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 Water Ballast Leak Repair?
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patraylin
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Initially Posted - 08/13/2014 :  03:45:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Help needed! I purchased a 2004 Catalina 250 WB last month and discovered two cracks in the water ballast under the fwd berth. These cracks are located on the corners of the box that hold the depth/speed transducers. While the leak is very slow the boat takes on enough water to fill the bilge in a 12 hr period so I can't leave the boat in a slip. Can these cracks be repaired and how can I know these are the only leaking cracks in the water ballast? Has anyone else had this problem? and if so, how did you resolve the issue. Thanks for your help.

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britinusa
Web Editor

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USA
5404 Posts

Response Posted - 08/13/2014 :  06:44:46  Show Profile  Visit britinusa's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Linney, (nice Burgee)

The good news is that you know where the leak is (and hopefully the only one)

If the leak is at the join between the hull and the waterballast tank in the sump, they should be easy to repair.

If it were my boat, I would use a dremmel to sand away the area around the leaks to rough up the gel coat / inner hull surface. Then proceed with applying several layers of woven / strand fiberglass following the process suggested in West Marine's fiberglass repair manual using the West system.

But my concern would be as to the cause of the 'cracks' in order to avoid repeating the problem.

Of all the areas in the boat where the WB tank could leak, I would be grateful the leak was in that location.

And you are absolutely sure the leak is not from poorly fitting transducers ???

Paul
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patraylin
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 08/13/2014 :  14:08:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Paul, hopefully that is the only leak. I'm sure it is not the transduces because you can see the water coming in through the cracks running down into the well that houses the transducers. Since I just purchased the boat last month I am still learning about it (My previous boat was a C-22)so the water ballast is new to me. I am wondering if the previous owner left the ballast full and the water in the ballast froze causing what looks like stress cracks at two of the corners of the well that holds the transducers. This concerns me because what do I do if the ballast has more cracks that are just not leaking yet or not as bad that can't be seen. Has anyone else ever had this problem with at c250 WB that you know of? Thanks for all your help and input.

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delliottg
Former Mainsheet C250 Tech Editor

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USA
4479 Posts

Response Posted - 08/13/2014 :  14:57:48  Show Profile  Visit delliottg's Homepage  Click to see delliottg's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Your profile doesn't indicate where you live, but unless you live in an extremely cold area, it's unlikely that the water in your ballast tank froze. Especially if you're in salt water.

Since the fiberglass in the bottom of the tank/hull is the only thing insulating it from the water, the water in the tank is unlikely to have been able to get cold enough to freeze unless the water outside the hull was also frozen, and for a fairly long time.

Now, if the PO pulled the boat out of the water & left the tank full, and it went through a prolonged cold snap, that's an entirely different situation.

Notice that I've used a number of weasel words like "unlikely", & "fairly", because there isn't enough information to determine whether the circumstances for the occurrence exist. However, if you live below about 1000' in elevation and below the Mason Dixon line (roughly 40° N), and particularly if the boat were kept with a full ballast tank in the water, it's not likely (another weasel word) that it froze.

Have you spoken to the PO about it? Since you've already bought it, presumably w/o a survey, you probably don't have recourse to make them fix it. It seems like pre-existing damage to me, but the PO is probably not liable to fix things like that. Caveat Emptor.

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patraylin
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 08/13/2014 :  19:31:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks David, your comments are very helpful. I live in Texas but since I just purchased the boat from a dealer in Lewisville I don't know where they boat lived prior to my purchase. Most likely it was in the north Dallas area. I suspect they left water in the ballast because there was considerable water in the bilge compartment. I should have had a survey, live and learn. Thankfully the repair will not be very expensive if that is the only crack.

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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3965 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2014 :  18:57:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by patraylin

Thanks David, your comments are very helpful. I live in Texas but since I just purchased the boat from a dealer in Lewisville I don't know where they boat lived prior to my purchase. Most likely it was in the north Dallas area. I suspect they left water in the ballast because there was considerable water in the bilge compartment. I should have had a survey, live and learn. Thankfully the repair will not be very expensive if that is the only crack.


LaVida Starship?

I think I remember seeing a C250 on Sailing Texas from them. I stopped in there a couple of times when I was looking for my boat while visiting my wife's parents in Denton.

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patraylin
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2014 :  01:40:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GaryB Yes, Lavida Starship. Most likely the same boat. I purchased her last month.

