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Hunter 45DS Hidden Bilge

Nov 23, 2020
20
Hunter 45DS Seattle
Hello sailors -- My partner and I purchased an '09 Hunter 45DS Oct 2020. In exploring and cleaning her we have noticed that there are hidden "sumps" that feed into the bilge. These sumps appear to run under the visible bilge and feed any bilge water into the visible bilge via "floor level" holes. We have used a turkey baster to empty them from time-to-time.

Upon deeper inspection, we found that, for example, runoff from our stuffing box (which is normal) flows into one of these hidden bilges and eventually makes its way to the visible bilge. We can find no access panels for these and while there are a few forum posts about a hidden bilge in an earlier/shorter hunter (a 34 I believe), nothing in the forums addresses this for the 45DS. I've worked through all of the documentation from Hunter-Marlow but cannot find anything that speaks to the hull mold or assembly. In short, we've hit a wall.

Our objective is to keep the bilge clean (top priority) and ideally dry (secondary priority). We have even explore plumbing the runoff from the shaft to the shower sump so that we avoid filling the bilge with water every time we are under power.

Any thoughts, links, learnings will be welcome. Thank you in advance!

Sean & Lori
s/v Halayah Rhea
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,238
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
I've worked through all of the documentation from Hunter-Marlow but cannot find anything that speaks to the hull mold or assembly. In short, we've hit a wall.



Sean & Lori
s/v Halayah Rhea
I recall seeing the build process on a factory tour in which a pan is lowered into the hull prior to interior construction. These pans lend stability and structure to the hull but at the 'expense' of access and no limber holes were drilled through the stringers.. Not a process unique to Hunter. Dont know when they started relying on pans for structure but the '93 Hunter we had didn't have a pan liner.
 
Dec 1, 2020
25
Hunter 44 DS Deale, MD
Hi, Just wanted to say I've found the same thing in my '07 44DS. So far, the only thing I've been able to figure out is to periodically try to flush the hidden bilge areas with water and bilge cleaner.

I'm concerned that there are areas that can't really drain completely to the bilge because as Don mentioned there are no holes in the stringers/grid. The AC dumps a lot of condensate that does make it to the bilge, but does all of it get there?

Same thing when I had to drain the hot water heater.

I'm curious if all of the hunter models from that era have these hidden bilges.
 
Nov 23, 2020
20
Hunter 45DS Seattle
Hello @ramoore -- Thank you for the post. This weekend we did, essentially, what you described: we flushed the entire system with industrial strength vinegar to kill bacteria and ran water through it until it all ran clean. It took about an hour and we felt guilty about the water usage but.... I am looking at ways to create micro-sumps where I know water is being created (e.g., the "dripless" shaft) and then piping that to existing sumps with float switches. It's a stretch but....

We had the beginnings of a mold issue and after a VERY thorough cleaning took advice from a local expert and did four things: 1) installed hygrometers (we log the results) in the bow, stern, and admidships, 2) put in two forced-air heaters for air movement and heating, 3) added large dessicant containers in the larger spaces (e.g., under the pullman where the bow thruster is located), and 4) hung smaller "bag dessicant" collectors in the smaller spaces (e.g., behind the nav station panel). We try to keep our humidity below 55% (so far so good) and we use a turkey baster to collect any standing water in the bilge. We also are able to use it to get into some of those hidden sumps. It's the best we've been able to figure out. Perhaps our OCD has run amok but we have this "If I can't eat off a surface then it is not good enough" ethic that has served us well. Hope this helps!

Sean & Lori
Halayah Rhea