Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
laura hinks

Water in the bulge

Featured Posts

14 hours ago, laura hinks said:

Im not a mechanical person but i just wondered what the reasons would be for water being in the bottom of the engine bay. 

If the boats sat idle over winter for a few months without someone on it regularly to usw th bulge pump would the water build up massivley?

 

Is it something to worry about?

Someones told me that its historical water. I dont even know what that means. Can any one shead any light please?

Where is your boat located?

2 hours ago, rusty69 said:

A bit of kitchen towel balanced beneath the gland could help detect it. Or an ice cream tub (remove ice cream first) 

I can help with removing the ice cream :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

Stern glands drip.  That's what they do.  However, the solution is simple:  next time you finish a carton of Elsan/Oil/Deionised water etc.  cut a large square hole in the side of it and tuck it on its side under the stern gland and put your bilge pump in there.  

I use a washing up bowl under the stern gland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Laurie.Booth said:

I use a washing up bowl under the stern gland.

whatever fits!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

Mine's dry so long as the drains are kept clear of leaves in the autumn.

But however often I clear the drains on my boat Is till get water in the engine bilge over winter and during rain. - and no, its not a dripping stern gland.

The variety of drain systems, including none at all, on boats is vast as is the side and shape of the channels that support the deck boards. It is no help to the OP saying that an individuals engine bilge stays dry because on other boats (like mine) that is impossible to achieve. Once again we need more information to enable us to supply good advice. As System 4-50 implies it MIGHT just be a case of clearing out the drain channels and drain holes but it is just as likely not to.

Newer boats seem to tend to have more effective drain systems than older ones with larger, deeper floor support channels and much larger drain holes but even then the trim of the boat can cause them to overflow. Semi-trad (without a cover) and cruiser sterns seem to be far worse for water in the engine bilge than trads. Cruisers with external steps down into the boat are probably impossible to keep dry because the bottom step is usually below the waterline so the rain either flows into the cabin via the door tread or is allowed to drain into the bilge. A washing up bowl under the bottom step drain plus its own bilge pump may help here but if the bilge fills from other sources then the bowl may well float out of position.

I have also noticed the the underside of the cruiser deck boards run with condensation during the winter so that adds to the problem.

To try to give the OP some kind of answer. I try to visit the boat about ponce a month during the winter because of having back steps that drain into the bilge and even after a very wet spell the bilge water rarely comes any more than about half way up the engine beds. Occasionally I go for six or eight weeks and it makes little difference. Even when where a drain tube rusted through where it met the uxter (swim) plate the constant water trickle still never over-topped the engine beds but until I found the leak I did visit more frequently. During the winter I always get some water in the engine drip tray, this can only come from condensation but I doubt its ever more than bout half a pint.

I am sufficiently relaxed about amount of bilge water I get to NOT have an automatic bilge pump because I think that the dangers of it failing and ruining the batteries is far greater than developing a hull leak - especially as with an automatic pump finding signs of a hull leak would be far harder.

As others have said on many cruiser sterns its something you have to live with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

"Water in the bulge"

This sounds to me more like a medical problem than a boating one. 

:giggles:

Map of France in the groin area after too many beers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

Mine's dry so long as the drains are kept clear of leaves in the autumn.

The only inference to be drawn from this is that it is possible to have a cruiser-stern boat that has a dry bilge.  People should not be put off having cruiser stern for fear of having a wet bilge, but you do need a well-designed boat  Large gutters and a slightly cambered deck would help.  

The OP needs to monitor her boat closely and learn where the water is coming from, there may be more than one source (cheerful sod), and the rate at which it arrives.  Each boat is different.  Tide lines in the engine bay may give an idea as to the scale of the problem in the past.

I have not got an automatic bilge pump as people I know have found them to be unreliable. One day I will get a remote water level monitoring device.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

 

I have not got an automatic bilge pump as people I know have found them to be unreliable. One day I will get a remote water level monitoring device

Strain gauge on the mooring lines? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

The only inference to be drawn from this is that it is possible to have a cruiser-stern boat that has a dry bilge.

We got a very cheap deal on a cruiser stern (2 year old) boat that had sunk because of a leaf blocking the drain, the engine-hole filled up and down she went with her bow sticking up in the air. A new alternator and starter motor an oil change and flush thru and she was 'good to go'.

Total repaint, sold it on after a year of cruising and made £5k profit. 

Solved the problem for the future owners by having an 'extension' built, giving us another room (aka as a pram-hood)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a solution to the leaf problem though I do have 3 separate drains. I wish they were larger diameter.  I aim to have a stern conservatory in the middle future. But I need to get my cratch cover organised first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, system 4-50 said:

I don't have a solution to the leaf problem though I do have 3 separate drains. I wish they were larger diameter.  I aim to have a stern conservatory in the middle future. But I need to get my cratch cover organised first.

Ah, then you need one my newly invented Leaf 'o' fans (patent pending)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, rusty69 said:

Ah, then you need one my newly invented Leaf 'o' fans (patent pending)

Do they depend on the deck board getting hot from the engine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, system 4-50 said:

Do they depend on the deck board getting hot from the engine?