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britinusa
Web Editor

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5404 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2014 :  03:37:38  Show Profile  Visit britinusa's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do you find your boat in the [url="http://www.catalina-capri-25s.net/cgi-local/OurBoats.cgi"]Boat Search [/url]feature?


(and where are those pics of the cracks????

Paul

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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3965 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2014 :  07:20:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by patraylin

GaryB Yes, Lavida Starship. Most likely the same boat. I purchased her last month.



I'd take it back to them and make them warranty it or give you you're money back (money back is what I'd want). They sold you a product with a defect that was not revealed.

If they say they were unaware I'd go after the previous owner who may not have revealed to LaVida an <u>obvious</u> problem with the boat. Maybe it was the reason they decided to get rid of it in the first place???

The bottom line is <u>SOMEONE</u> knew this boat had what sounds like a serious leak and you should have some legal recourse.

You should not have to foot the bill for this repair in my opinion.

Curious, did LaVida broker it for the owner?

Edited by - GaryB on 08/16/2014 07:22:56
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TakeFive
Master Marine Consultant

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2191 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2014 :  14:08:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Professional brokers usually use an as is-where is sales contract that <u>attempts</u> to eliminate any liability for misrepresentation. But this may not be a simple nuisance defect - it potentially renders the boat a total loss.

I would definitely suggest that OP consider approaching the broker (or, better yet, have an attorney approach him) about a full refund. Let the broker go after the PO if he feels he was duped by the PO.

Once you start grinding away at the cracks, you own the problem fully.

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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3965 Posts

Response Posted - 08/17/2014 :  19:16:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's why I asked if they brokered it. I believe LaVida also takes boat in as trade-ins which I would think make them the owner.

Also, I would think a broker would do some kind of inspection before brokering a boat to prevent this sort of thing but then again I guess all they have tied up is some time advertising the boat for the owner so why would they spend money inspecting it. They don't really have anything to lose in the transaction (except maybe their reputation).

This is one of those situations that bites you when the boat is sitting on a trailer miles from the nearest water and you can't do a pre-purchase sail to see what work's and doesn't work.

Edited by - GaryB on 08/17/2014 19:19:44
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patraylin
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 08/18/2014 :  17:05:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys for all the good advice. yes, LaVida Starship was the broker for the po and no I did not find it on a website, I was shopping in person and they came highly recommended. I have consulted my attorney and he said to get a quote for the repair, if repairable, and based on this information he will proceed accordingly. Thanks again for all of your great input and good your advice.

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zeil
Admiral

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Canada
983 Posts

Response Posted - 08/18/2014 :  20:55:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Would it be possible to keep us in the loop...


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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3965 Posts

Response Posted - 08/19/2014 :  20:23:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for all the trouble you are having to deal with. Owning a boat should be fun, not stuck dealing with attorney's and lawsuits. Maybe it won't be as bad as it seems now and a minor repair will be all that's necessary.

I truly do not mean to come across the wrong way but this situation does emphasize what a lot of us have been saying for years. Always get a survey. $400 or so seems like a lot of money to spend on boats at our price point but in the end it may be the best $400 you will ever spend.

Wishing you the best of luck on this and hope it's just a minor repair. Please keep us in the loop.

BTW... LaVida has been around a long time and I'll bet they will work with you on this issue.

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Paulster 123
Deckhand

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3 Posts

Response Posted - 09/08/2017 :  05:36:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Patraylin, it's been three years since your post on the water ballast leak. Can you update us? Is there an end to this story? I was seriously considering getting one of these for use on our Minnesota lakes, but this leak issue seems to be very pervasive. Thanks for any follow-up you can provide!
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dmarion
1st Mate

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Canada
28 Posts

Response Posted - 09/25/2017 :  06:04:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had the same problem at the beginning of the season. The leak was where the ballast tank joins the floor of the bilge. Took me a while to figure out the source of the leak. What I did to fix the leak was to remove the flaky fiberglass and apply some epoxy. I used a great product called Aquamend ($9 at the local store). It is a 2 parts paste that comes in a cylinder. You cut a small amount and mix it by massaging it with your fingers. The chemistry does its magic to have a ready epoxy.

Daniel Marion
Hakuna Matata
Cat 250 WB 2001
Valleyfield, QC,
Canada
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zeil
Admiral

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Canada
983 Posts

Response Posted - 09/25/2017 :  09:01:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

While fixing the leak did you take any pictures showing the location of the leak, access and fixing the problem. Any idea of what could have caused the leak?






