bilge water

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by mortyd, May 25, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. mortyd


    Joined Dec 11, 2004
    948 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 30
    US easy living
    i live in the the northeast and keep my boat on the hard all winter. the bilge still fills with water and the boat yard's explanations don't entirely convince me. could this water be coming down the mast and why doesn't my auto hard-wired bilge pump get rid of this excess water? my battreries are not dead after the winter by the way.

  2. Hydro Therapy

    Hydro Therapy

    Joined Dec 27, 2012
    444 posts, 77 likes
    Precision 22 (Sold), O 240 (Sold), Precision 28
    US Somers Point
    My bilge is also wet during the winter. I contribute it to fittings that leak in the cockpit area as well as my cockpit storage areas. There are plenty of areas that could be taking on water and ending up in your bilge. My mast does not leak. Your bilge pump should kick on if the level rises enough. If your bilge pump is wired correctly it should kick on weather your battery switch is on or off.

    If your cabin has a fiberglass liner it can be difficult to determine what area is leaking.

  3. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    9,356 posts, 4,174 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    @mortyd Lets breakdown the issues.
    Do you or the yard do the winter layup? Is the battery connected to the bilge pump during the winter on the hard? Does the bilge pump have a water level switch? Is the switch working or is it stuck in the off position by say debris in the bilge? Are the electrical connections for the pump and the switch in good conditions? Just because you tell the yard to "Do the things needed to put the boat on the hard for winter" doesn't mean they did everything you wanted or expected them to do. It is that old adage "Trust but Verify" that needs to be considered.

    Boats have a mind of their own when it comes to water. We do out best to keep water out, but a boat sometimes decides, what could a little water hurt. Just might be fun to see what my owner will do if I let a little water into the bilge.

  4. mortyd


    Joined Dec 11, 2004
    948 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 30
    US easy living
    my auto bilge pump is working fine, it just seems not to keep up. the boat is now back at the yard and they are attempting to solve the poroblem which they charged me plenty for 'having fixed it' by finding a leak the anchor locker, which didn't really solve anything. happily the yard agrees it's no charge.

  5. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    7,269 posts, 763 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Stanchions and cleats can be a source of water in the boat...I would check 'em all to see whether they need to be re-bedded.

  6. LeslieTroyer


    Joined May 20, 2016
    2,636 posts, 1,243 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Catalina anchor lockers have two sources of leaks. 1) pinholes in the bottom from chain and wear. 2) depending on year, copper drain tube rotting (<~1986). Hose or thru hull failure (>~1986). Did you yard check both??? I find it really amazing your pump can’t keep up with any inflow. Is the bow bilge connected by limber holes to the main bilge ?(my C36 isn’t) so water coming from the anchor locker or stantions forward can spill onto the floor.


  7. mortyd


    Joined Dec 11, 2004
    948 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 30
    US easy living
    thanks peggie, but the entire inside of the boat is dry except for the bilge so there is no indication of water coming from above deck and seeping down. i still suspect the anchor locker, a mast drip, or both.

  8. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,776 posts, 423 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Let's start with the basics, how often do you inspect and dry the bilge while the boat is on the hard? Undoubtedly a boat when pulled out or into the water is moved and will dislodge water into the bilge that has been trapped in the hull stringers below the sole. A working bilge pump will always leave a certain amount of water in the bilge as it will loose its priming at a certain level and backflow will ensue. Only if you are certain that the bilge was inspected and dried while the boat was in the stands and water is found before the boat is moved again only then can you be sure there is a leak. A dry bilge on a boat that has not moved just means that the water trapped in the stringers has not been able to escape, but it is still there. The assumption can be made that if any water shows after drying that it is water being displace by additional water leaking in. If it rained recently it points to rain leaks but if it has not rained it will point to the fresh water tank or any other holding tank. Tracing leaks requires a logical process of elimination. Good luck and would love to hear the boatyard's explanation.

    BrianRobin likes this.

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