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Thread: Bilge Pump Discussions

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Sounds like you had one of a day.

    The two places to look:

    1. There is a one by something beam that forms the bottom of the motor well running perpendicular to the hull line. The plywood bulkead is attached to the forward edge of the beam. The assembly has a layer of fiberlass over it in the motorwell. However, if the water gets between the panels and the beam at the bottom, it can bypass the fiberblass barrier. As I recall, I think I drilled some holes and filled the gap between the two (going down to the hull) with resin. That seam not seems to be secure (how about that for a pun?)

    The second was at the top of the bulkhead panel in the corner ( in my case on the port side). I found it not with a flashlight, but with a hose pressed up against where the deck and the bulkhead meet. That was really obtuse and hard to fix, requiring some routing out of the glass to get to the pin hole. I now almost have it, but this past weekend noticed a bit of water trickling in. The answer will largely lie in whether the water comes in with just the motor running (the boat is relatively level but the engine well flooded - in which case the leak is from below - or when the boat is healed, regardless of whether the boat is under power (in which case the problem is at the deck seam.

    Good luck but fix it. The fix makes a more relaxed sail for you and your friends.

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Santa Cruz, California
    Dear C Amos,

    I came screaming back home from sea in on broad reach one windy afternoon, I had last been below to consult my chart plotter and all was dry below. I had been on deck for only about a half hour, when I went below to find my shoes floating around in the water that was sloshing around the cabin sole. I later replaced my bilge pump hose, installed an anti-siphon loop and plug etc. etc., but this phenomena occured once again to a lesser extent.

    With one of my trusty nephews manning the tiller, I crawled down in the seat locker to discover that on a broad reach the considerable water that enters the lazarette through the OB well on a broad reach was sloshing high enough to send about a cup of water squirting through the electrical wire holes in the lazarette bulkhead at each slosh. I was lying below in the cockpit locker watching Old Faithful erupt every time the water in the lazarette locker sloshed. This story is further described in my earlier post on this thread.

    You stated,

    "Ariel Sprit’s lazarette only has a floor on one side, not all the way across like Faith. The holes for wires and the like were all pretty high up on the bulkhead so I doubt the water was coming in there."

    The wire holes through the lazarette bulkhead on "Augustine" were very high up on th ebulkhead also, but that did not prohibit the filling of my bilge in an alarmingly short time. The opening had been taped, but all of that water was squeezing through nonetheless. I removed the ancient Loran antenna wire on the starboard side, and repaired the bulkhead with epoxy. I used a water tight through-bulkhead fitting on the port side navigation light wires. That stopped the leak.
    Last edited by Scott Galloway; 06-14-2006 at 01:49 PM.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Pensacola, FL
    Thank you both for the replies.

    The wire holes through the lazarette bulkhead on "Augustine" were very high up on th ebulkhead also, but that did not prohibit the filling of my bilge in an alarmingly short time. The opening had been taped, but all of that water was squeezing through nonetheless. I removed the ancient Loran antenna wire on the starboard side, and repaired the bulkhead with epoxy. I used a water tight through-bulkhead fitting on the port side navigation light wires. That stopped the leak.
    I got it. I understand that the lazarette bulkhead must be pretty much water tight all the way up to, and including the joint to the deck.

    I will talk to Ariel Spirit's new Captain, and revisit the lazarrette aboard 'Faith' also.

    Thanks for your help.

    s/v 'Faith'

    1964 Ariel #226
    Link to our travels on Sailfar.net

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    middle earth

    check this out

    the water may also have come from the rudder post shaft.especially when porpoising up and down in any kind of sea way.I had that happen on many boats----especially while motoring.it has also come to mind that it may be a bad idea to store any outboard horizonally on its side---probably best to keep uprite at all times----as the rolling action of any boat may tend to allow any remaining seawater from a lower unit to find its way somewhere into the power head----rendering it useless when needed most.also all the inspection you can do at the hull/deck seem may result in not finding any leaks.however these boats are in fact flexible---after being under way for any length of time---be it a day or 40 days---these hulls will flex over time---resulting in a hull/deck deficit not seen before.
    Last edited by eric (deceased); 06-18-2006 at 07:46 PM.

  5. #110
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Pensacola, FL

    Arrow Bilge dewatering set up

    THis is from a post I made on the Sailfar.net site earlier this year. My system has evolved as I installed it, the first part (above the line) was from June.

