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Old 01-10-2007, 14:05   #16
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Some interesting suggestions some of which may the way forward, however, I would be concerned about putting one application on top of another without knowing the possible reaction between the two. I tried this in the past by painting one type of paint on top of another and sitting back and watch everything melt. I am going to bite the bullet and go back to elbow grease and re-do the bilge as needed. Any volunteers to assist would not be turned away. You would be paid in Irish stew and Guinness
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Old 29-12-2007, 12:17   #17
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I also am getting ready to do something similar to my boat, a 45 foot Dutch custom steel ketch. That is what brought me here to read this in the first place. I have a bilge area under the engine that I want to reshape to get the water to collect in a plastic sump that I can easily pump and let the last 1/4 inch safely sit away from the steel in the bottom of a cutoff plastic bucket instead of the inside of the steel hull. So I was thinking 6 inches of shaped concrete with a bottom of a plastic bucket forming a sump. I was thinking concrete since it is cheap and easy to work. The rest of my ballast is concrete and as far as I can tell it has not had a problem with causing steel hull corrosion. Maybe the Dutch steel boat people know something about concrete we don't know. There has been a problem at the steel area just above the concrete, but that was because my boat was stored for 8 years on the hard and collected rain water and allowed to rust through. I don't see any problems caused by the concrete, it was just the stuff that kept the water at that level on the steel. I'm sure the steel probably was painted with epoxy before the installation of the concrete and the concrete was painted with epoxy after it had cured when the boat was first built. The big problem with the design of my boat was lack of bilge access to allow periodic maintenance under the cabin floorboards due to poor placement of tanks and also the anchor chain locker draining saltwater through the entire length of the bilge instead of quickly out through the hull at the bow.

I'm just adding my confusing observations and thoughts to throw into the mix here. I'm still up in the air as to what's right but I will need to do something soon. The time has come to address this problem of water on steel in the bilge below my engine while the engine room cover/cockpit floor is removed....

Maybe concrete is OK if the steel is painted with epoxy before the concrete is installed, the concrete will protect the epoxy and the epoxy will protect the steel.

Good luck with whatever is decided. Jon
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Old 29-12-2007, 13:09   #18
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Consider using something like this product Marine Deck Covering, Waterproof Boat Deck Coating & Repair System

If you view the technical data it's adheshion and elasticity would work well to seal a steel bildge

Edit: with the thickening agent you can cove and guide the bildge water wherever you like
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Old 29-12-2007, 16:16   #19
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Never can be sure...

When I repowered Boracay I took the opportunity to upgrade the protection of the steel in the bilge.

I enlarged all drain holes that I could get at so water drains more freely to the bilge.

I cleaned and degreased the bilge as best I could and then painted it with epoxy primer.

Then I mixed phenolic microballoons with epoxy resin to a sloppy consistency and poured it into the bilge painting it up the sides as best I could.

Seems to be holding out so far.
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Old 29-12-2007, 16:36   #20
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Concrete has been used as ballast material in steel boats successfully for as long as there have been steel boats - although I would certainly clean and paint the steel in the area with a good rustproofing paint first. If your stringers do not have limber holes, however, you will eventually develop problems throughout the hull. at any location where water is trapped.
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Old 30-12-2007, 05:28   #21
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There’s some good on-line information & advice, that can be adapted to you’re marine application at:

Corrosion of Steel in Concrete
http://nrmca.org/aboutconcrete/cips/25p.pdf

Steel Reinforced Concrete – Corrosion of the Reinforcing Steel
Steel Reinforced Concrete - Corrosion of the Reinforcing Steel
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Old 30-12-2007, 09:48   #22
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Very good stuff, since I was planning on mixing my own. Thanks
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Old 30-12-2007, 10:05   #23
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Extremely relevant for ferro-cement boats, although in this case the concrete is likely not steel reinforced for strength. Neverthelss, wet-curing the concrete for at least 7 days is always a sound practise (and is quite easy in the bilge). After it is cured one should paint the concrete with a good waterproof sealant coating and then caulk at the seams where the concrete meets the steel. This should prevent water permeating the concrete coating to the inside of the steel plate.

Of course, if the concrete is required to be relatively thick, then reinforcement (likely by some steel rod) will be necessary through the middle of the bilge area to be covered.

Brad
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