Need material to raise floor of bilge slightly - SailNet Community

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Old 09-20-2007
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Need material to raise floor of bilge slightly

The bilge has, coming from the mast aft, 3 shallow compartments (about 9 inches deep, 18 " by 12",and then a deep compartment which ends well before the companionway, 3-4 ft. deep.

The two compartments closest to the mast do not drain completely as the limber hole pipe is slightly too high - I would like to raise the level to the limber hole with some TBD material.

Sailingdog suggested "a marine epoxy putty like, MarineTex, which will cure even if it gets wet. However, it does need a temperature of 70˚F or so to do so, so some heat may be required. If you decide to use MarineTex, get it as fair as possible, since it is very tough to sand fair once it cures."

Where I need to put this stuff has a support beam overtop which makes access difficult. It would be nice if I could use a material that pours rather than needs to be spread.

Any suggestions out there? I am imagine I might look for something in a craft shop, etc. The material doesn't need to provide strength as ,nothing is broken.....

Thanks! Saltypat
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Old 09-20-2007
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If you're not looking for strength, and just basically trying to fill a space, there are two-part rubber compounds (similar to "Spartite") - Devcon is one maker of such material. You mix two parts into a syrupy rubber soup that pours into place and self levels and then sets..

Make sure the area to be filled is as clean as possible for good adhesion.

Getting it out later if necessary would be a chore, so be sure this is something you want to be "permanent".
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Could you just expand the limber holes to reach the bottom of the existing compartments? Then no worries about adhesion or trapped moisture under the filler.

Just a thought
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I had a small section at the bottom of an anchor locker that was below the drain hole, and was successful in simply pouring some mixed epoxy in until it got to the desired level. The only caution is that epoxy creates heat as it cures, so don't put in too much at once--the heat could cause problems for other things in the vicinity, or could cause the new stuff you pour in to crack as it cures. I would suggest doing it in layers, perhaps about a 1/4" at a time, let that cure and then mix and pour more until you reach the desired level.
Although it worked fine for me, I'm no expert on this, so it's only a suggestion for consideration.
Frank.
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Seeing as it's straight fill, you can make the first layers with chopped mat and/or microballoons. You could finish by wetting out fg tape and overlapping it up the sides of the bilge, which should keep water from ever getting beneath it

If this is a concern, however, or if you have no boat cover or you haul in a place where water is likely to freeze, consider boring a "garboard drain" to the outside with a close-fitting plug. Remove the plug in the fall and water drains straight out.
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If you do as Frank suggests, use either MAS Epoxy or don't let it cure completely, and add the additional layers while the previous ones are still tacky to the touch or you'll have to wait for it to cure and remove the amine blush. If you don't remove the amine blush, the layers won't bond to each other very well. MAS epoxies are formulated not to have an amine blush IIRC.
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