    Bilge pumps
    After a good storm on the Chesapeake earlier this year, I was reminded of the value of a good bilge pumping system.

    Of course we know there is no better bilge pump then 'a scared Sailor with a bucket', but I am not a huge fan of that system since it is tough to sail and bail at the same time.

    The boat I was on had a small (500 GPH) electric pump in the bilge, and a manual pump mounted where it could be operated from the cockpit. The leak was not a big one, but when I discovered it the floor boards were floating, so there was a fair amount of water to get rid of.

    Issue 1). Electronic switches.
    The electric pump’s automatic switch was one of the fancy ‘solid state’ ones. It of course failed. It was the second failure of one of these ‘foolproof’ solid state switches I have personally delt with. The first was on an Alberg 30 I have been keeping an eye on. For my boat there will be nothing but good old mercury float switches.

    Issue 2). Redundant redundancy.
    The smallish electronic bilge pump was not able to remove the water fast enough for my liking. I have a similar sized pump on my boat, and it works fine for normal underway splashes that wind up in the bilge, but it was out of it’s league. Even if it were larger, the manual switch had taken it out of the running. It also eventually clogged while clearing the bilge (you just have to turn it off, and the backflow of water mostly clears it). The manual bilge pump, a Bosworth Guzzler, (400 I think) had nearly cleared the bilge when the flapper valve either failed or was jammed with debris.

    The ‘thirsty mate’ slide type pump then had to be used to finish clearing the bilge.The Guzzler is a good pump, but like anything else it can (and will) fail when you need it. I was glad that the thirsty mate pump worked, since it would be hard to get a bucket into the narrow bilge access.

    The plan for my boat was to be set up like this one had been. I have now decided add another pump (triple redundancy, quadruple if you count the thirsty mate pump). I will keep my < 500 GPH pump at the lowest point of my bilge. I will also add a >1000 GPH pump at a higher place in the bilge to take over if the first pump becomes clogged, overwhelmed or fails. I have already purchased a ‘plastimo 925’ manual pump that I will mount in the cockpit.

    If you have an inboard, you might look at using the cooling pump as an extra means of removing water. Consider this carefully though, as running your motor dry, or sucking debris into the cooling system might complicate your situation.

    Issue 3). Bilge hygiene.
    Both of the pump failures I experienced were the result of trash in the bilge. I hose my bilge out regularly on ‘Faith’ but it is easier to keep clean since it is well glassed and accessible.

    Issue 4). Awareness.
    Of course this would not have been as pressing a problem if I had known earlier that the bilge was filling. This boat had a high bilge water alarm, but it failed. I plan to wire an extra float switch to the ‘test’ button of a smoke detector, to notify me if the water rises. The smoke alarm will still function, so it will do double duty. It should also be loud enough that if it went on while the boat was at the dock and I was not present, someone might hear it and know something was wrong.

    It would also work to keep the bilge access open if you are in bad wx, but that might present a hazard to crew going below.

    I know this is a long post, but floating floor boards are enough to ruin your whole day. My First mate did great through the storm, the waves and wind did not seem to phase her, even the lightning did not bother her all that much. Looking below and seeing all that water was a bit much, and I will admit it is something I would rather not repeat myself. Maybe this will remind someone to re-visit your dewatering system.

    __________________________________________________ ________________

    Since starting this thread, I ended up going with a little different set up.

    First is an Atwood Sahara 750 GPH pump. It is mounted at the lowest point of the bilge with an internal float switch. It handles the normal splashes that come into the bilge. It draws 2.8a running under load, and with the >3' head pumps an honest 450 GPH. (it replaced my 490 gph pump).

    Second, I looked at a bunch of pumps for a larger capacity back up... Ended up with a Rule 'Gold' 2000 GPH pump. It was pricey, but I liked the way it was built. It is mounted just aft of the Atwood, and slightly higher. It is also pumping a head of >3' so I get something like 1500 GPH out of it.

    These two pumps running together should go for something like 10 hours on my current battery. I would more realistically expect something less then that but plan to double the capacity of the battery bank next spring.

    Then there is the Plastimo 925 manual pump that I will mount in the cockpit. It is rated at 60 GPH, but I guess that has more to do with how fast I pump it. It wants a 1" hose, which I am having some trouble finding in the crush resistant hose…. but I will work out something.

