Is your boat watertight?

Here's a nice way of finding leaks in the boat. Do it like you would search for a hole in a bicycle inner-tyre: gently pressurize the boat (we use an air-brush compressor with a not too tight fitting tube into the boat), press it underwater or use a water/soap solution on the outside, and look for places where bubbles appear.

Simple and efficient. Also much safer and faster than pouring water in the hull and waiting for it to appear on the outside. Handling a boat with 1-2 litres of water in it is not very easy - don't ask me how I know!

Turns out my boat has a number of cracks along the hull-deck join, and also a small hole at the top of the finbox. These can probably be filled with cyano glue.

2 thoughts on “Is your boat watertight?”

  1. Good one Anders. Simple and effective. I recently was helping someone with a boat that was leaking but where we were quite sure it wasn't hull surface or deck joint. It was also leaking in fairly mild conditions so it wasn't from breaking through big water or being blown over. I used some water with food dye in it and poured some in the mast tube and presto there was the leak. Plugged it up and the boat is dry


  2. I havent tried this on a radio boat yet but if used carefully I cant see that it wouldnt work. We used to pressure test Fireballs and 420 buoyancy tanks on the factory by lowering the pressure in the tank with a hand bilge pump suitable attached and then took a pair of adapted earmuffs with a length of fairly small bore plastic tubing sealed into one and went round the boat listening. This has the advantage of being a dry method and also when you hear the leak whistling away you can introduce resin at the point of origin and see it being drawn into the gap. The boat never gets wet andthe resin cant go anywhere but where it is needed! Of course gross leaks you can hear with the naked ear (so to speak!)

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