U20 Class Member's Forum

General Category => U20 Boat Maintenance & Care => Topic started by: Billy Ellis on June 07, 2010, 12:11:33 PM

Title: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Billy Ellis on June 07, 2010, 12:11:33 PM
Mine is not so water tight. Did a 21 mile race over the weekend and I took alot of water in both the cabin and forward compartment. I'm going to rework the gasket on the keel but can't figure out why so much ( or any ) got into the forward compartment. Has anyone had this happen to them?
Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Gregg Henning on June 07, 2010, 01:30:15 PM

You need to take your keel out and rework the keel box where the keel slot attaches to the bunk area.  Clean out the the area that has separated with a dremel tool.  I injected 5200 into the slot that I cleaned out and no more leaks.

Here is a picture to help you visualize.

Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Don Corey on June 09, 2010, 02:27:46 AM
When it's leaking in the cabin floor it's the keel plate gasket.  When it's leaking in the watertights it's probably the keelbox/pan joint as Gregg suggested.  Many ways to fix this but Greggs 'soft' fix with the 5200 is the best to start with.  Just an FYI some boats leak absolutely nothing, some drops, some pints, some quarts, some gallons (not good) but the important thing is to not store the boat with any water in the water tight compartments as many boats have an exposed wood stringer in front of the keelbox forward to the bow.
Trust me, it's not fun to cut all this out and replace.
Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Keith Andrews on July 07, 2013, 11:17:48 PM
Hi Gregg,
I am seeing some water in the forward tanks on hull #70 and was hoping that you could repost the image as I am not able to open it. 

Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Don Corey on July 08, 2013, 01:32:11 PM
Inspect the keel plate gasket first, if it appears torn or worn I'd replace that first and that may stop all the leaking.
Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Jay Harland on July 08, 2013, 03:38:49 PM
Billy or Keith,

Been there, got the fiberglass encrusted work shirt.  Best way to inspect is as follows:

1.  Have the keel in normal trailer mode.
2.  Find a regular bolt that is the right threading/size to screw into the scotty bolt inserts (the keel will interfere with the regular scotty bolts when it is up)
3.  Take the keel wedges out. 
4.  Sight down from the leading edge of the keel aft while pulling up with slight to moderate force on the bolt.

Best Case Results- If the you see no cracks between the water-tight compartment "lid" and the vertical keel box then there are no major issues.

THE FIX- change out the keel gasket and you should be good to go.  (if you only find a couple small areas where the keel gasket is not sealing then you can get away with a couple strategically located strips of those sticky rubber strips that are designed to seal pick-up truck canopies to the truck bed).

Minor Issue Results- no gap is visible between the lid and the keelbox when no force is exerted.  When you pull up on the bolt, you can only see a small gap between the lid and the keelbox and the Scotty bolt inserts still feel good and solidly set.  The gap is short and does not extend for a significant length of the keel box (say 3" or less)

THE FIX- Do not dremel the gaps any bigger under this scenario.  This repair can be done with the keel in place in an afternoon.  Find some eye bolts that can screw in the inserts.  Use the eye bolds and some line to put upward tension on the Scotty inserts to "grow the gap" by a millimeter or two.  Go slow and do not add too much tension.  With the gap expanded, use a small knife and work from inside the water tight compartment to remove "excess adhesive" on the inside where the gap is between the keel box top and the water tight compartment.  Buy a small tube of 5200 (the full size caulk gun tube will be difficult to maneuver) and hunt around the hardware store for a nozzle that fits the tube.  Squeeze 5200 into the small gap from inside the water tight compartment out until it bleeds through to the keel side.  Release the tension on the eye bolts gently screw them down until they put downward force on the lid to compress the joint and get a good seal.  Clean up the keel side with a tongue depressor.  Let it set for a couple days and go sailing to test it out.  Repeat the inspection after sailing and continue to store the boat with the water tight compartment open to protect the wood stringer as Don suggests.

More Significant Issue Results - there are large gaps between a significant portion of the compartment "lid" and the vertical keel box and/or the scotty bolt inserts no longer feel rock solid.

THE FIX - If you are not good with composites then find a very very very reputable and competent boat yard to do the repair.  Plan on spending some cash because it is labor intensive.  If you are good with composites the repair can be done over a 2-3 day stretch (not counting taking the keel in and out and a little extra curing time just to maximize the likelihood that the hard work will last for many years).  If you want to go the DIY route then e-mail me at windlooper@aol.com and I will send you a detailed step/recipe.  We can talk on the phone and I will step you through it.  My boat required this repair and I have sailed it hard for four years with no leaks and only very minor issues since.


Madison #73 
Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Keith Ziegler on July 11, 2013, 01:46:05 PM
Jay is right as when I bought #173 we had a drastic problem with water inside the boat. Step one was to remove the speedo and depth sounder and seal the holes to make sure that wasn't the water entry point to no avail. Second step was to repair the joint at the base of the of the air tank and the floor where you step down in the boat which kept the water from coming out on the floor and maintained it in the front air tank. This past winter the keel was removed and the joint was ground out and and resealed and while I was at it I installed a new keel gasket.
  Been sailing in big air and been on plane alot this summer and the front air tank is dry as can be which makes my wife happy thus making me happy. The only water that gets in the boat is from the drain hole at the base of the lifting post which my wife has now come up with a straw and bucket solution that when we get to the boat she just has to dump out the bucket saving the grief of having to pull out the floor boards and sponging it out.
 Don question to you, do you believe the keel joint is failing from the flexing of the boat or from lifting the boat when the boat is dry sailed? I dry sail the boat and am putting it in and out an averge of twice a week.

Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Dave Amnotte on September 11, 2013, 06:54:40 AM
our keel plate gasket is worn out and needs replacing.  what can we use for gasket material???
Title: Re: Forward Water Tight Compartment.
Post by: Don Corey on October 17, 2013, 04:39:38 PM
3/8" neoprene rubber works best.