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Flightsport 07-14-2008 09:44 AM

Bilge back-up? 1978 Columbia 26T
I am the new owner of an old 1978 Columbia 26T. The boat is in great shape and spent last winter like most sail boats in the northeast, in a boat yard on stands, beneath a tarp. Although I didn't sail her much last year, I dont remember so much water coming in the sole of the cabin via the two floor drains. These drains are merely half dollar sized holes in the fiberglass sole, which I assume empty to the bilge. The bilge is pumped out via a clever hand pump in the stbd lazarette.

I've noticed a skim coat of water on the floor when I first arrive, and when under way it grows to quite a bit more. It seems that when we are in heavy air and some good sized swells, (therefore pitching quite a bit) more water seems to enter. On a downwind run, with the nose pitched up a few degrees, it seems to drain.

Does anyone have experience with this phenomenon or Columbias in general? Any guidance would be a huge help! Thanks!

sailingdog 07-14-2008 09:52 AM

It sounds like you have a leak someplace.

On a downwind run, the nose would generally be pitched DOWN, not up, unless you're flying a spinnaker, since the boat's mast is being pushed FORWARDS.

When you got the boat, did you get a survey?? If not, it might be a wise idea to do so, especially if you're not all that familiar with boats, which sounds to be the case. A survey would give you an idea of what problems this boat has and what needs to be done to correct it.

My boat doesn't get water in the bilge, unless I'm dumb enough to put it there somehow. Most boats should have a relatively dry bilge, with the possible exception of some water coming in via the stuffing box and propshaft.

Flightsport 07-14-2008 12:03 PM

Hey Sailingdog, thanks for the reply. Yes, I am a new boat owner. Not sure what a "survey" is. Can you elaborate? Maybe it was the boatspeed attained during the run which allowed sufficient drainage. It sure is disheartening having a wet floor all the time. As for a leak, the boat didnt leak at all last year. How do you find a leak with a sealed bilge? Something for the off season on dry land?

vadeadyset 09-16-2008 02:07 PM

Just came across your message. I also have a 26T. If you haven't solved your problem, check the loop on the outlet hose from your manual bilge pump. It needs to be fastened high to prevent reverse flow and to discourage siphoning.

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