    Slightly different model, looks the same though

    Then there are two of the Thirsty mate pumps aboard. (one of the 18" and one of the 36")

    They don’t take up much space, and are easy to grab and run to go help someone else out.

    Then (for that whole scared Sailor thing) there is always my ‘Bacon & associates’ 7l Rubber bucket. (I love this thing, has a great handle, and slightly flexes….. wonderful bucket!

    s/v 'Faith'

    1964 Ariel #226
    Link to our travels on Sailfar.net

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA
    sometimes wonder if I should chime in as I don't want to appear as a know-it-all or a constant loud-mouth. So here goes just to push it along summore. These are taken from my notes as I do not have my bilge pump system installed. I apologize for any repititions!

    Electrics: Good connections. Use Ancor adhesive lined heat shrink crimp connectors. Have another piece of shrink wrap on the wire and after the above has cooled shrink that one over it all.
    Best wire. Use ONLY insulated duplex tinned multi-strand wire that is sized for voltage drop based on how long the run is (remember, it's TWICE as long) and the pump amp draw.
    Set the system up for auto with manual overide. Wire bilge pumps directly to battery so that when you hit the battery selector switch when leaving the boat no matter what it says on the switch the boat is still protected.
    Include a hidden total kill switch so pumps won't cycle when the boat is out of the water.
    Constant cycling can be a battery drain fiasco. Bats have to be hooked up to a charger and/or solar panel. This is addressed on the whole system agenda. Trickle-charger?
    Don't over-stress the pumps. Use recommended size hose. Keep the head as short as is safe. Reduce length of hose to the loop. Off the shelf loop vents can clog and cause siphoning. Check valves restrict pumping capacity and are frowned on by nearly everybody including insurors.
    Make sure exit is as high above the waterline as possible and is protected with a seacock.
    Use Trident 147/148 smooth ID wall hose, NOT corrugated hose from the marine store.
    Use 100% 316 hose clamps. Make sure all parts of the clamp is s.s. The best clamps have a smooth/solid band that is not sliced. Sandvic?

    Source all leaks coming into the boat.

    Put the smaller pump in the low position. It will take care of incidental water and is cheaper to replace. Mount it high enough so it won't continuously cycle because of hose water run back. Put the high capacity pump switch higher in the keel-sump so that it is used only in emergencys. Helps save an expensive pump.
    Use UNCOVERED Rule super switches so that you can lift them out of the sump to SEE if they are working.
    Use the manual pump to lower the water level in the sump. Save the electric.

    There are threads here that discuss A/C leak sources.
    Planning to take the boat offshore creates a way more intense level of leak protection. Some things requiring upgrading have been talked about on the forum. Make sure that what you might have to depend on is actually working. Checklist.
    Investigate mounting the pumps to King-starboard or other plastic to make it easily removable so sump can be cleaned if necessary and pumps replaced or cleaned. Float and super switches same thing. To keep them in place in a crowded keel-sump. 338's sump may have to have non-submersible pumps.
    Flex-impeller (non-submersible pumps) will burn up if run dry, have good head but way less capacity. Research how long a 'submersible' can be run out of water, ie, with a short hose into the bilge???
    Attwood pumps DO NOT USE TINNED WIRE in their connecting wires.

    Check out Snake River Electronics' "Bilge Buddy Pump Control" that senses water level in bilge without floats and can be set so rapid pump cycling can't occur.
    Carry whole pumps as spares.
    Submersible pumps are 'throwaways'. Most have a one year warranty. Seasonal maintenance could include replacing the bilge pump with a new one.

    No manual pump can keep up with a 1" hole located two feet below the waterline. Nor can you depend on the largest electric Rule to keep up with a gusher like that! Have access to all parts of the hull. Carry a sailcloth hole-diaper as well.
    Last edited by ebb; 10-08-2010 at 10:59 AM.

  7. #112
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pembroke Ontario Canada
    2 quick comments....Craig-LOVE the pale !! Ebb-post away....we'd all miss your 'loud mouth' if not here !!

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Pensacola, FL

    more bilge pump stuff.....

    Had an experience with another boat today that made this thread very timely.