I can't tell you that (patent pending)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
2 hours ago, Dave_P said:

Stern glands drip.  That's what they do.  However, the solution is simple:  next time you finish a carton of Elsan/Oil/Deionised water etc.  cut a large square hole in the side of it and tuck it on its side under the stern gland and put your bilge pump in there.  

^^Wot he said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

I can't tell you that (patent pending)

I'm worried that the accumulating leaves will moulder and generate heat, eventually catching fire (like a composting loo) so will your fan remove the heat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, system 4-50 said:

I'm worried that the accumulating leaves will moulder and generate heat, eventually catching fire (like a composting loo) so will your fan remove the heat?

The leaves will only Mulder if you leave them in the Scgully.

 

My leaf 'o' fan is air cooled, so will remove heat (pat pending)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, rusty69 said:

The leaves will only Mulder if you leave them in the Scgully.

 

My leaf 'o' fan is air cooled, so will remove heat (pat pending)

You are an inconsiderate fellow. Isn't it time you let Pat off the hook?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BWM said:

Map of France in the groin area after too many beers?

............ does that coincide with the location of the Battle of the Bulge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rusty69 said:

Leaking stern gland.

Condensation

Domestic water leak

window/hatch leak

Engine coolant/tank leak

Engine board leak (cruiser stern)

Deck leak

Hull leak 

 

The extent of the worry is dependent on the extent of the leak and your continued ability to pump it out

Water in my engine bay [cruiser stern] is mainly rain water,added too with a minor leak from the engine cooling system.It amounts to less than an inch a month depending on the amount of rainfall. It has not so far activated the auto bilge pump [yes,it is working] as I bought a cheapo pump [the sort for changing engine oil without the need to drain the sump] this type works by creating a vacuum in a container so the pump itself doesn't get muck in it.The last few mm of water that the pump misses,can be mopped out with a sponge.

Once the engine bay is nice and dry,[deep joy] a piece of kitchen roll under the stern gland will indicate if the stern gland is leaking. I have been informed by the engineer at my mooring that tightening the grease tap will not cure a leaking gland.It needs adjusting or re-packing.

Pumping out the engine bay is just one more "houskeeping" job to add to the list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Furness said:

I have been informed by the engineer at my mooring that tightening the grease tap will not cure a leaking gland

Does on mine.Perhaps mines broke though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Furness said:

I have been informed by the engineer at my mooring that tightening the grease tap will not cure a leaking gland.It needs adjusting or re-packing.

If you want to permanently stop a leak, you may well have to adjust or repack the gland.

But after you have stopped the engine, turning the greaser until no more water is dripping through will certainly stop any leaks until the next time you put the engine in gear. Ideally you should do this at the end of every day's boating, and certainly when you are going to be leaving the boat for longer than overnight.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Grassman said:

Laura doesn't say what type of stern the boat has. We have a cruiser stern and like Maggie says it's virtually impossible to keep the engine bilge dry. With ours it's the rain that's the main culprit and the worn deck boards and raised gunnels don't help. 

If all the other possibilities mentioned on here regarding leaks have been investigated and Laura is still getting a depth of water in there, provided the bilge pump is set to automatic I don't think she has anything to worry about. I've been told many times to just accept that some boats have wet engine bilges and to not to be too concerned. I have and inch or so permanently in mine. 

The bilge is manual so i guess it will be a morning and evening job to press the button. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, laura hinks said:

The bilge is manual so i guess it will be a morning and evening job to press the button. 

If you are leaving your boat for any length of time you should really consider an automatic bilge pump. These work on a float switch that starts the pump when the water level reaches a certain height. The other suggestions about having a plastic oil bottle with a hole cut in the side and putting your pump in that are also good. Stern glands do drip, some more than others. It could be that just the packing needs replacing but it could also mean that the shaft bearings are worn. Packing is an easy job, shaft bearings, well that would mean boat out of the water and a mechanic and lots of money. Mine dripped about once every three or four seconds if the prop shaft wasn't turning and a bit more if it was turning. I could never get it to stop completly and, in fact, I was told that it should drip. From what I learned it should drip when the prop shaft is turning as this helps to lubricate the shaft bearings but if the shaft is stopped the stern gland shouldn't drip. Mine always dripped.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a cruiser stern (well, the boat has!!) and the steps into the cabin are inside.  Back deck is flat with no upstand around the edge.  Two flat hinged plates form the back deck/access to the engine bay.  These deck plates sit on top of a gutter (about 3" in cross section) running around the edge of the engine-ole.  Gutter drains via a hole/tube at the lowest point (sounds a bit like Tony Brooks' - above).

Never had any problem with water ingress over 5 or 6 years except once when I visited during winter and found an inch of water in the engine bay.  The rain water gutter has always coped [regardless of Lancashire downpours!!] but, on this occasion I was able to see the problem.  Cold weather + precipitation = slush.  Whilst water drains away quite happily, slush just sat in the gutter as it melted.  Rather than flow away, melting slush was dammed and overflowed into the engine bay.  I would not have realised the source if I had not actually witnessed it.

As for getting rid of the water, I used a dustpan (as in plastic dustpan and brush set) to scoop up the bulk into a bucket.  Any residue was dealt with with a sponge then a few newspapers.  Sorted!

So the culprit could just be snow.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.