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Old 24-08-2007, 14:16   #1
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Trying to sink boat, attempt No2

Well here is a trap for young players. And not so young as in my case.
I was greeted with the bilge full of water on Thursday. Not just a little, but ruffly 6 tones of it. That took some pumping. Oh won't go into the entire story, but the causes are of the most importance here I think.
Fault No.1 was the failure of a siphon break to work. I thought at first this may have been a manufacturing fault. It was made by a reputable engineer so I thought(me). I wanted all very high quality parts as I didn't really trust the way the shop bougt ones worked. To cut the story short, it wasn't the siphon break itself (so my reputation is still intacked)but the fact that the siphon break was not high enough above the waterline. This was the fault of the installer (me) not confirming where the waterline actually was down in the engine room. I assumed, and we all not that Assumption is the Mother of all stuff ups. There is a line paitned around the engine room and is well above the engine. I assumed this demoted the waterline. Well it truns out the waterline is much higer still. So thinking my siphon break was well and truely high enough, it turns out it was not, so not enough vacum was created to cuase the air to be sucked in and break the siphon. The result is my 2000ltr holding tank filling to the brim again. This in itself shouldn't be a problem, just an inconveniance. Except as many of you know, I have had many issues with leaks from this tank. Well guess what, I found another one. So the bilge compartment started filling with water. I have five compartments, each with a bilge pump and float switch and high water alarm switch. Well for some reason this pump did not activate. So that bilge filled to the top. I arrived at the boat to find the water just about to start trickling over the top and into the next compartment. At least the pumps would have worked in that one,(I hope). But that meant I had another 4 tonnes at least of water in that compartment. I didn't notice when I arrived at the boat, but on a second look, the boat was a good 5-6" lower in the water.
Anways, after pumping and cleaning, I discovered the second fault. In this case it was the bilge float switch. This is called a "surebail". Hmmmmm. Anyway, the wires from the switch exit out the switch hinge. this means the wires need to be able to twist with the hinge as the float rises and falls. Well I had neatly cable tied all the wiring up hadn't I. So the wires provided just enough resistance to stop the float from rising and activating the switch.
By the way, my fresh water pump is in that compartment. It was submerged a good 8" down, so I had to buy a new pump. I bought a new float switch and I gave in a went and bought at new siphon break and more hose to extend the height and so on. Of course, the new pump has bigger fittings, so I had to replace all the hose fittings. All in all, it was about a $400 exercise of flooding the boat. But on the bright side, it could have been worse.
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Old 24-08-2007, 14:38   #2
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Alan, not your fault because .............It's a boat...............
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Old 24-08-2007, 16:20   #3
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Quote:
The result is my 2000ltr holding tank
2000 liter holding tank..?

Man, that is a lot of poo and pee.
(Holding tank on this side of the ocean is for head waste, same in Kiwiland?)

What size is yer boat?
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Old 24-08-2007, 17:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
Not just a little, but ruffly 6 tones of it. That took some pumping.
6 tonnes in one compartment? Is this the QEII?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
I assumed, and we all not that Assumption is the Mother of all stuff ups.
As my first mechanic instructor said - when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
Well I had neatly cable tied all the wiring up hadn't I. So the wires provided just enough resistance to stop the float from rising and activating the switch.
But I am sure it looked nice and tidy and very professional ;-)

Glad it all worked out.

I installed my 3rd battery yesterday afternoon. My 9 y/o was on the boat with me and had to use the facilility - which he has been trained to do. Around 9 PM after about 4 beers in the bar I got to thinking about the sea cocks. He was "pretty sure" he closed them but one handle "wouldn't close."