    Quote Originally Posted by ebb View Post
    .....Good connections. Use Ancor adhesive lined heat shrink crimp connectors. Have another piece of shrink wrap on the wire and after the above has cooled shrink that one over it all.
    One advantage of the 'shallow bilge' on #226 is that by placing both pumps under the sink, they are both in the deepest part of the bilge, and close enough to the electrical panel to run the leads directly off of the pumps and the switch for the Rule, to a dedicated terminal block. I like to remove the cover off of a crimp connector, and crimp the bare terminal directly on to the wire. I then solder the crimped part of the connection, and heat shrink over the soldered end. This seals the end of the wire and the end of the crimp where the ends of the wires would normally be exposed is sealed with solder. I wired my old MG this way, and never had another electrical problem... no small feat for an MG

    Set the system up for auto with manual overide. Wire bilge pumps directly to battery so that when you hit the battery selector switch when leaving the boat no matter what it says on the switch the boat is still protected.
    I don't have a battery selector switch, but have the 750GPH pump on a selector switch where I can pump it manually or set it to automatic. (standard DPDT switch, with rule cover plate).

    The 2000GPH pump is hardwired through the mercury switch. It does not share the same fuse as the other pump.

    THe need for redundant wiring was made apparent just this afternoon. An Alberg 30 that is in my marina, that I watch of an out of town friend was noticed to be sitting low in the stern......

    ... she had had her floor boards floating once before when... the 'solid state' switch had failed. I had pumped her out and rigged a temporary spare float switch. When the owner came down, I recommended he consider a second pump, mounted higher then the other.

    He mounted a rule 1500, on it's own float switch slightly higer then the smaller pump.

    I was surprised today to look below and find the floor boards floating again...

    I checked the power, it was on. I checked the battery status, it was good..... I then reached for the power cable for the lower pump. When I pulled on it to raise the pump, the pump started to run. It turns out he had connected both pumps through the same power wire, and there was a bad connection through the terminal that connected it to the battery.

    Fixing the connection brought both pumps to life.

    Check out Snake River Electronics' "Bilge Buddy Pump Control" that senses water level in bilge without floats and can be set so rapid pump cycling can't occur.
    I do not believe that the rapid cycling is as much of a problem in practice on our boats as it may be where longer runs of hose are necessary.

    The Rule switches, as I would expect most, are balanced so that they have a 'tipping point' where the water has to rise to a given height (say 2") before they turn on, but don't turn off until the water is below some much lower level (like 1/2 or 3/4"). I have read where some see the water that is contained in the hose flowing back into the bilge when the power is turned off and cycling the pump back on. The quart or two held in the hoses are not enough to come anywhere near raining the water high enough to 'tip' the floats back on.

    As for solid state switches.... my experiences with electronics are that if it can fail, it will..... I have personally seen two of these 'better mouse traps' that have failed.

    ......No manual pump can keep up with a 1" hole located two feet below the waterline. Nor can you depend on the largest electric Rule to keep up with a gusher like that! Have access to all parts of the hull. Carry a sailcloth hole-diaper as well.
    Agree, have my tapered plugs, quick set underwater epoxy, and rubber tarp patch all where I can get at em...

    sometimes wonder if I should chime in as I don't want to appear as a know-it-all or a constant loud-mouth....
    I appreciate it ebb. Your opinions are well reasoned and insightful... I hope anyone gets a tenth as much from my ramblings as I have from yours.

    s/v 'Faith'

    1964 Ariel #226
    Link to our travels on Sailfar.net

  9. #114
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Manchester, MA

    Electric Bilge Pump Mout position

    My Whale pump failed and I was faced with draining the bilge so I now own a 800 GPH pump. It and one of my 12V 25A supplies did a great job. (I keep trying to tell my wife there a few advantages to being a radio amateur)

    So the question arises: How and where to mount the electric pump in my Commander? Do I just place as far down as I can through the first undercockpit access hatch. It appears as though that it where the pickup for the Whale is located. Or do I insert as far as I can aft through the aft hatch in the cabin? Then I can find an easier way to run the electrical.

    I am on the hard. I hope others are enjoying the fresh breezes we are having here in New England.

