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View Poll Results: Is your bilge wet or dry?
Bone dry 10 11.24%
Wet but I wish it weren't 42 47.19%
Wet as I would expect 37 41.57%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1   IP: 24.152.131.155
Old 03-23-2012, 07:54 PM
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Dry or wet bilge?

What is your preference or reality when it comes to the bilge?
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1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:59 PM
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It's dry now, but that may change once she's launched. Ask me again April 3rd.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:29 AM
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Thumbs up dry dry dry

I sponge that s#!t dry. Hopefully, Bill & Don won't mind the profanity.

The best thing I did to help facilitate this was gore-tex (sp?) packing in my stuffing box, and also installing a check valve in the bilge pump..I was still sponging it dry without the check valve, but it just means less to sponge. When we are draining the water out of the ice box (I have an yet-to-be-installed pump) I pump & sponge it straight away.

It was really my stepfather and his Tartan 3000 which I've done a zillion sailing miles on that taught me the advantages of a dry bilge..when I used his boat, I kept his boat in the same condition he would...dry. it is a habit...and it isn't difficult.

I also think it really helps keep the odd boat smells down. The P.O. left 3" of water in the bilge from 1977 to 2008. Blech....
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:01 AM
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m bilge pump is at the bottom of a 4 ft long bar that is lowered into the bilge ,o there is no way I can wipe it dry booo hooo
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:30 AM
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Dunno if any of the three choices really accurately describe my sitcheeayshun, but I picked number 3 - it's about as wet as I would expect, which is "not very".

Normally, it's very close to "bone dry." I still have some cabin roof leaks, so when we get a bunch of rain, I'll find a small puddle down in there. Right now, the hose from the hot section to the old Vetus doesn't fit the Vetus intake quite right, so it spits a little bit of water when the engine is running - a condition I will fix eventually. So that ends up in the bilge, making it wetter than it normally would be otherwise.

The stuffing box doesn't leak at all.

So I'll go with "as wet as I would expect."

The previous owner didn't have an automatic bilge pump in the boat. He had it that way for the eight years he owned it. Even the old Par pump that was in there rarely ever saw any use. I have put a brand new Rule automatic bilge pump in there, and unless I've been motoring for a while (which spits water into the bilge as explained above), it never gets any use either.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:40 AM
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Smile ...just something I do.

I have a hole drilled in the lowest part of the keel. On the hard the keel is dry, and the whole boat stays dry although not covered. No condensation in the boat as she is on the hard from Nov till April. Drilling that hole was the best thing I ever did.

Once the boat goes in the water I get a little bit of water. After a rain water will come all the way down the keel stepped mast...after a good day of rain there will be enough to run the bilge. While in the water there is always a small drop there that the pump can't throw out.

NOTE: I keep a 4 liter jug of vinegar in the boat. I pour a bit in after running the pump...just a 1/2 cup or so. This combined with the water left in there keeps the bilge smell GONE.

Just the other day it was 30C here and I pressure washed the inside of the boat. Took everything out and layed it on deck. Used citrus cleaner and sprayed under cockpit, lazarettes, bilge, area under V-bert. Don't really notice dirt there until you give it a good cleaning. This is my spring cleaning. Left the boat open and it dried out by evening. Thats another benefit of a hole drilled in the boat...it all runs out! Do not try pressure washing your teak etc. Yesterday I gave the teak bulkhead, teak floor etc a wipe with vinegar on a cloth...then applied teak oil. It came up nice. Only thing left to do is clean the shelves and counter top where I was laying everything.

Weather cool here again today but if the weather breaks next week I'll put her sails, propane, dodger, beer etc on and back her in the water.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:58 AM
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Maurice - what do you with that hole when you put the boat back in the water?
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:54 AM
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I ended up putting a hole in the bottom of the keel on my ericson, I noticed it was weeping for about two weeks after she was pulled and docked in my yard. I drilled the hole with a 1/2" angle drill, about 9/16 and water gushed out of there for an hour. Turns out the glass over steel construction of the keel is cored with foam. it was totally waterlogged. uppon further investigation of the problem (WHERE DID IT ALL COME FROM!!!!) I found that someone installed a bilge pump with 5/16 3inch long stainless carriage bolts drilled straight into said foam........... maybe if I had tried to keep the bilge dry I would have noticed this problem earlier. So on my pearson that's sailing this year?.....Dry
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:56 AM
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[QUOTE=Maurice;51312]I have a hole drilled in the lowest part of the keel.

You do fill that hole with something when she go's swimming, rite?
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:25 PM
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Smile

Did this a few years back. Drilled and tapped the hole..about and inch diameter (I'd have to double check). Bought a piece of threaded brass (threaded both inside and outside). Also bought a brass plug that would thread into the inner part of the piece.

I then put epoxy resin with some cilica beads mixed in both in the hole and on the threads of the tubular piece of pipe (this is the one threaded on the outside and inside. Screwed it into the hole in the boat and let it set up. Next day I screwed the brass plug into it to check...all good. Removed the plug and faired around the edge of the tubing with epoxy, sanded and was done.

When the boat comes out I screw out the plug...and back in before launch....I'll go take a couple of pics in an hour or so.


OK got the pics.

PIC 1. In the first one you will note that the tube/ pipe is threaded on the inside...the outer part of the tube is threaded as well and screwed into the boat. That is epoxied into the boat so that it can't come out...even if hit.

