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post #1 of 8 Old 07-15-2004 Thread Starter
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I am in search for my first boat. On some of the new boats I have looked at I''ve checked the bilge. There was water. The salesmen tell me that there is always water. Is this true or a sales pitch?
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-15-2004
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In a finbreglass boat...there should certainly NOT "always be water".

On my friend''s old wooden H28 (Now more then 50 years old and showing its age) the bilges are a little damp but not wet when the boat is in its slip. If you are bouncing off waves and trying to point as high as you can for a couple of hours, then the electric bilge pump certainly goes to work for a minute or two.

Running on motor (offset prop. Yuk) for an extended period also invites a bit of water for a tour of the bilges.

The salesman was feeding you a line.

Find a new salesman to deal with.


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post #3 of 8 Old 07-15-2004
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The answer would be "It Depends..."

If the boat has a keel stepped mast, it will almost always have water in the bilge, unless the mast has a plug at the partner, which few do.

Also, it is almost impossible to have every single possibility for water intrusion sealed at the deck, maybe for a new boat, and that would last only a year or so anyway.

If you have an inboard, the seal at the shaft will, and SHOULD drip just a drop every minute or so. Dripless seals? Don''t trust ''em, myself. Not sure, but a saildrive should not leak at all.

The only time my boat is absolutley, completely dry in the bilge is when it''s under the winter cover!

If you are basing your selection of a broker on this, how else are you gauging them? What does the broker sail? (not a sailor? run the other way!) How many boats and what type has he/she owned? How many years experiance? References? The broker will be paid a substantial sum at the time of transaction, make sure they earn it!
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-31-2004
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And most bilge pumps allow all the water in the discharge line to flow back into the bilge when they stop.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-01-2004
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There is always water in my bilge. It is very deep - about 5 ft. and no pump will pump it dry. The Ice box drains into the bilge, so any time I use ice I have water in my bilge. It is true that constant moisture in the bilge can promote blistering, yet I have not had a problem resulting from this on my 30+ year old boat.

It is my opinion that all boats will let some water in. It may be from windows, from prop shafts, deck leaks, vents, etc. The water has to go somewhere. A modest amount in a bilge is not a problem to me. On my own boat, I am alarmed when there is a significant increase in the bilge that I cannot account for. I seem to always have a couple of inches - much of it from the backflow of the bilge pump as was mentioned before. I always check for leaks at thru hulls and other places where holes have been drilled thru the hull - like prop struts.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-01-2004
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Only time my bilge is completely dry is right after haul out for about a week. The prop is supposed to drip 1 or 2 a minute with the engine not running and a little more when running. The bilge pump would kick on every couple months if I didn''t keep pumped out to an inch or so with hand pump. A little water is normal for inboard, too much is not normal.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-01-2004
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sorry, hit submit twice & can''t delete one.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-01-2004
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Ahoy Irwin 32 iffin youse got five feet of water in yer bildge whats left for under your keel? Sounds like your trying to sail a submarine. Could be your sunk and ye needs to sober up a bit? AARRGGHH. Pirate of Pine Island
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