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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 04-04-2011
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u r correct, the first thing I noticed was the bilge pump was not runnng/pumping. So I pulled it out of the bilge in front of the engine (w/ engine running) . When I raised it out of the water it was flowing out the pump intake (bottom of pump) and when I disconnected the 1" line it really
started flowing ! so it became obvious that it was siphoning in from the sea/bay. and I shut the thru-hull valve to stop it. upon further investigation
I determined that when I motor the stern squat's just enough to put the bilge
thru-hull under water,bad placement of thru-hull.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joethecobbler View Post
u r correct, the first thing I noticed was the bilge pump was not runnng/pumping. So I pulled it out of the bilge in front of the engine (w/ engine running) . When I raised it out of the water it was flowing out the pump intake (bottom of pump) and when I disconnected the 1" line it really
started flowing ! so it became obvious that it was siphoning in from the sea/bay. and I shut the thru-hull valve to stop it. upon further investigation
I determined that when I motor the stern squat's just enough to put the bilge
thru-hull under water,bad placement of thru-hull.
Joe,

The location of your bilge-pump through-hull isn't unusual, and normally shouldn't be an issue. There is supposed to be a loop of hose well above the waterline, with an anti-siphon break (also called a vented loop). This prevents water from siphoning back into the boat. Frequently, the symptoms you described above are caused by a vented loop that gets blocked up (often by dried salt crystals), allowing the creation of a siphon.

It's normally not recommended to add a check valve to your main bilge pump. Check valves are notoriously finicky and prone to jamming/clogging/failing. They also limit flow. Many people add them to a smaller "maintenance pump" to prevent drain-back and thereby keep their bilge nice and dry. But in that case, there should be a larger primary bilge pump that is not restricted by a check valve.

Sorry about the thread drift, David.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
If, like I intend to do, you've put a Y valve and a hose into the bilge you can start pumping the boat out.
Urban legend. Check the flow rate of your engine raw water pump. Useless. You're much better off with another high rate bilge pump.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Urban legend. Check the flow rate of your engine raw water pump. Useless. You're much better off with another high rate bilge pump.
I'm NOT a captain, and I haven't been through this kind of scenario. However, I agree with SVausipcious' assessment. The raw water pump doesn't move THAT much water. If I ever do decide that I need an extra ˝" hose to pump out my boat, I'll close the seacock cut the hose, and push it into the bilge where it needs to go.

What I'd do:
  1. Start the engine - I may not put it in gear, but I want some form of power to be available to me.
  2. Activate the bilge pumps - Manual and electric
  3. Contact the CG with a PanPan - let them know what I know. If in doubt about contacting the CG, contact the CG. They'll tell you what to do.
  4. Have crew put on life jackets.
  5. Look for the source of the water - try to discern if I'm gaining on it, or if the person with the manual pump needs to be flogged harder.
  6. Try to stop the leak.
  7. Bring the tender along side / ready the tender.
  8. Asses the situation & update the CG.
  9. If necessary, grab the handheld VHF and portable chart plotter, fresh water, and get them into the tender.

I have heard of wrapping a sail under the boat in order to slow the rate of water infiltration...

I've also read that Duct Tape can help.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Urban legend. Check the flow rate of your engine raw water pump. Useless. You're much better off with another high rate bilge pump.
NOT that I'd intend on it moving huge quantities of water, but in addition to the bilge pump(s). I want my motor running in case the batteries crap out, in which case I'll have NO bilge pumps so I might as well get some work out of it!
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eherlily: Good point about telling crew to put on life jackets. I guess I'm kinda already in that frame of mind from offshore racing and wear my harness/pfd a lot of the time.

Plastering a sail against the hull WILL help but I wouldn't want to try to maneuver said sail in the scenario of 5o knots! Would be hard enough under benign conditions.
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Old 04-04-2011
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  #18  
Old 04-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
NOT that I'd intend on it moving huge quantities of water, but in addition to the bilge pump(s). I want my motor running in case the batteries crap out, in which case I'll have NO bilge pumps so I might as well get some work out of it!
Assuming it's a diesel (which can run happily without electrics), that's not a bad idea. It's also a good idea for the alternator and batteries to be mounted as high as practical - certainly not in the bilge.

Of course everyone knows that the BEST bilge pump out there is a frightened crewman with a bucket.

From practical experience, assuming everything is maintained as it should be, the very first indication that something is wrong should be when the electric bilge pump cuts in and runs continuously. A while back, water streaming through the stern gland from a failed grease nipple was only discovered when one of my crew noticed bilge water coming out of the opposite side of the boat to the exhaust...
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Old 04-04-2011
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Great thread!

I like Omatako's plan of action. I would add that as skipper, you should assign duties, so many of the above tasks can be carried out simultaneously, saving precious time. I'm no longer surprised during situations (sailing and otherwise) that several people stand around doing the same thing, or all watching and give advice to the one person acting!

This question really reinforces the importance of situational awareness. When flying, if not actively engaged in another task, I'm constantly looking for where I could land if an engine were to fail, and always maintaining an awareness of my position, so if need be, I could give an immediate, accurate position. Its become so routine, its not a worrisome or energy consuming task. Its almost my way of relaxing.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Sorry for the drift, but was there ever any official word from these crewmembers? Coast Guard rescues two off North Carolina coast | Coast Guard News Again, sorry....reading the thread reminded me of this incident.
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