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post #1 of 57 Old 10-09-2008 Thread Starter
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Filled bilge

Good morning everyone! I am a proud new owner of a 1980 catalina 30 and I'm new to this forum. This is my first cruiser and I'm very excited about it. Tonight I was down at the docks changing an interior light when a friend asked to see the bilge. I went ahead an opened it up to find it 95% filled. Needless to say this worried me. During the survey and my first few trips out into the bay it has remained bone dry. I didn't feel comfortable leaving it so I bailed it by hand.

Is there a switch I could have turned off that would have caused this, or is this a broken pump? I ran the diesel a little to see if that was it but again no dice. I've had the catalina for less than a month and I'm still trying to learn everything on/about the boat.

Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 57 Old 10-09-2008
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Yeah check your distribution panel and see if the bilge pump switch was flipped off, hopefully it's that simple

If not you could have a bad float switch or bad pump or both or just a bad connection

1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )

1974 Ranger 33


Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change and Rum to accept the things I can't

Last edited by poopdeckpappy; 10-09-2008 at 01:22 AM.
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post #3 of 57 Old 10-09-2008 Thread Starter
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I believe I only have 3 switches there: Shower, pressurized water, and macerator pump.

Sorry if this seems like stupid questions but I'm trying to get actuated with the boat.


Thank you for the reply.

Last edited by SDietz; 10-09-2008 at 01:27 AM.
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post #4 of 57 Old 10-09-2008
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I think the biggest issue is finding out where the water comes from. However. On your Catalina - the odds are your bilge pump, which is located under the center floorboard, is directly wired to the battery. Commonly done actually at least was on my C-27. There will also be a float switch - it will look grey and you flip it up and it will start the pump in the bilge (simple tracing of wires will get you there).

The reason it may not be pumping - is that the filter is clogged at the base of the Rule Pump, the wires are corroded , wiring to the pump is disconnected from the battery, or bad float switch (or combo of all of that I listed).


If your boat is in salt water, do a taste test on the water - dab your finger into it and taste it. If it tastes like salty water then you have a leak from one of your seacocks or other system exposed to the outside body of water. If it tastes fresh then I would look at the draining of a sink or perhaps your water tanks are leaking into the bilge.


good luck on your investigation.

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Last edited by artbyjody; 10-09-2008 at 01:50 AM.
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post #5 of 57 Old 10-09-2008 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. I plan on going out in the day light tomorrow to investigate.
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post #6 of 57 Old 10-09-2008
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Got be a switch somewhere, don't you have a panel with cabin light, nav lights, electronics etc,etc ??

The last one you mentioned is a solid waste muncher for when you dicharge poo OB, but that's taboo imho.

You want to hear stupid questions read some of the stuff I asked & still ask.........

1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )

1974 Ranger 33


Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change and Rum to accept the things I can't
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Change that, Jody could be right and it's wire direct to the batt

1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )

1974 Ranger 33


Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change and Rum to accept the things I can't
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post #8 of 57 Old 10-09-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks I feel like I've gotten some solid info. I'm going to check the wires in the day light.
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post #9 of 57 Old 10-09-2008
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The only thing that would have been dumb is to not ask and let her sink me thinks...
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post #10 of 57 Old 10-09-2008
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Don't worry about the bilge pump. Find out where the damn water is coming in.

What sort of time scale does it take to fill? A day? A week? A month?

Is the toilet syphoning?
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