Bilge pumps, water in the boat and you. - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Giul...

On the crossing from Houston to Cork, we could not figure why the bilge level kept rising. The stern gland was not leaking, yet it kept coming in, from aft. Between two-hour watches, the ship was taking, we estimated, about 25 gallons, but the pump easily kept ahead of it. It was the helmsman's duty to throw the pump at the end of each watch. Sometime it was forgotten and you'd hear it gurgling around. The ship has a very deep bilge though... a double-ender. The motoring seemed to be loosening it with time. Anyway, the final drive coupling let go, for other reasons I think, and the shaft was wired off so it would not spin, and left so.


It was concerning, but the pump was reliable, and kept performing.

Now I have two pumps, the larger being able to shift, it is claimed, 1 gal per second. It draws 18 ampere and would need the alternator to help, longterm. the original one is still in there, and working.

When I got to Cork, I lifted the ship and began the long task of fixing it. The water was coming in OUTSIDE the stern tube. In one of those marvellous Tiawanese short-cuts, the stern tube had been laid up with resin and chopped wood as the filler. Can you imagine?

Anyway, the helpful Cork Boat Yard did the final re-bedding after I had dug it all out of there. It does not leak now, apart from the usual drip of the shaft seal.

You seem ill at ease with the bilge shape on your ship. You have plenty of pumps, and with checking, they will all work if needed. If you are worried about the water swilling around, then I suppose if you were taking water you could right her reasonably and send a crew member to the switchgear and begin the fight to stop the leak.

I setlled for two pumps... one wee, one big.... both deep in the bilge.

There are some extremely high volume pumps available that couple to the prop shaft directly and can shift serious volumes. I looked for the link, but could not find it. It was a Dutch outfit if I remember.

If it really troubles you, you could take on board a wee dedicated diesel pump of the type used by coastguards to save a ship. Perhaps a diesel one is available. I would expect them to shift some serious water, and the diesel would run and run off a Jerry can.
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post #12 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Just be aware that most pumps are rated in GPH, and even a small hole below the waterline will overwhelm them. Also, bilge pumps are rated with no head, and if you've got three feet of head to get the water out of the bilge and out the through-hull, it will be much slower than the nominal rating.

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post #13 of 61 Old 09-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Rockter, my boat (Thank God) is not letting any water in, and I have a saildrive, whose diaphragm will be replaced in March next year.

Water getting in is just a paranoia I have exacerbated by the read of Sail’s article.

My main keel and engine bilge pumps are 1000 Liters/minute, (268Gal/min) the head pumps are 750 Liters/min (198 gal/min). I am sure I have plenty pumps.

My question was to read about stories and real life experiences that I could use as educative stuff, and the same time, asking if it would be stupid to install 2 more (one inside each furniture on port and stbd side, to avoid situations such as experienced by the guy in the article.
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post #14 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Gui:
Are you sure its not Liters per hour, thus gal/hr.?

Also, Do each of these pumps ave their own though hull for the exit pipe connection? If so, That's a lot of holes. High on the hull I would assume.

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post #15 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
Rockter, my boat (Thank God) is not letting any water in, and I have a saildrive, whose diaphragm will be replaced in March next year.

Water getting in is just a paranoia I have exacerbated by the read of Sail’s article.

My main keel and engine bilge pumps are 1000 Liters/minute, (268Gal/min) the head pumps are 750 Liters/min (198 gal/min). I am sure I have plenty pumps.

My question was to read about stories and real life experiences that I could use as educative stuff, and the same time, asking if it would be stupid to install 2 more (one inside each furniture on port and stbd side, to avoid situations such as experienced by the guy in the article.
ALex,
What brand are your pumps ? My primary is 2000 gph. You are saying three times that. I want one.

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post #16 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Giu-

What make/model pumps do you have??? Are you sure on those specs??? 268 GPM is over 16,000 GPH... which I find very hard to believe. At eight pounds per gallon roughly, that is 64 tons of water per hour... which is about 2000 cubic feet of water per hour, or a space 20' x 10' x 10' in size.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-16-2007 at 09:46 PM.
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actually they discharge on the sink thru hulls, via a Y connector, a loop and a non return valve. This is because my boat heels a lot and thus no need to close the valves. They all hev no return valves.

The Main keel bilge dumps in the kitchen sink thru hull, the engine dumps in a dedicated hole above the water in the transom, and the showers dump in the respective head sink thru hulls, all with Y, loop and check valves.
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ehehehehe

Now I am very confused....I don't remember if they are Gal/min or Liter/min or per hour or....I am checkin on line, ok??
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post #19 of 61 Old 09-16-2007
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Check valves - Add them to your frequently maintained item list!! Its not a matter of if one will fail, Its a matter of when all will fail.
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Also, check valves increase the back pressure on the bilge pumps, and drastically reduce their actual output...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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