I just purchased a 1978 Columbia 10.7 which is set up for cruising. The PO added new water and fuel tanks below the cabin sole in the bilge area. The original water tank from the factory was in the bilge but the new one is bigger. Since the boat is new to me I decided it would be a good idea to clean out the bilge. I started to flush the bilge using the forward access---to my surprise the bilge filled up real quick and did not drain nor was it automatically pumped out. I then looked at the bilge from the rear access and their was almost no water. I then started to fill the bilge from the rear access and it began to pump just fine and the water level never got more that the level associated with the float switch. Going back to the forward access the water level was as I left it--about 10" deep. This implies that their are two separate bilge areas and the forward area has no way to get rid of water unless you bring in a hand pump. This seems really unusual---has anyone had experience with this kind of setup? Did the PO create this for some reason that is beyond my comprehension?
Any help or insight would be appreciated.
Why not simply drill drain holes (not into the tanks) to connect the forward to the rear bilge?
Actually there is a large hole at the bottom of the bulkhead that creates the forward and isolated bilge area but this hole is glassed over. I am suspecting that it was glassed over when the tank was installed. Is it possible that the installer did not want the bottom of his aluminium tank to get wet?
Real boats always had limber holes so that water could find its way from fore to aft to be dealt with by bilge pump but modern plastic boats don't ever leak so it is not a problem any more.
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