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Old 19-05-2010, 19:33   #1
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Draining the Bilge on the Hard

Just hauled out my boat and was wondering if it is possible to drill a hole at the bottom of the keel where the lowest point of the bilge is to keep it drained? If not, how do you keep it dry without running the pump and draining the batteries?
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Old 19-05-2010, 19:48   #2
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I have a bronze bilge drain plug at the lowest point. When the boat is pulled at the end of the season I take out the plug and allow it to completely drain and dry out. It also makes it easy to drain the water tank and wash the bilge on the hard.
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Old 19-05-2010, 19:52   #3
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smart ass answer......
fix the rainwater leaks.

or the actual answer.....
yes you can, using a garboard drain as seen here Pearson 10M Garboard Drain
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Old 19-05-2010, 20:22   #4
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From a guy that works at a boatyard...go for the bilge plug.
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Old 19-05-2010, 21:05   #5
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so it isn't as easy as just drilling a hole and epoxying it shut when done?
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Old 19-05-2010, 21:37   #6
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If there is a thruhull at a low point in the bilge, maybe for engine raw water, remove the hose at the thruhull and any water will drain right out.

David
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Old 20-05-2010, 06:29   #7
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the deepest point of the bilge is at the bottom of the keel near the rudder, no thru hull anywhere near it.

My current plan is to drill a smallish hole (how small?) near the base of the keel where the bottom point is and epoxy it shut before I barrier coat and paint. Does anyone have advice AGAINST this plan?
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Old 20-05-2010, 06:42   #8
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I think your efforts would be much better spent fixing the leaks that allow the water into the bilge in the first place. Why go to all the trouble of drilling a hole and then patching it when you are still going to end up with leaks?
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Old 20-05-2010, 06:44   #9
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I think your efforts would be much better spent fixing the leaks that allow the water into the bilge in the first place. Why go to all the trouble of drilling a hole and then patching it when you are still going to end up with leaks?
well of course I plan on fixing the leaks! I need to spend a lot of time working on the bottom before I work on the top. Then, amount of time it is going to take to remove all deck hardware, repair, sand, paint, and rebed will not make it possible to finish before the Florida rains begin. I will be on the hard for a long time doing a complete refit, so there will be plenty of chances for rain water to get in while I do repairs. Also, I'd like to be able to hose down some grungy surfaces on the interior and would need a way to get all of that water out. I'm looking for a simple solution to water in the bilge while I do all the work
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Old 20-05-2010, 07:35   #10
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Ziggy are you seriuous about the bilge plug. I was consdiering doing this for my boat. I completely rebuilt my keel and bilge a few years ago and at that time I did drill a 1/4 inch hole to keep bilge dry while I worked on it. Patching with epoxy was no big deal. I then tried to seal bilge by dumping 3 gallons of penetrating eopxy into bilge with a sand mixture to provide a good seal. But I fear the freezing and thawing of any pocket of moisture and think a bilge plug would work. If I lived in FLorida no problem but up here in Maryland maybe worth it.
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Old 20-05-2010, 10:23   #11
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IMHO, a bilge plug is very simple to install and you only have to do it once.
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Old 20-05-2010, 10:28   #12
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If not, how do you keep it dry without running the pump and draining the batteries?
That's an easy question. A small solar charger would certainly keep the batteries fit if all they're doing is pumping rainwater.
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Old 20-05-2010, 10:49   #13
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I think a 1/2" hole would work just fine. When you are finished you can pump some thickened epoxy in and not have to worry about it.

If you go the garboard drain route, make thriple sure that you are getting a bronze drain fitting and a bronze plug, and not brass. I think the only bronze drain fitting AND plug are made by Buck Algonquin and sold by Hamilton:
BUCK ALGONQUIN PLAIN BRONZE DRAIN PLUG 00DP100

The Perko garboard drain sold by Jamestown is described as a bronze fitting and a BRASS plug (bad, very bad!):
Garboard Drain Plugs
"... Perko Garboard Drain Plugs consisting of cast bronze flanges and brass plug. Garboard plugs are screw in style for backing plates that can be tightened with a wrench. Flange OD is 2 inches, pipe size is 1/2 inch. DP2 models have stainless steel pins for easy tightening..."
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Old 20-05-2010, 16:19   #14
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Where are you hauled at?
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Old 20-05-2010, 16:59   #15
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Originally Posted by S/V_Surya View Post
Ziggy are you seriuous about the bilge plug. I was consdiering doing this for my boat. I completely rebuilt my keel and bilge a few years ago and at that time I did drill a 1/4 inch hole to keep bilge dry while I worked on it. Patching with epoxy was no big deal. I then tried to seal bilge by dumping 3 gallons of penetrating eopxy into bilge with a sand mixture to provide a good seal. But I fear the freezing and thawing of any pocket of moisture and think a bilge plug would work. If I lived in FLorida no problem but up here in Maryland maybe worth it.
It works very well. As someone else mentioned, make sure you get one that's entirely bronze. Depending on your bilge, it can be fairly difficult to install, however. My bilge sump is so deep that there's no way to reach the bottom (unless you hire a gorilla with extra long arms). This makes it a challenge to put the nuts on the screws holding the drain fitting to the hull.
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