UPDATE: Thelonious II Completes Hawaii Cruise, 2021.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I set out at dawn despite SCWs because the gribs said 20 knots gusting to 22. By noon, reaching the open sea, I encountered steady 30 knots gusting to 40 over the deck. Th course is tight close-hauled to make North, but i figured tough it out and in a few days things would likely ease as latitude increased. However, the bilge pump was running too much. Way too much, as we bashed and plunged. I checks all thru hulls, dripless, and everything else. No water anywhere--this boat just doesn't leak. So it had to be the bow, probably the hole in t he stem for the chain locker drain. I have checked that visually many times, but it's hard to reach and touch. And e were buryin the bow every other wave, which is rare on the E38.
So in the crazy gyrations of going to windward in a near gale I crawled forward and -- yeah.

IN f act, so much water was coming in that the bilge pump couldn't keep up, so I manned the Whale. Could I fix the leak while hove to? Yes, somehow, definitely. But Oahu was only just receding behind me, a nd turning back would make repair easy. Also, I didnt savor A week or two of that kind of windward work, which is inordinately challenging for boat and skipper. sO I reversed course and by 5 p.m. had sailed 50 miles to nowhere except my former slip in Ko Olina.

I'll dig into the repair tomorrow. I hate turning back but the decision was correct. That is not always clear, but it was obvious this time. I'll depart again when the fix is made and the trades have returned to normal. By the way, you'd never know this hose was an issue unless the bow is burying forcefully. I believe the violent pressures blew the hose right off the fitting .Here is the evidence so far. Video is very useful in analysing a problem you can hardly see or which is intermittent. The video suggests that the hose came right off, I'll know tomorrow if that's what happened.

Here's the evidence video

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Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Good video, Christian. Good decision to turn around, too. Was your anchor locker pan filling with water? Fixing the hose will probably take care of the problem.


Member III
LOL, I have the same video but was recorded at dock aiming a hose from outside simulating heavy sea. The video shows decent access to the chain locker drain tube in Ericson 38, no so in 32. Best wishes with the repair and the return trip.


Sustaining Member
“The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

You made the right decision to say the least!

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I wonder if the top plastic fitting in the front of the anchor locker has a part of the rode sitting square on top, partly blocking the opening? (I used to ponder that, and along with wanting to let mud wash away easier, I put a section of "Dry Deck" plastic pieces in that locker under the rode and chain. I also had one plug from a sand/mud mixture.
Of course we never had your kind of 24/7 slamming into head seas to pressurize that little piece of tubing, either. :(


Junior Member
Thank you again Christian, that’s another potential issue with my E38 that I would never have dreamed about. By the time I attempt my trek to Oahu you will have already ironed out all the kinks for me. Much appreciation.


Sustaining Member
hard to tell, but looks like either a split in that hose at the point of the bend, or perhaps water being driven in around the tube segment that penetrates the bow. Good luck on the fix. That sure was a lot of water coming in!


Live free or die hard
What an annoying thing to have to turn around for but it was clearly the right choice in that circumstance and good you noticed!

In the future maybe move the drain hole to the side of the hull to avoid the “ram effect”?