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Author Topic: water in bilge  (Read 892 times)

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anaisdog

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water in bilge
« on: October 08, 2019, 12:29:14 PM »

from the PO, my 1986 hull 99 C34 has always had water in the bilge (and it gets gunky when I don't get the boat out).  I can't tell where it's coming in from.  i did blow up the aft water bladder so i know it's not that. could it be coming in from the farthest after lazerette in the cock pit?

thanks

becki kain
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Hull #99, c34, 1986, Detroit Yacht Club

Jon W

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 12:53:12 PM »

Could be several things. Some thoughts to start -

Dry out the bilge then check each day to see how long it takes for water to show up. If youíre in salt water, taste it to see if itís salt water. Salt water could be your packing gland, a thru hull/hose, or keel bolts. Keel bolts youíll see it seep in very quickly. Feel around all thru hulls and hoses, should be dry. The traditional style packing gland will drip a few drops of water per hour normally. That water eventually ends up in the bilge.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

anaisdog

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 01:26:54 PM »

dry it out with a turkey baster?  i'm in the water, detroit, so fresh water.  i think it might be my cockpit scupper hoses cracked but i'll have to look at that's just icky :-)
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Hull #99, c34, 1986, Detroit Yacht Club

Ron Hill

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 02:19:22 PM »

anais : You didn't mention if you have a keel stepped or deck stepped mast?  It could be coming down if the mast it your is keel stepped.
 
Also most likely is the packing gland.

A few thoughts

« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 02:10:21 PM by Ron Hill »
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Jon W

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 05:17:56 PM »

Some use a pump, I use a sponge and a bucket to dry the bilge. Wear rubber gloves if itís really bad.

To check the cockpit drains, fill a bucket with water, climb into the aft cockpit locker, reach and pour the water into the cockpit and look for leaks. Then repeat for the other side.

Should still check the other bits. If you have a keel stepped mast, water will get in the bilge when it rains.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

mark_53

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 05:28:06 PM »

Probably comes down the mast when it rains.  I use a wet/dry shop vac to get it out. Smells horrible it I leave it too long.  Dry it out and check next time you get a good rain.
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Kevin Henderson

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2019, 05:50:52 PM »

I've used this rule of thumb:
Forward bilge could be fresh water dripping down mast (keel stepped mast)
Center (Large bilge)  Taste the water... if it's fresh, it could be from your water tank.  Or from the mast. 
In the aft bilges if its fresh, it could be the hot water tank.  If it's salt, water could be leaking in from aft either the packing gland or possibly the rudder post. 

I think there has been a similar post as this that defines the bilges and sources of water better than my atempt here.   :abd:
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Rortega46

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2019, 07:05:04 PM »

My bilge was wet for 4 years since buying our C34.  During the August dry spell I got serious about having a dry bilge.  I began drying the bilge daily and watching where the water initially showed up in the bilge. As Kevin says, there is a good prior post about this.  The August dry spell helped rule out above the waterline leaks, and drying the bilge daily led to a sequence of fixes.

First, I adjusted the bellows on the dripless seal and insured the area was dry with the engine running and at rest.  Next, I replaced one of the AC condensate removal pumps and cleaned/serviced the other. Water continued to enter the bilge from under the waste basket area, but when the valves from the fore and aft water tanks were closed and the water heater drained, no water entered the bilge.  So I replaced the old, rusted and leaking hot water heater.  When the valves and water pressure was turned on again, water was still entering the bilge under the waste basket.  Found the fresh water pump seal to be bad and replaced the pump.  The bilge has now been dry for over a month.  Success!

It was a long process that ended up leading to a dry bilge by addressing deferred plumbing systems maintenance.
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Randy & Karla Ortega
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KWKloeber

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 08:37:47 PM »

becki if the scupper hoses are original they are overdue.  Mine lasted 20 yrs before they failed and made an absolute mess while on the hard for two years.  Run a hose in the cockpit while checking below for water flow to the bilge.

-k
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 05:10:51 AM »

Quote
dry it out with a turkey baster?

Becki,
To remove the water that remains after the bilge pump runs.  Use the turkey baster to suck-up the bilge water then squirt into a bucket.  I use a battery water filler, bought from auto parts store, and a plastic coffee can.  Then just dump bilge water into head sink.  Store them in the bilge. 
It's important to keep the bilge dry during the freezing winters.  If the bilge is full of water and freezes it may expand and damage the hull.
Hope you get that dry bilge,
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
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anaisdog

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 06:33:44 AM »

it's a deck stepped mast and i have a bilge plug so i drain it when it's up in the air in the cradle.  i will try to drain it but Ken's right, the hoses are probably original.  where do i get replacements?  are they just automotive?  thanks
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Hull #99, c34, 1986, Detroit Yacht Club

Jon W

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 07:32:01 AM »

I bought smooth bore bilge hose at a local boat supply.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

anaisdog

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2019, 07:33:24 AM »

thanks
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anaisdog

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 06:00:10 AM »

once i drain the bilge, how many keel bolts should i expect to find to tighten?
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ewengstrom

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Re: water in bilge
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 06:14:25 AM »

We just bought Ohana, our 1988 C34 and I'm quite sure that no hoses have been replaced in approximately 31 years...including the cockpit scupper drain hoses. While inspecting the boat I reached in and felt around the starboard hose and found I could put my finger thru a hole in the forward side of the starboard drain hose just below the scupper itself. Upon closer inspection I found the hose dry rotted along its entire length. No hole in the port side but it's dry rotted too.
Moral to this story, if you haven't replaced all the hoses on your boat or suspect they haven't been updated, it's long past due and I for one am replacing every hose on the boat...STAT.

With regards to locating a persistent and hard to find leak. Paper towels distributed in key areas don't lie. You can tell if they've even had one drip on them....even if they dried up after the leak stopped. Water running thru an area can also be identified and traced back to its source. I've pinpointed odd leaks using this method on various boats over the years, works pretty well. 
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Eric Wengstrom
s/v Ohana
Catalina 34 MKI SR/WK
Hull #564
Universal M25XP
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