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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-02-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

My Cal 28 has been up on jackstands since last fall. When I took the cover off this spring there was water in the bilge. I emptied it and then there was some more after a torrential rainstorm recently.

Where, specifically, does bilge water come from? How the heck does it end up in the bilge? I usually get very general answers to this, like: boats have many places that water can leak into.

Any concrete ideas would really be appreciated!
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Old 06-03-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

If you''re storing with the mast up, rain water will enter the mast openings and run into the bilge.
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Old 06-03-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

It is hard to give you a ''concrete idea'' without seeing the boat but from the desciption that you have given of your boat, I would suspect that you have a case of bilge water fairies (BWF). This little known or talked about condition is becoming increasingly common. Bilge water fairies are tiny little itinerant creatures with even smaller buckets that take up residence on other wise leak free boats. Using their small buckets they haul water from your deck when ever it rains and deposit this water in your bilges. While these creatures are quite small and take great pleasure in hiding behind head liners and the like, they are not the neatest things on earth and so you can often find moist trails where they have traveled from the deck to the bilge to do their mischief. Left untended bilge water fairies tend to multiply and grow in size. It is thought that they are a close relative to the tool hiding pixies, a similar species that takes great pleasure in taking tools and small gear, and moving them from their proper place to some totally inexplicable and hard to find locations.

I am deeply saddened to hear that you have a case of ''BWF'' and hope that you can find a cure for this malady.

Irreverently
Jeff
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Old 06-03-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

Thats a good one Jeff .... I think I have a case of BWF''s. I wonder if I can go a doctor and get a prescription or a shot of something.

;^)
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Old 06-06-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

Jeff, your response explains the unexplainable! And here I have been re-bedding everything on the deck: winches, cleats, hatches, fairleads, electrical connections, hydraulic hoses, traveler, footblocks, genoa track, compasses, instruments, engine controls... literally everything I could thing of. And while this has helped, I still get water in the bilge. Now I can rest easy knowing it is not something I have missed!
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Old 06-06-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

I''ve stored with mast up and down and note that a lot more water accumulates in the bilge with the mast up. I think that''s the major source.

If you stay aboard your boat during a significant rainstorm you should be able to see where the water is coming from. It takes more than a drizzle and 20-30 minutes before all of the leaks become apparent.

I also have to be careful in November and December (Boston area). If I don''t pump out the bilge before temperatures drop below freezing, I end up with a skating rink below and no way to pump it out until it thaws in April. That happened this past year and I needed to strip and revarnish the cabin sole.
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Old 06-11-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

Just figured out were my leaks were coming from. Last sailing season I was accumulating about 5 gallons of water in the bilge per week. This spring there was water in the bilge even though the boat (26 ft Westerly Centaur) was on the hard. No water stains or wetness anywhere to be found.
The tubbing running from the cockpit scuppers to the overboard thru-hulls were the culprit. They were 33 years old and cracked beyond belief, its a wonder the boat didn''t sink last year., and very inaccessable. Moved the seacocks back so that they are directly under the scuppers so now instead of 6 ft of cracked hose, I have about 2 inches of hose between the scupper and the seacock. No more leaks.
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Old 07-27-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

Irrespective of all else. Don''t let the water level continue to rise when the boat is on the hard and you are not around. I pull the speed log transducer from its thru-hull fitting and leave the "hole" open. This way, any water accumulation can''t reach the level of the cabin sole.
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Old 07-27-2003
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Where does bilge water come from?

NOW you tell me......
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