Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

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Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby lee » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:58 am

I have water leaking up from under the floor panel at the bottom of the companionway stairs (first board just forward of the engine) on my 87 Freedom 30. I removed the floorboard and there is a long well with a drain on the forward side at the bottom.
Can someone tell me what this is for (what drains into this/where is the water coming from?) and where this drains into?
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby gamayun » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm

Check your fridge drain. On miy F38, I know it drains toward the bilge in that area but it disappears from my view under the boards in that area. Maybe your hose has come loose from the underside of the ice box.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby lee » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:15 pm

Copy, I'll check that. Guess I could pour a little water into the fridge and see where it comes out.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby jamesorr » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:21 am

On my 1988 F32, my fridge has it's own drain line into the bilge. However, it would not surprise me that what you are seeing is the drain from the engine/shaft/packing gland area. If you still have a packing gland, it is not unusual (and in fact expected) for some seepage to occur -- which needs to make it's way to the bilge.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby lee » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:11 am

So the area in question is a well with what looks like a drain at the forward end. The well is less deep than the one sitting under the engine. I have a wee-wee pad under the engine that is not soaked. The packing gland would be behind the engine where the shaft goes through so if that were it , wouldn't the bottom of the engine compartment get wet first? Is there another route for that water?
Water is getting into this well and brimming to the top, destroying the wood from underneath. We saw water around the engine compartment stairs but it did not seem to go through the engine compartment proper.
I also do no see how water is getting in to this compartment other that the drain at the front (could it be an overflow for something else?)
We were on a two week trip so the Icebox was constantly filled and draining and the motor ran allot, as well as the sink.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby jamesorr » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:22 am

To be honest, I have never had the floorboard up between the engine and bilge, so don't know exactly what that area looks like. I can say then when we first got the boat and before we got the packing gland redone, it did leak more then desirable, and would leak water into the engine sump, which I assumed would then leak into the bulge and be subsequently pumped overboard. In addition, if we were sailing on a starboard tack at a significant heel angle, the water collecting in the sump would inevitably end up making it's way under the sink, stove and collecting under the port side settee instead of ending up in the bilge.

Unfortunately will not be back to the boat until next weekend, to verify further. I'll be honest, if the water is not coming from the engine compartment -- I can't imagine where it might be coming from (like I said, my fridge drain clearly uses a hose that is visibly draining into the bilge directly -- perhaps yours doesn't?). The sink area (and water heater) might end up draining there -- but that would require some kind of plumbing leak.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby lee » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:41 pm

Like I say, It looks like it is built as an overflow for something. I am gong up to the boat this weekend and i will investigate further. Probably pull off the floorboard directly in front between this one and the bilge and see whats underneath. also test the fridge, sink drain and maybe the freshwater filling overflow.Really appreciate you taking the time. feel free to chime in if you have any other thoughts or notice something on your boat,
Thanks
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby drcscruggs » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:06 pm

This may sound silly, one way to help diagnose the issue is to just taste the water. Salty is not from the fridge. Best
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:22 pm

I have had the aft floorboard up a million times. On my 86 F30 hull #3 what you are looking at is the afttermost keel sump. If you pull all the boards up you will see the sump running from about 28 inches forward of the engine sump (the seperate pan under the engine) all the way to the aftermost head bulkhead. It narrows to a narrow crevace at both ends. This crevace collects all kinds of crap and needs to be flushed out ocassionally. The drain you are loooking at may, repeat may, be the water tank overflow pipe. I moved mine to the main bilge area where I could keep an eye on it. The other possibility is the icebox drain. If its the iceboax I stringly recomment the drain tube be lengthened and moved into the observable portion of the bilge. I collect and empty fridge water in a sepeare container, I don't want "juices" from the fridge going directly into my bilge...yuk.

There are a jumble of pipes and tubes that exit the engine sump over the sill ond under the board in question. On my boat it is a tight squeeze. The manual bilge pump, water pipes for the head, and big ground and positive cables for the starter and ships ground run through that small space on my boat.

I absolutely share the frustration with water migration seemingly everywhere from a slowly dripping shaft seal. The problem is when you are doing signigant motoring you are likely to get a little oil in the shaft sump. You start sailing and that water/oil mix get distributed all over the place. Its a pain. I am seriously thinking of fabricating a fiberglass shell in that area fitted with a very small bilge pump so I can isolate and dewater this area. It does not leak much but just enough to be a problem due to the shallow well.

BTW, tasting the water is not silly at all. Just that technique helped me isolate a fresh water leak that opened up under the engine and was very hard to see. I was in salt water and tasted fresh so I knew it had to be a tank leak somewhere. I thought the shaft seal was leaking underway but the taste test put that to bed.
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Re: Under Floor panel bottom of stairs on an F30

Postby lee » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:06 pm

Pretty sure it is fresh water leaking in. I'm going to pull up the next board forward and take a look. I will put some water in the fridge and see if I can see where its coming out and then try the sinks. Lastly I will overflow the fresh water tanks and see what happens.
I will also need to replace the aft floorboard as it is ruined. Rookie Question: Are these boards teak just the veneer? What would you use as a replacement?
This is my second yr\ear with the boat and although I new the back board was soft I didn't know how bad till I pulled it up.
I will unfortunately not be able to get to the boat for another week but I'll let you know how I make out. Thanks allot for your input!
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