R 22

Rhodes 22


Water in the bilge

When I took delivery on my Rhodes a week ago, the bilge was full (about 3 gallons) of water. I pumped it out and it remained dry until a heavy rainstorm last night. Now it has about 6" of water again, definitely fresh rainwater. I've searched every inch of the boat, but I can't find the source of the leakage. If it came through the vent on the bow the forward bunk would be damp. I don't think that much water could come in through the ports or around the fresh water filler hose. Any ideas?

Steve Brill

I had the same problem the first season we had Milagro. I returned to the boat after a 2-week absence (we keep her slipped) and found about 3-4 inches water in the bilge. Immediate panic set in but after a short time found it was fresh water not the salty variety. PHEW!!! My immediate goal was to find the source of this intrusion. I later realized it was only after a heavy rain that this was occurring. I discovered the cabin was only wet at the companionway step area and back under the cockpit sole so I was fairly sure it was coming from that direction.

I sealed the cabin as much as I could and ran a shop vac hose into the cabin to pressurize it. I soap sprayed the entire cabin top area and found no bubbles. I felt a bit confused at this point and I'm still a bit confused (as always) as I was never able to locate where it came from, however, and here is the fun part, it mysteriously stopped not long afterward. Go figure. I spoke to a guy last year and he had the same problem but I lost touch with him, so I'm not too sure what his research turned up. One thing I was very confident of is that is was NOT coming in thru the portlights and/or hatches etc. I feel that if you concentrate your efforts toward the cockpit/stern area you may be successful.

Good luck and let me know what your findings are.

s/v Milagro

After about two hours with a garden hose I found it! There is a tube attached to the hole in the cockpit where the centerboard pendant runs through. I was able to feel up under the cockpit and found this tube is in very bad shape. When spraying water in this area of the cockpit, it floods down the outside of the tube directly into the bilge.

Now, what do I do about it? The access connection on the underside of the cockpit is through a 1" hole under the cockpit at the aft portion of the cabin. I can barely get one finger inside, let alone do any work in there.


Congratulations! It does not sound too bad and fairly inexpensive to repair. I think you want to get the boat on dry land and open the centerboard trunk. I have never done this so I will be of little help. I might also be dead wrong. My only advice is to clean and 'bottom-paint' the board/trunk area while you are at it. Good luck


I'm sure you don't have to open the centerboard trunk just to replace the "sleeve" for the C/B pendant. I've replaced the line, but not the tube. As I recall, it is held in place with clamps top and bottom. The bottom clamp is pretty easy to get at, but the top one will be tough. (I'm not positive there is a top clamp.) If there is, you can always cut a hole inside the cabin, and replace with a removable cover when you are done. This job shouldn't be too hard.

By the way, whenever you need to replace the line, you only need to open the small access hatch on the forward part of the C/B cover. You can securely attach the new line to the old one, and pull it through. Don't remove the old line first, or you will have real trouble!!! This MUST be done out of the water.


I put a new tube on mine this winter. Take the old tube off, install a new one with two hose clamps. The clamp at the bottom will be easy, tighten it first. Then put the clamp on the tube and tighten it as much as you can, but not so tight that it would not still go on the tube. Use a small socket with a swivel extension and put the finishing touches to it. You can cut the fiberglass hole out a little bigger to give you more room; done properly no one will be able to tell.

Steve Little

We pulled the centerboard cap to replace the centerboard pendant. In the process I replaced the tube running from the cockpit to the centerboard cap as the old one looked pretty worn out. I had suspected a leak problem there for some time as my electric panel was getting wet. As a result I relocated the electric panel as well. Since replacement of the tube, I have not had water in the bilge to speak of. Of course the weather has been pretty dry since the replacement. Will keep you posted but as someone else mentioned in the last week, that tube is an area to check carefully.

the crew of the "NoKaOi"

Replacing the centerboard tube is very easy - it is not clamped to the upper hose barb - this is just a slip joint - you do not have to get any tools or fingers up there.

Stan Spitzer,
General Boats

Also check to make absolutely sure a previous owner has not drilled a hole (for some reason) in the forward part of the cockpit seat drains (like those at the aft end of the seat). If this hole is too far forward it will not be draining into the cockpit but into the main cabin - at least this happened to me on an older boat.

John Wilson

I was afraid someone was going to say that. It looks like this is going to be a very long, drawn out process. Can the amount of water I'm finding possibly come from a leak around a port or fitting?


The quick answer is yes. When it's been raining for days as we have had recently, yes. Check the ports first. Look for standing water (maybe a sign but NOT always). And look at the bright side, one big leak is easier to find than many smaller ones. Did I mention some leaks only show when the boat is heeled? Check the angle of the water hitting the area. Water can travel a long way from the source. On some bigger boats it takes years to get them all.


I had a similar problem with water getting in the boat when it rained. I found the cause to be a crack in the seat drain hose. Don't rule out the possibility of condensation.


Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions and gave suggestions. We did try the garden hose over the boat, that's how we found the leak in the lazarette. And similarly that's how we know the centerboard pendant tube (what a mouthful!) is not the culprit, even though there was a small amount of water leaking down over the electric panel, which we tried to fix by caulking the handrails, etc. around the outside of the cabin.

I didn't realize that I had, in fact, taken off the port covers after we arrived here and all of our water woes started. I have put them back on, and lo and behold, no water in through the front ports! I sort of mentally kicked myself for that one.

The interesting thing we found concerned the hole in the cockpit floor in which the table leg fits. Upon arriving here, the cap for that was found to be falling apart, so I pitched it. Again, that's in the time frame where all our water woes started. One day, for no good reason other than I was tired of emptying the hole of water every time it rained, I covered the hole up with a bucket to keep the rain water out. Have not had ANY water in the bilge or lazarette since then!!

We have removed the hardware in preparation for re-caulking it and the plywood just underneath the cockpit floor is wet. We are drying it out before re-caulking. General Boats no longer makes covers for the hole, so I'm not sure how we're going to cover it, maybe keep the bucket there when not sailing? So we're hoping this is our culprit! We will probably replace the hoses in the lazarette just on general principles.

Debbie Reichert

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