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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 04-14-2008
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ice box drain

On my Newport 28, the ice box drain is connected thru a "y" valve to the manual bilge pump.One has to empty the port side cockpit locker and climb inside to reach this valve, switch said valve, climb out, pump out ice box,then climb back in to switch back to bilge.not really very handy.Is there any major problem with draining the ice box directly to the bilge to pump that gallon of melted ice overboard?
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Old 04-14-2008
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I dont see the problem with letting the melted ice drain itself into the bilge. my cal 30 ice box used to dump itself into the bilge. no problems, helped to keep it clean as well. but i'm sure some scientist will jump on here and state otherwise
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Old 04-14-2008
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If you drain it straight to the bilge it will eventually smell. Put a short hose on the ice box drain with a small valve and drain it into a big plastic milk jug in the bilge.
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The problem with letting the icebox drain directly into the bilge is that it will often contain small food particles and such. That will cause the bilge to stink. Another problem is that the cold air will drain out of the icebox into the bilge--shortening the life of the ice used to cool the icebox. It should either have a valve or a water filled trap, like a sink, to keep the cold air in the sink.
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Old 04-14-2008
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On the other hand...we cruised on two different boats for six years with direct drainage to the bilge and had no problems. Put a screen over the drain to trap solids.
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Thanks for the idea's. There's no space for any sort of jug to catch the melt water, but may be able to work a"p" trap into it. Will have to look closer at the space.
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Old 04-15-2008
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I have my hose ended under the galley sink with a valve on the end. When I get to the boat I just drain it into a small pail while I am adding new ice. Works well and keeps the bilge dry. Another option I have seen used is to connect the hose into the shower sump pump suction and use that to pump outboard.

Gary
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My boat has a P trap and then discharges overboard. Seems to work fine. I used to worry about the water getting nasty in the trap, but when getting off the boat I now put a few drops of bleach in the drain. Not sure if it is necessary but it makes me think I am doing something preventative.
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Old 04-15-2008
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Our icebox drains directly to the bilge and we've never had any trouble with smells or generalized ickiness as a result. The problem with all the cold draining out of the box is, however, very real, but easily solved with the simple expedient of a spare cork in the drain hole. Actually, I just came across one of those snazzy reusable lever-action replacement corks and will probably be using that instead as it will be easier to remove and less likely to jam.
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Old 04-15-2008
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My Cape Dory's ice box drains directly to the bilge with no problems with smell etc. You don't want your ice to be sitting in melt water as it will hasten the ice melting. I added a petcock to the hose end to stop the melt water draining. Thinking I could place a container in there and open it up and catch it. The melt water sat in the icebox bottom and ice lasted a fraction as long as when I simply let the melt water go into the bilge. As for letting air up through the drain hose, just be sure it sits real close to the bottom of the bilge and it'll be underwater after a little melting occurs. My head sink and shower drain also drain to the bilge. When I first bought the boat I was concerned, after 5 years it's no problem whatsoever. From time to time I use the water from wherever with a tad of bleach added to keep the bilge shiny clean...I certainly wouldn't add another hole in the hull to get it overboard. I've come to appreciate how simple a system it really is after 5 years of using it. One pump gets water from ANY source out of the hull. And all I have to do is push a buttom or pump a handle.. KISS
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