    WA1JG for the curious
    John G.
    Commander No 287

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    Pumps on a 'pull board'

    I have two Shurflo* submersible bilge pumps that are going to get mounted to a leftover piece of 3/8" polycarbonate that will be positioned nearly vertical in A338's tiny narrow sump - which is right at the end of the glassed over encapsulated ballast under the bridgedeck.
    I will, like others have done, put the tiny 3.75Amp 1000 pump at the bottom of the board and the humongous 8Amp 1500 pump about 9 inches above it.
    As you know, the theory is that the little one will do 99% of the work and take care of piddlly stuff - and is cheaper to replace. The big one supposedly will move a lot more, more rapidly, and probably no where near enough in a real crisis.
    There is room in the sump, barely.
    The Shurflo pumps are modeled differently as to where the outlet hose is oriented.
    But I think there is a way to get both hoses pointed aft while attached to the pull-board.
    And there are no intuitive attachment points on the pumps for mounting.
    It's possible that hose clamps could be used to strap the pumps to the board.
    Each strainer can be attached to something flat underneath, but disengaging the two spring latches that hold the strainer on to the pump body is a problem - even on the midget.
    Therefore designing someway that both pumps can be pulled up out of the sump is necessary.
    While this sounds right, doing it with attached hoses and wires is a problem.
    There can't be any swags in the hose as that limits 'head', so there isn't a possibility of extra hose length that would allow the pump array to be brought into a convenient position - like for unscrewing hose clamps, or clearing the strainers. And also for plain open access to the sump for cleaning.

    I had to go with WaterWitch electronic buttons because there is no room for float switches in the sump OR on the board.
    Anybody have success with WaterWitch?

    Both pumps have 1 1/8" ID hose outlets.
    It's a bit of an odd size and limits choices. At least I found that to be the case with Trident hose, your better known marine hose.

    I ordered a custom length of Trident 1471180 Bilge/Livewell hose from pyacht. Clear with spiral black reinforcement. 1/8" wall.
    I choose this because of the warranty and the specs said "no cuffs required."
    When I opened the well SEALED shipping carton I was literally bowled over by the pungent, sweet, chemical smell!!!! Talk about Haz Mat!
    Vinyl (PVC) hose, if it smells, is outgassing toxiins.
    These are plasticisers called phthalates and have been poisoning people for years.
    Phthalates mimic hormones and infiltrate our endocrine system.

    So I wrote a letter to Mr Shields at dnshields@tridentmarine.com over a week ago. Asked him why would I put this crap down inside my boat?
    I don't expect a reply.

    If he did he would point out Trident has an alternative polyethylene hose of 1 1/8" ID that has cuffs every foot or so. Probably could have dealt with that. P. is relitively benign and probably has no odor at all.
    Recommend you look into it.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    *Shurflo - Rule - Whale - Attwood - Jabsco -Johnson - Seachoice.
    I went with Shurflo because there seems to be less !%^#$@!! about this brand on the web.
    Maybe all these submersibles are 'throwaway' pumps, as one cruiser called his (Rule) pumps,
    but Shurflo has a good warranty and forum-talk dependability.
    Seasonal maintenance for the cruiser includes replacing ALL his bilge pumps. Not in my budget!
    Dependable is a good word for a pump that lives half forgotten in the bowels of a boat.

    If this installation works out, I'll carry spares of the 3-year Shurflo 1000 (355-100-00)
    It takes at lot less water to sink a small boat like the Ariel. So getting it out really is a matter of efficiency and speed.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    Forespar has a Marelon 1 1/8" vented loop (#903009). 1 1/8" barbed thru-hull (#906070)
    Don't think Defender has these. VISA order direct from Forespar, 1-949-858-8820.
    There is a brief 'Vented Loop' tutorial in Forespar's Tech Tips.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    I think I will exit the large bilge pump HIGH UP through the topsides (not sure where yet - as ready access to the hose on the thru-hull fitting is extremely important imco. Vented loop access also! But I'm seriously presuaded that the bottom pump can exit into the cockpit under the seat - with no anti-siphon needed. This would allow a relatively short hose and a visual on what's happening.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    way later EDIT (10/11) finally got pictures - if you go to ebb's photo gallery page
    there is a photo of the pull board and some of its installation in the bilge: post #387
    Last edited by ebb; 06-02-2014 at 09:25 AM.

  11. #116
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    Bill Shields - President of Trident Rubber Inc - replys

    Dear Mr Borregaard,
    First I wish to apologise for the delay in responding to your email of 16 Dec.2010.
    This was forwarded to me while I was out of the country, but I didn't see it till this past Wednesday.

    We appreciate your choice of Trident Marine XHD Bilge & Livewell Hose (#147-1180) for use in one or both applications on your sailboat.
    I trust that you be be comforted to know that this and our other PVC hoses contain no "DEHP, BBP, DIDP, DaDP" or any other dirivatives or phltalates that are listed or known (domestically and internationally) to cause toxicity in humans or the environment.
    Therefore, there is no reason or requirement to place warning labels on these hoses.
    In regards to your concerns, I respectfully refer you to the web site **
    for further information on this subject. I found it very informative.
    Please accept my assurance that the quality and safety of our products are our highest priority, and are the base upon which we have built our business and reputation.

