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S&S Swan Maintenance - Water ingress! Hull-deck join suspected? (Swan 411)
25 April 2017 - 08:28
Join Date: 12 February 2014
Posts: 23

Water ingress! Hull-deck join suspected? (Swan 411)

Hi all

Sophie B raced the 2017 Cape2Rio (see post under regattas). While prepping her for the race, we noted some water ingress when at high angles of heel (or with significant water over the deck), but didn't worry too much about it - not least of all because we were not in foul weather for extended periods of time. On the voyage to Rio (and more so on the way back to Cape Town, when we travelled quite far into the Southern Atlantic) the water ingress was substantial (imagine being close-hauled on the same tack for days on end, in 25-40 kts of wind in 5m seas, and you get the idea of the sailing conditions). 

Seawater was most noticeable in the upper galley lockers (port), and behind the navigation panels (starboard)

It's hard to work out exactly where the water is coming from - either directly through the deck, or - our suspicion - more likely from the hull-deck join.

So, my questions:

1. Anyone else had similar problems?

2. What's the best diagnostic? A high-pressure hose? How would you test whether it's the hull-deck join?

3. What solutions present themselves (if it's the deck, perhaps re-laying the teak, perhaps?; but if it's the hull-deck join....?)


As always ....



Sophie B (411/025)

25 April 2017 - 11:40
Join Date: 01 March 2007
Posts: 147

Hi Tom,

Sounds like you need to start on a thorough search. I had the same after a prolonged rough ocean passage, and we had water coming in various places. When I removed the head linings and before any cleaning, I could see some tracks of water, tasting the salt etc. In our case it was mostly through chain plate entries through the deck, but also some genoa track bolts, and the odd bolt through deck fitting around the widest part of the boat. If your rails were submerged for long periods of time, I would look there first. Not sure about the deck hull joint, id be surprised if it was that, but to have water in your galley lockers, it must be coming in somewhere around there.

Best of luck


Sarabande 47/029

25 April 2017 - 17:53
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547


Jet spraying the joint between the lower edge of the toe rail and the hull on the outside, or other areas while watching inside should reveal leaks.
If this does not help it is suggested you blow air from the inside with a blower, and apply soapy water to suspicious areas outside.
Pressurizing the whole interior would be the final step, but requires quite a lot of preparation.
The old Whitbread boats reported being on the same tack for weeks on end when approaching Cape Town from Southern Atlantic.
Kind regards

08 May 2017 - 06:17
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

Hi Tom,

some further maybe remote ideas. I wonder how watertight the pantry ventilator exit is. Water coming that way would go directly into the upper pantry lockers.

Behind the lower part of the navigation we had water coming in at the exit of the manual bilge pump hose. Tightening it solved the issue for now but since the hose dates back to 1978 and is very rigid I am looking to replace it.

The exit of the exhaust ventilation of the engine is in the locker behind the navigation. On our boat the copper tube leading to it was just cut, leaving a small hole in the hull.


Christian IF 411/028

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