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Thread: Bilge Pump Discussions

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
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    197

    Commander Bilge

    Thanks for all the responses! I can tell this will save me a lot of time and effort. I appreciate the help.

    Here is some information in response to all the points raised.

    Yes, this is definitely a Commander built as designed (Hull #270). The bridgedeck and ladder are a little awkward sometimes but offer good protection against water in a 9-foot cockpit flooding into the cabin.

    I've attached a copy of a line drawing with the access hatches labeled as well as pointing out the location of the "putrid puddle". I think the pump(s) will go where the puddle is now. Commander Pete's advice to work from the 3rd access hatch makes the most sense but it is going to be difficult. I may be able to remove the side walls of the sail lockers and gain some access under the cockpit that way. Whichever way I go will be slow and awkward but I'm determined to get a pump down there before venturing into the Chesapeake again.

    Ariel owners may understand better now why this boat never had a pump. It's awfully hard to get to the aft end of the bilge. The Commander's 9-foot cockpit is great but it makes access to the bilge below the cockpit floor very difficult. I now also understand why I was confused by comments about pumps under the cabin floor. The cabin goes far enough back for that to work in an Ariel but not in a Commander.

    Thanks again for all the help. I'll report back in how it goes.
    Jerry McCann
    Attached Images  

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    San Leon, Texas
    Posts
    38
    I have four pumps on board...

    1) A manually switched Rule 2000 running off the switch at the electrical panel. Output routed through hull. Just sits at the very bottom of the bilge.

    2) A manual/automatic Rule 1500(?) that has two wires STRAIGHT TO THE BATTERY (so it is always ready in automatic as long as the battery is alive) and also switched by the (same) manual switch on the electric panel. Output routed through scupper. Just sits at the bottom of the bilge.

    3) A manual one mounted near the tiller as discussed earlier.

    4) A simple portable hand pump.

    In hind site, I wish both electrics were manual/automatic and both routed straight to the battery and both on SEPARATE switches so I could tell when one of them went out. That'll be the next upgrade.

    Now a follow up questions. Why is it that battery mounting and bilge pumps get tremendous response, but my query on jib track placement got only one (Thanks Theis). Are we sailors or mechanics?

    Ted
    Ted Mahavier

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Posts
    626
    I have a clue, perhaps, why the pump issue gets such feedback and the track issue gets so little.

    Everyone has concerned themselves in some way with, or thought through the pump issue- thus all those responses.

    On the other hand, my best guess is that there are few that have replaced/reset the tracks. I did it because my aft starborad track pulled out, and my forward tracks became unusable. The replacements (particularly the aft ones) are a pain. When replacing the forward ones, I could not get the duplicate and got, as I recall, a Shaeffer track having a different length and different screw hole settings. So that begged the issue as to where I should put it, hence my response.

    I'll be interested in how you set yours, although there is not much chance I am going to change mine again. For me it is done and done and done, right or wrong.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,281

    HEAD SAIL TRACK

    There was an earlier discussion of track placement, maybe that's why no response to the quesition. We'll try to find it (very likely, it was within another thread -- it's so hard to herd cats).

    Building on Peter's thought, most active track placers are in the racing fleet. Cruising sailors tend not to bother. In most cases, they may not have even installed a traveler mainsheeting system, but continue to rely on Pearson's original fixed placement.

    That also goes for jib control. Pearson had the jib sheets leading from a high clew sail to a block on the coach roof (reason for the aluminum straps) and then to the primary winches. Also, there was usually a short piece of track just in outside the large windows.

    Pearson's Genoa and spinnaker track is placed at the outer edge of the deck back by the cockpit.

    In the racing fleet, the coach roof arrangement and short jib track are replaced with a jib track located between the shrouds and the cabin trunk. For those PHRF racers using sails other than the class jib (110%) the Genoa / spinnaker track can run at the outer edged of the deck (sometimes on the toe rail) from just behind the aftermost shroud to the end of Pearson's original placement. Block placement depends on the size of the sail (120 to 180 percent).
    Note that the sheets for the jib go outside the first shroud and inside the next two. Genoa sheets go outside all of the shrouds. As for specific track placement, well that's often a closely guarded secret Maybe I can get some photos that will give you some ideas. And, start a "track" thread.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
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    626
    Bill:

    That is very interesting. I had assumed that the cabin top strap was for the 70% jib sheet in a real blow. Ordinarily the sheet would run through the block on the forward track to the jib clew. But in a blow, I would run the jib sheet from the strap, through a block on the clew and then back to the block on the forward track to the winch. That way the purchase on the jib sheet is doubled.

