Bilge Pump Plumbing on Catalina - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 04-10-2009
JimMcGee's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
Posts: 1,355
Thanks: 19
Thanked 26 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 10
JimMcGee is on a distinguished road
Bilge Pump Plumbing on Catalina

The Preamble
I've had this musty, slightly diesel/oily smell coming from the bilge on my boat since I bought it. It would seem worse some days than others and a bilge sock got rid of the worst of it. It wasn't an oh my God smell, more of a I know it's there so it bothers me smell. The source was the mechanic who changed my fuel filters when I bought the boat last July and managed to spill quite a bit of fuel into the bilge and didn't do a great job cleaning up.

With the boat closed up for weeks at a time during the winter I really started to notice the smell.

So last week I sucked out the bilge with a shop vac, soaked it down and scrubbed it with Simple Green as a degreaser, rinsed it, sucked it dry again. Hit it with Spray Nine, scrubbed, rinsed and dried it again.

This weekend I'll clean/degrease the engine so I can spot if there are any leaks.

The Question
My Catalina 30 has two bilges. One under the cabin sole, and an upper bilge under the engine/transmission/fuel tank. Water entering the boat from the shaft seal drips into this upper bilge. Once this bilge fills to a certain level a bilge pump pumps into the lower bilge where a second bilge pump pumps the water out of the boat. This seems like an odd system to me. In fact on my buddies '05 Catalina 30 there is a pipe cast into the stringer that allows this upper bilge to drain directly into the lower bilge.

Is there any logical reason why I wouldn't want to just put a t-fitting into the line so the upper bilge pump could also pump directly overboard?

I realize there would be some back flow into the lower bilge but there shouldn't be much if the t-fitting is above the upper bilge pump.

Drilling through the structure of the boat in this area and adding a drain pipe is not an option.
__________________
95 Catalina 30 Island Time

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most" - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 04-10-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
You probably want something to absorb or separate the oil out from the engine bilge, so you're not pumping it overboard. If you don't do something to capture the oil, you may find yourself facing some nasty fines.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 04-11-2009
JimMcGee's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
Posts: 1,355
Thanks: 19
Thanked 26 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 10
JimMcGee is on a distinguished road
Dog, I've been thinking about this and it's really two different issues. One is how do I control bilge odors. That means keeping the bilge as dry as possible and as clean as possible. So once the engine and upper bilge are cleaned up I'm going to install dripless packing on the shaft seal. When I haul out in the fall I'll change over to a PSS seal. That will keep the upper bilge pretty much dry, and an oil absorbant cloth under the motor will catch any drips.

I guess the other question is does this setup of pumping the upper bilge to the lower bilge make sense? And the more I think about it if I address the water from the shaft seal it's more or less a moot point.

Jim
__________________
95 Catalina 30 Island Time

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most" - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 04-11-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
A dry bilge makes for a happier boat and owner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Dog, I've been thinking about this and it's really two different issues. One is how do I control bilge odors. That means keeping the bilge as dry as possible and as clean as possible. So once the engine and upper bilge are cleaned up I'm going to install dripless packing on the shaft seal. When I haul out in the fall I'll change over to a PSS seal. That will keep the upper bilge pretty much dry, and an oil absorbant cloth under the motor will catch any drips.
Yes, that's true... and if you've got other constant leaks into the bilge, you've got a problem you need to fix.
Quote:
I guess the other question is does this setup of pumping the upper bilge to the lower bilge make sense? And the more I think about it if I address the water from the shaft seal it's more or less a moot point.

Jim
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 04-12-2009
DwayneSpeer's Avatar
Old Fart
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 514
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
DwayneSpeer is on a distinguished road
I can see why you can't pump the upper bilge overboard once you have taken care of the potential oil problem and yes you can tee into the discharge line just put back flow valves ahead of both pumps. That is essentially what I have. I have a large high flow pump that I can turn on manually and a small pump that is automatically actuated and they both discharge thru the same thru-hull. It keeps my bilge dry and still allows me to take care of larger problems if they should arise.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Hey, can one of you guys pass me a crab?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 04-13-2009
JimMcGee's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
Posts: 1,355
Thanks: 19
Thanked 26 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 10
JimMcGee is on a distinguished road
Dwayne,
I've heard two schools of thought on back flow valves in bilge pump lines. One is that they keep you blige dryer by preventing back flow.

The other is that they're a potential point of failure in a safety system as the valves can be stuck in the closed position or can trap water in the lines between the valve and through hull that can freeze and rupture the line.

The more I think about this the more I'm inclined to leave it as is after changing over the shaft seal. As far as I can tell there is no other water entering the bilge other than the shower, and I usually shower in the marina. I can deal with some water from the shower when we're on the hook by sucking any residue out when we get back to our slip. It's rare that we're going to be out for more than a couple of days at a time.

Thanks guys,
Jim
__________________
95 Catalina 30 Island Time

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most" - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Devising a Better Bilge Pump Don Casey Seamanship Articles 0 06-02-2002 08:00 PM
Devising a Better Bilge Pump Don Casey Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 06-02-2002 08:00 PM
Devising a Better Bilge Pump Don Casey Cruising Articles 0 06-02-2002 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:20 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012