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Dave_E 09-08-2013 10:06 AM

Water in the bilge
Hi All,

Just wondering how many 30+ year old boats seem to always have a bit of water in the bilge? The Allmand seems to always have a couple cups worth in the bilge. I've fixed a leaky raw water pump, have a couple drips coming out of the shaft seal, but can't really see anything obvious. We had a 2" rainstorm couple days ago... that shouldn't have mattered. My refrigerator drain does go to the bilge, as does the bathroom floor drain (poor desion in my mind). Never enough to kick on the low automatic pump.


JomsViking 09-08-2013 10:21 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
IMHO the bilges should only accumulate dust, not Water. But can't really tell what/why you get some. Hatches, Windows, etc are likely culprits if fresh, and you already solved some of the saltwater ones.

tempest 09-08-2013 10:30 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
Water gets in to my bilge via the keel stepped mast, rarely enough to engage the automatic pump though.

zedboy 09-08-2013 10:31 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
My 60+ year year old boat always had water in the bilge after rainstorms. It was cause everything leaked.

asdf38 09-08-2013 10:56 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
That doesn't sound like a problem to me at all.

There are a lot of sources of water on a boat including ones that have nothing to do with leaks like condensation from the hull or fridge. If all you have is a couple of cups of water and you know your shaft seal drips that's basically nothing.

That said, don't underestimate rain leaks. All the water that gets into my bilge, and it's more than you, is from rain. While there are just a few holes in the hull of your boat there are probably more than 100 on the top of your boat. Every one one is a potential leak. And things like hatch boards, hatches, and portlights often don't seal as well as they should.

HaleyF 09-08-2013 11:46 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
Yeah two of my windows need to be resealed and leak a little bit every time it rains hard or I wash the boat down. I'm waiting for it to get high enough to use the bildge pump.

jimgo 09-08-2013 11:52 AM

Re: Water in the bilge
I have water in my bilge, too. As others have said, it can come from a variety of places, including rain intrusion and thru-hulls.

Dave_E 09-08-2013 12:30 PM

Re: Water in the bilge
Thanks much for the replies. I've been around boats most of my life, seen it, heard it, talked about it... but when the big boat is yours for the first time... puts a different perspective on it. Sometimes we just need reassurance from our mates.


zeehag 09-08-2013 12:41 PM

Re: Water in the bilge
28 Attachment(s)
when you have an inboard engne and packing gland and rain and such you will have wet bilges.
most boats have a little water in their bilges--even my dry as a bone ericson has water in bilge.

my formosa, a truly active cruising boat has plenty water in bilges--i consider it ballast!!--i have to pump every week---which is better than every day.

only dry boat is one on hard in desert

jimgo 09-08-2013 01:19 PM

Re: Water in the bilge
As you sit at the dock, listen carefully. You will hear the automatic bilge pump of many of the boats going on and off. That's what told me that mine was more the norm than the exception. That's not to say I don't want to figure out where most of it is coming from and stop it, but I figured it was a sign that I wasn't in serious trouble.

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