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Old 24-10-2014, 17:24   #1
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Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

Whew I have long contiplated an issue on our boat and just have to rectify this now.

So the issue on our boat is despite it being brilliantly built in so many ways it has a flaw I would like to rectify.

The bilge is shallow and flat ( not much I casn do with that ) but the big issue is the built in molded furniture and sole is one piece that would have been dropped in with the deck off.

This is done in 2 pieces, Galley on port side across to the Nav area on Stb area and the salon from port to Stb as a second piece. Both these are sealed to the hull along the top edge and essentially hang just off the surface of the hull all the way from port to Stb. at the turn of the bilge is where the moulded unit comes in closest contact with the hull. maybe an 1-1.5" clearance and some of these spots would be very hard to reach.

The biggest issue is that any bilge water is free to run up and inbehind the furniture.
Step one I have compleated is I made as many bilge access panels as I could, to have better access. Step 2 I have cut out access panels where prudent to also make more storage of unused space ( but still many spots will be a difficult challange to access along the narrowing clearance area where the bilge area should cease).

So the question is what sealant would be ideal to isolate the bilge from the rest of the hull? Once the acess areas are compleated and the bilge isolated the only way water would get behind is if there was a breach in the hull.

An expanding spray product would be ideal as some areas need to be sealed blindly from as much as 1-1.5' (although I can use my inspection scope post filling to see if it looks okay) But the ability to have water lay against it for long periods is a must so in my opinion spray foam is out for this area unless theres a product and way to acceptable use and post seal it afterwards?

Sorry for the long post but I hope I have explained it so people comprheand the issue and can better offer opinions.

thank you
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:16   #2
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

went thru some of this and in the end i think you need to look at the stuffing box and whether you can limit the water coming into the bilge. shallow bilges should be outlawed
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:27   #3
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

I have the same issue. The insert is one piece and the salon area is lower than the aft bilge where the eingine, saildrive etc. are.

Because the aft bilge has multiple compartments and I only have a bilge pump at the lowest one (immediately aft of the salon) the issue is water accumulates behind the saildrive. When the boat heels real good the water spills over the bulkheads all the way into the salon and behind and under the insert.

Foam might be a good idea but my strategy is to design a better way to stop the ingress in the first place (primarily bad cockpit lockers) and then a better way to evacuate the 3 compartments aft of the salon.

I am thinking limber holes so it drains to the most forward bilge aft of the salon but some of this structure, saildrive mount pad and engine bed, are heavy structure and I am hesitatant to drill holes thorugh it.

The other idea is multiple small bilge pumps for each section.

For you Id' start with isolating the water ingress and trying to dry it up as much as possible.

For boats with inserts a wet salon is definitely a PITA. Under the floor in my salon is sprayed in (presumably) foam filler. I have had this so wet so when walking in the salon I can hear the squishing...

The problem I would see with spraying a foam in is that it won't penetrate the gaps/cracks where the water ingresses to the compartment. The only sure way to stop that IMO would be to fiberglass tape seal all the gaps where the water can migrate through - probably a very tough proposition gaining access to the inside/underside of the insert gaps. I also don't think the foam will be waterproof enough and eventually you will have soggy foam, like I get under my salon floor.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:56   #4
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

Butyl tape is like gasket material and buggle gum in a roll but no mess. Or add a bilge pump that kicks on automatically (every 30 seconds or so), noisy and energy consuming but can be switched off when not needed.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:58   #5
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

Thanks so far for the advice.
I will just clarify that I have very little water coming in through my pacling gland (normal amount that does collect in a deeper under engine bilge). I have already minimized and potential ingresses of water but a time will come when water may come in. like when I was in some large seas and while underway a passanger despite my saying so decided to open the center hatch and about 20 gallons of water rushed in when the next green wave washed over deck.

It happened within seconds and it was over and hatch closed back up but not before it caused a lot of griefe and led to me building greater access in the sole.

So even with currently dry forward bilges when water gets into them for whatever reason I dont want the issues related to the current set up.

This is why I would like to isolate the areas off as mentioned above.
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:21   #6
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

We have a Nantucket 33 too, Mischief, and whilst shallow bilges are a common complaint of the marque I would be hesitant to do what you are doing. Despite a chronically leaking stern gland, leaky decks and an anchor locker and a shower that also drains into the bilge, the bilges for the most part can be kept reasonably dry with two or three automatic bilge pumps and religious use of the manual pump ever morning when on board. Why'd I'd be hesitant is firstly I'm not sure it's that big a problem. In our boat there is evidence of water sloshing around under the sole, but it doesn't seem to have done much damage, if any, over the years. Secondly, after running new hoses, a heap of wires and removing old refrigeration lines and more old wire than I replaced under the sole I can't really see how the bilge could be sealed off in such a way that it would be a perfect seal. And, to me, less than a perfect seal would risk trapping water behind whatever the seal is that I think in the long term would do more damage. Now having said that, our boat uses fibreglass mouldings for the furniture and there is little wood trim below so if yours is one that used predominantly wood, things might be different. In that case, I'd probably be inclined to pump closed cell expanding foam in behind everything you want to keep the water out of.

We dropped nearly our entire full water tank capacity into the bilge thanks to a failed worm clamp in rough water and this didn't cause us any drama as the 2000gph bilge pump kept up with the inflow.
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:37   #7
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

Excellent to hear from fellow Nantucket owner! To add to our dilemma our Compradore built Nantucket 33 was special ordered with lead all the way up to the top of what is normally the bilges of the Nantucket except for under the engine where there is about 14" or 300+mm of bilge depth.
I heard about Nantucket small bilges but our are flat and if we dumped a full water tank while at sea we would have to level off and wait a long time for most of the water to make it to the pump.
Having said that I hear what you are saying about the downfall of doing the job and potential risk. I agree that it would have to be 100% or don't do it.
Our is also fiberglass moulding with much teak trim above and on the GRP/FRP moulded units.
Perhaps I should just use expanding foam 80% or the way down where it would normally never see water could have air passing underneath and only come into play in an emergency situation.


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Old 25-10-2014, 03:02   #8
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Re: Sealant help to isolate bilge from behind moulded in furniture lliner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischief View Post
Excellent to hear from fellow Nantucket owner! To add to our dilemma our Compradore built Nantucket 33 was special ordered with lead all the way up to the top of what is normally the bilges of the Nantucket except for under the engine where there is about 14" or 300+mm of bilge depth.
I heard about Nantucket small bilges but our are flat and if we dumped a full water tank while at sea we would have to level off and wait a long time for most of the water to make it to the pump.
Having said that I hear what you are saying about the downfall of doing the job and potential risk. I agree that it would have to be 100% or don't do it.
Our is also fiberglass moulding with much teak trim above and on the GRP/FRP moulded units.
Perhaps I should just use expanding foam 80% or the way down where it would normally never see water could have air passing underneath and only come into play in an emergency situation.


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Hi Mischeif, ours is a Compradore built boat too. Ex Tropic Charters. There's still a few of them up here doing wonderful service mainly in share syndicates! I'm typing this from our saloon now. We have the same engine bilge as you describe which is my main annoyance as a leaky gland floods the gearbox and rear of the engine... grrrr...

Back to bilges, the wife proudly announced this afternoon that the bilges were bone dry. Thanks to the dry season, is my guess! Anyway we probably have identical setups. The big mystery to me is that we never get any water in the bottom of the hull to the rear of the engine (between the rudder post and fuel tank) even though our rudder post leaks a tad at the moment too! I think Mr Cole all in all didn't do a bad job in his designs, except perhaps for his preference for low coamings lol.
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