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Old 01-06-2016, 08:49   #16
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

As a yacht manufacturer we have learned to monitor the bilges.....most folks forget about them until there is a major problem! We have a low water alarm, high water alarm, and even better we put a cheap camera in the bilge compartment looking down......this kept one of our boats out of harms way when the stuffing box gave out and started flooding the bilges.....the skipper saw the water on the camera before the bilge alarm went off.....the camera we use is connected to the ethernet on the boat so it can be displayed anywhere.....this is a cheap cheap way to go but very powerful, I highly recommend it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:55   #17
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

I don't understand the checking standing rigging with a glove thing, I do understand what we call "meathooks" in aircraft maintenance, it's broken wires in a flight control cable, use a rag to inspect for, but the wires on my standing rigging are huge by comparison, I mean fish hook sized, one of those breaks and you see it from ten ft away, no rag or glove needed?
Better safe than sorry.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:03   #18
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

No, what I am saying is that a glove or rag is a logical check for a highly flexible cable that is comprised of many, many small wires, but rigging is usually 1 X 19 if memory serves, and those 19 cables are not small, glove or rag not needed, you'll see one of those big wires if its broken?
And, I thought failure almost always began at the swedge? If your going to inspect, get the magnifying glass out and look right at the edge of the swedge for cracks?

I'm very much a novice at this sailboat thing, so if I completely misunderstand, I won't be offended if you correct me. I am not holding myself out as any kind of knowledgeable person here.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:04   #19
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

I have a small bilge pump as the 'initial' one which discharges into the cockpit. If I get wet feet, somethings wrong
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:05   #20
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

That's what bilge alarm is for.

Offshore, we check the bilge once a watch (about 4 times a day).

We also check lower rigging and all essential deck fittings once a day.

Then we check engine oil before and after every use.

We also check the batteries charge and status morning/midday/evening.

Etc.

Total of about 15 to 30 minutes is spent every day on passage on boat checks, systems checks, etc.

We are less careful inshore / docked / moored.

b.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:09   #21
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
And, I thought failure almost always began at the swedge? If your going to inspect, get the magnifying glass out and look right at the edge of the swedge for cracks?
I once cut myself on a broken wire six feet up from the swage. I was not checking for breaks at the time, just holding on to it.

Once stung ...
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:10   #22
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?



Eventually... a small leak becomes a big problem.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:30   #23
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

Like Jom, I am afraid not. I swing on the rigging when I walk forward and know it should feel - I peer up the mast to check alignment when I am putting the sail cover boot on and I look in the bilges at least once every 10 days (or so!). However, I do check all my rigging regularly - and I mean regularly and do a tension check every couple of months to sure using a Loos tension meter. I check my engine belts and oil levels around every 24 hours of engine use. I do have bilge alarms fitted which are checked every week. I also check my battery water levels every week - but hope to invest in Lifepo4 technology soon.


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Hello all,

Long time lurker, (~7 years), but NOW! - NOW! We are 23 days away from Sailing Away as a full-time cruising family. We bought a new Lagoon 450 in 2012, and have sailed her for 6 months total in Europe and the Carib over the last 4 years.

I am re-reading "Safer Offshore" by Ed Mapes and I really like the book, but I was flipping back to the Monitoring and Maintenance Checklist and my eyes popped out when he says check the bilges 6x a day.

I know I am not a diligent enough cruiser. I do walk around the boat every day and look for loose cotter pins, and things out of order. Check the oil levels on the yanmars every few days (2x a day really!?), check the quality of the exhaust when running the engines fairly often (on start and every 90 minutes or so). I check on the house battery a few times a day of course. But I lift the bilge boards only when opening and closing the holding tanks, or every few days when I think of it. We have bilge alarms and except for one occasion the bilge has been dry. I do not check the standing rigging 2x a day, do you guys?

Do you really check your belts and hoses 2x a day?

I have been scanning past posts and I am gathering that no, most people do not approach this level of diligence.

What do you guys *actually* do?

Cheers,
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:16   #24
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

With all the suggestions, most good or very good, all with potential, it sounds as if you should create a list of the various things to be checked, and how often/when it should be done. Should you do so, please share it. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:30   #25
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

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Like Jom, I am afraid not. I swing on the rigging when I walk forward and know it should feel - I peer up the mast to check alignment when I am putting the sail cover boot on and I look in the bilges at least once every 10 days (or so!). However, I do check all my rigging regularly - and I mean regularly and do a tension check every couple of months to sure using a Loos tension meter. I check my engine belts and oil levels around every 24 hours of engine use. I do have bilge alarms fitted which are checked every week. I also check my battery water levels every week - but hope to invest in Lifepo4 technology soon.
Our shrouds are really sensitive to temperature changes--on a really hot day in the upper 90's they're loose compared to how they feel in the low 50's. Don't you notice the same? We're typically sitting at anchor in the Delta when it's that hot so sailing isn't on our minds but I wonder if we'd pull out the Loos tension gauge if we were about to go out for a sail. LOL. What do you do about temperature extremes yourself?

We're sadly inadequate on checking battery water levels--usually do it monthly and every once in a while the person checking will say "wow, it's down to almost the top of the lead plates!." And, it's all a matter of ease of access which we don't really have it easy in the case of the batteries.

Every boat also has some odd things that need an eye kept on them. You'll only know what those are on your particular boat though. We have a frame that holds a trawler type lantern and it has a tendency to back off the screws when we've been underway for more than about 3 days straight--so it's become a morning check item to tighten up those screws--else the lantern could fall. Don't want to use locktite as we disassemble it to clean it. We also have a few chafe points to keep an eye on -- every boat does and finding them, checking them, it's part of the gig.
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:35   #26
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

when i KNOW something gonna give, as all is old old old, i check 2 times daily--when i get out of bed, and when i go to bed. or dinner if i have that, approx 12 hours apart.
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Old 01-06-2016, 14:31   #27
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
No, what I am saying is that a glove or rag is a logical check for a highly flexible cable that is comprised of many, many small wires, but rigging is usually 1 X 19 if memory serves, and those 19 cables are not small, glove or rag not needed, you'll see one of those big wires if its broken?
And, I thought failure almost always began at the swedge? If your going to inspect, get the magnifying glass out and look right at the edge of the swedge for cracks?

I'm very much a novice at this sailboat thing, so if I completely misunderstand, I won't be offended if you correct me. I am not holding myself out as any kind of knowledgeable person here.
Gloves will snag on small cracks before they break and become an actual problem.
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Old 01-06-2016, 14:43   #28
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

Installed a bilge alarm but these days with new boats,,who even has a bilge?
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Old 01-06-2016, 15:18   #29
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

When I went on a voyage during the time the boat was kept in a marina I checked the bilge every couple of hours. Now that I have been living aboard for a number of years and pretty well permanently cruising it might be weeks between checks however I think that part of the reason for this is that I am now confident of being more attuned to the vessel and more likely to become aware of anything out of the ordinary. The other part is just a late life onset of bone laziness.
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Old 01-06-2016, 22:30   #30
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Re: Do you guys check your bilges 6x a day!?

On a 9000 mile passage from NZ to Alaska we checked our bilge every hour. The reason for this was because we recorded compass readings and trailing log data for DR. We let the prop shaft spin and the rudder was also working. We recorded bilge pump strokes to be certain we were not sinking. We learned a quick lesson a few hundred miles offshore that we needed to be careful with gland leakage.

Maybe you have tight mechanical seals and lock your prop shaft. As a routine watch item I would recommend you check your bilge often on a long passage.

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