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Bilge drainage

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Marrigoround, Feb 21, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Marrigoround

    Marrigoround

    Joined Feb 21, 2018
    2 posts, 0 likes
    - -
    I just bought an ‘87 hunter legend 37 and am going through the glorious process of cleaning it in preparation for liveaboard. I’ve cleaned out the bilge and am now moving outboard, removing cabin sole to discover compartments that might best be described as storage. The one under the chart table has a drainage hole in it, but I do not see how it carries through to the bilge. Where does this water go?
     


  2. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,341 posts, 299 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    All water eventually goes to the bilge; it may sit trapped under the sole for a while but eventually some other water will displace it or boat motion will release it to the bilge. Your hull under the sole is sure to be holding a large number of trapped gallons and some of them are sure to look and smell like crap. I would not put too much effort in trying to get rid of this water as it will seem a never ending effort which will release some smells you would rather like to keep trapped. Some have pumped chlorine solutions or cut out the bilge's bottom to pump the water out with mixed success. Others like me don't mind a little standing water in the bilge as long as it does not smell too bad.
     


  3. NYSail

    NYSail

    Joined Jan 6, 2006
    1,695 posts, 72 likes
    Beneteau 423
    US Mt. Sinai, NY
    I am not familiar with hunters set up but my boat (beneteau 423) and previous boat (pearson 36-2) had drain or better known as weep holes in the different compartments under the sole that would lead between the hull stringers or through pipes that would lead to lowest point in bilge..... theoretically. I myself like a clean dry bilge so if I saw accumulated water that was not draining I sponge or vacuum it up and don’t wait for the motion of the boat to send it where it belongs.

    Good luck!
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  4. Bob R.

    Bob R.

    Joined Jun 5, 2004
    141 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Pasadena, MD
    +1
     


  5. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,395 posts, 976 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    If there is no egress then the water won't go anywhere. However, the weep hole's existence would seem to indicate that it does go somewhere, the bilge. What I would want to know is how water gets into the compartment in the first place.
    I like everything clean and dry too, but I won't waste my sailing time trying to achieve perfection if I didn't think it would cause a problem, either. Stale water can be a problem, especially if it is freshwater. Saltwater tends to not grow nasty bacteria or mold.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  6. Marrigoround

    Marrigoround

    Joined Feb 21, 2018
    2 posts, 0 likes
    - -
    Thanks guys,

    From what I’ve seen on my boat, this weep hole could go straight through the stringer to the bilge, but it does not have an adjacent hole on the other side of the stringer. So it must go to a deeper darker detour before it gets there.

    I had some nasty brown water in this compartment and decided to push some of it into this hole to see if it showed up in the bilge, but did not see it come through. That makes me think that it was either not enough to push through the unseen drainage length or it doesn’t lead to the bilge due to a design or manufacturing defect. I was thinking of pushing a larger amount through but if it is a defect then that’s just more water that I will not be able to clean out so I figured I’d ask the great hive mind.
     


  7. SailormanDan

    SailormanDan

    Joined Jan 24, 2009
    404 posts, 76 likes
    1981 Cherubini Hunter 27
    US Belle Haven Marina, VA
    I cut my holes bigger in places so I could get at the water with a wet/dry vac and get the worst of the water out. Search through the Headmistresses' posts and she talks about ways to get rid of the smell, but always starts with how it has to be dry first so the microbes can't generate the smells. It is surprising how these fiberglass boats have lots of nooks and crannies that hold water.
    Another thought is to make sure you figure out where the water is coming from and eliminate those leaks, or the water will come back. (I have one that I can't quite find)
     


  8. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,341 posts, 299 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Water in the hull comes from many sources, 1) sea spray 2) wet bathing suits 3) rain leaks 4) shaft packing gland 5) fresh water tank or plumbing leaks, 6) galley spillage, 7) cooler or refrigerator drains 8) boat washing 9) faulty keel joints and bolts 10) faulty through hulls and valves 11) faulty engine and water heater hoses. 12 and others.
    I don't know about stale salt water being any better than stale fresh water. I learned early that any cut exposed to saltwater had a more than average chance of getting infected. Some of those weep holes come unintentionally clogged from factory and can be reopened but if the affected compartment is nor holding water it is academic. One place where no weep holes should be made is in the pan bellow the engine. This is intended to keep fuel, oil and other engine fluids out of the bilge discharge.
     


    SailormanDan and Will Gilmore like this.
  9. SailormanDan

    SailormanDan

    Joined Jan 24, 2009
    404 posts, 76 likes
    1981 Cherubini Hunter 27
    US Belle Haven Marina, VA
    Yes, my Hunter has a pan under the engine to catch engine fluids, the drips from the prop shaft run underneath, thanks for clarifying.
     


  10. AmateurHour

    AmateurHour

    Joined Jun 13, 2018
    1 posts, 0 likes
    Ericson 35
    Don't Panic US Long Beach Shoreline
    Hi everyone,
    Now break it to me gently - new boat owner here and trying to fix up as much as I can to sell and get a bigger boat - our bilge fluctuates with H2O. We cleaned it with bilge cleaner and pumped it out but then noticed that a small amount of water ran to the bilge after the pump was shut off... An investigation lead me to climb behind the fuel tanks following the wetness... I found small amount of water around the helm components (don't know their actual name). See pictures for better description... My main question... What does this mean? How do I fix it? Or better yet, who do I ask to fix it? 20180613_120859.jpg 20180613_120747.jpg
     


  11. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,395 posts, 976 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    A big welcome AmateurHour. You've come to the right place. There is bound to be someone with experience with your model boat. I can see the water tracks in the bilge grime, but it is hard to on know what you are showing. What kind of boat is this? I see you are from California. Southern or Northern? Could you have condensation from warm air and cold water? How fast is the water collecting? Is this seawater our freshwater (rainwater)?

    We are all happy to help where we can.

    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  12. Afrakes

    Afrakes

    Joined Jan 15, 2012
    67 posts, 7 likes
    Ericson 28/2
    US Port Kent
    AM: When the bilge pump turns off there is always going to be water in the hose which never makes it out of the boat. Naturally that flows back into the bilge. If you are seeing water near the steering gear then check out the gland for your rudder shaft. If loose that will allow water to enter the boat when under way. Or water could be leaking out of small holes in your bilge hose before it leaves the boat.
     


  13. Chris Patterson

    Chris Patterson

    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    2,767 posts, 62 likes
    Ericson 29
    US Southport..
    A shopvac would be a good start..

    Don’t mean to sound rude, but you’ve gotta dry it up first.
     


  14. FastOlson

    FastOlson

    Joined Apr 8, 2010
    930 posts, 81 likes
    Ericson Yachts Olson 34
    US Portland OR
    If you have an Ericson, register at ericsonyachts.org and put your question into the Maint. Forum. Lots of owners of similar models will be checking in.
    (your bio seems to say that you have an Ericson 35)
     



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