Henk & Johanna "Someday Lady"
'95 C250 WB #151
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dmarion
1st Mate

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Canada
28 Posts

Response Posted - 10/01/2017 :  10:49:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No picture... But the leak was just under the bilge trap, so it was easy to access it. Finding the leak was also easy. I put some red food dye into the ballast through the air vent and watched it come out into the bilge. As for the cause, I have no precise idea. I suspect however that it could have been the result of forgetting to remove the air vent when emptying the ballast when pulling the boat out of the water. It could have created a pressure and made the ballast to bend from the inside. Or it is just 15 years of going from summer to winter and back.

Daniel Marion
Hakuna Matata
Cat 250 WB 2001
Valleyfield, QC,
Canada
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k3fuller
Deckhand

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USA
4 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  09:28:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I would resurrect this old thread on leaks since I'm the next guy to own this 250WB and Paul asked about a status update a while back. So the boat was put up for sale back at La Vida at some point and I bought her late last year. Interestingly enough, when I put it in the water lo and behold what happened? It leaked... I was the next dummy to buy a boat without a survey or sailing it. I had sailed an identical one La Vida had for sale so I knew what it would sail like but the one I sailed didn't have a workable trailer and was 8 years older. A workable trailer is important as I live in South East Oklahoma and have her on Broken Bow lake. Anyway, the repair that was done by the PO or his fiberglass shop wasn't a good one and it leaked where Patraylin said. So I had to pull it out of the water and I had it professionally done by Inland Sailing there in Dallas along with some other repairs and modifications I wanted done. For a variety of reasons I haven't been able to get it into the water until last weekend but we got her in and had a good time out sailing. But I must be getting a fair amount of water up through the valve stem because the bilge pump kicked on 3 times while we were out sailing for a few hours. It wasn't a lot coming out, but enough to trigger it. I don't think there's a tank leak because we had Inland check that when they had her and after we took her back to the slip and sopped up the remaining water with a sponge I went back last evening and the bilge was dry after 48 hours of sitting there. I can see a little trickle of water coming out under the rubber washer as she rolls a little when you are walking around. I've gone back through many of the posts some of which are so old the pictures aren't available any more. Are there quick fixes to this issue that don't require epoxy or glass that will slow down the water ingression when out and about? I am good with something more permanent when I have her out in December and January and sitting in my pasture. Any other thoughts for me on water ingression areas? The centerboard tube is tight and dry, no leaks from the internal water tank and the whole forward half of the boat is dry. So it seems I'm on the right track but this is a new to me boat and I'm trying to learn the quirks.

Edited by - k3fuller on 08/08/2018 09:30:27
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zeil
Admiral

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Canada
983 Posts

Response Posted - 08/10/2018 :  11:38:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

To locate potential leaks you might wish to

1) ensure your water tank or any hose connections to galley and head sink do not leak

2) any ballast tank fracture leaks below the head, galley or center board areas

3) the ballast tank fill, inlet valve is tightly closed. Water coming in through the centerboard cable up-haul tube, if properly installed, is unlikely...

4) could a water bottle or other water container, in perhaps the galley, coaming, head or cabin have leaked...






Henk & Johanna "Someday Lady"
'95 C250 WB #151
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k3fuller
Deckhand

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USA
4 Posts

Response Posted - 08/12/2018 :  12:30:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the reply, I was out on the boat yesterday. Bilge completely dry sitting there in the water. The top of that inlet valve casing was in pretty poor shape as far as making a good seal with the rubber washer. There was a bit of a notch or chip which prevented the valve gasket from sealing properly. I improvised a seal with some plumbers putty and that seemed to seal it just fine for now. I went an motored about since we had no wind and the putty held fine with no water coming out the top. But there was a little water there on top of the tank that wasn't there previously after I went out. Hard to say where that came from, it rained last week. It wasn't much, just enough for a paper towel or two at most.

I need to specifically look at the Galley and Head fittings. I know the galley should be okay because that was a new whale pump I installed recently. Definitely not #4. Also not the centerboard tube. Somewhat concerned about #2 because of the known but repaired issue to the transponder cutout but I would think that if there were a fracture in the tank it would leak just sitting there in the water which it doesn't appear to be. But maybe it can sit and not leak if there is a fracture somewhere?

Glad to have a forum to ask questions of other owners! Unfortunately we have no wind forecast for the next week+ because I'd like to go sail again and have the admiral at the tiller so I can go below and look at things!
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