How much water in the bilge is normal?

seguirseguir Toronto Ontario CanadaPosts: 120Member ✭✭✭

This is my first Rinker (280 Rinker EC).   I had a small boat before, and my bilge was always dry.  But I have notice (more after a rain fall) that my bilge has about a gallon of water in it not enough it start the bilge pump.  I can't figure where it is coming in from.   Is it normal to have water in the bilge?  Is it to much to expect a dry bilge?

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Comments

  • brianluckbrianluck baltimore marylandPosts: 174Member ✭✭✭
    When ever I wash my boat water is funneled into my bilge via the hatch covers
    1994 300fv "General Madness"
  • bat32bat32 Posts: 161Member ✭✭✭
    On my boat the cover is obviously not water proof and the rain water is channeled into the bilge.  I would say it is normal.

     

  • PartsManPartsMan Posts: 130Member ✭✭✭
    I have the same amount. I have issues and can't stand knowing water is in the bilge. After rain I take a shop vac and suck the water out.
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,070Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know on my 342, water gets in from wash/rain through the blower vents.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • BoatAwayBoatAway DCPosts: 169Member ✭✭✭

    some water is normal. what's not normal is the reaction to the water, as you've read in this thread. some people never notice and leave it, others dry it out with infant diapers till it's powder dry.

    I leave whatever the pump can't get out before each ride. Meaning I'll manually turn the pump on when I get to the boat and it'll usually pump out about half a gallon or so (auto-on is set a little higher up than the lowest the pump will reach)

  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker Palmetto, FLPosts: 291Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2013

    I often so what BoatAway does, pump the water out with the manual switch to its minimum.  But here is what made mine an issue and I did not take it seriously until I had a battery cable develop a pinhole leak in its insulation and corrode in two.  All the DC power wiring that crossed the bilge was laying in the bottom of the boat so it was always in the water.  While I was getting the corroded wire replaced, I had all this wiring raised to the top of the engine room where it should have been in the first place.

    I have never been able to keep a dry bilge but with that fix, I do not think it matters much if one pays attention to engine room ventilation to keep the humidity down.  Once in a while I will raise the engine hatch a few inches but more often I will run the bilge blowers for a few hours.

    Just one boaters ideas.

     

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

    Post edited by TonyWalker on
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,260Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    Our engine hatch has a very shallow trough that is easily overwhelmed in a downpour. I had considered using an "L" shaped strip of garage door rubber to mate at the lid/trough but was distracted by happy hour. Still may get to that because these gensets suffer from water over running onto the control box $$$. 

    As BD mentioned, the blower vents are also a prime candidate but are less of a concern to me. Personally I'm stored on a trailer with the boat "almost" (arch is 6" too high, arrg) fully inside my shop but still keep my travel cover on with the boat tilted up and the drain plug out....AND I shop vac the bilge (as PM mentioned) ...AND vac the shower sump. yeah it's OCD but I'm effectively treating it with Rum therapy. ;)

    Good luck in your quest for a dry bilge. As BA said, some of us have it worse than others. Weather strip the engine hatch trough, change the vent covers to something with a bit of a rain shield and make sure the shower sump is pumping consistently(good luck with that) and you should be golden.

    Have a great season, Mike

    The rear end of ours is still in the rain...Contemplating a hinged arch but constantly get bogged down with reality.

    image

    Post edited by TikiHut2 on
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 996Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    well, probably not much more to say, but I get the rain water as well.  I'm one that uses the shop vac cause the stale water can start to stink if left long.  Gives me reason to enjoy my favorite room on the boat, engine room. ;)

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • PartsManPartsMan Posts: 130Member ✭✭✭
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,260Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    PM, Yeah, Yeah whatta matronly nancy. ;)

    Navy blue gelcoat in the tropics was/is a buffing challenge/nightmare for the previous owner so he worked a deal from his canvas shop to build side skirts......and then he sold the boat to us. It's a lotta canvas but they work like a charm in our brutally endless summers. Definitely worth the 10mins it takes to hang them on after using the boat. Now if I could just get the whole thing inside I'd hike that skirt.

    DI, Fav room = engine room   lol
    Post edited by TikiHut2 on
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • Lifes GoodLifes Good Posts: 303Member ✭✭✭
    Definitely a dry bilge. I have been able find all the rain water leaks.  One was a port hole the others along the rub rails. Wash or rain she is bone dry now. I am in salt and if there is water in the bridge it better be fresh otherwise I have a bigger problem. I am with Dream Inn.... Can't stand the musty smell!
  • BoatAwayBoatAway DCPosts: 169Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    TikiHut2 said:
     
    The rear end of ours is still in the rain...Contemplating a hinged arch but constantly get bogged down with reality.

     

    have you thought of something like this retractable awning? might be easier than messing with the boat...

    image

    Post edited by BoatAway on
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,260Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    Thanks BA, love the awning but the Admiral may balk at the idea of a sweet awning on my old shop/barn. Ah yes, the things we'll do for a dry bilge.

    PM, I just need a running start to wedge it in.   *-:)
    Post edited by TikiHut2 on
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Posts: 169Member ✭✭
    My mooring cover is not tight around the Bimini poles and water definitely gets in. The camper canvas is better but I still get dripping water where the side panels connect to the inside of the radar arch. What's more annoying than bilge water to me is water gets below the port side seating storage compartment. I need to figure out a way to divert the drippage to where it hits before the interior ridge on the gunwale.
  • seguirseguir Toronto Ontario CanadaPosts: 120Member ✭✭✭

    Now I am unsure if it is just rain water.   I thought I had it all dried out, then the next day when I checked.... I still find a small amount down there.   I am hoping it is just residual rain water from the last rain fall.  But I am now unsure.    I like the cover ideal, however can’t do it at the marina where we are keeping out boat.

