    Also when I said inside and outside , I mean outside of the cap rail and on the inside of the gunnel rail (still outside) . 

    Plus it is also possible the leak is coming from a hawse pipe . 

    Last modified: January 18, 2019 5:51 PM | Anonymous member
  • January 18, 2019 5:08 PM
    Reply # 7009434 on 7009135
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Lots of information on the site ... Westsail Fixes & FAQ  is one place... I've been updating over the years. 

    Further look through the WOA Google album 

    The only way IMHO for a long term fix is to do the hard work and remove the caprails and epoxy/glass over the area under the caprails... 

    Come back here if you have more questions. 


  • June 17, 2019 6:16 PM
    Reply # 7584727 on 7009135
    Deleted user

    hi there!

    same boat same problems;)

    we are curently rebedding our deck hardware as good as we can.

    most leaks should be gone if you recaulk the caprail.

    theres water entering the caprail and finding its way to every screw attached to it.. the screws wich bolt down the caprail itself (theres two kind,the ones that are tapping screws and go right thru and the ones in the middle with a nut...those are terrible to get out) and of course the sailtrack wich is attached with you know how many;)

    in the process we removed the stanchions  and rebedded them. the old caulking (inside) stopped there and there was a 1' gap,perfectly for water to enter.

    towards the stern its easier to work in the bullwarks then in front of the bow,since the bullwarks is not as tight....since we already took the interior apart,we are rebedding eveything.

    make shure all the woodbungs on the rail are intact....many of ours came out and we had to sink&bung them.

    while everything was open and accessible we also changed the stupid tiny deckdrains with 1" tube...the old drains always got clogged and were connected only via a kinked hose....

    we did alot more upgardes to the small boat,watertank,bowsprit,engineroom hatch....feel free to ask!


  • June 17, 2019 6:39 PM
    Reply # 7584736 on 7009135

    Christian , you are right those deck drains are to small , awhile back  was going to hire a glass guy to cut out a large opining and glass in a tube from the deck to the hull and make it so no water could sit in the collection area . His price for the job came in a little high , so mswesti put a stop to all that . Maybe someday .

    Mark .  

  • June 17, 2019 6:57 PM
    Reply # 7584743 on 7009135
    Deleted user

    funny,thats what i was doing just today:)

    wasn't too bad...after i had the drains removed,i've opend the holes and epoxied a 1" tube in.

    once everything is cured i'll sand it flush and either paint or gelcoat touch up.

    the worst was taking the interior apart:)

    a small job compare to what we've done to the boat.....check the watertank replacement in the forum...good god;)

    have fun with the little "built like a tank - sails like a tank" beast!

    greetings from chiapas mexico


  • June 18, 2019 11:44 AM
    Reply # 7586269 on 7009135


    While you are working up in the bulwarks.  You may also want to remove and rebed the rubrail.  I've found leaks where water gets between the wood rubrail and the fiberglass of the hull and migrates thru the hull via the attachment bolts.


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