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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !
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Thread: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance ! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-16-2012 12:10 PM
eherlihy
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

Dave,

I believe that removing and then re-torquing the keel bolts you would not only be able to inspect the bolts for signs of corrosion, but you would allow oxygen to reach the metal, thus enabling the stainless to develop the film that protects it.

The challenge is getting those big-honkin' bolts off, and on again, within the tight confines of the bilge...
05-16-2012 11:34 AM
dsmauney
A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

By what I saw on my keel when I dropped it and what Ed H and Maine Sail show in their great pictures the corrosion loss is inside the nuts above the bilge floor. The thickness of the bilge floor being indicated by the white 5200 on the threads. What this means of course is that the bolts can be inspected by removing the nuts while on the hard. Am I missing something here?

Good Winds
DaveM
05-07-2012 02:37 PM
SloopJonB
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike27' View Post
I do have a bit of "give " in the tiller will the stiffing box fix that too?
Possibly but not likely - that's probably worn bearings.
05-07-2012 11:31 AM
mike27'
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

I do have a bit of "give " in the tiller will the stiffing box fix that too?
05-07-2012 12:44 AM
SloopJonB
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike27' View Post
Thank you so much I'll work on it this week and I think I have the same problem by the drive shaft, make sense?
Exactly - both are glands or stuffing boxes - they perform exactly the same function but the adjustment of the one on your drive shaft is more critical because of the speed it runs at.

A rudder gland can simply be adjusted until you feel the drag in the tiller, then back off slightly before tightening the locknut.

A shaft log must be carefully tightened until it drips just slightly when running - a drip every few seconds. Any tighter and it will dry out and burn up your shaft.
05-06-2012 10:19 PM
mike27'
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

Thank you so much I'll work on it this week and I think I have the same problem by the drive shaft, make sense?
05-06-2012 09:57 PM
MedSailor
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike27' View Post
I have a Coranado with a slow leak coming in from where the rudder goes through the hull what can I do? is there a way to fix it in the water?

Mike
Yes. The rudder likely has a bearing that is packed with flax impregnated string. This is called a stuffing glad or stuffing box. Since it's leaking it may just need tightening, or it might need replacement of the stuffing material.

If you look at the fitting, odds are you have 2 collars that you can attach a wrench to. They should be tight against each other right now so that they're locked in place.

You can try tightening it by using TWO wrenches and twisting them opposite each other. Once the lock nut is freed (usually the top one) you can tighten down on the bottom collar and see if the leak stops. If the leak stops, and you can still turn your rudder without binding, go ahead and tighten down the top nut against the bottom one and you're all done.

If you do the above and it doesn't fix the leak you need to replace the packing. Lucky for you packing is cheap and it can be done in the water but before you try it make sure you've got someone aboard who's done it before to show you.

Google or search sailnet for "repacking a rudder gland" and you might get something better with pictures. Good luck!

MedSailor
05-06-2012 01:32 AM
mike27'
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

I have a Coranado with a slow leak coming in from where the rudder goes through the hull what can I do? is there a way to fix it in the water?

Mike
05-01-2012 05:39 PM
btrayfors
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

A voice in the wilderness...perhaps.

My bilges have ALWAYS been wet. And, believe it or not, there are some advantages.

I'm talking about 17 years experience as a liveaboard....always had water in the bilge and NEVER had any problems, including blistering or delaminating or....you name it, as a result. I'm talking about 22 additional years on my present boat. Never had any evident problems...no blistering, no delamination, etc.

That's a total of 39 user years of experience, in both fresh and salt water.

BUT...and it's a big BUT....neither of these boats had a bolt-on keel. The first was a houseboat with no keel. The second is a sailboat with an encapsulated IRON keel.

The advantages?

1. Gives your bilge pump switches and pumps a nice workout...you know they're working as they should and you tend to maintain them more diligently;

2. You don't worry about the little stuff: a drip-drip-drip from the stuffing box, a bit of rain water finding it's way below, a down-the-mast leak, an A/C condensate or icebox drain into the bilge or....whatever. These are very minor things and not a concern if you have chronically wet bilges;

3. A little water slushing around with a bit of bilge cleaner added occasionally and pumped out periodically tends to keep the dirt and dust down (and who wants dusty bilges, anyway?); and

4. Wet bilges are great if you have a fathometer transducer mounted INSIDE the hull....always in a bit of water!

If you have a wood boat and are in salt water, the salt water helps to "pickle" the wood in the bilges....a good thing, generally.

Guess what, folks? Fiberglass boats, as well as wood, aluminum, steel, and ferrocement boats, are actually MEANT TO BE IMMERSED IN WATER. That's what a boat is designed for!

Only a bit of tongue-in-cheek here....some boats are just fine with water in the bilge :-)

But, admittedly, if I had a boat with keel bolts I'd be much more concerned about water in the bilge!

Bill
05-01-2012 05:37 PM
MarkSF
Re: A wet bilge is MORE than just a nuisance !

How about filling the volume with waterproof grease?
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