1970s-1980s Hunter 25 - Bilge Help?!?!

Feb 15, 2016
2
Hunter 25 Ocean Springs
Just purchased a 1980 Hunter 25; am fixing some odds and ends and gearing up for maiden voyage.

I have a question regarding the bilge. It has a small bilge area in the cabin accessed by two wood panels; there is no pump on this boat (and from the old schematics it didnt come with one from the factory). It also has a thru-hull fitting at the rear of the cockpit that discharges at the stern.

What about the rest of the water?!? For instance, Hunter did very well with cockpit storage in the hatches. When you stick your head here you see the thru hull pipe from the cockpit drain. Below it is a channel that seems to run toward the bow, but SEEMS to be deeper than the aforementioned floor bilge. Is my depth wrong?!? Do the hatches run to the floor area bilge?

Has anyone ever put a pump in this bilge area? Its's rather shallow and likely wouldn't fit much. Where did you run your discharge hose?
 
May 24, 2004
6,790
CC 30 South Florida
I used to have an 83 h27 Cherubini which is of similar design to your boat. It had two large floor boards in the cabin sole which revealed two very shallow but rather large bilge compartments. Actually the front one will discharge into the rear one making it the true bilge. The h27 came with a pump in the rear section wired to a breaker switch in the panel to be manually turned On and Off. It was almost impossible to find a float switch with adequate travel which is why I think they left it manual. The concept is sound and worked good as long as you remembered to turn the switch On every time before going out. The problem with the shallow bilge is that water will spew out into the cabin sole when the boat heels under sail. At one time I installed an automatic electrical pump that frequently tested for water and every time it found an adequate amount it would run until most was out. I installed two and they worked good but the pumps each died after 3-4 years so the last one I installed was a manually operated one. On another topic, yes there are quite a few gallons of water trapped in between the stringers. This is the reason why after drying the bilge you go out and when you come back there is more water in the bilge as some of the water got dislodged by boat motion. People usually assume they have a leak but this is just water that has accumulated over time and is pilling into the bilge as nuisance water. With a packing gland dripping into the hull and rain leaks in older boats it is quite difficult to attempt to keep the bilge dry. You will require to install a pump, run wiring to the control panel and open a through hull a few inches above the water line and run a discharge hose from pump to a fitting at the through hull. More convenient than using a bucket to get the water out. Remember an electrical bilge pump is a convenience item and not a safety item. Keep a bucket aboard to bail water in an emergency.
 
Feb 15, 2016
2
Hunter 25 Ocean Springs
Benny, thanks for a great answer. Seems silly to have no bilge pump even designed into the 25' and have it set up this way. However, I do love that there are no thru-hulls even close to the water line, all but eliminating the chance of leaky hulls (barring a much bigger problem!). And while I do love a good inboard, I will also avoid a LOT of bilge without the drive shaft, water intake, etc.

I'm no sailboat designer, but I wish they would have had the exterior hatches drain and connect to the thru-hull for the cockpit floor drain; seems silly to have an obvious exterior source drain toward the interior of the boat.

Otherwise, the boat seems solid and very well built. It's my first sailboat to actually own; I have a few years experience on a friend's Catalina, but this will be the first Hunter I have considerable amount of time on.