    Another theory shot to blazes.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    San Leon, Texas
    Posts
    38
    Theis,

    Interesting... Your description of what to do "in a blow" is what I have always done. My father ordered the boat without (and never installed) winches, so we needed that extra block to reduce load. That system has always worked very nicely in both light and heavy airs. Now I finally have winches, but will have to wait to install them until I do some wood working.

    Ted
    Ted Mahavier

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Posts
    626
    Ted:

    I have not had to use the 2:1 "double sheet" technique since I relaunched Solsken in 2000 - only because I have become less aggressive as to bad weather sailing and have lucked out. But I do recall using it in earlier years and was very pleased, not only with the ease of getting the sail in, but, as I recall, on those occasions when I was driving into heading seas, I could really strap the foresail in and both get a couple extra points of tack and better drive. I also seem to recall that there was significantly less flogging of the clew, i.e. it was more difficult for the sail to run wild and the clew to pound the sail and foredeck crew (if necessary) to smithereens.
    Last edited by Theis; 12-28-2002 at 08:24 PM.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    1,100
    Not to verify the dolt that I am, but what is this cabin top strap you all are refering to here. The previous owner did make some changes to 113 but I see no evidence of 'hardware past'. Any time I find a picture of one of your Ariels or Commanders I study it for days and I just don't recall seeing anything on the cabin top that I don't allready have. Of course, pictures would be helpful.
    Very sincrely, The Dolt

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Posts
    626
    We'll see if this helps. In the attached photo you can see the short track on the deck which has a block through which the jib sheet runs (notice these is a Shaeffer track, not the sail hoist type track used originally on the Ariel). The blue jack line lies somewhat over the track. The sheet goes to a block on the clew of the jib, and back to the eye shown at the forward edge of the main cabin.
    Attached Images  

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    262

    putrid puddle

    i thought it good to drag this old thread up:
    Following Mike Goodwin's advice, i got a shopvac (for only $12 at a garage sale, such a deal!) and got most of the water out. it had thawed by wed's night, but by the top had barely frozen by thurs night, though it was easily dispatched by the shopvac.

    however two things:
    1) water seemed to seep back into the puddle. this may be explained by the melting of ice, or maybe maybe there is little resivoir inbetween the lead bricks and where the keel drops off, but nonetheless, weird. of course it got me thinking about part 2.

    2) where is the "keel void" talked about by the manual? looking from the inside, i can't figure out how i am not looking at the inside of the outer skin and not the void. where is the void? is that where this water is coming from? is the sky falling? what is the meaning of life?

    now, keep in mind this hull is (supposed to be) hull #3, so the method to built a hull at the factory was likely still in a state of flux. is it possible that the first few hulls didn't have a void? maybe i just need someone more tech-savy than me to circle it on a drawing and post it.

    ok, it is resolved, i am getting a damn digital camera to take pics of this crazyness.

    <onto/soapbox>
    and for you in the VA, MD, DC, DE, and PA area, Fawcett's in annapolis is supposed to be having a big sale on saturday/sunday. i only mention it because now that there is only one huge corporate mega boat store, i feel like actively supporting this mom-and-pop establishment. and they know of which the speak on all subjects, and no pimples.
    <off/soapbox>

    km#3

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
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    2,281
    From our experience with the voids in the hull and water, we found that the laminate had collected some of the water and the voids a bunch. Water standing in the bilge tended to help fill the voids! Found that out when we were hit by a heavy rain with the boat totally stripped. The earlier boats may not have had the bilge sealed which was done because the two sides of the hull were so close together that you cannot get into the area. Pearson poured foam into the void and capped it with a layer of fiberglass. This became the bottom of the bilge. Unfortunately, it was not barrier coated and some of the water standing in the bilge will enter the void, soak the foam and enter the laminate.

    We prepped and sealed the bilge to stop the problem. If you follow the manual and drill those holes in the hull, you will likely get water to drain.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Posts
    626
    This is info for whatever it is worth, to add to the body of knowlege on this subject, as I understand the subject. With that intro I don't need a disclaimer.

    I have a drain at the bottom of the keel of Solsken, #82. Every season I pull the plug and water pours out. I can't figure where it comes from. The bilge, up to the floorboards has been meticulously covered with several coats of Gluvit, so it should be waterproof. The keel bottom has been sealed before being painted with anti-fouling paint.

    When I rehabed it, I had the boat lying on its side while I carefully repaired the bottom of the keel, and Gluvited it.

    Although there is always a modicum of water in the bilge, below the pumping level, it appears to stay at that level - although that might be presumptious. Perhaps it is filling as fast as it is going out.

