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Old 23-05-2012, 05:27   #1
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Smile Advice Laying Out Bilge Access for New Sole Please

Well if it's not one thing it's another! First sorry about the long post.

Heres a little background for you. We bought 33' center cockpit, that has a brand new engine, yeah! But the previous owner tied the isolated engine bilge to the salon bilge, boo! I now know the previous engine must have puked oil out along with a pound of sludge and shavings I found under the engine bilge liner (which the PO drilled through to tie in the bilges,grrrrrrrrr)
Okay so now there's oil sludge from one end of the boat to the other in behind and underneath the sole behind the lining etc. the boat clearly had its bilges overflowing and sloshed the oily mix around.

Okay so after endless attempts at cleaning the mess (which is not seen but just reach in the bilge and wipe it off the bottom of the sole and anywhere I can gain access) I've resorted to pulling up the sole so I can get better access to cleaning the mess.
Now when I put in a new sole I've been thinking of the best aproach for future bilge access.
Should I make it so the whole sole can come up in sections if needed with a few primary inspection panels? Or just make several strategic panels. Definetly the panels would be secured down. I am considering making the panels water tight re isolating the bilge ( the bilge is a whole other story ) and implementing some of my liner and bilge areas as crash Bulkheads that can be sealed off in an emergancy.

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

I bet you thought I would never shut up sheesh!
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Old 13-11-2012, 00:59   #2
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Re: Advice laying out bilge access for new sole please

Okay so I see this post is still getting hits so I thought I should give an update.
I have since finished with this project and decided to cut some strategic panels that are large enough to get where I needed. I used aluminium 90 angle trim and secured it with sika flex marine and mechanical fasteners.
The panels drop in nicely and are supported compleately around.
The sole turned out to be balsa core and quite nicely built so I recessed the core back slightly and epoxied the perimeter.
Overall I'm very happy with the way it turned out and I have ample access and the rigidity of the sole has not been compromised.

By the way I used a fine tooth balde on a circle saw and finished the corners with a jigsaw and some corners with a multicutter (like a renovator).
Worked good albit a bit messy. I polyed off the work area and covered myself head to toe and web to work.
I followed some advice and washed with cold water first then hot. I cut on three different evenings and never was itchy at night.

I hope this is of some use to someone.
Cheers
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Old 13-11-2012, 05:58   #3
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Re: Advice laying out bilge access for new sole please

I am surprised this thread did not run a bit more.........

But cheers for the update anyway!
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Old 13-11-2012, 06:51   #4
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Re: Advice laying out bilge access for new sole please

Interesting... my engine bilge pump also drained into the main bilge... the amount of sludge I removed from the main bilge has me hole-heartedly agreeing that it's not the best solution...

What other way would suit?
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Old 14-11-2012, 01:04   #5
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Re: Advice laying out bilge access for new sole please

I've devided the bilges up. The one in the salon and between the galley and Nav station are semi isolated. If they come within 75 mm of the sole they can then overflow into the engine bilge. The aft bilge is completely isolated but if water gets slightly higher than the sole it can flow forward and will then drop down into the engine bilge.
I am planning to run 3 whale IC pumps with the shower drain which I plan to mould into the bottom of the bilge so that there will in theory only ever be the slightest amount of water in it. I will put a large diameter screen filter to catch foreign objects that would not pass through a diaphragm pump. At a higher height I will put an additional standard high volume bilge pump say 1500gph connected to solid state level sensors.
I also plan to add a crash pump of the shaft. I have one manual bilge pump located in the salon which I will upgrade and likely add one that I can operate in the cockpit.
It will take me a while before I feel my bilge system is totally what I want.
Maybe I will pull back a little but the basic redundant isolated system will remain.

I think once it gets to that stage it will require its own thread.
I suppose I should store my photos somewhere I can upload them to the site from.
Cheers
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Old 14-11-2012, 03:04   #6
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Re: Advice laying out bilge access for new sole please

Sounds very thorough, I particularly like the limited dependence on electrical power.

Have you put any thought into how to ensure the engine can be started and run with lots of water in the boat? (so the crash pump can be brought to bear on a major leak)
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Old 14-11-2012, 16:09   #7
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Re: Advice Laying Out Bilge Access for New Sole Please

Yes this is always a concearn and the crash pump is when the SHTF. I am redoing my electical is as we speak. My house bank is simple 2 120ah AGM I manage through a new blue sea triple battery control. This also works in combination with my seperate start battery circuit. The engine can have power from all 3 batteries or any single one.
Particular attention is being paid to cable size and correct termination.
Engine maintenance is always done correctly and I have a new Penta D2-30 engine.
Solar is purchased but not installed yet. 240 watts attention is being paid to minimize power consumption to ensure that any of the 3 batts will start the engine.
I also plan to preconfigure a reserve headsail as a crash mat that could be put back into sail service easily.
Besides the mountain of safety gear we have and the liferaft I plan to turn our tender on the davits into our primary lifeboat that can be sailed.
I hope for the best but plan for the worst. Since our girls are only 2.5 yrs and 5yrs old they are 100% dependent on our planning to ensure thier safety. Of course that all starts with a solid sailing vessel that is seaworthy and a crew that is well equipped mentally and physically.
Well that's my 2 bob anyway.
Cheers
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Old 14-11-2012, 16:18   #8
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Re: Advice Laying Out Bilge Access for New Sole Please

Presumably the seawater can't get into the AGM batteries (one thing which has got easier) but have you any thoughts on how to arrange switchgear and alternators so seawater either cannot reach them, or if it does, cannot get inside, providing a path for major leakage currents, potentially flattening the batteries?

There used to be a hydraulic starter motor on the market: you pumped up a built-in accumulator with a built-in hand pump: it meant a diesel engine was effectively no longer reliant on electrics. I get the feeling with modern interlocks for oil pressure, temp etc, (not to mention electrical fuel shutoff) that there would need to be some sort of emergency override for something like this to work.
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