Adding an inspection port in the liner or double
bottom can open inaccessible locations.
Inaccessible spaces below the floor may hold
water, requiring you to cut an access hole to get
a pump in there.
This imbedded prop shaft strut is suspected of
causing a hidden leak. The success of reglassing
it will only be known after launching.
it’s heeling over, a keel bolt or keel sump
crack leaking under load or a fitting on the
leeward hull side siphoning into the bilge
might be implicated. In this case, change
tacks and observe what happens.
Second Clue: Where Does
The Leak Originate?
If the leak is constant, dry the bilge
and identify the direction from which the
first trickle arrives. This will at least narrow
the search for the point of entry to port,
starboard, forward, or aft. However, leaks
are devious and boats are built with hidden
conduits and inaccessible compartments.
The location at which the leak exits into
the bilge may be a long way from its entry
point into the hull.
Given that boats with deep keels do occasionally run aground, the builder will usually cap the ballast with a secondary glass
layer across the top of the keel. This secondary defense forms the floor of the bilge
and will keep the boat dry in the event the
hull skin is holed. It’s safe to assume that if
there is a leak at the inner skin, there must
also be a leak at the outer skin.
Powerboat hulls, too, can often hide
problems. Many have a double bottom
filled with flotation foam or arranged with
liners so that the inner skin of the hull cannot be seen without destructive measures.
If the leak’s origins are truly hidden, the