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Old 12-09-2019, 05:42 AM   #1
Sam
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Water in the bilge

Hello all,

Iím looking at a boat and have a question about water in the bilge. The chain locker and V-birth drain to the center of the bow with no opening to continue draining to the bilge pump located mid ship in the engine compartment. There is only one bilge pump on this boat and appears to have been designed this way. It seems odd to me to have the water sit in the front of the boat and be left with having to pump or hand dip it out. The sitting water has caused wood damage to the floor and stringer as it sits and slowly evaporates. The bilge under and aft of the engine also does not drain, but I can see this being designed to keep any oil that may spill from going overboard. The prop shaft is also in this area and the water would need to be about 10Ē deep before it would flow over the bulk head and make it to the bilge pump. I havenít seen a boat that didnít drain to the lowest section of the bilge to be pump overboard. Of course I have little experience and am hoping one of you may have some insight. I have checked extensively for a clogged opening and canít find anything to allow the water to flow. It is all fiberglassed solid and appears to be factory. The boat is a 32í Legacy trawler built in the 90ís. I appreciate any advice or input you guys may have.

Thanks,

Sam
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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Can you add a thru-hull to drain chain locker overboard at bow? - Thats the way my boats have been rigged.
Is there water coming into your V-Berth?? from where? Why?
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:12 PM   #3
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The water comes in from the chain locker area. It also looks like the stanchions need to be removed and reset as there is water coming in at those locations also. It maybe possible to add a pump , but the area is not very deep. It would still leave some amount of water in the forward bilge. At its deepest it is about 8Ē from the sole.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:23 PM   #4
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This sounds like a good use for a diaphragm pump. They can pull the water level down lower than a typical centrifugal, so they're good for drying out areas like this.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:23 PM   #5
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I have a 83' wood boat with 5 wt bulkheads and 6 separate bilge areas. Each with a pump.
If you don't want to install pumps, drill about a 1" hole at the lowest point in the barrier separating the bilge areas.
You need to stop water coming in from the top That's where dry rot starts. The longer you wait, the bigger the job. If you want to get rid of the "boat" smell, power vent your bilges. I use a bilge blower with a rheostat so it runs at a slower speed. They're always on and it drys the bilge.

Also rock salt or borate added to the bilge will preserve the wood.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:07 PM   #6
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My AT34 came with one bilge pump. Now it has 4 bilge pumps and 4 high water alarms connected to a 4 inch alarm bell.

My fwd bilge did not have a bilge pump and a shower pump that clog and overflow the box.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:48 PM   #7
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My boat has a separated bow bilge with the chain locker draining into it. There is also a bilge pump in there for that area.

Install a pump and as suggested use a diaphragm type.

https://www.whalepumps.com/marine/pr...eyShower-Waste

Just a suggestion but the gulper shower pumps can also be used for bilge. Whale may be missing a bet by not mentioning for the use for the bilge.

THe p/u strainer can installed on a longer hose that can reach deeper water with pump mounted out of the way of the water. It may not get absolutely all the water but will lower it substantially reducing sloshing and wetting of the sole.

I did the same for mine with an older converted Jabsco with a long hose and a bronze suction screen. The hose gets into the last bit of bilge and the pump stays dry. It is slow but for this purpose it does not need to be fast as I never intended it for emergency dewatering.


Examine your boat and add pumps as needed.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:51 PM   #8
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Hi Sam,
My Nordic Tug has "limber holes" connecting any areas that do not have a dedicated bilge pump to an area that does have a pump, so these areas are "self draining". Water left standing in any bilge area can lead to rot, boat smells, and worst of all potentially the development of black mold which can be very bad for your long term health.
My advice would be to take all steps necessary to keep your bilges dry (or at least as dry as possible) to reduce smells and eliminate mold.
My swim step tends to develop water (still not really sure how it gets in there) slowly over time, and due to the limber hole it also migrates (forward) to the aft bilge and pump (in the lazerette). However, some water will sit both at the aft pump and in the swim step. I remove all water from these areas at least monthly using a water vac. They are separated from the "living areas" so internal smells are not a big concern, but I don't want mold. When I did see some mold (mainly on the bilge pump hoses), I removed it ASAP.
Hope this helps,
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:24 AM   #9
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Thank you for all the replies. This boat is one I was looking at purchasing and while the boat looks good from 10í away, itís the issues up close that start to turn me away. The boat puts a smile on my face as I peer through my rose colored glasses. The reality is, the sitting water in the front bilge has rotted the sole and mold is growing in the forward storage lockers, some not easily accessible to clean without removing them. Iím also concerned about the stringer as it has been sitting in the water for some time.

