Does this bilge look normal? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-28-2018 Thread Starter
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Does this bilge look normal?

Hi All,

My first boat purchase. C-28.

The bilge pump is located forward, but water first collects aft.

Is this normal? Or is there no normal?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-28-2018
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

Couple ideas: If the boat isn't in the water yet, maybe it is blocked at an angle to help the cockpit drain, or if it is in the water, isn't sitting on her lines. It is also possible that that bilge pump was only intended to kick in when water gets a little higher. On my boat, the lowest sump has a hose to a manual pump. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have two pumps, anyway. A small one to sip up small amounts of water more regularly, and a larger one that would only kick in if there was an unusual amount of water in the bilge.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-28-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

It's in the water. There is a 25gal water tank forward which I believe is empty.

I like the idea of two pumps. Would I be laughed at?
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

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Originally Posted by wawa2c View Post
I like the idea of two pumps. Would I be laughed at?
Not at all, in fact it's a common and often recommended setup, to have a large main pump and a smaller sipping one.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-28-2018
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

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Originally Posted by wawa2c View Post
Would I be laughed at?
For what? Having a manual back up pump? Folks would be laughing at you if you didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-29-2018
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

Folks who don't have a backup high capacity pump may envy you after a while. The extra capacity pump along with the batteries to power it in an emergency could make the difference between getting a hull-thru plug in place and limping home or calling for a rescue and salvaging the boat.

Do what you feel is prudent to be safe and win the battle against gravity for a while longer.
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

Install another pump. I heard a saying I like, two is one and one is none. Works great well for Sailing.


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post #8 of 12 Old 04-29-2018
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

If I understand the pic i think you need to locate that pump to the low point in your bilge, where the water collects, whereever that is. ALso ensure that the limber holes connecting the bilge compartments are clear.

But I'd suggest that you consider two pumps. one small capacity for nusiance water, and another higher up and of larger capacity. Eventually that pump or switch will fail, and at that point you want a backup. I have a small pump as low as possible. it runs occasionally for short periods of time. The second, larger pump is mounted higher and should never run (if it does tun there is a problem). Since it runs so infrequently it lasts a long time. I check both pumps and both switches each time I leave my boat.

we all have lots opinions on brands and types of pumps and switches. The fact is that eventually the pump or the switch will fail, and you'll be happy to have that secondary when it does.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-29-2018
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

Catalina 28 has a manual pump in place also, only source for water should be the stuffing box so it travels from aft under the engine forward to the bilge. Float switch only triggers when there's a few inches in the bilge and can only get it down to 1/2 inch or so. It's pretty normal, in fact, it's a little dry, pump couldn't have got it that dry on it's own. Most Catalina's do drain to forward end of the bilge, perhaps this one is down at the stern.

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Last edited by capttb; 04-29-2018 at 11:20 AM.
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Re: Does this bilge look normal?

Two pimps is the norm....plus a manual.
There are limber holes present correct.
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