    Gluvit is supposed to be flexible, and unlike fiberglass, not dependent upon whether if bonds everywhere to the surface of the bilge. So I should not be concerned about a crack. I can not believe the plug leaks (in which case, where does the air go.

    Good luck finding the monster.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,561

    Ideal bilge pumping

    PS (Vol 30, #4) features testing and rating on 27 electric bilge pumps in this issue. Since last year has anybody given more thought to what the ideal situation is for the Ariel?

    My research finds that one has a small pump at the bottom to take care of the dribbles, with a large capacity mounted up higher - to help get serious water out when needed. Pundits then say that a manual pump easy for the helmsman to use in the cockpit is necessary, and a separate manual located below in the cabin that is easy to use from a sitting position. Cruisers seem to equip themselves with a giant Edson gallon-a-stroke portable as well.

    It doesn't appear any of these pumps can be Y-valved to share a hose. That means that there is a submersible in the bottom and also 3 hose ends with their strainers and the float switch.

    Float switches PS, in their eccentric way, just ignore in their testing. Only one INternal float switch pump was tested (WM Attwood, Sahara S1100. $90.)* Of course in my eccentric way I can't understand why all bilge pumps don't have internal float switches. Can someone tell me why? [And how come no submersibles have the outflow opening out the TOP??]

    SO, the ideal installation has the bilge stuffed with pump, switch, wires an assortment of strum boxes three hoses, and little room left for bilge water and the odd sock! Besides, how is all of this going to fit in the A/C sump?

    And where do all the thruhulls go for all the outflow? Certainly, the only safe place for boats that sail on their ear is up near the toerail, Right? You don't dump bilge water in the cockpit. Correct? Doesn't this mean loops with vacuum breakers? Permanently installed manual pumps would have safety loops and anti-backflow vacuum breakers also.

    Man, that's a lotta stuff.

    I'm not ignoring what Brent, Bill, Janis, Theis, S, Airing and Skipper Jer came up with last time. Just want to continue the discussion!

    *only one I assume (since no dimensions are given in the PS test report) that can go to the bottom of the sump in 338 - there is another as big as an inverter for which PS does give measures (5"X8"x6") made by Lovett. It is vertually described as a 'rebuildable' float-switch pump that you can pull maintenance on. Sounds good to me! Depends on how easy it is to remove the strainer for cleaning. Snap off, twist off is OK, Dinky little screws, forget it. I'm leaning towards these two. to hell with a separate float switch! Oh, and thanks PS!

    Reliability is EVERYTHING with a bilge pump. PS could have a followup
    survey of pumps in use on subscribers boats. Manufacturer warranties are 1 or 3 years, but how long can you rely on your Rule 27D on the water? Is the short warrenty a suggestion that you install a new one every season!?
    Last edited by ebb; 02-02-2004 at 09:19 AM.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Posts
    626
    I have two bilge pumps with two separate sets of hoses and outlets - totally independent systems

    The electric one is a Rule (the biggest), the pump and float switch located at the bottom aft end of the bilge, the float switch facing forward. The flexible hose runs under the floor underneath the cockpit through the top of the starboard aft bulkhead and down through the bottom of the boat just forward of the transom (it can't be easily seen from the stern and is facing down) At the highest point of the hose, just under the deck and immediately aft of the bulkhead, I put an anti-siphon hole in the tube, and a small neoprene tube which directs any water that comes out into the motor well.

    The second one, a Whale Gusher as I recall, is mounted in the aft end of the cockpit on the side of the port bench, just underneath the bench top. The outlet goes directly into the motor well (there is no through hull). The inlet is adjacent to and immediately aft of the Rule pump.

    The Whale I use for small amounts of fluid (like when a beer can breaks or some dummy - like me - inadvertently leaves the hatch open in a rain storm). The Rule pump is for larger amounts of water (like when - oops, I appear to have a problem), or when I clean out the bilge.

    I use the Rule float switch to turn off the pump, but do not use it to automatically turn on the pump. I have a manual switch in the switch panel for that. The reason is that if I have enough water in the bilge to trigger the big pump, I want to know about it.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    1,100
    Theis-what about when you are not with the boat? Do you leave the Rule 'on the ready' incase a slow leak develops or some other event occurs that causes a minor leak? Obviously a blown scupper hose would quickly drain the battery bank and unless some kind and caring individual stepped in at first notice of a constantly running bilge pump she'd probably sink at the dock.
    which-
    leads me to believe that you should never leave your boat-Ebb-since you'll spend much, much more time on your craft maybe more than one hand operated bilge pump hooked in concert with the same pump lever would be the way to go for primary pump. Save the the battery for more important things, radio and lights. That way each direction of the stroke would move water overboard. I dunno-just a thought. Tony G

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