PIC 2. Direct shot looking into the boat. You can see the opposite side of the bilge. Note that the bottom of the hole is at the bottom and lowest part of the bilge so that it can drain completely. Can also see a ground wire going through there

PIC 3. Plug that screws into the pipe. It screws in all the way until the square portion is all that sticks out. "Pipe thread" so it doesn't require any sealant and it doesn't leak.

PIC 4. Where the hole goes on a C&C 30 .... that's the lowest part of the bilge as it's a little deeper under the mast step
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 03-24-2012 at 07:40 PM. Reason: went to boat for pics
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  #11   IP: 24.224.206.117
Old 03-24-2012, 12:58 PM
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Newenglandah,

There is more to that little problem now than meets the eye. First you will have to investigate and know how it is constructed. Next year when you pull the boat drill at the very bottom of the foam and let it drain and dry. You need that hole in a spot where gravity lets it all run out. Then, just before you are ready to launch you will have to close the holes with fiberglass or epoxy resin.

One of the worst things that can happen to fiberglass construction is water trapped in a dead space.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:02 PM
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Always wet. Dont know if it is from slow drip at shaft,or weepy keel bolts or combination.

dvd
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:51 AM
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Mine was always wet until I replaced the shaft packing with a combination of the Graphtex Ultra (Graphite + teflon) and the moldable dripless packing, both from Western Pacific Trading Co.

Now, the only water I get in the bilge is what runs down the inside of my keel-stepped mast when it rains hard.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:38 AM
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Dryer would be nice

My Cheoy Lee Bermuda ketch is all teak except for the hull and masts/booms. The deck leaks copiously, but less these days as I've slowly worked on re-bedding screws and giving attention to particularly troublesome areas (like re-sealing the cabin windows, re-bedding hardware...).

So, I would like to have a dryer bilge but that, as with all things 'boat', will come with time...
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:17 AM
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Maurice -

The three trailer/cradle tires visible in your photograph appear to match. I find that disturbing.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:47 AM
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Laker

You are not the first to pick up on that...better tires on the trailer than some of the vechiles that drive in the yard (chuckling) ... Michelin "E" rated...and the forth is the same...LOL; Built the trailer spring 2007 and it needs a paint job now. The boys at the club made fun of it because it sticks out like a sore thumb in the yard painted....just trying to fit in
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:45 AM
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Mine is always dry out of the water. I spray it with vinigar to kill any mould each fall. Then it dries out really nicely.

After launch it's a tad wet... normal with the dripping from the stuffing box.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:51 PM
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Bone Dry

I adjusted the packing gland so I get 1 drop about every 15 seconds. The bilge stays dry no matter how long I run the engine in gear but I do get a trail of salt crystals under the engine - just how I like it. The boat stays in the water year round.
I found on my boat if you sail on starboard tack with the bilge 2/3 or more full of water then water ends up in the port locker under the berth in the middle of the boat. This has always been a mystery to me since the locker appears to be very well sealed.

TRUE GRIT

Last edited by JOHN COOKSON; 04-02-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:54 AM
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Interesting, over 90% have a wet bilge. Would an accessory that added a little more water to the bilge be a problem, not a steady flow but a little more once in a while?

My first thought is probably not, the bilge is wet already so what's the difference?
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Had my hands in a few others
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:48 PM
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occasionally I will suck the 2" of water out of my deep bilge with a shop vac. . .it will stay dry till it rains hard and slowly fills up. . .I have cockpit leaks to seal, lol. . .

Last edited by Cool Beans; 03-31-2012 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:52 AM
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I thought bilge was derived from the latin Bilgeouses, to be "wet with grief".
Thus the maritime tradition of "yer bilious bilge matey!. That is to say "You're all wet dude".

On my boat it's not a bilge, it's an aquarium!

R.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:22 PM
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Talking Mostly dry

Having a wooden boat makes this question a little different. Salt water can never harm a wooden boat but fresh water will, every time, and that is exactly what sweats or condenses on the inside of the planking and then runs to the bilge. Since my hull is so swollen up with oil that there is no leakage at all, it is necessary for me to flush the bilge periodically with salt water (to keep her "sweet" as the (really) old timers would say). But I don't mind a little water getting in under the engine via the stuffing box or leakage at the waterlock. IMO fibreglass boats should be kept as dry as possible for reasons already noted.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:27 PM
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Well, this year I have a small leak. Must be the keel because I couldn't find anything else. I didn't tourqe the keel bolts since I got it and I'm close on 6000 nautical miles on her since then (summer 2007). There enough coming in to run the pump once a day....but previously I had to run the pump only to expel rain water that came down the mast. After the docks and other boats get in and squared away I might just haul and have a look see . Kind of p'd me off a bit because I become accustomed to things going my way with my "good o'le boat". I didn't want to mess with something that aint broke...
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:26 PM
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Talking

Mo - You didn't mention whether your keelbolts are threaded into the lead casting or are thru bolted and plugged at the bottom. I would not conclude that you have a core intrusion issue until the bolt issue is settled. You may only have to remove the keelbolts and seal with tar or some such material.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:28 PM
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Hanley, mine are threaded into the lead keel. The stock running down into the keel is at least 1 inch in diameter....maybe larger. I know I had to buy a socket to fit the nuts...If I remember correctly they were 1 1/2 inch. My manual is down on the boat...I`ll have a look at it tomorrow and see what size they are.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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