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Old 07-01-2011, 02:29   #1
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Nearly Sunk 'er

After returning from my first overnighter many nautical miles ago, I was totally shagged (newbie, first long solo sail, lousy night's sleep in a rocky anchorage, then helming all day while she corkscrewed over the following seas (autohelm was buggered).

I got onto my mooring and packed everytthing up as best I could in my comatose state, including taking out the log impeller and putting the blank bung in it's place. Left the bilge pump turned off, as advised in my wide-eyed innocence by a d**khead who said "you'll never know if you have a leak if you leave it on all the time".

Rowing out to my darlin' three days later, I think "hmm, is she sitting a trifle low?" She sure was, and so would you be with water a foot over the bloody floor boards! Turn on the bilge pump, bucket like buggery into the cockpit, then spend the next two days rinsing, drying, chucking out etc etc.

The blank wasn't leaking much, but over a few days it became a lot, and if I'd not come back for a few more days, down she'd have gone.

So my last-thing-before-disembarking routine, which I religiously observe, includes checking these things, plus the thru-hull valves and the battery switch. Then I do it again to be sure, and when really tired have been known to do it thrice. But the d**khead was right - I knew I had a leak!

lockie
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:00   #2
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and the source of the leak is.....??!?!!?
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:07   #3
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and the source of the leak is.....??!?!!?
Read the 4th paragraph.

What the blank is for is in the 2nd paragraph.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:47   #4
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Phew, lesson learned!
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:48   #5
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Bilge Pump Cycle Counters work well, for those who donít live aboard:

ie ➥
Bilge Counters : Water Witch Inc., High quality bilge products

and ➥ AQUALARM :: 20045 Bilge Pump Counter 12v 24v 32v $69.00
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:02   #6
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i have one of those impellers and it always worries me .. i never use it and the blank has always been screwed in. fooling with holes in the boat when you are tired is bad enough but leaving the bilge pump off is bad too IMHO. GPS is better for speed measurements.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:16   #7
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...........GPS is better for speed measurements.

hmm - try that in an area with strong tide currents.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:07   #8
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LOL..... what I don't understand is why pull it out in the first place.... mine only gets pulled if it stops working... and even if its not I prefer my speed over ground info from the GPS... especially if in strong tidal regions where my log my give me a reading of 5kts through the water but the reality is I'm only doing maybe 1/2kt over the ground..
I know the info's available to calculate from charts and bearings of lights and landmarks... but I'm lazy... so use the simplest source till proved false...
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:30   #9
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Hi Boatman:

I'm a bit leery of relying too much on GPS. What do you recommend as a backup? Assuming the worst, i.e., total electrical failure.

thanks...
don
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:40   #10
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Hi Boatman:

I'm a bit leery of relying too much on GPS. What do you recommend as a backup? Assuming the worst, i.e., total electrical failure.

thanks...
don
I stop being lazy and get the hand bearing compass and charts out.... if currents are that strong its coz I'm close to land... if theres thick fog... I make for sea-room..
I have spent 5hrs with the log reading 6kts full sails and a nice heel on and going slowly backwards near Alderney in the Channel Islands..lol.
If fog had come down then I'd have 180'd
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:50   #11
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That's funny, but glad you didn't get into trouble. I'm trying to reduce my total power consumption as much as possible, and my knotmeter is a bit dodgy anyway, so I was looking for a pure mechanical solution, similar to what you have in cars.

But you are right, currents can make a huge difference if you're not using GPS.

Thanks, I always enjoy your posts....
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:09   #12
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My routine for that is to put it in, and then wipe the fitting clean with a cloth. Then, with a flashlight, check for leaks.

Chris
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:09   #13
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I am obsessed with my bilge pump cycle counter. Still, on a mooring you would eventually run the battery down and the boat would sink even with it on.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:01   #14
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What got me is someones notion of leaving your bilge pumps off because then you will never know if you have a leak. That's some crazy illogic. I guess the same person would disconnect their engine room CO2 system because you would never know there was a fire unless you could see the flames shooting out the engine room vents.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:10   #15
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I'm not overly impressed with the GPS Speed. My Garmin fluctuates wildly out on big blue ocean, espcially downwind with a sea running. It also is a badly lagging indicator so useless for assessing sail trim changes.

Like the Raymarine 60 Series knotmeter/log. It gives me a cumulative total of miles covered as well as nearly instantaneous changes in boat speed. Love that Maxspeed indicator which currently indicates a max of 9.1 knots done surfing on a TransPac. Oh yes, there is the water temp feature which is nice if you needed a guide for when to go swimming and invaluable for playing around the Gulf Stream.

Since I've got a leak in rudder and shaft packing that will take a haul out to correct, the bilge pump is always on. The solar panels keep the batteries topped off nicely.

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