Re: Water in Forward Head Bilge and Bow Thruster

ngtnewington Newington

I agree with Tom on this one. I spent ages looking for a leaking seal on my bow thruster. To no avail. Eventually I resorted to hammering to windward whilst locked in the forpeak with a headlamp. Within a few minutes it was clear that the source of the leak was not the bow thruster at all, but the hatch gutter drain that is piped to the Bowthruster box with a flexible white ribbed pipe. These white pipes are glassed into the box (that the thruster rises into when up)  and it was there that the water leaked. Whenever the bow was buried into a wave it would spurt a little. At anchor of course it would be well above the waterline. It only happened when sailing in brisk winds. I was so sure that the pressure of burying the bow put the thruster seals under load and that they were the source.

The fix was so easy….just to re seal it with some silicon. Actually next time I get some 5200 I will re-do it as that is much stronger (note to self).


S/Y Amelia Aml 54-019 Kefalonia

On 13 Oct 2019, at 17:24, Thomas Peacock <peacock8491@...> wrote:

We have struggled on and off with small amounts of water in the bilge due to ingress from the bow thruster. At times perfectly dry, other times not so. Refining the hard seal seemed to help (the hole for the thruster had been modified by the previous owner).
One month ago we installed the special silicon seal that had been developed by Jose of Ipanema. This weekend (first at sea since then) I was distressed to see about one liter of water in the bilge. However, on closer inspection, the thruster area was bone dry (thank you, Jose). Further inspection showed the leak to be coming from the anchor wash pump, which had a disintegrating gasket. Very slow leak if the head through-hull is open, more vigorous when the pump was actuated. 
Just an FYI for all. Not all water in the forward bilge is from the thruster. Beware of false assumptions.

Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay, US
Departing for Martinique November 3

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