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Old 01-06-2018, 11:36 AM   #1
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Dry Bilges

Hi all,
My kk54 has 3 bilges but two are hard to fully access, one is under the engine the second is under the master stateroom bed. I知 planning on creating a fourth bilge around the stuffing box so it can be easily monitored separately which would be out of scope for this.
I was thinking I could take 1/4 hose and epoxy it at the lowest point of each bilge and run it back to a single pump in the engine room with selectable valves for which bilge to pull from, this would allow me to monitor both the amount of water but also see how clean it was. With the right type of pump that should get almost completely dry bilges. Note this is not to replace the auto system in case of a larger issue. The ability to switch to output into a bucket instead of overboard would be a good addition if the water is oily.
My big question is what type of pump would allow for a long 1/4 hose on the draw side and not need priming and get all the water.

Thoughts? Also has anyone done something like this?
AC
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:34 PM   #2
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AC
Is the area in question currently making water? Rudder posts and shaft stuffing boxes areas should be pretty if not totally dry with fresh packing. To monitor the areas could you install a small camera?
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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Good questions, my understanding is a stuffing box should have about a drip a minute when properly torqued so I’m expecting a bit of water in. I do have cameras in the bilges but what I like about this idea is it gets them bone dry plus would allow me to see what’s in them, with an older boat and so many systems I feel it could be a valuable diagnostic tool. The cameras are more just so I can see if the pumps are working but since I’m not always on the boat and the current pumps don’t take the bilge to dry they aren’t super helpful beyond that.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:40 PM   #4
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I don't think you'll find a pump that would pump an area completely dry. Now you can get it dry with sponges or rags and it should stay dry except for your stuffing box.

1/4" hose may become blocked with debris.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:00 PM   #5
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...1/4" hose may become blocked with debris.
That would be my concern, even with just dust and normal dirt. We've had much larger limber holes get clogged up.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:17 PM   #6
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I built a catch basin around my prop shaft gland, it has a drain hose that goes fwd to a catch pot that also serves as an AC condensate pot. A little bilge drains it overboard. Same catch basin catches cockpit hatch drips and rudder post drips. System works nice. The three fwd bilges (engine room, cabin area and fwd/thruster area) are dry as a bone.

The four bilges are (mostly) watertight from deck height down with a big pump in each.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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Ventilation solves the problem of slight amounts of bilge water. Even in my planked wood boat. Bilge water in tight hulls usually comes from condensation, cooking, breathing, etc.
A pump using a diaphragm will self prime and should remove water to a very low level. Tiny strainers can be found for small hose sizes. Try ebay.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:36 PM   #8
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I want a dry bilge and for the most part have it. I re-routed the AC drain lines, installed better shaft packing and I have the space to put a little tupperware washbasin under each stuffing box to catch the occasional drips. Every 30-50 hrs of running I use a small bilge pump to empty the 2-3 quarts that have collected in each into a bucket. Works for me.

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Old 01-07-2018, 11:23 AM   #9
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You might want to take a look at this....a little pricy but looks like it might do what you want. I have some rain water leaks that I have not been able to completely eliminate and am concidering this.

Dry Bilges are possible!
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:33 AM   #10
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If there is room under the stuffing boxes you could put a tray under them. Put a drain line from each to a shower sump that pumps overboard.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:02 PM   #11
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I assume that each bilge has it’s own bilge pump. You can wire in a 12vdc, counter, remotely, for each pump that records how many times each bilge pump goes on. You can buy the counters at any electronic or hobby store. Or you can buy a complete panel.

https://acdcmarineinc.com/shop/bilge...-system-white/
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:15 PM   #12
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Love the counter idea Larry! Thanks! I値l do that for sure.

I also just ordered a 12v diaphragm pump with 3/8 in/out. I plan on creating the system I talked about but with the addition of easily changeable strainers.

Might take a month or two due to work travel but hoping it works
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:14 AM   #13
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" my understanding is a stuffing box should have about a drip a minute when properly torqued so I’m expecting a bit of water in."

This is the historical concept using flax or even tefflon packing.

Repack the stuffing box with modern material,and it will run cool, and DRY.

Duramax or one of its competitors will usually require only one adjustment and not require pumping of the bilge area..

Fix the cause , not the symptom.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
" my understanding is a stuffing box should have about a drip a minute when properly torqued so I知 expecting a bit of water in."

This is the historical concept using flax or even tefflon packing.

Repack the stuffing box with modern material,and it will run cool, and DRY.

Duramax or one of its competitors will usually require only one adjustment and not require pumping of the bilge area..

Fix the cause , not the symptom.


Stupid questions from an ignorant but what makes duramax not needing lubrication by water? Is there any potential impact on shaft? How to find out if packing gland is tight enough using duramax? Just tight it until it stops driping?

L
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:35 AM   #15
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"Just tight it until it stops driping?"

That is the usual way.

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Old 01-12-2018, 08:37 AM   #16
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I have been using tides lip type seal for almost 20 years on 2 different boats.
Never a drop of water gets in the bilge via the shaft.
Not having salt water in my bilge is...priceless.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I have been using tides lip type seal for almost 20 years on 2 different boats.
Never a drop of water gets in the bilge via the shaft.
Not having salt water in my bilge is...priceless.
Yup, there are several mechanical seal designs that work well and provide bone dry bilges.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:15 AM   #18
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AC
Is the area in question currently making water? Rudder posts and shaft stuffing boxes areas should be pretty if not totally dry with fresh packing. To monitor the areas could you install a small camera?
..or hire a midget............
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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When I was in the Navy we used a portable Peristaltic Pump to get the last drops out of the bilges. Our pump used a flexible clear hose.

Nice thing about Peristaltic Pump is they are (semi)positive displacement and require no priming. But at same time don't over pressurize with a closed valve or clog like most positive displacement pumps.

Here is someone specifically marketing a Peristaltic Pump for boat bilges.

https://www.greybeardpumps.com/Testimonials.php
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:40 PM   #20
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If you like to tinker a bilge pump to get the last drop can be home brewed.

Any working car double action fuel pump (old car big engine) is mounted on a platform with the operating lever pointing down.

A lead weight is attached to the arm , and stops either side reduce the swing.

When placed in the bilge it will pump for free with every motion of the boat.

Most will create 6lbs of pressure , enough to lift water 10 + ft.

Show your green friends the wave powered pump, and remind them of the billions of tons of carbon you save daily that allows free use of the diesels.
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