Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 10
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.