Bilge pumps, water in the boat and you.
Today, before traveling out of Canadá, I decided to buy Sail Magazine, to read while on the plane.
In it, was a page and half account of a guy that during a passage had his prop shaft bearing leak into the boat. He had over a foot of water inside.
His problem was, that since he was sailing, the boat was heeled and the water inside never could get to his bilge pumps that are in the center line of his boat. (He decided not to stop sailing due to sea condition, and also because sailing he was approaching land). So he removed the water by hand while the wife sailed, and his 6 YO daughter passed the water out. In the mean time he managed to reduce the ingress of water.
I have sailed many years, and had a boat almost completely sink 1 mile off the coast, around 1986, while I fought to steer it to land, (that's when I lost the girlfriend, but that’s another story), many years ago....but never really experienced a situation where the boat was actually taking water thru shaft seals, thru hull or other type of situation.
I admit, that off all things at sea, water entering the boat is my biggest fear and the only thing that really freaks me out, even thinking about….Tommyt and Val, may well remember that when sailed together I kept going back to remove “waters” inside. (I had a shower pump fail a few weeks before and some water was still inside certain compartments I had no access to. So as we sailed it passed thru and appeared under certain floor boards. Not much one or two buckets, but pissed me off.
That’s all fixed and I had the builder open accesses to those areas, and believe it or not, just in case I asked him to install bilge pumps there, just in case.
So, the article really touched me as it is my biggest fear as I said, and as a consequence of my “fear” I have pumps everywhere on my boat.
My hull is pretty flat, and the deepest bilge is 1 foot deep, where the keel is, elsewhere its only inches deep. I also don’t have many bilges as all the space underneath the boat floor is water tank or diesel tank, but, there are a few spaces.
I have presently 6 electric bilge pumps (don’t laugh, I’ll explain why), plus 2 separate portable electric pumps with hoses attached operating from the 12Volt cigarette lighter and 2 hand pumps.
My pump inventory is as follows:
I have a bilge pump in the keel box, that is always dry, and one in the engine compartment, that due to the shape of my hull is almost at the same height as the floor panels.
I have 2 heads, each has a shower pump, and then in the compartments created underneath the head floors, (where I had water accumulate once), I have 2 extra pumps, one in each head, just in case, and small hatches to access these spaces.
What I would like to know is how many of you had sea water getting in the boat, not occasional hatches open or rain, but water quantity that your boat could sink.
How did you cope with it, how and where are your pumps, and anything else you may add.
I really need your input in this, as I must understand more about what you guys did, and gain from your real experiences.
It occured to me, that since my boat is almost 14 feet beam, it would take a lot of water on one side until it reached the center line of the boat, so I envisioning the installation of 2 more pumps, stbd and port, under the salon cabinets on the floor of these, to prevent against this possible situation. But then I would have 8 bilges...I'm not that crazy...am I???
Please refrain from joking on this thread and true stories only. Please
I appreciate your experiences and input.
Last edited by Giulietta; 09-16-2007 at 06:57 PM.