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Old 02-04-2009, 17:17   #1
MV
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Water in Engine Bilge (Willard)

I do not know what is causing this so I am asking for diagnostic help.
If the boat sits in the Marina, little to no water gets into the engine compartment bilge. I know so because I listen for the auto turn on and I tunr the pump on manually.

However, the last two times the boat has been out, when I run the pump manually (seems the autoswitch is not working), she pumps out alot of water. That short sail (about an hour) let in close to 5 gallons

After moving the boat from Long Beach to San Diego, I manually pumped out the water into 5 gallon buckets and trucked the buckets to the fuel dock to be disposed of because I did not want to pump out clear water mixed with occasional oil globules. I removed close to 15 gallons.

But I cannot keep doing this. It is exhausting.

What needs to be fixed? I do not think there is a hole in the boat or the boat sitting there would acrue water -- yet it does not.

Thanks

Michael
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Old 02-04-2009, 17:56   #2
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Michael--

Odds are the stuffing box on your drive shaft or rudder post are leaking somewhat. If the leak only happens when the yacht's underway, I'd suspect the rudder post stuffing box. Have a look and see if there are drip marks (you may have to stand on your head for that).

Further, go by West Marine and pick up a couple of oil absorbent pads, tie a line around them (so you can retrieve them without difficulty) and toss 'em in the bilge sump to absorb floating POL. I also suggest you pick up some bilge clearner and put a couple of good squirts of that in the bilge to help clean it out and break down some of the heavier stuff. With that, and the bpads, you can pump the bilge off-board.

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Old 02-04-2009, 18:25   #3
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Michael,

Other possibilities:

Does it gather water if you run the engine at the dock? If so,
maybe an exhaust leak or a waterpump leak.

If it only happens on one tack, perhaps back-siphoning thrugh the bilge pump, or a leaking above-the -waterline through-hull fitting or hose.

In general, that seems like enough water to have left some signs where it gets in, so a really good look around might reveal the entry point.

Good luck... the water should be on the outside only!!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 02-04-2009, 21:00   #4
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All good advice but that's a lot of water for a short trip. I would get serious about trying to find the source.

If your running the motor I'd check the shaft packing, pump hoses, exhaust hoses and around any other fitting at or close to the waterline while underway.

Try the process of elimination. Run the motor in port for a while and see how much water gets in. Take it for a sail and see how much then. And the motor and sail and see if there are differences.

Another trick is to sprinkle a talcum powder in the bilges and see if there are any trails..................._/)
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:30   #5
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Michael--

Jim's suggestions are right on--Dumb on me. My two biggest leaks were caused when a small hole developed in the mixing elbow rignt at the point where the exhaust hose connected to it and the second from a crack that developed in our exhaust hose a few inches above its connection to the through hull. Both were situated where they couldn't be seen without a mirror. Once those offenders were corrected, we still had some problems--albeit much smaller--that proved to be the stuffing box around the rudder shaft.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 14-04-2009, 20:29   #6
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Michael, have you found the problem yet?
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:48   #7
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Dumb guy question - It is salt water, right?

Our boat takes on rain water (bad lazerette seals) and it hides behind bulkheads until we heel then it all runs forward and floods the cabin floor.

Recently we identified a salt water leak in the exhaust (small leak) and the same thing is happening.

The bulkheads are structural but I am very tempted to drill drain channels through them.

Salt water could be the cooling system as well.
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Old 15-04-2009, 10:58   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Dumb guy question - It is salt water, right?

Our boat takes on rain water (bad lazerette seals) and it hides behind bulkheads until we heel then it all runs forward and floods the cabin floor.

Recently we identified a salt water leak in the exhaust (small leak) and the same thing is happening.

The bulkheads are structural but I am very tempted to drill drain channels through them.

Salt water could be the cooling system as well.
Hey, Dan, it's been quite awhile since we communicated through CF. I hope you and your family are all doing well in Singapore. (I understand the economy there is way down in the dumps.)

I'm sure you already know this, but for the benefit of others who may not be, the usual term for the "drain channels" you're tempted to create is "limber holes." Either way you put it, providing a way for the accumulated water to run past whatever is trapping it and flow into the bilge will help prevent future problems. As an A&P, you have a clear understanding that a number of "lightening" holes can be cut into structural members without compromising their integrity. It's equally true for limber holes through bulkheads on vessels.

I assume it's Relax Lah that you're referring to, not the J-boat. Oh, BTW, determining whether it's salt water or fresh water isn't dumb at all, but a necessary (and smart) first step in tracking down the source of the intrusion, IMO.

TaoJones
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