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OMG! Just In Time To Save Her!


andyandsallyb

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Hi Everyone,

We just thought we would share today's dreadful experience with you. We have just got back from Potter Heigham this evening after visiting our boat "Evening Star". We have not been to the yard in 5 weeks since she was fully winterised at the begining of December. Taking a first look at her, it was imediately apparent that her bow was sitting in the water a lot lower than usual as the front fenders were actually in the water! Very concerned we boarded her only to find to our complete horror that the forward cabin floor was under 8 inches of water! Lifting the inspection panel in the saloon floor revealed the water level 2 inches below the floor! Oh My God! Checked bilge pump, on automatic. Problem seems to be exhausted domestic batteries, opened sea cocks and started engine, bilge pump fired up straight away and took nearly an hour and a half to pump her out. Cant understand what has flattened the domestic batteries? they are all new and the engine battery was fully charged. Going back on Wednesday to meet with Herbert Woods engineer, I wound up the greasers for both stern glands, ran the engine for 2 hours to get some charge back in the batteries but had to leave to get home - have to work tomorrow. We both felt physically sick - what a mess. WIth a bit of luck she will have dried out a bit by Wednesday. Ill let you all know a bit later what damage she has sustained....

Andy & Sally

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I had a flat battery a couple of years ago when my float switch failed, giving a continuous circuit.

This ran the bilge pump till it exhausted the batteries, then stopped the pump.

When you ran the engine to get power for the pump, did it stop automatically when all the water was gone, or did you try pushing the float switch down to see that it was cutting out ?

Even so, it sounds like a lot of water in just 5 weeks, even without any pumping. Unless you have an open well/cockpit that is not self draining overboard (as many are not), then it does sound as though something is leaking, and the auto pump did it's job dutifully until it ran out of battery power.

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I can imagine how nauseated you must have felt Andy, hope HW guys locate the source of water ingress and sort it for you unless you already identified it as the stern gland. The batteries were probably flattened by trying to pump the water out and the reason it started up when you ran the engine is that it was then receiving power and the float switch or sensor would already be activated by the standing water. Of course that assumes you do not have shore power with a permanent float charger.

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What a wrotten thing to have happen. It makes me realise how lucky we are to live close to our boat - but even that is not a guarantee.

As I have mentiond before, I moved here about four years ago and transferred my boating allegience to the Broads from the canals. What I do miss is the security offered by the canals marina (Crick) where there was a resiident harbour master who kept a weather eye on all the boats. A duplicate set of keys were kept on site and any problem he would call and do what he could in the meantime. I accept that this was a marina with no hire fleet but then so are some around the Broads.

Anyway - hope this all get sorted and that you are properly afloat soon.

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:wave hi andy i feel really sorry for you, i would have been heart broken,it sounds as though your boat started to fill up with water & then when the really bad weather came the water froze & with the weight of the frozen ice in the bottom of the boat made the bilge pump keep working overtime,because of that bad period we had it actually made one of our windows crack. hope you get it sorted soon. lori :(
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Everybodys worst nightmare .... didn't you have a thread featuring your recent re-fit? or was that another similar boat?

Whatever ..... I really hope you have not incurred to much damage, at least you caught it before it decended to the depths. :cry:

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I regret that we no longer are moored on a floating pontoon where you can keep your lines short enough to, at least, stop her sinking that far...

I'm afraid that wouldn't prevent an average size boat from sinking.

A cubic foot of water weighs almost 30 kgs, so a part swamped cruiser adds several tons. After she reached neutral buoyancy, her static weight then would then build up and pull the cleats out, or the ropes would snap. Aside from that, floating pontoons are generally lower than the deck, so the upward angle of the mooring warps would always introduce quite a bit of slack. :)

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Andy and Sally, Hi

What an awful experience... we do hope there's not any lasting damage to the mechanics/electrics. :cry:cry:cry

I regret that we no longer are moored on a floating pontoon where you can keep your lines short enough to, at least, stop her sinking that far...

Better still John, you know the people where you used to moor would never let it get that far, a bit of a list and they were onboard poking about and a call to let you know. :grin:

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Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Have you now found the source of the ingress or was it just the packing gland?

If so had the glands been damaged by the frost?, it seems a very large amount of water to ship through a packing gland given that it was not running so you would think not falling apart by the minute.

I am afraid finding a decent marina with owners or staff that are around to keep an eye on the boats is possibly the best way to stop them sinking, either that or I know to a couple of Marinas where you are unlikely to go too far before you are resting on something solid. :naughty::naughty:

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Hi Everyone, and thank you all for your kind comments.

John from Herbert Woods phoned me this morning and I asked him to have a look over our boat. Half an hour later he came back to me with the not so good news that she is in fact taking on water from a damaged area near where the prop exits the hull. This damage could have happened a while ago as we used her so frequently last year that the batteries would never have become discharged through the bilge pump running frequently. We are going to have her lifted on Wednesday so I am taking a day off work to go up to potter and have a look over her. It seems the internal damage is going to be limited to the forward cabin carpets, so I am glad we visited yesterday when we did.

cheers!

Andy

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Very sorry to hear you news Andy I hope the damage is not too bad and easily solvable.

I noticed the starboard Bilge Pump operating regularly on a boat across from us earlier in the year. As it was a member of our yacht club I was able to contact him.

He had the yard look at it immediately to find the stuffing on one of the props virtually shot it was lifted straight away. It is what you hope any fellow boat owner would do for you.

Best of luck

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Just picked up on this Andy, this has to be every boat owners biggest nightmares. :o I am so glad for you that you managed to catch her before going down. Although you have damage to the carpet in the front cabin, you have to thank your lucky stars it is limited to this, it could have been a lot worse. At least now you have the piece of mind knowing what the leak is. Good luck on Wednesday and do hope the repair is not to extensive.

cheersbar

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Well I have returned from Potter Heigham Tonight a very happy man! John from herbert woods was on board yesterday and has managed to provide a temporary fix to the leak which has now stopped. cheersbar Also he has had the front cabin carpets washed and dried, no stains or damage. :dance

I went on board today and swapped over the batteries for my spare set and all seems well. :clap:clap She was sealed up yesterday morning and when I arrived today the bilge was virtually dry so all seems well. We are going to schedule her to be lifted out after Easter for the full repair works to be completed, we are planning to have a bow thruster and antifoul at the same time. Thank you Herbert Woods :bow:bow:bow

Regards

Andy

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What a thing to happen! When we visited our boat a few weeks ago we found the

domestic batteries flat! On checking it seems the float switch had gummed up

enough to keep it running too. Fortunately, there was little water in the bilge to

cause a problem.

I do know of one boat that had a similar problem but the stern gland was leaking

quite a bit. Trouble was that the bow drooped with the weight and they had

a Bow Thruster which was rendered useless by it and they had to have a new one.

Fortunately for us, the owner of the boat right next to us keeps an eye on her for

us as he visits every day! Thank heaven for friends! cheers

Bill.

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