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Minnewaska 05-09-2013 08:27 PM

Dry bilges
After some study of the issue, it seems there is simply a design flaw on our boat, where water that comes down the mast will remain in one flat section of the bilge and never reach the pump.

Since it's not a leak, I'm going to need to figure out how to pump it out of this flat space. It does not get deep enough for a traditional pump.

I looked at the Arid Bilge system, which is outrageously expensive.

I also looked at the Dry Bilge system, which I don't think will really pick up the last bit. Having even a 32nd inch of water sitting there is a problem.

Any home built recipes for fully drying out a bilge?

Its not a leak, so finding it is not the answer.

bigdogandy 05-09-2013 08:31 PM

Re: Dry bilges
The only thing that works 100% for me is shop vac and a sponge. Bilge pumps never pick up that last 1/2" of water at the bottom of the bilge in my experience. Will be interested to hear if there's a better solution!

eherlihy 05-09-2013 08:35 PM

Re: Dry bilges
Shop Vac, and, when I leave the boat, I open the bilge covers. Because I don't stay plugged in, I connect a 5 Watt solar panel to the circuit which powers the Camframo fans on low when the sun is out. Bilges stay dry. :)

dvuyxx 05-09-2013 08:36 PM

Re: Dry bilges
Similar spot in my Pearson. I've been manually drying it out with a cheap fuel siphon. I think that any automatic solution would need to use a flat solid state bilge switch like a Water Witch. I'm also looking for bilges that can truly get that "final inch."

bigdogandy 05-09-2013 08:43 PM

Re: Dry bilges
Float switch connected to the shop vac?

jimgo 05-09-2013 10:19 PM

Dry bilges
What a outbuilding up the area with fiberglass so water can't pool there in the first place?

[EDIT]Wow...autocorrect can really mess thing up! That was supposed to say "What about building up the area with fiberglass...". If you slope the floor/bilge in that area, you could push the water into the other, deeper parts of the bilge[/EDIT].

Minnewaska 05-09-2013 10:31 PM

Re: Dry bilges
I can't block it off entirely, as the limbers are necessary to drain water in a catastrophic event. It's the constant 1/4" of water that sits that is the issue.

I do go on with a shop vac, but I was hoping for an automated solution. The Arid Bilge system just doesn't seem impossible to fabricate somehow.

Hudsonian 05-09-2013 10:34 PM

Re: Dry bilges
Recently there was thread on small dehumidifiers. One identified drew six amps at 12v and remove 4 pints a day. If you connected the drain to a sink drain, sealed the boat, and could tolerate 1200W of electrical consumption, you'd probably have a very dry boat.

If you have tee swage terminals on your shrouds, install rubber plugs if you don't have them already. They make a big difference in the amount of water that gets down the mast.

SlowButSteady 05-09-2013 11:03 PM

Re: Dry bilges
I dry sailed my old boat (i.e., "moored" it on a trailer). There was an approximately 5/8" drain hole in almost the lowest part of the bilge. To keep the last little bit of rainwater from just sitting in the bilge I took a length of cotton twine and laid it so it ran through the wet area of the bilge and then out the drain hole, with about a foot or so dangling under the boat. When it rained the the water would overflow out the drain hole and the twine would get saturated. It would then act as a siphon and draw the rest of the water out.

If you have a fairly deep bit of bilge near to your problem area try some version of the above string trick and see how it works. If it doesn't work you're only out a penny's worth of string an five or ten minutes of your time.

fallard 05-09-2013 11:33 PM

Re: Dry bilges
My mast drains into shallow bilges areas that are isolated (no limber holes). I periodically check for water and then use a hose--same kind as used for my fresh water system--that is connected to my shower sump pump via a Y-valve.

It isn't automated, but it works. There is no convenient way to run a hose to a drain in the head, so I live with the manual process. As the water goes down and the hose is sucking air, it is a simple matter to put your finger over the hose and lift it up high enough to drain the last bit of water in the hose. The remaining water in the slack bilge area can be wiped dry with a sponge or paper towel, but I let it air-dry.

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