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One thing we have come to appreciate with our PDQ is the tremendous ease of access to virtually every place on the boat. I am referring in this case to the areas hidden behind bulkheads, cabin liners, etc. Each one of these is fixed to the boat with a number of Phillips screws, covered by little white caps. Remove these fasteners and you gain access to all the hidden places!

Yesterday, with the weather still crappy, we hid inside for most of the day. As the charger for my camera batteries has gone missing, I was motivated to tear through our storage areas and look in all the unlikely places that it could be (I have already checked the likely places a dozen times). Each time we get down inside the huge under-berth storage lockers, we open up the inspection ports to the aft chambers to check them as occasionally a bit of water finds its way in there. As we inspected these chambers shortly after we launched and cleaned up the tiny bit that was in there, I was really surprised to find, what I would consider, a LOT of water in the starboard compartment! This definitely required some investigation.

My hypothesis was that the source of the water was the transom shower but I couldn’t yet see the back of the unit. No worries… after removing 5 simple screws we had access, not only to the back of the shower, but also to the starboard steering quadrant(?) and the mechanical portion of the autopilot which is attached to it. This area lies directly above the previously wet chamber (we cleaned it up) and it also had at least an inch of water in a portion of it. Good thing we had sponges and rags handy!

Yes, we have a hot and cold fresh water shower on the transom! Tiny luxuries.

Why so much water? Again, my assumption had to do with the shower area. We had just, the other day, washed the boat and Rebecca spent a fair amount of time at the transom with the hose. I think that was the source. But even though the last thing I wanted to do in the cold weather was to get out the hose and start playing around with water, I did it anyway. With Rebecca down below watching for leaks I turned the hose on the outside of the starboard transom. The only area that appeared to leak was the shower, and although not dramatic, there are stains (note the black marks below the shower box in the photo below) that indicate it has leaked for some time.

Like our previous leak this one should be easy enough to fix. When we actually get some seasonal temperatures I’ll take a stab at sealing them up.


  1. Having access to eveything is a rare bonus indeed!

    Mike, could the water be coming from the stuffing box around the rudder shaft?


    • We have a stuffing box???

      • No. The rudder stock is in a tube up above the water line, to the quadrant. At least in my case, the water in the transom compartment was fresh (not salt), a distinction that wouldn’t help you. All of the Chesapeake PDQ owners that have found water in the sterns have found that it was fresh water.

        The water seems to come in the stern locker scuppers, across the beam, and to the starboard side, which is a little lower. We never get water on the port side.

        Man, I like that hot water shower! Mine is cold only. I would VERY seldom use the indoor one in the summer, if that were the case. Differnt if I lived aboard, of course.

  2. … also, does that hose from the hand-held shower ever get tangled up with the autopilot rudder position sensor?

    (sorry this ended up being a second comment – my fingers out ran my brain)


    • I don’t know if it has up to this point but that is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw it. I mentioned the same thing to Rebecca! Not a great position/design. I need to come up with a solution.

  3. So, did all the non-PDQ owners spy the niffty emergency rudder fittings? One on each side. Slick.

    • Do you have those Drew? We haven’t tried to sail with the emergency tiller yet but we did get it out once at anchor and fit it in the holes to see how it would work. Pretty cool seeing it turn the wheel.

      • Yes, I tried once in 10 knots; it was OK. However, in reality, you would never use it to turn the wheel; you would always disconnect the failed side, I think, by crawling in the stern lockers. Or, if the cable snapped, you would take the cables loose.

        • We installed our emergency tilled just before we took off cruising, and then 24 hours later we got to use them in a blow when the steering cable snapped. Between the tillers and steering the twin screws, we found a marina and docked the boat without anyone even realizing we lost steering!

  4. We love having hot water in the cockpit. We shower outdoors exclusively while at anchor because a) it’s awesome and b) to keep humidity outside. Was that TMI? 😉

  5. Do you have a swim ladder or anything else attached on that side? Our boat didn’t have a shower out on the steps, but our water filled compartments we suspected were due to a slow creep via where the swim ladder was attached. When we bought the boat, we sailed it offshore from Miami to Annapolis FILLED with water without knowing it. When we discovered and pumped it out, we were floored, but it was a testament to the positive flotation and performance of the boat. We designed and built a special pump just for that compartment.

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