Opened Hidden Bilge in H-34

Nov 6, 2006
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
As others have noted, I opened the false bilge bottom to get at the trapped water between the hull and liner. It was not as bad as I had imagined.. the water was very acrid smelling and rusted tools within 5 minutes, so I don't know or want to know what it was. Got it flushed out and lowered the pump and switch into the tight space.. It was a killer for the multitool blades.. I went through 6 of 'em.. First is pump removed, second is half bottom cut out, last is ALL DONE!
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Likes: Capt Robbie
Jan 28, 2017
Hunter 34 Halifax
Nice work!

My Bilge is starting to thaw now that the weather is above freezing. I'm thinking I'm taking this job on tomorrow. I was going to start a new thread on this, But it seems appropriate to post it here.

I am considering cutting alot higher up... I took a picture of my bilge today, and I am considering cutting as high up as the blue line..... What do you guys all think? I may start with the black.... and see what happens... But I feel that the wider I get this moved out the better. I don't think that this gives it would take away any structural integrity... But maybe I'm missing something.. Water is seeping from a few cracked areas in the upper area where I assume the bilge Ice is still melting.


the plan.jpg

seaping cracks.jpg
Nov 6, 2006
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
The sides of my bilge liner seemed to be attached pretty well to the hull .. Suggest that the bottom be cut out first then probe to see what ya have.. I think each 34 is a little different..
Jan 22, 2008
Hunter 34 Alameda CA

Nice job. In my case, after the bottom removal, I went to work blasting away with a hose nozzle and eventually my high pressure washer through every opening I could find in the liner. That included starting back at the cutout for the strut bolts, the shaft log, front of the engine pan, etc. I sprayed to catch the underside of the sole and through all the holes where the waterlines went through various spots. Don't forget to pull the table post receiver as well. There was a lot of accumulated stuff in there that made its way to the very bottom. Find a spot to stick a shop vac hose on blow to aid in drying. After a couple of days the difference is noticeable.


I only cut away enough so that the largest bilge pump I could buy would just fit down there. I have a West Marine 2000 GPH with integrated float switch. Its an elongated shape so it fits nicely. I see no need to cut up any higher except for pump clearance. It will save you from rough cut edges grabbing you when mopping up periodically with a sponge. Once the water turns that last corner its going to fall in the bottom and the pump will suck it out. It doesn't matter if it's exposed on the way down. And like Claude says, there is some bonding to the hull up there which will make the removal more labor intensive. Later when I got a multitool I did cut the points off the opening and it was hard on those cutters. I used the half circle flush cutting ones because you can rotate them to fresh teeth and maximize use of them.

The other big deal for me was to go to the dripless shaft seal. This last haul out when I put a service kit on that seal was it for me fighting another press on coupling. That's been swapped out for a split coupling so even that job should it be required is going to be a lot easier.

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Nov 6, 2006
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
I was surprised by how thick the fiberglass floor was.. about 1/2" solid glass and very strong.. The wood spacer was saturated and de-laminated but not rotted except in the 4 spots where the floor had been penetrated by the pump and switch hold-down screws.. The spacer was not bonded to either hull or liner. The space under the floor on mine was mostly taken up by the wood insert.. there was maybe 1/8" or less clearance for free water to be when the wood was there.. My bilge is always wet because I run a dehumidifier that drains there when I am away.
Sep 30, 2017
Hunter 34 Gunpower Neck - Aberdeen, MD
Took on this project today, and it went a little better than I was expecting. Used a Bosch oscillating tool. Cut through the glass and epoxy easily. The smell was awful. Nice and clean now. Good idea to replace with bilge pump with integrated float switch! Here’s a couple pictures