How to Fill Hole in Bilge - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-24-2010
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How to Fill Hole in Bilge

In a fit of desperation, I drilled a ~3/4" drain hole near the bottom of my bilge over the winter. The boat is an Alberg 35' so the hull is quite thick in this area (>1"). I'm wondering if I can just fill the hole with thickened epoxy (West thickened with Colloidal Silica and chopped glass fibers) or if I need to grind it out and lay some glass.
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Old 09-24-2010
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Why not fit a garboard drain? That way you can drain it in the future whenever you lay it up.
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Old 09-24-2010
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I considered doing that but there's no real way to get down into that part of the bilge from the cabin to do the install.
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Old 09-25-2010
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Make sure the hole is dry. Run some acetone through it to remove grease and grim. Add a light sanding to the hole and clean again.
Grind the outer edge of the hole so it is tapered a bit so the plug will not easily end up inside the bilge.
Clean inside the bilge where the hole is and prepare to close it with duct tape.
Prepare your epoxy, cloth and filler slurry and pump it in there and make sure it fills the hole all the way to the bilge - hint - an air hole in the duct tape will allow you to push your slurry in till it starts dribbling out at the top of the hole. Tape off the hole in increments as your slurry fills in the space and let cure.
Test for air leaks and try again with more epoxy.
I like the garboard plug idea too but am not keen on implementing it on my own boat either.
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Old 09-26-2010
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You can install a garbord drain from outside. This link is a flush mount version

Perko Garboard Drain Plug Flush Binnacle.com
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Old 09-26-2010
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I have such a plug in the keel of Rhythm and must say that I love it when laying up for the winter. Simply remove the plug and no worry about the bilge staying dry.
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