    Like many other materials used in hoses (rubber comes to mind easily), new PVC hoses typically have a distinct plastic odor which does not indicate toxicity.
    The odor generally disapates relatively quickly in use.
    This hose is very widely used throughout the boat building, repair yard, and consumer markets, and this is the first odor complaint that we have received in our 25 years in business.
    While I believe this hose was the better choice for your application, if you and/or your crew find the odor to be unduly offensive, you may return it to Trident (alog with proof of purchase).
    We will replace it with the cuffed polyethylene bilge hose. at no charge.

    Best Regards and Happy New Year,
    Bill Shields - President
    Trident Rubber Inc.
    585 Plum Run Road
    Canonsburg, PA15317

    [** "The Phthalates Information Centre Europe is an initiative of the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI)"
    It looks to me like Bill Shields' "very informative" reading material is generated straight out of the plastics industry. So, as usual, it's not WHAT the words say but WHO is saying them.
    AND so often, what is left out - what is not said.]
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    flipping on a simple search of the web:
    "Dangers of PVC (#3) Plastics, March 18, 2005
    According to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice PVC production fuses vinyl chloride molecules with toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, which are added as plasticizers and stabilizers.
    Because of the chemical properties of chlorine, the by products of PVC production tend to be far more toxic, more persistent in the environment, and more likely to build up in the food supply
    and the bodies of people
    than otherwise similar chemicals that do not contain chlorine.
    PVC is the only major plastic that contains chlorine, so it is unique in the hazards it cretaes.

    In use, the toxic substances added to soften or stabilize the plastic do not bind to the toy, bottle or other product and are therefore prone to leaching. When your child or pet chews on a plastic PVC toy, for example, they can be ingesting these chemicals. One such chemical, DEHP, has been designated a "probable carcinogen" by the EPA."

    I looked, maybe not persistantly, for an MSDS on the Trident PVC hose.
    Perhaps it isn't required by the EPA. And to be told that in 25 years nobody has complained of the odor must show how COMPLACENT the proletariat has become - how NUMB we have become to the toxins in our lives.
    That there are no 'warning labels' on PVC hose
    may be more due to corporate ethics and an ineffectual and politicized EPA
    than a "typical distinct plastic odor" (read common unregulated chemicals) that we accept as mildly annoying perfume. Or even find sexy as the smell of a new car interior.

    I doubt that warning labels appear on any of the thousands of products that have been chewed by kids or pets. Nevertheless, the odor emitting from Trident PVC hose is a gas, and while this VOC, Volatile Organ Compound, will reduce after a while - it still is installed in a semi-closed air space. Bill Shields belittles the smell by comparing it with rubber smells.
    However, most synthetic rubber is NOT made with chlorine and heavy metals.
    We take the president of Trident at his word.
    I don't believe there is an evironmentally friendly, or NO VOC PVC, product made by any corporation in this country.*
    ALL PVC PRODUCTS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE. So far as I know - tell me it isn't so!
    Every teething ring and plastic bag and credit card and plastic pipe and bilge hose made of PVC goes to the landfill where it stays for 10,000 years
    and the chemicals continue to leach out and comtaminate our aquifers. Mega tons of plastic fragments contaminate gyres in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    *Metaphorically: FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN
    Last edited by ebb; 01-03-2011 at 12:19 PM.

  12. #117
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I don't trust centrifugal pumps as my primary pump. The primary (pump at the lowest level of the bilge) doesn't need to be large, but it activates most often, and it IMHO needs to be a self-priming diaphragm pump that's insensitive to dips in the discharge line, and not stopped by mud, strands of hair, and other debris that collect there in concentration. There's nothing more discouraging than hearing your pump whirring away, discharging your battery, with no water coming out the discharge. And it's important to be able to actually see the discharge so you know it's working! Therefore, the discharge should be someplace that's visible at any degree of heel and without standing on your head. That eliminates the stern and both sides. There are only two places left: the engine port and the cockpit.