So I borrowed a dink and went to check. Good kid. Seacocks closed. The handle was the pump handle which airlocked in the extended position, because the seacocks were closed. Good kid...
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Old 24-08-2007, 20:35   #5
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Aloha Alan,
Glad the rest of your boat is ok. I had, very early in my sailing career, a great Naval Aviator who was a qualified sailing instructor. Very hard nosed. Didn't put up with any infraction at all. A lot of the students just hated him. I liked him because he made you learn things the right way. Even before he took you aboard the boat that he was going to train you to sail he would stand way back from the boat at the pier and ask you what you saw. His point was - waterline - angle of the mast - rigging - strain on the dock lines, etc. etc.. It really made me aware of what was going on with the many boats I've had since and a very good lesson.
I'm not really certain how that applies to your current problem but you did mention that you hadn't noticed that the boat was a bit lower in the water. Now, due to Captain Pray's instruction, I would have noticed that right away. How that would help, I'm not certain but I'd know something was wrong even before I reached the boat.
Good luck in your repairs and I'd like to know what anti siphon device you choose.
Kind Regards,
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Old 25-08-2007, 00:36   #6
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Quote:
2000 liter holding tank..?
Ummm yeah, we've all been there on that topic. Where were you CSY?? 2000ltr is a rediculouse size I know. It shoudl have been made a fresh water tank and not a holding tank. Stupid idea, but I am stuck with it now.
Quote:
6 tonnes in one compartment? Is this the QEII?
No that's 6 tonne all up. 2T for the holding tank full to the brim and 4 for the bilge compartment.
She is a big volume boat with a 26T displacement. There is a huge amount of room down there.
Everything goes down into the holding tank. Showers, sinks/basins and toilets. It is surprising how much you accumulate in that tank when 4 - 6 people are on board.
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Old 25-08-2007, 02:57   #7
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woops.....I still dont like those hinged bilge switches, there is just to much chance that a bit of crap will make it stick. Freinds of mine just recently had a problem with rain water getting in. They asked me to check on their boat (37 foot classic timber) I looked through the port holes and the floor baords were floating at the same level as the sette seat !! They had just installed a brand new Volvo of the expensive kind. Seems it wasnt rainwater after all . A small timber plug had come adrift deep in the keel. Bloody lucky I checked because they werent due to visit for another month which would have put her on the bottom for sure. See its not just you Alan. Maybee you need a smaller tank so less **** can happen : )
Do you need to have the hose with the siphon break turned on when your not on board ? Stay safe

cheers
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Old 25-08-2007, 02:57   #8
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woops.....I still dont like those hinged bilge switches, there is just to much chance that a bit of crap will make it stick. Freinds of mine just recently had a problem with rain water getting in. They asked me to check on their boat (37 foot classic timber) I looked through the port holes and the floor baords were floating at the same level as the sette seat !! They had just installed a brand new Volvo of the expensive kind. Seems it wasnt rainwater after all . A small timber plug had come adrift deep in the keel. Bloody lucky I checked because they werent due to visit for another month which would have put her on the bottom for sure. See its not just you Alan. Maybee you need a smaller tank so less **** can happen : )
Do you need to have the hose with the siphon break turned on when your not on board ? Stay safe

cheers
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Old 25-08-2007, 04:00   #9
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Ive installed over a dozen Ultra PumpSwitch (UPS 01), including my own boat, and never experienced a problem.
Ultra Safety Systems Inc.
1601 Hill Ave. Ste. C, West Palm Beach, FL, USA
Tel: (561) 845-1086 - Toll-Free: 1 (800) 433-2628
Fax: (561) 844-8566
Web: TEF-GEL HOME PAGE
Dealers: DEALER MAINPAGE

The UPS 01 switch has magnetically operated (Hall effect) reed control c/w (2) outputs:
30 Amp encapsulated relay turns pump on-off (2-1/2" - 1-1/4")
100 mA N.O. alarm switch (3-1/2")
All electrical connections are completely sealed and encapsulated in plastic to prevent corrosion.

Unfortunately, these are expensive switches.
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Old 25-08-2007, 06:42   #10
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I switched over to these (pun intended) and am very happy with them. No moving parts at all and they don't cycle on/off when the boat rocks. Have three of them installed now (both bilges and the dinghy).

Johnson Pump

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Old 25-08-2007, 13:58   #11
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Hmmm, this looks very interesting. I will have to track them down. I haven't seen them here in NZ yet, not saying they aren't here, but haven't seen them in the boat shops yet.

Cooper, yeah I know I need a smaller tank, but it ain't so easy with the design of the bilge. At the mo, it is easier to continue trying to solve the problems with the big tank. I am getting there, but it is slow. I won't go into the story here, we talked about it in great depth a long time back.
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Old 25-08-2007, 13:58   #12
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Hmmm, this looks very interesting. I will have to track them down. I haven't seen them here in NZ yet, not saying they aren't here, but haven't seen them in the boat shops yet.

Cooper, yeah I know I need a smaller tank, but it ain't so easy with the design of the bilge. At the mo, it is easier to continue trying to solve the problems with the big tank. I am getting there, but it is slow. I won't go into the story here, we talked about it in great depth a long time back.
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