The boat has several leaks from where the deck joins the hull (cored fiberglass). I believe from the stanchions or the teak cap itself. The teak cap has rot in several areas and will need to be replaced and resealed. The rear hatch has leaked and rotted the sole in the galley, rear stringer and part of the interior wall. The sole in the head is rotted. The windows leaked and rotted the sole around the edges of the pilot house. That is whatís visible. Other deterioration is most likely behind the cabin walls. In my mind, it needs a new sole throughout, stringer repair, and locker/cabinet repair as it will need to be removed to get to tight spaces where the wood rot is.

There are other mechanical/ electrical issues to be addressed, but that I can handle, especially if the sole is out for ease of access. Some systems may need replacing entirely, like the cold plates, air conditioner, and electronics. When it was able to crank (electric issue), the main engine seemed to run well (yanmar). The gen set oil is full of moisture. Most likely hasnít been run in some time. We tried to start it before we saw the moisture in the engine. No doubt it will need several quick oil and filter changes to remove the bad oil. I didnít notice any tank leaks, but one fuel tank is empty and has been for awhile. Unsure of the condition inside (aluminum).

If everything was in working or good order, itís my close to perfect boat for me. At what point do you stop negotiating price, or should I simply move on? The owner has worked with me a lot on the pricing, but I know it will take time and money to make the boat whole again. At this point, I think a survey would only help ease my mind as to what the boat is actually worth. There is value there, but a lot of money to repair it as well. Thanks for reading my ramblings and I value every response and words of wisdom.

Sam
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:13 AM   #10
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"If you don't want to install pumps, drill about a 1" hole at the lowest point in the barrier separating the bilge areas."


Yes, Then locate copper window weight chain , not copper plaited window chain , and string it the length of boat.


Install a spring on one end a simple tug will shift gunk/ debris enough that the water can flow end to end.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:37 AM   #11
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Walk away.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:03 AM   #12
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Walk away.
Amen to that.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:31 AM   #13
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Walk away.
Yes. Find a vessel with bilges that are designed to sensibly pump stray water or better yet stay dry. Many otherwise fine vessels fail this most basic of criteria.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:01 AM   #14
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Thanks again for everyoneís insight. I have found it hard to find a boat in my budget that has the right ďlookĒ and sea worthiness for me and layout for my wife's comfort. Leaning towards the more inexpensive boats I know I will have issues to deal with. This one just may need to much. This particular boat is one of only a few that were made and hard to find for sale or cared for. I will continue on with my search.


Best wishes to all,

Sam
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:33 AM   #15
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I think you're right to 'move one'. While the boat may be in your price range, do not underestimate the cost to fix the issues. Estimate these costs then double the estimate. In addition, I'd recommend looking for a boat where the owner has taken care of it, it may cost more upfront but you'll save overall. It's much cheaper to prevent problems than fix them. That said, in older boats there are always some things that will crop up even with a good owner. Make sure you get a survey before you push the button. You can learn a lot from these guys as they see many brands of boats and generally know what issues to look for in each brand.

By the way, I would never recommend drilling a hole in any bulkhead. These bulkheads are generally plywood fiberglassed in place to stiffen the structure. Drill it and you allow water into the plywood. Much better to add a pump.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:55 PM   #16
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Sam,
Glad to hear you decided to walk away from this one. For me, it sounded like way, way too much work, potential cost, and even more importantly time to bring it back.
When looking at boats in the future, also factor in how long it will take before you can actually use the boat the way you want to. We are all given only so much time in life, and it is very valuable. Personally, I would rather be boating, than working on the boat! Some may see that differently, and that is good for them.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:02 PM   #17
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Thanks again for al the replyís. I appreciate the advice and will be using that looking at boats as I move forward. I have been on the hunt for about a year now. Hopefully the right one will show up soon.

Thanks,

Sam
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