  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker Palmetto, FLPosts: 291Member ✭✭✭

    craigs,

    It sounds like you might have a 342 when you describe the port side storage compartment.  My management fix is to keep a catch bucket under the part where the straight cushion butts up against the curved one.  It is at that gap where most of my water enters.  The bucket catches most but not all of it.  Enough though that it is worth having it there.

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,070Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I chased a leak for a few years. Finally watched it fill at launch. Not a comfy feeling. The bilge drain plug was tight, but the whole assembly was poorly sealed at the hull. One more problem solved!

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,260Member ✭✭✭✭


    BA, good point on the drain plug housing.  :-bd   I'd forgotten about the post on the old RBO from someone who had the housing fall out when putting in the drain plug. The housing screws had rotted out and a tiny amount of caulking was the only thing keeping them from disaster.

    I check mine regularly after that post. Thanks for the reminder. Hope your post saves someone else. 
    Mike

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 996Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭

    well, just to keep this post alive, :-@ , after a nice weekend tied on the hook, on my way back and throttling down I noticed my bilge light kicked on.  I do not like the looks of that, especially since on my prior boat I've seen a couple different times with a hose that came off. 

    Well, everything looked fine and nothing was sprayed and no leaks from the engine.  I talked with a dockmate that has a 390 and he said that he gets about the same each weekend to run it as well & it comes from some seeping in the bolts in the transom and some in the mid-cabin bilge from the A/C.  I might need to start investigating a bit more. Gonna be out on the boat for 10 days, so I'll get to really check it out!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • kneedeepkneedeep Berkley, ma, go to newport, ri mostlyPosts: 88Member ✭✭✭
    I have a hose leaking - a pretty constant, quick drip - under the engine, I'm guessing this hose was disconnected when the marina changed the impeller. Tightened the clamp, but its still dripping. I shouldn't need new hoses yet on an 09 with 150 hours, should I?
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,491Member ✭✭✭✭
    Hey Dream Inn, If I thought there was water seeping in the bolt holes of my transom I'd be worried. I haven't had anywhere near the experience as Al at changing transom plates and drives, but I'd be really concerned that my transom would rot if there was water working its way in there. In my opinion, and Al may shoot this down, water should not be coming in there and if it is get it stopped fast. MT
  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,017Member ✭✭✭
  • Capt RonCapt Ron Georgian Bay, Ontario Posts: 170Member ✭✭✭
    I asked a surveyor about water in the bilge. He said it doesn't hurt anything to have water in the bilge... I'm a bit of a nut about water in the bilge. I finally getting it to stay dry a little longer. Problems with a leak in the fresh water tank inlet, a slow leak in the generator water filter and some rain water diversion at the radar arch were some of the issues I encountered. I still get some water in the bilge, however, not as much as before...still working on it.
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 996Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    ok, we just got back and it looks like something is a bit loose cause my bilge light came on whenever it was rough & nothing coming out.  I played a little with it and think it may be the float, but need to look a little more.  Wasn't as concerned after I realized it wasn't water coming in making it go off.  I'll play with it this Friday when I have the time.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,070Member ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the newer non-float types.  My forward bilge pump/float was always troublesome, now just a self on pump.  I saw an even newer type that automatically tests for water every 10 min or so, using the drag on the impeller as the sensor for water.  neat idea, but on the hook it will be drawing a momentary usage.

     

    I fear doing the pump / float in the engine compartment, unless you are a monkey or have 4' arms, it looks like an engine pull to get to it.  (knocks on wood)

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • summer_flingsummer_fling Long Island, NYPosts: 9Member
    edited August 2013
    On mine (2007 280 EC) the AC condensate runs int the bilge, so the AC on means a wet bilge. I never see rainwater enter...it follows the gully to a drainage onto the swim platform but I suspect some of the port vents allow seepage.

    I am considering buying an aftermarket shower bilge setup, putting it in the bilge and running the condensate into it. I hate to drill in a new through hull, so I might twin it with the bilge line and add a pair of check valves.

    It's lame that its designed this way.
    Post edited by summer_fling on
  • summer_flingsummer_fling Long Island, NYPosts: 9Member
    And Black Diamond is right. The bilge pump cannot be reached under my 8.1L VP V8. Last boat I changed out the bilge pump every few years. They cannot last forever and when I realized where it was, I freaked.

    I also noticed that the water is lapping on the oil pan.

    I found a paper towel against the pump intake grill (probably dropped by a mechanic during spring service) so I plan to pull the boat on Wednesday for a midsummer wash, drain the bilge, (check the fitting--thanks Black Diamond), and dry it out and take some video with my iPhone to see what's going on down there.

    I'm concerned that the water (which looks oily) might be leaking in around a the engine or gen-set pickup, and I don't know it because I'm assuming its the AC.

    Gonna buy a tiny wet vac too.
  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker Palmetto, FLPosts: 291Member ✭✭✭

    Not totally off topic----an idea that works pretty good for me.  There is enough room on the bottom of the 342 bilge between the stringers that I can put one of those plastic four legged step stools from Wal-Mart in there.  It really helps when I need to get on one foot centrally located and being able to pivot around reaching all the stuff that needs to be attend to.

    And for DI, on our 2010 loop trip we were in some pretty heavy stuff at the north end of Lake Huron when the bilge light came on intermittently.  The engine room situation looked just fine on inspection.  But the problem was in the mid bilge.  This pump has one of those moisture detectors that controls the pump and as it turned out the quart of so of water that was in that space was splashing into the moisture detector.  That was what was causing the pump to operate.  A little repositioning fixed the problem.  Maybe that is what you are experiencing.

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 996Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks TW!  I'll have to look into a bit more.  Unfortunately I've had some bigger fish to fry lately.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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