    My primary pump is a Whale Bilge IC Automatic Remote Mounted Bilge Kit. It is expensive, for its GPH rating it uses more current than a centrifugal pump, and pumps only 300 GPH -- but it's reliable (your heart is a form of diaphragm pump). The intake/sensor head is at the lowest point in the bilge. That pump keeps the water level in my bilge to an amount that I can completely remove with three squeezes from a large sponge. The discharge is into the cockpit. Why? That's the shortest length from my mounting point just inside the starboard locker and -- it's impossible to not notice it's running from the cockpit. Water in the cockpit cannot drain back into the cabin because the pump has one-way valves (essential for its operation - just like inside your heart). Yeah, sometimes my shoes and pant legs get wet. I don't have an audible alarm on this pump because it activates frequently and an alarm freaks out my passengers (and disturbs my sleep if a little rain gets inside). I have a timer, a flashing LED, and a timer reset switch. I have seen many implementations of counters on bilge pumps. I have never understood why anyone would use a counter instead of a timer. Did the pump run once for one minute, or once for a week? There's a huge difference!

    I have a small leak from the engine compartment into the cabin that I have spent many hours trying to locate (any clues anyone?) that admits water whenever the water level reaches the top of the engine port - which is just about anytime I was underway with good speed. So, I added a small centrifugal pump in the little well (bilge?) forward of the engine port. It's screwed down to a brick. It too stays very busy. That pump, and my two backup pumps in the bilge, discharge to the engine port. The backup pumps are a Rule 2000 and Rule 3700 pump, that activate progressively as the water level rises. Both have a float switch and an electronic Water Witch switch wired in parallel, and both have wake-the-dead loud alarms. They have never activated except during testing. I strongly recommend testing centrifugal pumps with a garden hose into the bilge -- the slightest dip in the discharge hose or strand of hair will prevent them from working.

    My Ariel has only three through-hulls: the two cockpit drains and the tube for the rudder shaft. I'd eliminate those if I could figure out how. My depth sounder/water speed sensor is mounted to an oak plank that extends from the engine port. The two illegal head through-hulls have been removed and glassed in -- one of the nifty expensive bronze ball valves leaked around the ball seam and nearly sank my boat one windy night in the middle of the Bay - thank goodness for my wetsuit and plumber's epoxy putty that I had to stuff in from the outside. The sink hose has also been sealed since I discovered, after getting pooped offshore, that a full cockpit turns the sink into a secondary cockpit drain, i.e., water shoots into the cabin from the sink.

    Through-hulls below the water line are evil and imperil the boat, and adding them for bilge pump discharges seems like a contradiction in objectives.
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    Last edited by pbryant; 07-25-2014 at 09:32 AM.

  13. #118
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Portland, OR
    I have a Commander and can easily find the Bidge access 1, 2, and 3. I don't see an access hatch for #4. I have the model without the inboard...have an outboard in the well.

    The batteries for my electrical system seem to be where access 4 is. I moved the batteries and don't see an access hatch. Do some Commanders not have that access point?

    thanks, mike

  14. #119
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
    I not sure what you are looking for. I have three openings in the cabin sole: one forward of the compression post and two aft of the post. That's all I know of. You can see all the way to the bottom of the bilge from the third opening.

    I've seen several locations for batteries in various Commanders. The terminal strip is usually (not always) on the starboard side mounted on the interior of cockpit wall. I originally found my battery in the starboard cockpit locker just aft of the terminal strip. I've seen them under the cockpit floor behind the wall between the cabin and the stern. To me both those locations made the batteries hard to move and service. I relocated mine to a battery box in the cabin under the bridge deck just aft of the ladder. I have it strapped to the wall. It puts it low and centered in the boat and is easy to get too when needed.

    Does this help?

  15. #120
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Portland, OR
    Thanks SkipperJer,
    In my question I was trying to ask about the existence of "Bilge access 4" in the attached diagram that I thought you posted. What you described in your note is the same kind of Bilge access I have: One hatch in front of the compression post and two aft of the post. But in the diagram there is a 4th access which I can't find on my boat and it sounds like you don't have either. So why is it in the diagram?

    My farthest aft bilge access is only about 10 inches deep. It sounds like with yours you can see deeper into the keel. I wonder if someone just sealed mine. I often get water in it...I think it is leaking form above...so I'm reading about bilge pumps and searching for leaks.

    I appreciate you comments on the battery. Mine are under the cockpit floor and I like your placement better.

    thanks, mike
    Last edited by Commander152; 11-27-2018 at 03:13 PM.

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