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      We have sailed our yacht a few times but mainly in fair conditions and the bilges remained completely dry. However, 2 weeks ago we had a rough passage from Fowey to Plymouth at the end of which we found some water in the bilge, specifically the three aft bays. Total bailed out was about 3 bucketfuls. Cannot find any point of ingress but wonder if this a problem found on other Bavarias and if so can anyone advise the most likely areas to examine?




        I have experienced the same problem. It is most likely to be the stanchion bases or the pulpit bases. As you sail in rough weather, the rails are in and out of the water more often. I had reduced the water ingress to a minimum but now the pulpit bases need sealing again. The stanchion bases stay sealed for a lot longer. Its a labour intensive job but it worked for me.

        Good luck.

        Regards, John


          Just out of interest did you taste the water to see if it was sea or fresh water?

          If it was salty, I used Captain Tolleys Creaping Crack Cure with great success to cure our stanchion and pushpit leaks.

          If it was fresh water, check that the lid is tightly fitted on your aft water tank and that your transom shower head or pipe isn’t leaking.



            Many thanks,
            You have both given excellent advice, and I will try the capn tolleys route first and then in the winter have a go at the pulpit and pushpit and stanchions.

            Yes it was salt water!



              In our case the main areas to focus on were:

              Sealing around the Nav light cable running through the deck inside the Port side rear Pulpit leg.
              Sealing the gap at the forward end of both port and Starboard toerails.
              Running Captain Tolleys CCC down each toerail and around all screw heads both on the toerail and on the anchor roller bracket.
              Tightening the stanchion base machine screws and using Captain Tolleys CCC on the screw heads.
              Tightening the Gland seal on the through deck fitting for the mast cables.



                Thanks Paul,

                It appears I will be busy, but I think the problem can be cured – its just a matter of sealing all the possible points of entry.

                Kind regards,



                  One other thing to consider is if sailing downwind with the sea coming up the stern, sea water can get in via the bilge pump outlets which on our 36 are just above the bathing platform.
                  Try sticking a hosepipe up them and see how much water you get in the bilges then.


                    Dear Richard,

                    Many thanks for the advice – the majority of the water was in the bilge pump bay, so perhaps your theory is correct. Also, as the yacht rolled a lot, some of the water could have migrated to the other bays (there was a little water in the others).
                    I will carry out the test next time on the yacht.



                      Another area to consider in regard to water leaking into the boat is at the stern where there is a rectangular shaped piece of plastic fitted into the space above the emergency steering connection. Water entering the cockpit area tends to flow out over that rectangle of plastic as well as under it, and taking with it any dirt or dust that has accumulated in the cockpit since it was last cleaned.
                      That slab of plastic on my 2002 Bavaria 36 was held in place by four stainless steel screws that screwed through the upper surface of the hull in that area. Removing the plastic slab revealed that the screws were acting as little more than locating pegs where the screw holes in the hull had worn to the point that the screw threads did not grip anymore. Even the largest screws held at the local chandlery were not big enough to touch the sides of the holes, so 60mm M6 countersunk bolts were used instead. Because the scres were such a sloppy fit, water passing under that slab of plastic was able to run through the screw holes to the inside area of the boat.
                      In addition to bolts, also used were four small “O” rings which were placed between the hull and that rectangular slab of plastic and the rings then formed a seal once the bolts were tightened. Inside the boat some large penny washers were put in place for the nuts to tighten onto. Tightening the bolts was tricky because I was on my own at the time, but some small mole grips were used to grip the nuts and hold them steady inside the steering compartment, while a screwdriver was used from the outside to tighten the bolts. Once tightening started the mole grips jammed against the internal structure allowing the bolts to be properly tightened.
                      The problem to start off with was finding that the inboard end of the mattress in the starboard cabin was getting wet. Opening the internal access to the steering mechanism and also removing the wooden access hatch to the aft space enabled me to see, one day when it was raining, where water was running through past the screws and dropping onto the bilge pump plumbing. From there the water travelled forward before dropping off onto a wire which hung down in a slight catenary just above the inboard aft corner of that cabin. From there the water soaked through past an area of sealant that did not seal and onto the mattress.
                      Removing that slab of plastic also allowed me to clean away all the crud that accumulates there after a period of time, although it was tempting to leave it and plant of several rows of potatoes instead !!
                      With that job done I can report no more leakage in that area, but the rail stanchion bases along port and starboard sides are next on the list for attention.


                        Dear Crystal,
                        Many thanks for your input. Water ingress is a problem on almost all floating objects, either from below or above. Thankfully, the former does not seem to be a problem.
                        I have found several places where water was entering, for example the cockpit stereo speakers! One of these had a total degradationloss of the cone material, thus whenever we washed the boat, water could pass straight through the speakers.
                        The stern shower – it has no means of preventing water from entering. The hose comes out through an open hole, so direct spray will result in some water entering.
                        As my boat is currently out of the water, I do not have a problem, but very soon we will be re-joining the sailing scene, probably in a couple of weeks, so we will be carrying out tests to determine whether we still have a problem!

                        All the best,



                          Hi Michael,

                          Just read your post as we have been away on our B34 in Brittany. As your water ingress only occured in heavy weather I would forget stanchion and other deck leaks as these tend to show up when the boat is not sailing but subject to heavy rain. In these conditions you say that your boat is dry.
                          We have experienced two leaks when sailing in heavy weather.
                          The first was from the top rudder bearing. This is mounted in a large fiberglass cup which sits into the deck moulding in such a way that it can rotate to self aligne the rudder bearings when the boat is being assembled. This fiberglass cup should be fixed to the deck moulding with a sealant and ours was not. Water simply past between the outside of the fiberglass cup and the deck moulding and entered the boat.
                          You can see this leak by removing the access panel at the aft end of the rear cabin. There may be some tell tale staining or you can have a look whilst someone pours a bucket of water over the rudder stock head.
                          The second leak was from the transom mounted shower head. If you leave the control tap in the on position movement of the boat when sailing can depress the push button on the back of the shower head enough to turn it on and off.
                          Wish you luck as we have met Bavaria owners whose boats are so dry that they use the bilges for storage and although I would not do so saloma has been that dry since we sorted the forward cabin leak in early 2010.


                            Dear Saloma,

                            Thank you for the latest input on the subject.
                            I will try what you suggested and also the plastic square fixings above the rudder head.


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