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centerboard leak

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centerboard leak

Postby Kaboom » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:35 pm

My boat is now filling up to about ankle depth with water when I sail for a day.

When I test it by putting water in on the inside, the water comes flowing out the centerboard trunk.

So, the pin is leaking, and / or there's a hole in the centerboard trunk?

My next step is to pull the pin and remove the centerboard; and then reset it, correct?

And I'll need a rubber washer on each side of the pin to seal it? What kind '/ size of washer do I need?

Other advice?

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Re: centerboard leak

Postby townsend » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:17 pm

Let's hope it's just leaking through the pivot pin hole and you don't actually have a hole somewhere. This kind of leakage is common.

Rubber washers are a good idea - not sure what size, that depends on the size of your pivot bolt and I'm unaware if that's standard, but I'd doubt it.

In addition to the rubber washers, I like to seal mine with an easy to remove sealant. I used to use silicone, but I've found that modern silicone replacements like Lexal or Sitkaflex work better. (Silicone doesn't really stick to gelcoat very well).

Don't try to "help" the seal by over tightening the nut that holds the pivot bolt - you don't want to deform the centerboard trunk.

Another common source of leaks is your suction bailers. If you're getting ankle deep water, the leak should be noticable, so look carefully next time you splash her and it should become obvious.
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Re: centerboard leak

Postby Chrisgo3 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:38 pm

Plumbers washers work best and can be bought at most hardware stores. They are black and have layers that resist squishing like plain rubber will do. Make sure there is a stainless washer on the outside of each plumbers washer and use any exterior caulking on the gelcoat side of the washer to help the seal. This will work if the king pin hole is not elongated and is the same diameter as the pin. If this is not the case then the trunk hole should be filled and redrilled so there is no up/ down or forward/ backward motion, only a pivot point.
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Re: centerboard leak

Postby henry » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:34 pm

Chrisgo3 is right. The kingpin hole has to be round. If it is elongated or elliptical, drill it out with an oversized bit, fill it in with epoxy thickened to peanut butter consistency with colloidal silica, let it set, and drill it through again.

I don't use rubber washers. I coat the pin (bolt) shaft with Sikaflex or 3M 4200 fast cure sealant, and use LARGE fender washers, also coated with the same sealant. Don't overtighten the nut. It should be just snug.
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