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Old 25-12-2015, 15:52   #1
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Bilge condensation

My bilge seems to accumulate a cup or two of condensation each week, particularly in the winter, when Puget Sound humidity is high and water (hull) temps are cold. I don't like leaving standing water in the bilge, but short of leaving the bilge access hatch open (which does work), is there another way to keep it dry? Maybe a small fan?
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Old 25-12-2015, 16:22   #2
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Re: Bilge condensation

Hummm...
It's is just the bilge.
Do you have a drip less shaft seal? If so check to see if it's fresh or sea water.
If it's a standard packing, it should leak a couple drops every 5, seconds or so.
And if the tube runs to the bilge then your going to have a little in there once a week.


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Old 25-12-2015, 18:33   #3
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Re: Bilge condensation

It's drip less. Water is not salty (but I wouldn't say it's fresh, cause it's nasty). Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's condensation, because when I leave the bilge access hatch open, it stays dry.
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Old 25-12-2015, 23:57   #4
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Re: Bilge condensation

I have a wood boat and have low volume forced ventilation. Not only do the bilges stay dry, but no boat smell. In big spaces I have computer 12 volt fans that circulate air and run when on shore power or any time an engine is running.
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Old 26-12-2015, 00:11   #5
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Re: Bilge condensation

Fans help, and maybe a dehumidifier, if you don't have one running already.
Most important is ventilation tho - I've learned that nothing really helps unless there is plenty of ventilation.
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Old 26-12-2015, 11:08   #6
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Re: Bilge condensation

Rusty,
There may be another culprit in addition to condensation: the relief valve on your hot water heater if you are plugged into shore power or running your engine regularly. We would accumulate water in our shallow bilges after a week of no rain. At first, we thought there was a leak in one of our water tanks. After further inspection, it was the hot water heater discharging water when the tank reached maximum temperature. If your heater is turned to the highest setting, dial it down and you should have a decrease in water discharge. While you're at it, it is always good practice to flush your relief valve a couple times a month in case there is any corrosion in the valve/lines. Ours has a hose that directs the water to the bilge. Hope this helps. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 26-12-2015, 15:40   #7
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pirate Re: Bilge condensation

it is always good practice to flush your relief valve a couple times a month


I have a composting relief valve ... it's not easy being green.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:02   #8
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Re: Bilge condensation

if you are heating your boat at all the condensation is simply running down the hull into the bilge. Not a worry and not much you can do.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:09   #9
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Re: Bilge condensation

I agree with Rognvald that it is worth looking at the water heater relief valve. Easy to check and solve.


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Old 26-12-2015, 18:02   #10
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Re: Bilge condensation

Boat is basically in layup at the dock now, while I restore some of the interior systems. Not running the water heater now, but good point about the relief valve - I'll add that to my maintenance list.

I do leave a small peltier dehumidifier that I leave running, as well as a low wattage heater. Seems to keep the cabin fairly dry, but with the sole hatch in place, water seems to accumulate.

I vacuum it out with a shop vac every few weeks, but I would rather it stay dry, since my hull is blister prone.
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