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Old 11-03-2012, 00:47   #1
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Location: Jervis Bay NSW Australia
Boat: Adams 45 Steel Masthead Cutter
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Steel Masthead Cutter - Adams 45 - Water in Bilge?

Greetings All,

Being new to the boat ownership game I am in need of establishing how much water in my bilge is acceptable. She is not leaking through the hull, rather when it rains water gets in a number of places..that I will address.

The bilge is quite dirty, oil and diesel mixed with water and I have pumped it several times. It is not taking significant amounts at all, indeed it is quite manageable and not a threat.

My question - should I expect a dry bilge?...or is expected that small amount will remain?...I should just watch it? ..a silly question, is the oil or diesel not acting as a sort of rust preventative?

Advice please.


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Old 11-03-2012, 01:54   #2
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Re: Steel Masthead Cutter - Adams 45 - Water in Bilge?

Hi Monty,

Saw the photos on your other post. Very nice looking boat.

Dry bilges are certainly achievable, even with steel. Had a steel boat and the bilges, except right under the stuffing box where I had the necessary drip, where dusty. Same with my last fiberglass boat. Can't say the same about the current boat but, like you, I'm getting to it.

Sure oil is a rust preventative but mixed with water I think the "benefits" would be mixed at best. Not to mention oily bilges tend to develop rather a bad odor which detracts from the live aboard experience and can lead to solo sailing.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 14-03-2012, 07:38   #3
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Re: Steel Masthead Cutter - Adams 45 - Water in Bilge?

Hi Monty,

we have a steelboat too and our bilge is dry. It all depends on your propeller shaft seal: There are some which allow some small amount of water comming in and others, which are dry.

Other than that, your bilge should be dry and as clean as possible. Oil in the bilge raises alarm on our boat, since the only place it could come from are engine and gearbox. To have an early warning, we clean our bilge on occasion.

Water leaking from the deck can be a real pain to trace and fix. I would fix it as soon as possible, since it could collect on places you do not inspect and will be a first class rust starter.
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