Hull Leaks & Torn Sails


Hull Leaks

If you find that water is leaking into the hull, there are only a few places it can get in. The screws in the deck are the most likely. You have 2 screws in the bow roller, 4 screws that hold the cockpit deck hatch on, the brass mainsheet screw eye, and 1 screw in the tiller.

We have talked in other sections of ?Go Faster’ about the physics-defying capacity of the hull to be squeezed to help expel water through the small breathing/draining hole in the transom. Well this phenomenon can also be used to detect the source of your leak. Before expelling the water, try the following;

Step 1 : Put your finger over the hole in the transom or tape it shut.

Step 2 : Turn the bow of the boat down & gently squeeze the hull with a pump-like action. If water trickles out around your bow roller fitting, you need to caulk those screws. If not;

Step 3 : Turn the stern down & squeeze. If water comes out around the tiller, caulk the tiller screw.

If none of these places leak water back out, then the only other holes that go through the hull are the 4 screws that fasten the deck plate over the cockpit, and the brass screw eye for the mainsheet.
You can check these by putting a little soapy water around these parts and giving your the boat another squeeze. If you see bubbles, you have found your leak.

Notes :
i) You will not find leaks in the cockpit with the squeeze technique, see ?Waterproofing Maintenance (Cockpit)?.
ii) Under certain conditions it is possible to get a small quantity of water inside your hull due to condensation. Moist air inside a warm boat dropped into cold water – that’ll do it!

Torn Sail

If you tear a sail, you can purchase “Diamond” tape, manufactured by Sellotape, that is ideal for Laser sail repairs. It is not expensive. It is a transparent acrylic tape and makes a strong, invisible repair. Magic tape or ordinary Sellotape is not recommended. It is worth keeping a roll of ?Diamond’ tape in your Laser bag for emergencies.

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