Bilge pumping in winter - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-07-2009
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I think the key is to have a properly designed system. I have two electric pumps in the bilge. One is a 500 GPH Automatic in the lowest part of the bilge, about a 6" x 6" area. I call this the maintenance pump. I typically DO NOT leave the switch in the ON position unless on board, underway, etc.

Mounted above that, I have a 3500 GPH with a float switch thats wired directly to the house battery bank, this is the "emergency pump" or back up. It is always dry except for the occasional test that all is working well. Both do not have check valve, the larger one has smooth bilge hose, the smaller has the cheap stuff.

I am in a fairly fresh water creek on the bay as well, and yes, the bilge will freeze when the temp drops below freezing (my experience is below 20-25 F) for extended days.

I add Anti Freeze (I use the purple stuff) to the bilge, mixed with whatever minimal amount of water may present, maybe 2 oz. at best. I keep the maintenance pump OFF so it does not pump out any of the anti freeze. I check the boat regularly (especially after a hard rain or the temp dips low) to see if there is any significant amount of water in the bilge. If so, I switch the pump on to empty the bilge, then refill with Anti Freeze and switch it off again. In years past, I maybe did this once or twice over the winter.

Hope that makes sense?

This link that should help with what I missed or miss worded Installing a Bilge Pump by Don Casey

NOTE: I am in a slip and leave the shore power plugged in, attached to a monitored inverter/charger. I am not naive enough to think that the 3500 is gonna save the boat, except maybe long enough for someone to notice theres a problem? ;(

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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Last edited by T37Chef; 12-07-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-07-2009
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One more thing

Not sure the link clarifies this, but I think the newest ABYC standards call for one bilge pump to be wired directly to the battery (properly fused of course) so one cannot accidentally turn it off through the panel? Not certain 100% but it makes sense to me so I did so with the larger 3500 GPH pump.

Cheers,
Shawn

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post #13 of 17 Old 12-07-2009
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Another good article by Pascoe

ALL ABOUT BILGE PUMPS - Boats, Yachts Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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post #14 of 17 Old 12-07-2009 Thread Starter
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JSL3- I'm in Ponder Cove, off of Whitemarsh Creek. I just moved here, just bought the boat. This'll be my first winter with a boat in the water. All of my other boats were trailerable powerboats.

I think Chef's solution is the one-

Put anti-freeze in the bilge and let it sit, no pumping. The boat really doesn't collect water. Even after all the rain we had, the bilge was nearly dry. The cockpit drained well too. I'll check on the boat every day, or every other day. I mean, it's 5 minutes' walk from the house. It's hardly a chore. If the bilge does fill, I'll pump it out and add more anti-freeze.

I like ScottyT's idea of getting some heat into the cabin as well. I don't think I'll have the guts to leave an open flame in the boat, but I can put warm light in the bilge. I'm actually thinking of 2- one for the bilge, and one for the cabin to keep condensation down.

I need to get the darned outboard out. The engine well doesn't allow it to tilt forward to lock in the "up" position. I'll need one or two people because someone's going to have to rotate the thing around to get the engine's tiller handle clear of the access hole.

Geeze what a hassle. I hope to have it on the hard next winter. Less worry, and there'll be some hull painting and maybe replace the 2 remaining thru-hulls.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-07-2009
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I am living onboard on the South River near Liberty Marine. If anyone has a boat near here and would like someone to well keep an eye on it this winter I might be able to for a beer. I will be working part time in Edgewater and a little bit with Lapworth oh anyone need a new roof? or some work done get ya a SN discount I bet lol but really I will be onboard all winter. Dan
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
JSL3- I'm in Ponder Cove, off of Whitemarsh Creek. I just moved here, just bought the boat. This'll be my first winter with a boat in the water. All of my other boats were trailerable powerboats.
Congratulations on the new boat and welcome to the world of sailboats! What part of Whitemarsh Creek is Ponder Cove, I couldn't find it? I actually live in Virginia but keep the boat right near you as I mentioned at Holiday Hill so you must be very close to that.

~Jim
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-15-2009
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What the Chef says is good ..
you may want to consider raising the level of the pump 6-8 inches and add a gallon or more of the -100 antifreeze. It will slowly dilute with water you take in and you wont pump out the whole gallon at one time. Do check on the boat particularly if its been below freezing for an extended period of time..

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