water in bilge/forward locker silver oxide

907Juice

Continuously learning
hello guys and thanks for reading! I've stayed a few days on the boat over the summer and the bilge pump rarely to never turns on. But whenever i drive down to check on the boat, it frequently had a lot of water in it. Mostly just under where the auto pump will turn on. I've traced down most of the leaks on the boat and I'm mostly sure there is a leak from the anchor locker into the forward locker because ive seen a trickle of water along the forward line of the bow directly under the anchor locker. But, there isn't any connection to the main bilge from this position and it mainly fills up and I drain it manually. I think the it is also leaking from where the rudder comes up into the cockpit but I'm not sure. I read online that you can order silver oxide online to get a sample of each to make sure the water is fresh or salt. I'm probably going to head down to the boat in a week or so to check on it. Should i order some silver oxide to confirm my suspicions? I really want to figure out but I'm not sure.
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
If you dip a finger in the water you can quickly taste if it's salt water or fresh. I've never needed silver oxide to tell which it is.
Frank
 
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EGregerson

Member III
leaks

I'm assuming when u stay on the boat it doesn't rain. I personally believe there r way more leaks on the top than the bottom of a boat. From my own experience and the experiences of others on this site; u just have to start with the obvious places and go from there. Anchor locker, stanchion mounts, hatches, ports; deck intakes like water and fuel. I've read u can just 'taste' the water to see if it's salty or not; never tried it; maybe gargle with scotch if u do.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
I've read u can just 'taste' the water to see if it's salty or not;

True. But if the spaghetti water is already boiling, let it cool first. Don;t ask me how I know.



 

907Juice

Continuously learning
I'm assuming when u stay on the boat it doesn't rain. I personally believe there r way more leaks on the top than the bottom of a boat. From my own experience and the experiences of others on this site; u just have to start with the obvious places and go from there. Anchor locker, stanchion mounts, hatches, ports; deck intakes like water and fuel. I've read u can just 'taste' the water to see if it's salty or not; never tried it; maybe gargle with scotch if u do.

Over last winter I pulled all the staunchion and cleats and resealed them forward of the cockpit. I thought those were the immediate comcerm and all the ones rear would drain into the bilge. That is how I’ve come to that conclusion. As far as tasting the water, that is where I draw the line. We are in the 21st century and the idea of tasting oily, dirty, diesel infused water doesn’t interest me. If that is the only conclusion I’ll just keep looking...
 

907Juice

Continuously learning
I'm assuming when u stay on the boat it doesn't rain. I personally believe there r way more leaks on the top than the bottom of a boat. From my own experience and the experiences of others on this site; u just have to start with the obvious places and go from there. Anchor locker, stanchion mounts, hatches, ports; deck intakes like water and fuel. I've read u can just 'taste' the water to see if it's salty or not; never tried it; maybe gargle with scotch if u do.
Yeah, the admiral and I are still new to sailing so we are mostly fair weather sailors. I’ve stayed on it while it is raining (in the harbor) and that is how I found most of the hardware leaks. I think I’ve narrowed down the forward one but am still working on the one that drains to the bilge. For the record, I have a 25+ and the bilge is all of 3 or 4 inches deep and maybe 10ft Long at it’s max so it isn’t a lot of water. It is just frustrating.

Thankd again
juice
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
I would think that a cheap Chinese TDS meter is far cheaper than a jar of silver oxide these days.
...a digital multimeter might work too, for a rough indication, but you know for some reason I've never tried it. Probably because I've always had conductivity testers around.
 

907Juice

Continuously learning
Silver nitrate

My bad, wrong thing in original title. And it looks like about $20 on amazon for a home science experiment sized bottle.
 

frick

Member III
New Paper

I used to place newpaper near suspected leaks... It will not just get wet, but it will change enough in its appearance for you to see if was wet.
Water for small leaks have a way of "moving " and appearing in different locations.

On my 1971 E29, I have systematically re-bedded everything on the deck. It really helped. The newspaper trick help me isolate leaks that I see because of their location.

Rick+
 

tenders

Innocent Bystander
This discussion reminds me of the old Rodney Dangerfield joke asking about the difference between an oral thermometer, and the other kind.

“THE TASTE.”

I grew up on the Great Lakes, where it was hard to tell whether a leak was coming from the rain or the lake. Somehow, we managed to survive. But if you have the gift of salt water, use it!
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Leak chasing.

Fellas, Along with newspaper (great idea), baby talk is good to use as well. Sprinkle it where you suspect the water is coming from, up and away at the same time. Wait for a rain and return to see where rivulets have washed the powder away. If that doesn't get it, move away from it and toward the suspected source direction until you can nail the culprit. Best of luck, Glyn Judson, E31 hull #55, Marina del Rey CA
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Fellas, Along with newspaper (great idea), baby talk is good to use as well. Sprinkle it where you suspect the water is coming from, up and away at the same time. Wait for a rain and return to see where rivulets have washed the powder away. If that doesn't get it, move away from it and toward the suspected source direction until you can nail the culprit. Best of luck, Glyn Judson, E31 hull #55, Marina del Rey CA
"Talk"? "Gitchie Gitchie Goo. What a cute little puddle are You!"
:)

(Auto correct strikes again...)
 
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MMLOGAN

Member III
Milennial Taster

I'll offer up my 23 year old son. He seems to buy anything that they sell at Trader Joes with the word "Infused" on the label...
 

Teranodon

Member III
..... As far as tasting the water, that is where I draw the line. We are in the 21st century and the idea of tasting oily, dirty, diesel infused water doesn’t interest me. If that is the only conclusion I’ll just keep looking...
I guess I'm stuck in the 20th century (plus the new one doesn't impress me so far) but I ALWAYS taste the bilge water before I pump it out. Just a finger tip-full, mind you. A few months ago, this allowed me to discover that my dripless shaft seal was.... dripping. Luckily, I was about to haul the boat, so I was able to rebuild. Still - de gustibus...
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
My bilge tastes better than the water I grew up swimming in on the edges of New York harbor.

We used to see who could make the prettiest ripples in the oil slicks....
 

907Juice

Continuously learning
Lol, maybe I just need to try new things... who knows maybe salty bilge water will go well with pasta. Thanks for the ideas. I’ll let you know how it goes.

As long as we’re offering ideas, I’ve been know to let the dock water hose run over the deck while enjoying an adult beverage (or 3) to track down leaks.
 
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